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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

No matter how sophisticatedly the cosmological argument might be phrased, it still contains within it the seeds of its own demise:


Andrew Loke:

Aqaqooqa

>Even if I grant your point, if intelligence was required, wouldn't greater intelligence be required to create that first intelligence? We thus enter an infinite regress explaining nothing (just like the cosmological argument).

* The cosmological argument is not an argument which explain nothing , but it is the answer to your question which is exactly what Dr Richard Dawkins asked in his evolutionist book , Climbing Mount Improbable :

[I]f we postulate him as our cosmic designer we are in exactly the same position as we started. Any designer capable of designing the dazzling array of living things would have to be intelligent and supremely complicated beyond all imagining. And complicated is just another word for improbable —and therefore demanding an explanation. (p.68)

Dr Dawkins' question is answered by the cosmological argument :

First of all , we must ask ourselves a question : Is it true that everything must have a cause ?

To the surprise of many , the answer is no . Logically speaking , if something has no beginning , then it must be uncaused.

But how do we know such an existence exist ?

This is what the cosmological argument proves :

The cosmological argument ( in brief ) :

PREMISE 1 :

Some things do exist.

PREMISE 2

Of things that exist, they can only belong to either one of the 3 categories

- A 'caused-by-others' existence

-A 'self-caused' existence

-An 'uncaused' existence



PREMISE 3.

A 'self-caused' existence cannot exist because it would need to exist causally prior to it coming into existence, which is absurd .

PREMISE 4

Therefore only 'caused-by-others' existence and 'uncaused' existence can possibly exist.

PREMISE 5

There cannot be an actual infinite regress of existences consisting of 'caused-by-others' existences.

PROOF ...

1. It is impossible to have an actual infinite number of things to exist in reality ( for example, as illustrated by Hilbert's Hotel )

2. The impossibility of traversing an infinite : It is impossible to reach an actual infinity of caused-by-others existences by successive addition ( 0,1,2,3..) starting from the present . Therefore , it is also impossible to have had an actual infinity of caused- by -others existence causally prior to the present . In another words , the distance " from here to actual infinity ( 0, 1,2,3.. ) " compared with " from actual infinity to here" is the same . Since it is impossible to reach actual infinity from here, it is impossible to have reached here from actual infinity .

PREMISE 6

Since there cannot be an infinite regress of 'caused-by-others' existences, there must exist a first cause.

PREMISE 7

Only an 'uncaused' existence can be the first cause since a 'caused-by-others' existence must have an existence causally prior to itself and thus cannot be the first cause.

CONCLUSION :

Therefore an uncaused existence must exist.



Characteristics of the Uncaused Existence :

1. The uncaused existence is change-less sans(without) the first event.( an infinite regress of change cannot exist )

2. The uncaused existence is beginning-less and timeless(ie. outside of time)

2.1 An uncaused existence is either something that comes from nothing or something that has no beginning

2.2 But something cannot come from nothing

2.3 Therefore the uncaused existence is something that has no beginning .

2.4 Something that has no beginning is either an existence that comes from infinite past or an existence which is timeless .

2.5 But an existence that comes from an infinite past is a logical absurdity

2.6 Therefore the uncaused existence is timeless

3 .The uncaused existence is immaterial.

( Whatever is changeless and timeless cannot be material, since matter inherantly involves change ie .in the protons/electrons etc . )

4 .The uncaused existence is space-less.

-Whatever is timeless and immaterial cannot be spatial .

5, The uncaused cause is personal

5.1. Time has a beginning ( t0)

5.2. The first effect was caused at t0

5.3. Uncaused cause must be Timeless.

5.4. Uncaused cause could not have all the necessary conditions to cause the first effect otherwise the first effect will be timeless as well ( co- existing with the uncaused cause)

5.5 Therefore the uncaused cause cause the first effect by not having all the necessary conditions

5.6. Such a condition is possible only if the uncaused cause has a will to will the first effect to begin in time, while Himself exist timelessly ( a will capable of willing the first event as He pleases without necessary conditions ) Ie it is the only possible scenario in which the uncaused cause can be timeless while the first effect is not timeless.

