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Author Topic: Information: The material physical Cause of causation  (Read 5302 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2011, 02:18:45 PM »

So how does that fit into the angels appearing at Christ's tomb? Surely the women saw it as material?
That's an excellent question. There are many possible solutions, including God enlightening their eyes by his Grace so that they could see the angels, or the angels so affecting physical reality as to create visible projections of themselves. Is there another Eastern Orthodox perspective on this?
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« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2011, 06:57:12 PM »

I've been informed that you're not TTC.  I apologize.  I was confused by how you personalize the arguments made, when you said, "then I get this:"
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« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2011, 07:01:36 PM »

So how does that fit into the angels appearing at Christ's tomb? Surely the women saw it as material?
That's an excellent question. There are many possible solutions, including God enlightening their eyes by his Grace so that they could see the angels, or the angels so affecting physical reality as to create visible projections of themselves. Is there another Eastern Orthodox perspective on this?

All while coming from a position of being made of nothing.. Yeah, that doesn't make any logical sense what-so-ever.. It's like the ultimate Carl Sagan's Dragon argument. Yeah, my GOD and Angels transcend existence and exist in a place of no place made nothing, no parts, no substance, no dimensional value, out side of capacity ect. Errr yeah, my nothing angels and GODS!.. Now please believe on faith that nothing can be a person, place, or thing.!!

Wha?
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« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2011, 07:03:12 PM »

Quote
God is the fundamental rule of existence. He did not create it. He is that. He is the absolute. All existence must be measured by Him. Therefore, there is no fallacy in omniscience or omnipotence.
Now my challenge for you. Will you address my real arguments, or only your sophomoric caricatures?

Thanks for calling me GOD? You sure you  understand what Omniscience actually means? Did you bother to address the religious fallacy thread to where this is well covered in regards to information theory? I'm guess you haven't or that you simply ignored it.

Quote
In your argument above you say that the theist is arguing that God is made of "nothing". That's correct, in so far, as we would say that God is not made/composed.

Nice to know your GOD is nothing. You might want to work on that definition.. and then really think about your argument in terms of information theory especially when you start rambling on about Omniscience because you don't seem to comprehend the definitions of those words . I do find it amusing to see you attempt at a circular argument that also self-contradicts itself entirely. Your argument is equal to arguing that something can exist out side of capacity as if something can have capacity without capacity. Another example would be that your argument for complexity without complexity.  Your arguments were not well thought out ;|
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 07:15:22 PM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2011, 10:07:37 PM »

Quote
basically he's trying to rationalize that his said GOD is made of nothing, and is thus simpler than the Universe :/ It's non-material, a-spatial, a-dimensional ect.. All attributes of nothing, or non-existence! Hence made of nothing, in a place of nowhere, has no dimensional value, no-capacity and yet magically exists without complexity as well. Of course he's going to argue that because otherwise his entire ideology self-collapses, even though it does anyways if you actually take the time to put it into context.

I'm the one who said that "God is beyond the sum of all that exists."

This is a clear example of using a definition and applying it to your own personal understanding on theistic ideas.  This is no different than the criticism of the common man who uses the word "theory" differently than scientists do.

When we talk about God, there is a sense of mystery.  We can only make analogies or comparisons to try to even fathom the fathomless, so to speak.  If I say that I believe in a Creator of ALL things, then all things that exist, including "nothing" in the sense we understand it scientifically today (i.e. that nothing isn't really nothing anymore), He created that.  If we live in an infinite collection of multiverses, I believe He created that.  If there are an infinite number of natural laws that govern the infinite number of universes, I have no problem saying God created that.

You see, anything that we can fathom, with our observations, with our technologies, and with our mathematics, I would argue God created.  God transcends all these things, in my opinion, which is why He is beyond the sum of all things.  I never said God is made of nothing.  You are misconstruing what I said.  You are comparing apples to oranges.  Scientific language does not apply to theistic language.  You have to judge the merits of the language based on the context of what is said.  If I said, "it's just a theory," in this context, theory is used as a hypothesis.  If I said "chill out!" I'm not asking you to go and freeze yourself.

When we speak about God, it's a paradox, and rightfully so!  No logic can really comprehend God.  It's a matter of faith, which is not a bunch of stories one has to believe in, but the lens by which one sees the world and acts in it.  By this definition, really, there is no one in this world without "faith."  Perhaps, maybe the truly agnostic has no "faith" because he doesn't know what to make of this existence and beyond it.

The way we "use" our faith is by prayer, fasting, giving alms, etc.

Think of God as an infinite transcendence.  There is no way to measure or understand Him on your own merits.  But He is available for you, and makes Himself knowable to you.
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« Reply #50 on: February 16, 2011, 10:15:25 PM »

So how does that fit into the angels appearing at Christ's tomb? Surely the women saw it as material?
That's an excellent question. There are many possible solutions, including God enlightening their eyes by his Grace so that they could see the angels, or the angels so affecting physical reality as to create visible projections of themselves. Is there another Eastern Orthodox perspective on this?

All while coming from a position of being made of nothing.. Yeah, that doesn't make any logical sense what-so-ever.. It's like the ultimate Carl Sagan's Dragon argument. Yeah, my GOD and Angels transcend existence and exist in a place of no place made nothing, no parts, no substance, no dimensional value, out side of capacity ect. Errr yeah, my nothing angels and GODS!.. Now please believe on faith that nothing can be a person, place, or thing.!!

Wha?
I suppose you missed my clever play on words. I wasn't suggesting that God isn't in existence. I was suggesting that God is not made of anything. This is because he is simple and uncomposed. Do you understand what I am saying?
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« Reply #51 on: February 16, 2011, 10:17:36 PM »

So how does that fit into the angels appearing at Christ's tomb? Surely the women saw it as material?
That's an excellent question. There are many possible solutions, including God enlightening their eyes by his Grace so that they could see the angels, or the angels so affecting physical reality as to create visible projections of themselves. Is there another Eastern Orthodox perspective on this?

All while coming from a position of being made of nothing.. Yeah, that doesn't make any logical sense what-so-ever.. It's like the ultimate Carl Sagan's Dragon argument. Yeah, my GOD and Angels transcend existence and exist in a place of no place made nothing, no parts, no substance, no dimensional value, out side of capacity ect. Errr yeah, my nothing angels and GODS!.. Now please believe on faith that nothing can be a person, place, or thing.!!

