uncreated thing

Those who hold that all things (the universe/multiverse/whatever) began to exist and were created (by an ultimate Creator or First/bottom Cause), and those who hold that all things (the universe/multiverse/whatever) ‘have always existed in some form/state’ agree on (at least) one point…

…namely that there is indeed an uncreated ‘thing’ which cannot be questioned, caused, created, ‘got behind’, etc.

The former call this uncreated ‘thing’ God – and the latter call it Nature.

96 thoughts on “uncreated thing”

  1. I’ve got to rush off, and will be fairly busy next week…
    Suffice to say that I’m quite happy merely observing that both naturalists and theists claim a thing/point/entity which is the ultimate and final cause of all things – the point which we cannot ‘go behind’ – the ‘thing’ that exists ‘on its own’.
    Call it God, First Cause, Nature, Eternal Branes, or whatever… The point is that claiming this kind of ‘ultimacy’ for anything other-than-God effectively makes a ‘god’ out of them.

  2. Well I guess this is as close as I’ll get to a concession from you that categorising a first cause that we little understand or even comprehend is absurd.

    I don’t have much problem with people referring to the first cause as a God.(call it what you wish)
    Of course thinking that this first cause(whatever its nature) in someway interferes personally with our planet or is the (or operates like the) God Ra, Thor, Allah, Zeus or any God made has dreamt up would be an even bigger assumption, would you not agree?

  3. heya – been crazy busy with assignments/work – still am – must be brief.
    as for different god-concepts, understandings, etc. there’s comparative theology/religion for that. For the purposes of this post, I’m happy with the observation that we all claim a ‘final’ stopping point/cause for all things.

    That’s not trying to get the last word, but I think we’ve run our course here :)

  4. Well yes, I’m starting to think that further conversation is pointless as you don’t seem inclined to engage with anything I’ve been saying.
    I’m sure your happy (for the purposes of this post) to observe that we all claim a final stopping point for all things, as it allows you to give a pseudo answer that doesn’t require you to address the points I’ve made.
    How do you think that summarising points that have never been in dispute constitute as an answer to the questions I’ve asked?

  5. Durzal,
    Again, I’ve been quite full-on with work/assignments and family. I think you’re being a bit unfair – if I’m less than speedy/lengthy with my interaction it’s not because I’m not ‘inclined to engage’, but because I have not the time to (certainly not at the moment).

    I’ve got end-of-semester assingments to work on very soon, so another busy streak is immanent. But if you’d like to clarify key points you’ve made which I’ve not addressed or questions I’ve ignored, then please let me know.

    just quickly flicking through the last few comments, it seems you are opposed to trying to categorise a first cause. But ‘first’ is already (categorically) distinguishing this ‘first’ cause from all other causes.

  6. If you lack the time to engage with my points or answer questions properly then I would suggest you don’t reply until you have the time as giving half answers wastes my time as well as your own.

    Categorising the first cause as “First” is necessary as its the only way to identify the first cause of the cosmological argument as what it is, as a topic, even though calling it “first” may well be inaccurate as it may operate outside of causality.

    What isn’t necessary or sensible is to attribute the first cause with a tag of nature or intelligence as it would be an assumption far greater than that of “first” and has no purpose in identifying it as a topic.

    You have agreed that the first cause would likely be something that operates outside of our understanding or even comprehension, so how do you feel it is sensible to categories something that we don’t understand or even comprehend and that may operate outside of the usual laws that govern our universe.
    (I’d like an answer to this one)

    If you can bring yourself to acknowledge that categorising this first cause as intelligent, nature, or even calling it first is basically mere assumption, then the debate can finish here.

  7. Clarification: Whilst I do think the First Cause would be something that would of course be beyond our ability to put into labs, tubes or to view with our telescopes and microscopes, I do not think it is something that we cannot understand or comprehend – or perhaps I should say apprehend.

    Distinctions and categorisations like ‘first’ or ‘natural’, etc. are properly discerned logically via negation. The Cause of all causes would not – nay, could not – be like any of the other causes. (It’s principle of existence would of necessity be in itself, as opposed to being contingent on another for its existence.) Whatever this First Cause is, it must be self-existent and uncaused.