5.7. Whatever has a will is personal.

5.8. Therefore the uncaused cause is personal.



Identity of the Uncaused Existence :

An uncaused existence which must be changeless , beginning-less , timeless, immaterial , spaceless and personal certainly cannot be the universe itself , as the universe is a material existence existing in time and space .

Now since the universe is not an uncaused existence, it would need a cause for its existence .

The universe is therefore the effect of an uncaused existence, either directly or indirectly.

We can also conclude that the uncaused existence has all the power in the universe , as the uncaused existence is the one that brought the universe into existence .

An uncaused existence who is changeless, beginning-less, timeless , immaterial , spaceless , personal and all powerful is God .

Therefore God exist . ( copyright 2006 Dr Andrew Loke )

We have seen from the above arguments that a uncaused Cause of the universe exist, who is also beginningless, timeless , immaterial , spaceless, personal and enormously powerful. We have also seen how the origination of the DNA warrants the conclusion that it must be the work of a Designer . Linking the above 2 arguments together , we can prove that the uncaused Cause of the universe is indeed a Designer as well :

What we can know is that what is CAUSED and has functional complexity ( as defined by knowledge of what is required for an event WHICH PRODUCE SOMETHING THAT IS FUNCTIONAL plus knowledge that undirected natural forces are not reasonably expected to move in the manner of the requirement => intelligence ) must be the result of a designer. This is what we can prove because this is our uniform experience with caused entities, and SETI scientist used similar pathway of reasoning to recognise intelligence and differentiate it from non intelligent cause for an event as well.

But we cannot prove that an UNCAUSED entity with functional complexity needs a designer , as we do not have any experience of an uncaused entity which is designed. Indeed , we cannot experience an uncaused entity at all with our senses , because the uncaused entity by nature must be timeless , immaterial and spaceless , as shown by the cosmological argument. However, our inability to experience the uncaused existence does not prove that an uncaused existence does not exist ; in fact , it is from what we can observe and know ( ie some things do exist , there cannot be an actual infinite regress of caused-by-others existence , etc ) that we can deduce that uncaused existence must exist , as shown by the cosmological argument . And an uncaused existence neccesarily cannot be designed as design implies causation , and an uncaused existence cannot be caused .

Now the Mind of the designer behind the creation of the DNA must be highly complex and functional as well to be able to conceive such highly complex and functional structures, as Richard Dawkins suggested . If such a designer is not uncaused ( eg ETIs ) , then it must have been the work of another designer . But there cannot have been an infinite regress of such designers , as there cannot have been an actual infinite regress of existences consisting of 'caused-by-others' existences , as shown by the cosmological argument. Therefore the only solution is that ultimately there must have been an Uncaused Designer who is not designed.

An uncaused Designer who is changeless, beginning-less, timeless , immaterial , spaceless , personal and all powerful is GOD .

Therefore God exist .


Me:

2. The uncaused existence is beginning-less and timeless(ie. outside of time)
??? Why can't the Universe or Existence in totality exist within the realm of time, but exist in perpetuity?

5, The uncaused cause is personal
You're basically defining your prime mover into existence. If we have different assumptions, we don't need a personal prime mover with a will existing outside the bounds of reality. Besides which, you've a category error: How could the amaterial affect the material or the atemporal affect time?

Here's a better argument:
i) Everything exists within the bounds of and conforms to the laws of material reality
ii) Gods do not
iii) Therefore gods do not exist

Anyhow the very most your argument commits us to is deism. Since your prime mover is changeless, beginning-less, timeless, immaterial , spaceless, it cannot interact with the material world, or it would change. Basically we have an unknowable entity here. But then if the entity is changeless it couldn't have done anything in the first place, let alone creating Existence. So the argument falls apart on its own precepts.

As for your argument from design,

I did not claim that the origin of life by itself warrants a supernatural intelligence, but only intelligence

Didn't you claim in an earlier thread that your argument from design did not posit supernaturality, which would require many more orders of magnitude of proof than SETI finding alien intelligence? You seem to have forgotten that.

Violating the laws of nature I might let pass if I were high on root beer, but violating the laws of logic gets you an automatic red card.
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