Wha?
You keep assuming a God of limited being. If there were such a God, yes hew ould need to occupy space and have dimensions. But that is not the God we profess. Our God is not limited, and therefore, must by necessity, transcend limiting categories like space, and dimensions.
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« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2011, 10:48:11 PM »

Quote
You keep assuming a God of limited being. If there were such a God, yes hew ould need to occupy space and have dimensions. But that is not the God we profess. Our God is not limited, and therefore, must by necessity, transcend limiting categories like space, and dimensions.

That would make me GOD. Unless of course you want to retract your statement on your GOD being infinite without limits or boundaries. By definition it would require your god to actually and literally be me under omniscience, without limits, or without boundaries. The fact I exist would instantly make your supposed GOD finite. :/
Quote
I suppose you missed my clever play on words. I wasn't suggesting that God isn't in existence. I was suggesting that God is not made  of anything.

Same thing.

being made of nothing = nothing more than nothing

It's not a clever play on words, it's understanding what they mean, and what their definitions are. It's properly addressing the argument.
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« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2011, 11:59:11 AM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2011, 12:58:38 PM »

Quote
That would make me GOD. Unless of course you want to retract your statement on your GOD being infinite without limits or boundaries. By definition it would require your god to actually and literally be me under omniscience, without limits, or without boundaries. The fact I exist would instantly make your supposed GOD finite. :/

I'm not sure anyone is following correctly the argument you're making.  Are you infinite?  Or are you saying there's no such thing that's infinite, and only finite things exist?
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« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2011, 01:54:08 PM »

That would make me GOD. Unless of course you want to retract your statement on your GOD being infinite without limits or boundaries. By definition it would require your god to actually and literally be me under omniscience, without limits, or without boundaries. The fact I exist would instantly make your supposed GOD finite. :/
Not at all. God's limitlessness, is so unlimited that our being is not in competition with his being in anyway. His not taking on our limited exsitence, does not limite him. This takes some deep metaphysical thinking to understand, and I am not sure that you are to the point in your studies that can understand this.

Same thing.

being made of nothing = nothing more than nothing

It's not a clever play on words, it's understanding what they mean, and what their definitions are. It's properly addressing the argument.
Again you missed it. All I am saying is that God is not "made", he simply is, and that he is not a thing, not and object, but absolute subject.
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« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2011, 01:57:07 PM »

TheJackel,
I have an honest question, and I think you need to honestly ask yourself this question. Are you purposely trying to not understand what I and others on this forum are saying? It seems like that is the case and because of this apparent hardness of heart, the reason that I am even considering continuing this conversation with you is for the benefit of others who might be reading these threads.
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« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2011, 03:35:11 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.
I don't think formal logic has much to say about it either way.
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« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2011, 05:55:16 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.
I don't think formal logic has much to say about it either way.

I disagree. Rather than type it all out, let me quote from something I wrote somewhere else (apologies for the formatting, not everything is transferring over. here is the link with the argument in full):

Quote
An infinite regress is impossible –

Since the “if/then” is contingent upon an infinite regress being impossible, we must look to see if an infinite regress actually is impossible. Those who argue for an infinite regress usually make the followings points:

1)   It is not impossible to think of something that is infinite regressive. If we imagine a man is stacking books in a library and he’s stacking books on an infinite number of shelves, then it’s not impossible for us to imagine he’s been doing this for eternity.

2)   It’s not impossible to imagine something existing for eternity and impacting other things. If we think of an atom that has existed for eternity, we can imagine it wandering around space, moving and containing energy, without ever have being created.

If we take such views prima facie then an infinite regress does indeed seem possible. However, I would contend that such analogies misconstrue the issue of an infinite regress and do not align with reality. That is to say, while it is possible to imagine an infinite regress (and in fact mathematically we can use infinity in equations), there cannot be an actual infinite regress when applied to reality, especially in light of modern science.

When applying an infinite regress to reality, an infinite regress simply doesn’t seem possible in reality. Imagine that when you click on the “y” button on your computer it takes an infinite number of steps for “y” to show up on your screen. This would prevent “y” from ever showing up on your screen. That is because when you hit “y” it would go through step 1 to step 2 to step 3 and so on to infinity.

If x is supposed to lead to y, but there is an infinite number of processes P that take place between x and y then x would never lead to y. This is because x would need to go to P1, P2, P3, and so on to infinity before obtaining y. Since infinity is, well, infinite, x would proceed through an infinite number of steps in order to achieve y, meaning that x would never achieve y.

If this same computer did the same thing with opening software then we would have the same result. Let’s say you wanted to close your solitaire and open your word processing program so you could write an essay on the Ontological argument. If your computer took an infinite number of steps to close down the solitaire program and open up your word processing program, then the solitaire program would never close down and the processing program would never boot up. To make matters worse, before you can save your essay on the Ontological argument, you must first type an infinite number of pages. This means you could never save your essay!

While an infinite number of steps might work in mathematics, it is not congruent with reality. We know that to get from one end of the street to another there are a certain number of steps. If there were an infinite number of steps we would never reach the other side of the street.
In fact, when applied to reality, an infinite regress seems contradictory. If we use the above analogy of walking across the street, we are left with a problem; if it takes an infinite number of steps to get from one side of the street to the other, then we must have always been walking. At the point we began walking we ruined the idea of an infinite regress; we have a definite starting point. For an infinite regress to occur, there must not be a definite starting point. To say that we have moved from one point to another, or are attempting to do so, through an infinite number of processes, contradicts itself because there cannot be a beginning point regress.

The above doesn’t negate an infinite series of events, but instead an infinite series of events without a definite beginning. For instance, if we say that x leads to y, but all points began at r, then the progression is possible because we can trace it back to a point.
r                                    x                        y
|------------------------------------------------------>

But when we look to an indefinite beginning, which would be an infinite regress, we understand that x must be preceded by P-1, P-2, P-3 and so on to infinity. If it is impossible for us to get from x to y due to the infinite number of steps that must be obtained, then how can we even get to x since an infinite number of steps precede x? If there is a step before x, say r, then how did we get to r when steps P-1, P-2, P-3, ad infinitum precede r? The point is, when an infinite regress is applied to reality we can never have a starting point, which means we can never obtain an actual event because an infinite number of events will precede the event.

…P-3 P-2 P-1 P       P1 P2 P3…
<--------------------------------------->

If we imagine we’re sitting in a book store and watching the owner stock the bookshelves, but there is an infinite number of bookshelves, then how is it that the store owner is stocking the bookshelves? When we look to his right we see an infinite number of shelves that need to be stacked and when we look behind him we see an infinite number of shelves that have (supposedly) been stacked. While it might be easy for us to imagine – even in a realistic sense – that he could continue on ad infinitum stacking the shelves as some sort of librarian Sisyphus cursed for eternity. But such an imagining can only occur if we allow for a finite beginning.