    ((btw, I’d want to challenge in passing that the notion of something ‘operating’ ‘outside of causality’ is self contradictory. If it causes (which it must do for it to be called a cause at all), then it has a causal relationship to whatever it causes; and is thus ‘in’ causality.))

    The language (from title and original post) of ‘uncreated’ is also derived from negation. The Creator would not and could not be like anything else that was created.

  8. What makes you believe that something that operates outside of our 3D(+1) brane universe would necessarily be something that our minds are capable of understanding or comprehending.

    Rubbish, you can’t say that categorisations are discerned logically via negation when you don’t have any information regarding a first cause with which to negate any propositions.

    Calling the first cause as it is, is how we identify it as a topic, arguing that as we humans have labelled it “first” or a “cause” means that it has to adhere to our understanding of those categories is absurd.
    If the first cause begins without a prior or simultaneous cause or effect then its has started outside of causality.

    You still haven’t explained why you feel happy categorising something that operates outside our universe and that we have no understanding or information about, all you seem to want to do is argue semantics.

  9. the ironic thing, Durzal, is that you are making negations to critique me. i.e. the negations that extra-brane entities would not be understandable or comprehendable. But you’ve obviously understood or comprehended at least that much about them? and via negation..

    If the first cause begins without a prior or simultaneous cause or effect then its has started outside of causality.

    First, a ‘first cause’ would logically not ‘begin’, but would be un-caused, un-begat, un-moved, etc. Next, rather than it being ‘outside of’ causality, it would be the origin or source of causality – or in other words, it would be correctly/logically termed a ‘first cause’.

    I’m interested: do you reject the category ‘natural’? What about other categories such as ‘finite’ or ‘changing’?

  10. Wrong, if you look at my last post you will see that I haven’t suggested that extra-brane entities would definitely be outside our understanding or comprehension just that we have no reason to assume that they would or wouldn’t be.
    I was asking you, for what reason do you assume that we would be able to assume one way or the other.(and you haven’t answered)

    Again instead of answering the question you want to argue semantics.

    Causality is cause and effect and if something is uncaused then it has come to exist outside of causality, though I have no problem with it being the start of causality in this instance.

    I don’t reject any category I simply reject the idea that we can categories things that we are woefully ill informed about.

    Yet again, you haven’t answered the question, if you continue to dodge the question or argue semantics instead of dealing with the issue then this will be my last reply as you don’t appear to be able or willing to provide answers.

  11. If we’re going to use words to communicate, then semantics can often be a useful (even necessary) area of discussion. ‘semantics’ has a negative connotation often, but ‘defining terms’ or ‘clarifying usage of words’ seems a valid (even essential) thing, for which I’ll not apologise. :) And I’ll ask you not to assume that I’m ‘dodging’ questions – far from it. In addition to ‘answering questions’, we must seek to be as aware as possible of the assumptions/frameworks that give rise to the questions.

    When it comes to talking about (i.e. categorising – or denying that categorisation is possible) things ‘outside our universe'(or multiverse), we’re not going to be ‘informed’ about them in the same way we are informed about things ‘inside’ our universe (or multiverse). We do the best we can. And it remains basically and properly logical to make use of logically/rationally-discerned categories/distinctions such as ’caused/uncaused’, ‘self-existent/contingent’, etc.

  12. “We do the best we can”
    Without any information the best we can do is guess or make assumptions, and thats what your doing when you say the first cause must be intelligent.(or nature)

  13. Interestingly, I’ve not said either in this post (or discussion). (And as for the notion that the First Cause is Nature, I hope it would be obvious that I’d disagree!)

    When it comes to this stuff, it’s not that I’m making assumptions and others aren’t. We all come with assumptions (not least, epistemic assumptions: about how we can ‘know’ about certain things).

    The ‘best we can do’ is to be as logical, patient, open-minded and reasonable as we can with what we know. I’ve yet to see anything to show that my assumptions (uncaused, uncreated, First Cause) are merely ‘guesswork’, instead of deductive conclusions based on logic/reason – as I believe them to be.

  14. So are you saying that you accept that given the lack of information with which to speculate that the first cause can’t be accurately categorised as an intelligent(or natural) phenomena.

  15. I think the idea that the First Cause is a ‘natural’ phenomena is essentially what all philosophical naturalists claim, and one I oppose, and point out (in original post) that it essentially claims a Creator-like status for nature.