In this bookstore, we look to the left and see an infinite number of bookshelves. The problem is, none of these bookshelves can be filled because the bookstore owner could not begin at a definite point. If they began at a definite point, then we no longer have an infinite regress. If our bookstore owner is on row Pn and we expect him to get to shelf P3, then he must first get to shelf P1, then shelf P2, but he must first finish rows Pn-1 and so on to infinity. That is to say, our bookstore owner would never obtain shelf P3 or even get to row Pn if he was involved in an infinite regress. We could not even say he began at a certain point, for in an infinite regress there is no beginning.

If we apply the above concepts to the formation of the universe, then we are left with the reality that matter and energy cannot be eternal and had to start at a specific point. This means that matter as it is would either have to have been permanently formed the way it is or have never come together.

In order for matter M1 to form into a different form of matter M2, it would need to proceed through steps x and y. But for M1 to obtain M2, it would have first need to obtain M1 by processing through M-1, M-2, and so on to infinity. Just as we saw from the numerous examples above, this means that M1 would never obtain actuality.

For matter to be in its current form, then, since it cannot have an infinite series of events prior to the taking of its current form, it must have always been that way. But we know that this is not the case. We know that when a table is put together, we did that ourselves at a specific point in time. We know that the wood was not always that way. Evolution teaches us that such things have changed over time, meaning the matter of things is in constant flux, which means that it cannot be eternal.

Alternatively, if matter is eternal and subject to an infinite series of events, then the matter we see today should have never come about. Since we know the matter to exist and we know it came about, then it cannot be infinite, meaning that it came about at a specific point in time.
The clever naturalist might agree that an infinite series of events is impossible, but it’s not impossible to imagine a physical entity that has existed for an infinite amount of time. We could imagine a hypothetical atom that has been moving around for eternity and changing forms. Such a mind exercise would indicate that matter as eternal is not an impossibility and that an infinite regress might be possible. For instance, if we have an object A that is infinite in its own right that randomly causes Event P, then all things following P trace back to A, which is material and infinite in its own right.

The above analogy begins to fall apart when we consider that anything that is self-generating within the material universe (that is, something that generates another object separate from itself) it is always a compound object. There are no simple material objects that self-generate. This means that such an atom (or electron, or elephant, or flying spaghetti monster, or whatever you want to use as an example) would fall subject to the problem of infinite regress mentioned above.

If we say that the atom collided with something else in order to create something independent of itself, then we have two eternal objects wandering around that happened to collide. Thus, if x and y collide at time T1, we then get the result of r which is independent of x and y. But what is to prevent us from believing that they should have collided later at T2 or at T-1 or T-30? If both x and y exist within a confined space, but have existed infinitely, then why should they not have collided at an infinite period in the past? Furthermore, if we say that x and y exist within an infinite space, why should we suppose they would collide at all?

When considering the above, it shows that a compound object could not exist infinitely and bring about change, but does this negate the idea that an object could exist infinitely by itself? Certainly we can imagine x gaining form F1 to F2 to F3 onto infinity (though this does seem to violate what we previously learned about infinite regresses). If we give the naturalist the benefit of the doubt and assume that such an object can exists independently and somehow doesn’t violate an infinite regress, what are we left with? The answer is we’re left with nothing that is usable within reality. If such an object did exist, it would be changing within itself and not exacting change on anything else or bringing anything else into existence.

Now, a naturalist could argue that perhaps there was a simple material object that led to the creation of the entire universe. But everything within our experience is complex in some fashion and made up of different parts, thus the naturalist would be begging the question. They would ask us to assume the naturalistic state of mind for the sake of naturalism without having any reason to assume such a state of mind. We would have to assume naturalism is true in order to prove naturalism is true, and that is a fallacy.

Let us continue to look at the issue of an infinite regress even further by applying the idea of an infinite regress to matter, specifically when we consider the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states that energy in a closed system decays toward a state of equilibrium. If you fill a bathtub, while the tub is filling up the heat is concentrated more towards where the water is pouring in rather than the furthest spot from the heat within the tub. If you turn the water off you have created a closed system. At some point, the water will become lukewarm and will have an equal distribution of heat within the tub. That is because the energy decayed toward a state of equilibrium and once that equilibrium is met it cannot be changed unless acted upon by an outside force.

Such an idea has posed quite a problem for scientists as we examine the Big Bang. The Big Bang is a well-established mathematical and scientific theory; the math predicted that the Big Bang existed and the evidence supports the theory. We know that approximately 14 billion years ago energy was released that resulted in our universe. While we do not know what the energy was contained in prior to the Big Bang, we are left with quite the perplexing question – how was this energy released?

Let us assume that all the energy that is currently present in the universe existed within a capsule prior to the event of the Big Bang. If this capsule was infinite, then the energy would have moved toward a state of equilibrium. Looking to the above examples of an infinite regress, if it was the energy within the capsule that caused the Big Bang, then the Big Bang should have occurred at T∞, but in reality such a time cannot exist. If we say that the Big Bang occurred on January 15 then we are wrong; if the capsule was infinite and the energy within infinite, then the Big Bang occurred at T∞, but such a time cannot exist, meaning that the energy could not be infinite.

Since the energy within the capsule could not have caused the Big Bang since the energy would have reached a state of equilibrium at T∞, then an outside force would be needed in order to release the energy within the capsule into the wider area of space. But if we suppose that there was a material outside source that released the energy from the capsule and caused the Big Bang, we are faced with the problem that to be material such an object must be complex, which then means the object is likewise subject to an infinite regress. All the naturalist does walk further into the infinite regress, but he does not solve his problem.

Now some would have us believe that the universe is currently expanding and will soon collapse on itself again to begin the process of expansion a short time later. However, aside from there being no evidence to support this theory and that such a theory still falls under the problem of an infinite regress, such a theory doesn’t make sense in light of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. To retract the universe would require the use of energy, but we know that energy is moving toward a state of equilibrium in our universe. If left unaided, our universe will eventually “die” by reaching a state of equilibrium where energy is evenly dispersed across the universe. In order for the universe to collapse on itself it would need a disturbance of the energy, but there is no evidence that such a disturbance can exist.

With all of the above I should hope the reader feels satisfied that an infinite regress is quite impossible. Though we can imagine an infinite regress, such imagination must take place inside of a vacuum and cannot be applied to reality. In reality, we cannot have an infinite regress of events or an infinite complex object. Therefore, an infinite regress is impossible.
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« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2011, 08:52:35 PM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
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« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2011, 09:30:09 PM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.
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« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2011, 01:29:17 AM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.
I don't think formal logic has much to say about it either way.

I disagree. Rather than type it all out, let me quote from something I wrote somewhere else (apologies for the formatting, not everything is transferring over. here is the link with the argument in full):

Quote
An infinite regress is impossible –

Since the “if/then” is contingent upon an infinite regress being impossible, we must look to see if an infinite regress actually is impossible. Those who argue for an infinite regress usually make the followings points:

1)   It is not impossible to think of something that is infinite regressive. If we imagine a man is stacking books in a library and he’s stacking books on an infinite number of shelves, then it’s not impossible for us to imagine he’s been doing this for eternity.

2)   It’s not impossible to imagine something existing for eternity and impacting other things. If we think of an atom that has existed for eternity, we can imagine it wandering around space, moving and containing energy, without ever have being created.

If we take such views prima facie then an infinite regress does indeed seem possible. However, I would contend that such analogies misconstrue the issue of an infinite regress and do not align with reality. That is to say, while it is possible to imagine an infinite regress (and in fact mathematically we can use infinity in equations), there cannot be an actual infinite regress when applied to reality, especially in light of modern science.

When applying an infinite regress to reality, an infinite regress simply doesn’t seem possible in reality. Imagine that when you click on the “y” button on your computer it takes an infinite number of steps for “y” to show up on your screen. This would prevent “y” from ever showing up on your screen. That is because when you hit “y” it would go through step 1 to step 2 to step 3 and so on to infinity.

If x is supposed to lead to y, but there is an infinite number of processes P that take place between x and y then x would never lead to y. This is because x would need to go to P1, P2, P3, and so on to infinity before obtaining y. Since infinity is, well, infinite, x would proceed through an infinite number of steps in order to achieve y, meaning that x would never achieve y.

If this same computer did the same thing with opening software then we would have the same result. Let’s say you wanted to close your solitaire and open your word processing program so you could write an essay on the Ontological argument. If your computer took an infinite number of steps to close down the solitaire program and open up your word processing program, then the solitaire program would never close down and the processing program would never boot up. To make matters worse, before you can save your essay on the Ontological argument, you must first type an infinite number of pages. This means you could never save your essay!

While an infinite number of steps might work in mathematics, it is not congruent with reality. We know that to get from one end of the street to another there are a certain number of steps. If there were an infinite number of steps we would never reach the other side of the street.
In fact, when applied to reality, an infinite regress seems contradictory. If we use the above analogy of walking across the street, we are left with a problem; if it takes an infinite number of steps to get from one side of the street to the other, then we must have always been walking. At the point we began walking we ruined the idea of an infinite regress; we have a definite starting point. For an infinite regress to occur, there must not be a definite starting point. To say that we have moved from one point to another, or are attempting to do so, through an infinite number of processes, contradicts itself because there cannot be a beginning point regress.

The above doesn’t negate an infinite series of events, but instead an infinite series of events without a definite beginning. For instance, if we say that x leads to y, but all points began at r, then the progression is possible because we can trace it back to a point.
r                                    x                        y
|------------------------------------------------------>

But when we look to an indefinite beginning, which would be an infinite regress, we understand that x must be preceded by P-1, P-2, P-3 and so on to infinity. If it is impossible for us to get from x to y due to the infinite number of steps that must be obtained, then how can we even get to x since an infinite number of steps precede x? If there is a step before x, say r, then how did we get to r when steps P-1, P-2, P-3, ad infinitum precede r? The point is, when an infinite regress is applied to reality we can never have a starting point, which means we can never obtain an actual event because an infinite number of events will precede the event.

…P-3 P-2 P-1 P       P1 P2 P3…
<--------------------------------------->

If we imagine we’re sitting in a book store and watching the owner stock the bookshelves, but there is an infinite number of bookshelves, then how is it that the store owner is stocking the bookshelves? When we look to his right we see an infinite number of shelves that need to be stacked and when we look behind him we see an infinite number of shelves that have (supposedly) been stacked. While it might be easy for us to imagine – even in a realistic sense – that he could continue on ad infinitum stacking the shelves as some sort of librarian Sisyphus cursed for eternity. But such an imagining can only occur if we allow for a finite beginning.

In this bookstore, we look to the left and see an infinite number of bookshelves. The problem is, none of these bookshelves can be filled because the bookstore owner could not begin at a definite point. If they began at a definite point, then we no longer have an infinite regress. If our bookstore owner is on row Pn and we expect him to get to shelf P3, then he must first get to shelf P1, then shelf P2, but he must first finish rows Pn-1 and so on to infinity. That is to say, our bookstore owner would never obtain shelf P3 or even get to row Pn if he was involved in an infinite regress. We could not even say he began at a certain point, for in an infinite regress there is no beginning.

If we apply the above concepts to the formation of the universe, then we are left with the reality that matter and energy cannot be eternal and had to start at a specific point. This means that matter as it is would either have to have been permanently formed the way it is or have never come together.

In order for matter M1 to form into a different form of matter M2, it would need to proceed through steps x and y. But for M1 to obtain M2, it would have first need to obtain M1 by processing through M-1, M-2, and so on to infinity. Just as we saw from the numerous examples above, this means that M1 would never obtain actuality.

For matter to be in its current form, then, since it cannot have an infinite series of events prior to the taking of its current form, it must have always been that way. But we know that this is not the case. We know that when a table is put together, we did that ourselves at a specific point in time. We know that the wood was not always that way. Evolution teaches us that such things have changed over time, meaning the matter of things is in constant flux, which means that it cannot be eternal.

Alternatively, if matter is eternal and subject to an infinite series of events, then the matter we see today should have never come about. Since we know the matter to exist and we know it came about, then it cannot be infinite, meaning that it came about at a specific point in time.
The clever naturalist might agree that an infinite series of events is impossible, but it’s not impossible to imagine a physical entity that has existed for an infinite amount of time. We could imagine a hypothetical atom that has been moving around for eternity and changing forms. Such a mind exercise would indicate that matter as eternal is not an impossibility and that an infinite regress might be possible. For instance, if we have an object A that is infinite in its own right that randomly causes Event P, then all things following P trace back to A, which is material and infinite in its own right.

The above analogy begins to fall apart when we consider that anything that is self-generating within the material universe (that is, something that generates another object separate from itself) it is always a compound object. There are no simple material objects that self-generate. This means that such an atom (or electron, or elephant, or flying spaghetti monster, or whatever you want to use as an example) would fall subject to the problem of infinite regress mentioned above.