    As for the First Cause being accurately categorised as ‘intelligent’; I’d use the langauge of belief rather than ‘accurate categorisation’; and would merely observe that whilst this would be a ‘belief’ rather than some kind of empirical ‘fact’, it is a properly basic, logical and reasonable deduction (not ‘guesswork’) that the First Cause is intelligent – indeed mere ‘intelligence’ may well not be strong enough. I also note that calling a First Cause ‘intelligent’ would presuppose it being or having Mind; which I’d also take as a logical, basic and reasonable deduction.

  16. Well I think you just conceded that your belief that the first cause is intelligent is merely a belief(though a belief based on your individual logic and reasoning) and that it isn’t based on any factual data of any kind.

    This is all I was ever on about, I was pointing out that there is no data to make accurate conclusions and so anyone arguing one position or another is debating on there personal beliefs (or faith) and not on any evidence or reasoning that is based on any true understanding of the topic.

    Do you think that fair?

  17. I find the language of ‘merely a belief’ to be a bit annoying.
    First, we all have ‘beliefs’ regarding these things that go beyond the pure, unadulterated, orthodox ‘facts’ or ‘data’. The belief that the First Cause is unintelligent would be just as much a belief.
    Second, these issues are not merely debating ‘personal beliefs’; nor are they void of any ‘evidence or reasoning’. The law of non-contradiction is not subject to one’s personal feeling, hunch or guesswork. Logic and reason bear heavily on the issue, and are just as valid for gaining ‘true understanding’ as empirical evidence (which we can’t expect to get with this topic, can we?).

    So, yes, my view that the First Cause is intelligent is a belief, but a reasonable one.

  18. I agree, believing that the first cause is unintelligent would also just be a belief, as it isn’t based on any evidence of any kind.(This is what I’ve said from the start)

    Would you not agree that logic and reasoning based on a topic that we have no information or real understanding of, is unlikely to provide you with any credible answers?

  19. Epistemology is the underlying subject here. Depending on one’s epistemic assumptions, they will have different understandings of what counts as ‘real understanding’, or what makes an ‘answer’ a ‘credible’ one.

    I’d also argue that I’m not so much doing the ‘logic and reasoning’ with no ‘real’ foundation, but that the logic and reason are themselves part of the foundation.

  20. I’m sorry but how can we use logic or reasoning without something to use them on, how do logic and reasoning provide results independent of any information with which to apply them to?

  21. Well, an example (the most relevant one) is the subject of causality. Anyone/everyone who’s talked/thought-about these things for any length of time knows about the ‘infinite regress of causality’ that is set up (‘what caused that… then what caused that… then…’). An infinite number of causes (a.k.a. ‘turtles all the way down’ ;) ) is impossible. This (logically/reasonably) raises a final/first/uncaused Cause, which (logically/reasonably) would be unlike any of the derivative/subsequent/caused causes.

    So then, we aren’t completely without ‘information’ about such things. Reason/logic provides us with guiding ‘information’ about what (for example) a First Cause must be like.

  22. That logic and reasoning is based on rather complete information and understanding of the problems and arguments of the cosmological argument as a whole.
    However,
    We are talking about what information or understanding you have about the nature of this first cause, that would be sufficient enough to apply logic and reasoning to and then get a answer of intelligence.

  23. As we have to establish what ‘causality’ is prior to the logical/reasonable progression in comment 71, so we’d have to establish what ‘intelligence’ is, prior to any logical/reasonable progression about that.
    In the same way we observe causality in the universe and then deduce logically/reasonably unto a First Cause, we can observe ‘intelligence’ in the world and work from there. I also note that philosophical Naturalists tend to have a reductionistic account of ‘intelligence’ – namely that it can be and is reduced to chemical activity in physical brains.

  24. I’m out for the rest of the day – will pick up the thread when I get time (and, I’m entering the cram of the end of semester assingments, so will see how I go…).

  25. No dale, we don’t need to have a pointless discussion about different possible meanings of the word intelligence before you give me an answer, as to what information you have about the first cause, to reach a conclusion that its an intelligence(of any sort).

    We can observe nature in the world, this doesn’t mean we can “work from there” and conclude the first cause is nature so you can’t do the same with intelligence.