If we say that the atom collided with something else in order to create something independent of itself, then we have two eternal objects wandering around that happened to collide. Thus, if x and y collide at time T1, we then get the result of r which is independent of x and y. But what is to prevent us from believing that they should have collided later at T2 or at T-1 or T-30? If both x and y exist within a confined space, but have existed infinitely, then why should they not have collided at an infinite period in the past? Furthermore, if we say that x and y exist within an infinite space, why should we suppose they would collide at all?

When considering the above, it shows that a compound object could not exist infinitely and bring about change, but does this negate the idea that an object could exist infinitely by itself? Certainly we can imagine x gaining form F1 to F2 to F3 onto infinity (though this does seem to violate what we previously learned about infinite regresses). If we give the naturalist the benefit of the doubt and assume that such an object can exists independently and somehow doesn’t violate an infinite regress, what are we left with? The answer is we’re left with nothing that is usable within reality. If such an object did exist, it would be changing within itself and not exacting change on anything else or bringing anything else into existence.

Now, a naturalist could argue that perhaps there was a simple material object that led to the creation of the entire universe. But everything within our experience is complex in some fashion and made up of different parts, thus the naturalist would be begging the question. They would ask us to assume the naturalistic state of mind for the sake of naturalism without having any reason to assume such a state of mind. We would have to assume naturalism is true in order to prove naturalism is true, and that is a fallacy.

Let us continue to look at the issue of an infinite regress even further by applying the idea of an infinite regress to matter, specifically when we consider the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states that energy in a closed system decays toward a state of equilibrium. If you fill a bathtub, while the tub is filling up the heat is concentrated more towards where the water is pouring in rather than the furthest spot from the heat within the tub. If you turn the water off you have created a closed system. At some point, the water will become lukewarm and will have an equal distribution of heat within the tub. That is because the energy decayed toward a state of equilibrium and once that equilibrium is met it cannot be changed unless acted upon by an outside force.

Such an idea has posed quite a problem for scientists as we examine the Big Bang. The Big Bang is a well-established mathematical and scientific theory; the math predicted that the Big Bang existed and the evidence supports the theory. We know that approximately 14 billion years ago energy was released that resulted in our universe. While we do not know what the energy was contained in prior to the Big Bang, we are left with quite the perplexing question – how was this energy released?

Let us assume that all the energy that is currently present in the universe existed within a capsule prior to the event of the Big Bang. If this capsule was infinite, then the energy would have moved toward a state of equilibrium. Looking to the above examples of an infinite regress, if it was the energy within the capsule that caused the Big Bang, then the Big Bang should have occurred at T∞, but in reality such a time cannot exist. If we say that the Big Bang occurred on January 15 then we are wrong; if the capsule was infinite and the energy within infinite, then the Big Bang occurred at T∞, but such a time cannot exist, meaning that the energy could not be infinite.

Since the energy within the capsule could not have caused the Big Bang since the energy would have reached a state of equilibrium at T∞, then an outside force would be needed in order to release the energy within the capsule into the wider area of space. But if we suppose that there was a material outside source that released the energy from the capsule and caused the Big Bang, we are faced with the problem that to be material such an object must be complex, which then means the object is likewise subject to an infinite regress. All the naturalist does walk further into the infinite regress, but he does not solve his problem.

Now some would have us believe that the universe is currently expanding and will soon collapse on itself again to begin the process of expansion a short time later. However, aside from there being no evidence to support this theory and that such a theory still falls under the problem of an infinite regress, such a theory doesn’t make sense in light of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. To retract the universe would require the use of energy, but we know that energy is moving toward a state of equilibrium in our universe. If left unaided, our universe will eventually “die” by reaching a state of equilibrium where energy is evenly dispersed across the universe. In order for the universe to collapse on itself it would need a disturbance of the energy, but there is no evidence that such a disturbance can exist.

With all of the above I should hope the reader feels satisfied that an infinite regress is quite impossible. Though we can imagine an infinite regress, such imagination must take place inside of a vacuum and cannot be applied to reality. In reality, we cannot have an infinite regress of events or an infinite complex object. Therefore, an infinite regress is impossible.

Infinite regress is impossible is correct. To solve it you have to solve it with an impossible. Such as the lack of capacity is impossible. You can only solve that with an infinite volume to which has a ground state to the volume. AKA the base substance to which the volume is comprised of. In the case of existence, that would be energy to where energy also is =/= with information.. It's the substance of information itself. What complex arises from it can be conscious things such ourselves.

Quote
In reality, we cannot have an infinite regress of events or an infinite complex object. Therefore, an infinite regress is impossible.

Good thing there is no outside of reality Wink. Existence itself can be considered an infinitely complex object with even the possibility of infinite universes.. It really depends on the kind of complexity you are talking about because it's relative to what you would be referring to.. In an infinite volume I could have an infinite number of objects while still having an infinite amount of space between objects. just like I can have an infinite number of numbers between numbers.

1.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -> infinity 2.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX -> infinity 3.XXXXXXXXX to infinity with the each number being an object and .x being space between objects. I can infinite increase the number of objects and space between them in an infinite volume and have it not defy any laws of physics.

However, You can't infinite regress capacity to zero capacity to which would also result in zero objects. Thus ground state is the base substance of the infinite volume even if objects of complex above ground state are themselves finite.



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« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2011, 01:37:13 AM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.

Just like it takes information to even be capable of making a choice or even be capable of being self-aware and conscious.. All things of complex begin with information. And Information can not exist outside of capacity.. And that is because information is by definition in information theory the substance of capacity itself, and everything to which exists, can exist, or does exist. Hence, energy =/= information.. I can not be aware of anything unless there is something to be aware of! And it surely can't be nothing Wink
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« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2011, 04:24:38 AM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.
Well that's easy: you're not at the end of the chain of causes and effects. But you probably figured that out since your last post.
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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2011, 01:04:17 PM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.

Exactly. I'm not saying there can't be an infinite number of things - this would negate the idea of humans being able to engage in eternity - but I am saying that you can't have an infinite regress in actuality. An infinite series of events can't lead up to this point in time.

Quote from: The Jackal[/quote
Infinite regress is impossible is correct. To solve it you have to solve it with an impossible. Such as the lack of capacity is impossible. You can only solve that with an infinite volume to which has a ground state to the volume. AKA the base substance to which the volume is comprised of. In the case of existence, that would be energy to where energy also is =/= with information.. It's the substance of information itself. What complex arises from it can be conscious things such ourselves.