    What the hell does a reductionist account of philosophical naturalists have to do with my question, you might as well have started talking about the weather.

    Your drifting dale, we were making progress there for a bit.

  26. Okay dude, good luck with your assignments, don’t let this get in the way, I’ll check up now and again to look for replies.

  27. (got a moment for a comment)
    regarding your objection about ‘nature’: yes, we see ‘nature’ in the world, and ‘working from there’ would entail (among other things) seeking a cause of nature itself – which could not be ‘nature’ – thus the Cause must be other-than or super/above/supra-natural.

    My point about reductionist accounts of Mind was and is relevant to any discussion about ‘intelligence’ unless you want to revolutionise thinking about all this by suggesting that intelligence is located other than in minds! :) By raising this, i was merely being mindful of one of the primary ‘arguments’ against a transcendent, first-cause-like intelligence – namely to ‘explain’ mind away in terms of chemical reactions of the brain.

  28. Dale we have been through this, there isn’t any evidence to suggest what the first cause could or couldn’t be and no reasoning or logic based on things that occur within our universe can be used to explain things that operate outside the universe.

    Your point about reductionist accounts would be relevant if we were having a discussion about “intelligence”…. but were not.

    The question was, what information do you have about the first cause that you are able to apply logic and reasoning to and then get a conclusion of an intelligence.(of any sort)

    You’ve made no attempt to answer the question in your last two posts I’m hoping, third times the charm.

  29. there isn’t any evidence to suggest what the first cause could or couldn’t be and no reasoning or logic based on things that occur within our universe can be used to explain things that operate outside the universe

    Again, you appear to know (in advance) enough about these out-of-universe things to know how we can and cannot learn or think about them. We cannot help but use negation, it seems. :)

    It occurs to me that part of the problem may be that this conversation has been about causality leading to a First Cause; and you’ve raised the objection that we can’t know that the First Cause is intelligent. The converse of this would be if we’d been talking about how intelligence leads to a transcendent intelligence, and then someone had objected that we can’t know that the transcendent intelligence is a causal agent of any kind.
    Deducing a First Cause follows the ‘path’ of causality to it’s logical end. Likewise, deducing a transcendent intelligence follows not the path of causality, but the ‘path’ of intelligence to it’s logical end.

    Now, let
    c = causality
    and
    FC = First Cause
    and let
    i = intelligence
    and
    TI = Transcendent Intelligence

    In a ‘causality discussion’, we can talk about whether or not ‘c’ leads logically to ‘FC’.

    Likewise, in an ‘intelligence discussion’, we could ask whether ‘i’ points to ‘TI’.

    But just as I don’t think it is helpful to ask:
    How do we know the ‘c’-ness of the ‘TI’?
    I also don’t think it’s helpful to ask:
    How do we know the ‘i’-ness of the ‘FC’?

    Now, even if one accepts that ‘i’ leads to TI, and that ‘c’ leads to FC, they could still suggest that TI and FC are different things. I think the simplest most elegant explanation would be that they all seek an ultimate explanation, which finds it’s most logical end in an ultimate Being.

    I’ll leave it there, and get your thoughts. I think these distinctions are key.

  30. (and please spare me the quips about ‘you’re not trying to answer’ – we’re human beings with emotions, and that’s just not helpful. No biggie, but i reserve the right to tell you to be a bit nicer be emotionally sensitive. :) )

  31. I don’t know in advance. Its entirely possible that what happens in our universe could be used to explain what happens outside it but as we have no information here, we can’t just assume we can.

    Well no, its not helpful (to your belief) to ask how do we know the first cause is intelligent as this would show that we have no information, evidence, logic or reasoning (based on evidence) to back up the claim ..this is faith, nothing more.
    (Its belief dale, if there was evidence I’d believe it too)

    “which finds its most logical end in an ultimate being”
    Why? Because you believe it does? What information on the first cause have you based this logic on?

    Listen Dale, I’m not trying to be rude but what can I do if you refuse to answer simply questions.
    However,
    I’ll stop asking that question, as we both know that you have no information on the first cause with which to apply logic and reasoning to.

    Your belief that the first cause must be intelligent is based on faith, fair enough, really, your faith is your own
    but you can’t say that, logically it MUST be intelligent as we have no information whatsoever about the first cause, with which to apply logic and make such claims.