This only complicates the issue and doesn't evade the problem of an infinite regress. What you're arguing is that energy - which is a physical substance - is in constant movement. This begets the question of, "What caused the Big Bang" or better yet, "What caused matter?" If energy is constantly moving, forming matter, shaping matter, etc, then matter should also be co-eternal and there's no reason to believe the Big Bang shouldn't have occurred 14 trillion years ago as opposed to 14 billion years ago.

So bringing up an infinite capacity doesn't work because from a naturalist perspective you must still operate from a closed system, which still bites back onto the problem of an infinite regress. In short, the Big Bang is a defeater for your argument, hence the reason there are theories on multiple universes, Stephen Hawkings' "rounded point" theory, and so on.

Quote from: The Jackal
Good thing there is no outside of reality . Existence itself can be considered an infinitely complex object with even the possibility of infinite universes.. It really depends on the kind of complexity you are talking about because it's relative to what you would be referring to.. In an infinite volume I could have an infinite number of objects while still having an infinite amount of space between objects. just like I can have an infinite number of numbers between numbers.

1.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -> infinity 2.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX -> infinity 3.XXXXXXXXX to infinity with the each number being an object and .x being space between objects. I can infinite increase the number of objects and space between them in an infinite volume and have it not defy any laws of physics.

However, You can't infinite regress capacity to zero capacity to which would also result in zero objects. Thus ground state is the base substance of the infinite volume even if objects of complex above ground state are themselves finite.

The problem is that while this is a mathematical possibility, it isn't possible within reality. To say that the universe is infinite, or we're part of a chain of infinite universes' begs the question on whether or not an infinite regress is possible; it assumes such a regress is possible because it assumes we exist within an infinite sphere and then uses the assumptions to prove the assumptions (so it's circular as well).

So in reality can we take a complex object (that means something composed of parts) and have an infinite number of them in an infinite space with an infinite distance between them? So long as there are parts the answer is no, because parts require a beginning. A beginning rules out the idea of infinite; even the Christian belief in the eternality of the soul does not teach that we are infinite because though we might be eternal (once resurrected with Christ), we still have a finite beginning. To be truly infinite something or someone must have no beginning or end. But if things are composed of parts, then they require a beginning. If you want to argue for simple substances, then you must do so without a naturalistic perspective as everything in the natural world is complex at some level.

Quote from: The Jackal[/quote
Just like it takes information to even be capable of making a choice or even be capable of being self-aware and conscious..

And what is the cause of information? There is literally no example in the universe of information arising from a non-intelligent source. Information, especially complex information, is always caused by intelligence. To argue otherwise is an example of begging the question, so from a logicians perspective, you've trapped yourself.
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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2011, 01:06:58 PM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.

Just like it takes information to even be capable of making a choice or even be capable of being self-aware and conscious.. All things of complex begin with information. And Information can not exist outside of capacity.. And that is because information is by definition in information theory the substance of capacity itself, and everything to which exists, can exist, or does exist. Hence, energy =/= information.. I can not be aware of anything unless there is something to be aware of! And it surely can't be nothing Wink
So then you agree that the chain of causes and effects terminating in my existence is finite, and thus, has a begining. Wonderful. You have just had a glimpse of the light outside the cave.
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« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2011, 01:08:08 PM »

I have to disagree with you theo. Those sort of examples are arguing something else: that you can't start with a finite number of actual things, keep adding 1, and eventually reach an infinity of actual things (you just get larger finite numbers). It doesn't follow that there can't be an infinite number of actual things.

Even if there are an infinite number of past events, we can still pick any specific past event and have a finite route back to it from now.
The chain of causes and effects leading to my existence at this moment cannot be inifinte because I am the end of that chain, and infinite chains don't end.
Well that's easy: you're not at the end of the chain of causes and effects. But you probably figured that out since your last post.

You're missing the point. Consider that a mother gives birth to a son, raises him in seclusion to the world, and then at 18 places him in a cave. She goes off and dies somewhere and for the rest of his years, he lives in a cave and lives off the land. Eventually he dies. When he dies, no animals find him, no bugs find him, he simply rots and nothing is gained from his death. In this situation, the "cause and effect chain" has been ended in the person, which would show that cause and effect is not infinite.

Regardless, let's make this more complex. As I argued, if there are infinite steps between x and y, then we can never get from x to y. It's a literal impossibility. Rather than saying, "I disagree," why don't you seek to show me how we can get from x to y taking an infinite number of steps.
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« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2011, 01:09:15 PM »

Well that's easy: you're not at the end of the chain of causes and effects. But you probably figured that out since your last post.
I am the end of the series of causes and effects that leads to my existence. You are the end of the series of causes and effects that leads to your existence.
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« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2011, 03:05:26 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.
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« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2011, 03:14:57 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.

How so?
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« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2011, 03:25:04 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.

How so?

How so what?
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« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2011, 03:30:48 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.

How so?

How so what?

How does it summarize the silliness for both sides?

Basically, do you like the argument because it places the burden of proof back onto the atheist, thus negating all the efforts of Christians to "prove" their faith and instead require the atheist to "disprove" the faith, or because there's something with the argument itself that is absurd?
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« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2011, 03:38:40 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.
I wonder if you think that some one is a "coffee shop thinker" simple because he or she doesn't share your philosophical presuppositions.
Theo Philosopher is working on his masters degree in philosophy. I think that's a bit beyond coffee shopt debate.
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« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2011, 03:53:58 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.
I wonder if you think that some one is a "coffee shop thinker" simple because he or she doesn't share your philosophical presuppositions.
Theo Philosopher is working on his masters degree in philosophy. I think that's a bit beyond coffee shopt debate.

You are assuming too much.
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« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2011, 03:55:57 PM »

If an infinite regress is impossible in actuality (not as a mathematical possibility, but in reality), then at some point there has to be a simple being that is unmoved and composed of no parts. By definition this being would be God.

It is up to the atheist to demonstrate how an infinite regress of events is possible within reality. To date, no one has successfully shown this.

This is probably the most concise summary of the silliness of both side of this "debate".

Thank you. I will probably repeat this when encountering coffee shop thinkers in the future, both "theists" and "atheists".

Thankfully none of this is an issue for Christianity.

How so?

How so what?

How does it summarize the silliness for both sides?

Basically, do you like the argument because it places the burden of proof back onto the atheist, thus negating all the efforts of Christians to "prove" their faith and instead require the atheist to "disprove" the faith, or because there's something with the argument itself that is absurd?

See my comments in the other nutty thread.

I am going to try to get out of work here and enjoy the weather which has broken beautifully for the third day in a row. Since I ain't going to Climacus  Sad, I might add a little more tonight.
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« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2011, 07:15:54 PM »

Regardless, let's make this more complex. As I argued, if there are infinite steps between x and y, then we can never get from x to y.
That's a good argument.