  32. pause conversation: (leave ‘intelligence’ question to the side for a sec)

    Whether or not you agree, do you understand/grasp the logical/reasonable process that works from causality (i.e. blade of grass moves not because it moved itself, but was moved by an-other: wind, animal, lawm-moverblade, etc.) to deduce a final/ultimate/unlike-all-other-causes/first cause?

  33. (trying to establish where we agree and where we ‘part ways’ so to speak – I can hardly be accused of not wanting to engage)

  34. I understand the view, based on causality that the first cause must be a final/ultimate/unlike-all-other cause.

    I don’t think you can say that this is a logical process as we only understand causality as we SEE it operate within our universe, quantum theory suggests some real odd ways causality may work at even the sub-atomic level, so nobody can really say how causality may work outside our actual universe.
    Again we know nothing about what lays outside our universe so we can’t apply logic based on our universes workings to things that may operate outside of our universes workings.

    Hope this helps.

  35. No, it’s logical – there are really only 3 logical options:

    1) the universe (multiverse/whatever) is ‘self’-caused with the only kind of causality available in this option: a kind of cauality which is exactly the same kind as that in the universe (multiverse/whatever).

    2) the universe (multiverse/whatever) is ‘other’-caused with an ‘other’ kind of causality which is comparable (or the same?) to the causality we see in the universe (multiverse/whatever).

    3) the universe (multiverse/whatever) is ‘other-caused with an ‘other’ kind of causality which is wholly different to the causality we see in the universe (multiverse/whatever).

    Option 1 essentially is not a ‘first cause’ option, as self-causation blurs distinction between the causer and the caused: causality becomes meaningless.

    Option 2 & 3 both entail ‘first’/distinct kinds of causes, but only option 3 fits the need for a cause that would logically be at the ‘end’ of the infinite causal regress.

    In short, the causality in our universe (multiverse/whatever) either has its principle of existence in itself (self-caused), or logically (necessarily) points beyond itself to a (necessarily) greater and different kind of cause which would fulfill the need for an ultimate explanation.

    A quick word about quantum mechanics and causality:
    First, if you say that ‘outside’ things may operate in ways other than our universe does (a point I’d agree with), then what difference does it make how quantum mechanics work?
    Second, I’ve yet to see anything in quantum physics that overthrows (or even begins to overthrow) basic causality.

  36. As far as I can see all the options you mention are possible, just because option one blurs distinctions between causer and the caused doesn’t mean its not possible, quantum theory suggest the possibility of effect occurring before cause(and other such oddities), so as you say, causality as we know it could very well be meaningless when trying to understand the first cause.

    I realise that its hard to imagine causality operating in any way other than how we see it, but what we are able to imagine may not be sufficient to understand the true processes involved.

    You seem to suggest two options. 1) that causality is self caused, this you seem to reject as unlikely due to how we understand(or see) causality to work. Or 2) that points to a greater and different cause that would be a final explanation but wouldn’t this greater and different cause also need to be self caused or have some explanation for its existence under the same rules for which you subjected and then rejected suggestion 1?

    My pointing out of quantum mechanics was to show that even within our universe we have ideas that causality may operate differently than we can observe or truly grasp. So, suggesting what lay outside our universe MUST (or logically does) operate in accordance with the causality we observe and understand is absurd.

    I didn’t suggest that quantum mechanics overthrows basic causality as we observe it in the atomic world, just that it is theorised to operate differently(in a way we little comprehend) in the sub-atomic world, so there is no reason in light of this to assume that a type of causality outside our universe would behave anything like our atomic world understanding of it.

    You seem to have trouble understanding that causality(or any governing law) as we understand it, cant really(credibly) be applied to things outside of our universe as there is no reason to think that they would or wouldn’t apply there.

  37. you seem to think I’m arguing that the ‘first cause’ operates just like the causality we see? I’m saying quite the opposite. That it “MUST” operate in a different way than ‘normal’ (subsequent/caused) causality, is what makes it able to be called a FIRST Cause at all (as opposed to ‘just another step backward in the –same kind of– causal chain’)

    This is what negation logically points to. We have an infinite regress of causality, and in order to have a ‘FIRST’ cause (the originating source/foundation/starting-point of all causality), it would have to be a completely different (wholly foreign to us) kind of cause. And though this First Cause itself we cannot see, everything that we DO see is what has been caused by this First Cause.

    And just a note about quantum mechanics, and your comment about an effect happening ‘before’ a cause:

    Here’s another point where negation helps us. The (i.e. physical) causality we see is (most often? perhaps always depending on further understanding of QM phenomena) temporally ordered – cause THEN effect. A First Cause would not need to be like this. We often visualise/imagine a First Cause kind of giving things an initial ‘shove/push’ and then sitting back (wherever the heck ‘back’ is! ;) ) and letting the subsequent causality work itself out. We might compare this to a human cause being the different/first cause that pushes only the first domino in a series. This scenario is temporally ordered. Cause THEN effect only.

    However, whilst I know the word ‘first’ carries connotations of temporality, a ‘First’ Cause might well also operate not only in an ‘initial push’ kind of way, but also in a ‘push’, ‘uphold’, ‘pull’, and even maybe ‘direct/guide’ kind of way. The First Cause is ‘first’ not because it is merely the first in a long line of causes, but because it is the foundational, ultimate, prime or supreme Cause.

    Indeed, the causality we see is like looking at the shadows on the wall in a cave (hat tip to Plato).

  38. I don’t think we can accurately say that the first cause (despite its name) is the originating source or starting point, as if we go on QM understanding the first causes effects could be the source of the first cause in a circular manner, so in a sense, there would be no first cause.
    As I’ve said “first” and “cause” aren’t perfect words to explain the first cause phenomena.

    You seem to suggest that the first cause would be the only phenomena that could possibly operate outside of causality as we know it, but our view of the cosmological argument(i.e. cause that cause the cause that etc) is only based on how we see and understand causality in our universe and it may not run alone those lines outside of our universe.
    I accept that within our universe cause comes before effect(atomic level anyway) but outside our universe, who can say.

    This is the reason I wanted to avoid your little jaunts into “the meanings of words” as we have just gone sooooo off topic.

    The argument started (if I can remember that far) with why you believe that the first cause can ACCURATELY be labelled as intelligent.
    I think after our exhaustive chit chat, that you can at least concede that although you believe the first cause is intelligent due to your religious beliefs, you cant say it MUST or DEFINATELY is intelligent, as you have been unable to provide any sort of evidence to validate this claim.

    Come on dude, you’ve said yourself that we don’t have the first clue about the possible workings of a first cause so how can you claim its definitely an intelligence.

    Concede you can’t know for sure and I promise I wont gloat.

  39. Arguing for circular causality (of whatever kind) is to argue that the universe/multiverse/whatever caused/created itself. People do that, but I’ve never been able to be even the least bit persuaded by it :) (and puh-leeeze, don’t assume I believe stuff “due to my religious beliefs”…)

    One thing we can know about the cause that we can’t ‘see’ is this: a cause (if it is to be called a ’cause’ at all) is not the thing that it causes. And again, if one wants to say that the causality is circular, etc. then it would be a better use of words to say that everything is un-caused, eternal and un-created (which was my original point!).

    My understanding is that it was you (comment #37 – apart from an earlier random comment from another commenter [anders, comment #27) which was –rightfully– ignored) that brought the topic of ‘intelligence’ into this discussion of causality. I do think belief in a transcendent intelligence is basic, logical and reasonable, but understand that this may not be the thread to discuss it. Nonetheless, if I were trying to demonstrate why I believe in a transcendent intelligence, I wouldn’t be using the topic of causality except possibly as a side-point to demonstrate one example of why belief in some kind of transcendent being was rational.

    Your last few sentences, I think, reveal yet again that the (or at least one of the) underlying issues is epistemology and especially how that relates to what we can ‘know for sure’ (certainty of beliefs). I’m quite happy saying that according to this kind of (basic) logic and reasoning, a first cause makes very good, basic sense, and is a perfectly reasonable thing to believe (and I’d add that to say that it is nonsense or foolish is far less reasonable/logical).