Luckily for the atheist, their position isn't that there is a beginning, x, and an endpoint, y (now), and an infinite amount of time between those two points.

Rather the atheist view is that there is no single beginning point, no x, but rather there are an infinite series of causes prior to y. Infinite means without end.

Quote
It's a literal impossibility.
Quite right.

Which is the problem, because the atheist view isn't this impossible view, but rather another, perfectly possible one.

Imagine a number line going from negative infinity to the number 18. It ends at 18, but is infinitely long.

So yes some infinite chains do end.

Quote
Rather than saying, "I disagree," why don't you seek to show me how we can get from x to y taking an infinite number of steps.
There is no actual step x which is an infinite number of steps ago, even in an actual infinite regression.
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« Reply #76 on: February 19, 2011, 03:36:41 AM »

In an infinite volume there is no beginning.. Any point you choose will be relative to only that point. And there is no literal beginning or end.. If you make two points X, and Y then you have made to relative points to which are thus finite unless you specify them to be infinitely distant from each other.And since they are both relative they are not literally a beginning or end because they are still apart of the infinite volume

Finite distances:

Quote
<-----------------------------Infinite distance--->.<------------------Finite (specified distance)------->.<----------------infinite distance---------------------------->

Infinite distances:
Quote
<--------infinite distance------->.<----------------------Infinite distance--------------------------->.<-------------infinite distance---------------->.<-------------Infinite distance----->

If you take the relative points out

<--------------------------------------------------------infinite distance-------------------------------------------------------------------->



 I could even infinitely add more relative points with infinite distances because the nature of an infinite volume states that you can even have infinite volumes within an infinite volume.

example:

Quote
A hotel with infinite number of rooms with each room having an infinite volume. However, you could never have a negative volume or capacity. Thus ground state is the base volume substance. Or the substance of the volume itself.

Another example can be parallel lines:

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

All these lines can be infinitely long. and infinite in number. And each line could represent a universe because our own Universe is measured to be flat. So you get back to the hotel example above.


And since no-capacity can exist, there can only ever be an infinite volume of capacity without beginning or an end... Hence, negative spatial capacity is a literal impossibility. A negative object, thing, or place can not exist by definition alone. You can't contain anything in a negative capacity!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 03:51:07 AM by TheJackel » Logged
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« Reply #77 on: February 19, 2011, 12:52:52 PM »

Regardless, let's make this more complex. As I argued, if there are infinite steps between x and y, then we can never get from x to y.
That's a good argument.

Luckily for the atheist, their position isn't that there is a beginning, x, and an endpoint, y (now), and an infinite amount of time between those two points.

Rather the atheist view is that there is no single beginning point, no x, but rather there are an infinite series of causes prior to y. Infinite means without end.

Quote
It's a literal impossibility.
Quite right.

Which is the problem, because the atheist view isn't this impossible view, but rather another, perfectly possible one.

Imagine a number line going from negative infinity to the number 18. It ends at 18, but is infinitely long.

So yes some infinite chains do end.

Quote
Rather than saying, "I disagree," why don't you seek to show me how we can get from x to y taking an infinite number of steps.
There is no actual step x which is an infinite number of steps ago, even in an actual infinite regression.

That argument doesn't work at all, logically or mathematically. If a line is infinite, then by definition it cannot end. If it ends, then it is finite. If it ends, that means there are processes within it that move, meaning it must also have a beginning otherwise it's an infinite series of events.

Quote
In an infinite volume there is no beginning.. Any point you choose will be relative to only that point. And there is no literal beginning or end.. If you make two points X, and Y then you have made to relative points to which are thus finite unless you specify them to be infinitely distant from each other.And since they are both relative they are not literally a beginning or end because they are still apart of the infinite volume

You ignored what I said. I'll be honest here, and do not take this as an insult, but the examples you're giving are sophomoric because they don't understand the objection I'm making. You keep arguing that matter exists within an infinite volume, but:

1) The Big Bang theory has succinctly proven that matter exists within a finite volume

2) Your theory literally makes no sense when applied to reality - the reason is you're arguing for an infinite universe theory, but the problem is you still have the movement of matter. Calling something "infinite in capacity" is simply changing the terms, but the effect is still "infinite in time" as well. Thus the objections I laid out are still valid and directed at your argument.

3) Your argument is a blind leap of faith - aside from being irrational, there's literally no evidence for it at all. You're simply using the argument because it helps you solidify your beliefs against God.

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« Reply #78 on: February 19, 2011, 01:33:16 PM »

Regardless, let's make this more complex. As I argued, if there are infinite steps between x and y, then we can never get from x to y.
That's a good argument.

Luckily for the atheist, their position isn't that there is a beginning, x, and an endpoint, y (now), and an infinite amount of time between those two points.

Rather the atheist view is that there is no single beginning point, no x, but rather there are an infinite series of causes prior to y. Infinite means without end.

Quote
It's a literal impossibility.
Quite right.

Which is the problem, because the atheist view isn't this impossible view, but rather another, perfectly possible one.

Imagine a number line going from negative infinity to the number 18. It ends at 18, but is infinitely long.

So yes some infinite chains do end.

Quote
Rather than saying, "I disagree," why don't you seek to show me how we can get from x to y taking an infinite number of steps.
There is no actual step x which is an infinite number of steps ago, even in an actual infinite regression.

That argument doesn't work at all, logically or mathematically. If a line is infinite, then by definition it cannot end. If it ends, then it is finite. If it ends, that means there are processes within it that move, meaning it must also have a beginning otherwise it's an infinite series of events.

Quote
In an infinite volume there is no beginning.. Any point you choose will be relative to only that point. And there is no literal beginning or end.. If you make two points X, and Y then you have made to relative points to which are thus finite unless you specify them to be infinitely distant from each other.And since they are both relative they are not literally a beginning or end because they are still apart of the infinite volume

You ignored what I said. I'll be honest here, and do not take this as an insult, but the examples you're giving are sophomoric because they don't understand the objection I'm making. You keep arguing that matter exists within an infinite volume, but:

1) The Big Bang theory has succinctly proven that matter exists within a finite volume

2) Your theory literally makes no sense when applied to reality - the reason is you're arguing for an infinite universe theory, but the problem is you still have the movement of matter. Calling something "infinite in capacity" is simply changing the terms, but the effect is still "infinite in time" as well. Thus the objections I laid out are still valid and directed at your argument.