    And of course, it remains that my original point (we all claim an un-caused entity at some point) stands :)

  40. What reasons do you feel circular causality would be unlikely in this situation?
    (And I’m not arguing for it, when will you understand that there isn’t any data whatsoever to argue ANYTHING regarding a first cause)

    Well yes, the “first cause” (however well that describes the phenomena) is a reasonable assumption but the whole argument has always been that you claim that this first cause MUST logically be an intelligence,
    so again,
    You have agreed that the first cause is most likely something beyond our understanding, how then, can you claim something you realise you don’t understand, MUST or DEFINALTELY is intelligent.

    Concede you can’t know for sure and I promise I won’t gloat.

  41. You’re trying to get me to condede that I can’t do something I’ve not claimed to do. Look back over the comments, I’ve not ever used ‘must’ for the first cause being intelligent. I’ve only use the word ‘must’ for the existence of (some kind of) a First/Ultimate Cause.

    There are plenty of philosophers who could do far better job of arguing for a transcendent intelligence than I. But I didn’t bring up intelligence – you did. So no, “the whole argument” has NOT been that I claim this first cause MUST be an intelligence.

    Again, reasoning about intelligence is a whole other line of reasoning from causality. Let’s not continue to mix these lines of reasoning.

  42. My original post said that it was absurd to categories the first cause as intelligent(God) or nature(not God) as we have no information with which to make such claims.

    “at the very least a Deistic one– is plainly logical, sensible and I’d even say logically necessary.
    The point is that claiming this kind of ‘ultimacy’ for anything other-than-God effectively makes a ‘god’ out of them.
    it is a properly basic, logical and reasonable deduction (not ‘guesswork’) that the First Cause is intelligent
    I also note that calling a First Cause ‘intelligent’ would presuppose it being or having Mind; which I’d also take as a logical, basic and reasonable deduction.”

    Whether you used the words God or intelligent you have been arguing that the first cause, which you agree we have no real understanding of, must logically be an intelligence/God/supreme being,(not nature)
    Again,
    How can you say the first cause must be an intelligence/God/supreme being (and not nature) when you have said yourself that we have no real understanding of the first cause phenomena.

    Concede that you can’t know for sure and then this is basically over.
    (hope the wording is more to you liking)

  43. sorry, but the wording lumps terms together to have me say things I’ve not said. I’ll say it yet again: the ‘causality’ and ‘intelligence’ topics are two distinct lines of thought (even if they could eventually be related to one another, of course).

    After –and only after– YOU raised the topic of intelligence, I did comment on it, calling it a ‘basic, logical and reasonable deduction’ and that it wasn’t mere ‘guesswork’. This is a bit reserved from saying ‘must’, etc.

    Essentially, there’s me ‘conceding’ (if you like) that I don’t (and never did) claim to have an air-tight, irrefutable logical proof of the intelligence of a First Cause in my argument holster. I do, however think that your ‘absurd’ claim is woefully extreme. Surely the purely empirically-based response (restricted only to the ‘evidence’ of observed experiment, etc.) to the idea of an Intelligent First Cause could be nothing other than a shoulder shrug – nothing more, nothing less.

    And again, I think negation can and does provide us with very real understanding of what the First Cause (of the world/multiverse/nature/etc.) at least could NOT be.

  44. “Essentially, there’s me ‘conceding’ (if you like) that I don’t (and never did) claim to have an air-tight, irrefutable logical proof of the intelligence of a First Cause in my argument holster.
    Surely the purely empirically-based response (restricted only to the ‘evidence’ of observed experiment, etc.) to the idea of an Intelligent First Cause could be nothing other than a shoulder shrug – nothing more, nothing less.”

    This is all I ever wanted.

    The problem we had it seems, was choice of language, I didn’t like the language of “A logical deduction” as to me, it suggested a certainty beyond the reality of our understanding.

    Negation can be used in regards to “the world/nature” but not I think to anything outside our universe as we know nothing about what happens outside our universe(to any degree) that would allow us to be able to negate proposed views on any subject.

    I sense our chit chat is nearing its end so I will say that although I dislike your method of debating and I’m sure your no fan of mine, I do have a certain respect for anyone who has even a basic grounding in the subjects we have been discussing.

  45. Yes, we’re probably near-finished, even if I still think logic/negation gets us further than you think it does :) And yes, there were both language and epistemic issues (mainly the latter, methinks) that we encountered along the way. Belief and certainty and all that.

    Assignment due dates are looming, so I’d better leave this there unless there’s any crystal-clear objections you want to raise.

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