3) Your argument is a blind leap of faith - aside from being irrational, there's literally no evidence for it at all. You're simply using the argument because it helps you solidify your beliefs against God.



Fail, please try again. the big bang is not the beginning of spatial capacity lol. it's the expansion of space-time..not space itself. hence positive and negative energy (gravity and expansion).. Has nothing to do with the creation of spatial capacity.
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« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2011, 10:26:22 PM »

1. Something definitely exists.
2. Nothing cannot cause something.
3. The universe is neither eternal nor unchanging.
4. Whatever is not eternal or unchanging needs a cause.
5. There cannot exist an infinite causal loop in time.
6. Therefore, there is a necessary cause of existence that is, by definition, eternal.
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« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2011, 11:56:57 PM »

1. Something definitely exists. - energy
2. Nothing cannot cause something. - correct.. nothing doesn't exist, (see number 1) (energy =/= information, capacity, cause, time, you, me, the universe, existence)
3. The universe is neither eternal nor unchanging. (universe is irrelevant to spatial capacity, only relevant to space-time expansion).. And the Universe is always changing. You might want to work on your use of the word "changing".. 
4. Whatever is not eternal or unchanging needs a cause. (good thing spatial capacity is eternal and made of energy)
5. There cannot exist an infinite causal loop in time. (you have know idea what time is do you?)
6. Therefore, there is a necessary cause of existence that is, by definition, eternal. (the dumbest argument ever! cause to existence doesn't exist! You can't create existence! Learn how to define the words you use before you use them.

I will add :

7. Nothing can't cause anything. To say something is made of nothing is =/= to saying it's nothing at all.. And the "It" or "Something" only exists as an idea in your head. Theists confuse themselves because they can't tell the difference between the idea in their head and the reality out side that idea. The image of a DOG or Monster is not the DOG! .. And not actual DOG or Monster can exist being made of nothing!. Learn how to understand reality, language, and the terms you use please :/

Cool Anything more complex than ground state needs a cause! Especially things like Consciousness. Learn how to apply infinite regress properly.

 
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« Reply #81 on: February 20, 2011, 09:16:09 AM »

I don't have the patience for a proper Socratic disassembly of this but I seems to me that actually having to define things like "nothing", "universe", "spatial", "cause", and so forth would grind this to a halt. Defining "nothing", in particular, is going to be problematic.

Also, I would like to point to that the quantum mechanical people aren't so big on this whole causality stuff. Cause seems to be a macroscopic phenomenon.

Finally, I think any theist with a deity worth believing in shouldn't bother relying on ontological arguments; nor is the refutation of them particularly interesting. Since God exists, it doesn't matter whether it is necessary that a divinity exist. The important question is not Does He Exist, but rather What Is He Like.
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« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2011, 10:01:05 AM »

Spatial capacity is eternal? Says whom? Do you even know what that means, because it appears you are using it incorrectly. Furthermore I did say the universe is always changing, hence the "nor unchanging".

How does the cause to existence does not exist? Even you agreed that nothing cannot cause something.
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« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2011, 05:23:15 PM »

Spatial capacity is eternal? Says whom? Do you even know what that means, because it appears you are using it incorrectly. Furthermore I did say the universe is always changing, hence the "nor unchanging".

How does the cause to existence does not exist? Even you agreed that nothing cannot cause something.

Yes I know what eternal means lol.. Existence simply exists because non-existence doesn't exist. There is no cause to existence because existence simply states that itself exists by pure definition alone. Non-existence states that itself doesn't exist by pure definition alone. End of story.. Nothing is pure and irrelevance and nothing more than a descriptive word to commonly express things like "no beans in my hand", or "nothing is in my coffee cup".

Lastly, sorry I misread "unchanging" somehow.. But not really relevant.. Just thinking alone would be prime example of always changing.. And you are correct that I agree that nothing can't cause anything..It's a good thing that I'm not arguing from that position.

Quote
Since God exists

Care to prove that? pretty funny to make a bold claim of fact from a Carl Sagan Position. Assertions such as yours do not make them facts.. Wink So I can play that game to: God doesn't exist and it doesn't matter whether it is necessary that a divinity exist.

Quote
but rather What Is He Like

Care to establish van validate that? You have a lot of competition out there on that one Wink

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« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2011, 06:45:20 PM »

Yes I know what eternal means lol..
I asked if you knew what spacial capacity means.

Quote
Existence simply exists because non-existence doesn't exist. There is no cause to existence because existence simply states that itself exists by pure definition alone.

And what exactly is the problem of using God as exsiting and is eternal? So if exsitence simply exists, and that existence is eternal, what's wrong with using God?

My favorite Gary Larson cartoon expresses in ingenious Larson fashion the absurdity of the notion that something can come from nothing. It portrays two professors talking at a chalkboard, one exclaiming to the other a breakthrough in his equation. "Yes, yes, I know that, Sydney...Everybody knows that!...But look: Four wrongs squared, minus two wrongs to the fourth power, divided by this formula, do make a right." the professor states with astonishment. What got me to thinking about that old Far Side cartoon was a quote from Dostoevsky, “..when dealing with man it is more accurate to say 2 plus 2 is oft times 5, because man doesn’t act in a logical fashion.” He would go on to also note, “Man everywhere and always, whoever he may be, has preferred to act as he wished and not in the least as his reason and advantage dictated.”
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« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2011, 07:11:53 PM »

That argument doesn't work at all, logically or mathematically. If a line is infinite, then by definition it cannot end. If it ends, then it is finite. If it ends, that means there are processes within it that move, meaning it must also have a beginning otherwise it's an infinite series of events.
Just to play devil's advocate: A line that goes on forever in one direction but ends in the other is still infinitely long, no matter in which direction you'd be looking. Suppose the numberline of all negative numbers. It doesn't start (there's no "lowest" number) but ends with zero (or with -1, since zero is not a negative number). If it is not infinitely long, as you erroneously think, it must be finite. How long then is it?
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« Reply #86 on: February 20, 2011, 08:38:59 PM »

BTW to be a bit more concise about the line, rays are infinitely long but have a beginning (or an end -- it doesn't matter what you call it).

If it is infinite it cannot have both a beginning and an end. You say if it ends it is finite, however the series of negative integers is infinite and ends with -1. Why don't you think about things before posting that I don't know about math or logic, when in fact your objection is just a lazy and spurious misunderstanding?

You also said if it ends, that means there are processes within it that move, meaning it must also have a beginning otherwise it's an infinite series of events. That's the point. It's supposed to be an infinite series of events. You're objection is it can't be an infinite series, because if it were, it'd be infinite.

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