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Cases against Teleological Arguments

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Thinking critical
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Thinking critical » June 18th, 2018, 7:02 am

Belindi wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 3:43 am
Thinking Critical wrote:
Seeking causes for events is an unescapable consequence of being human, the illogical fallacy of this mind set however is somewhat self evident in that every path we take eventually leads to infinite regress.
I deny that the regress is infinite. The regress ends where causality becomes absolute. Causality become absolute is causeless cause, or cause of itself .

Cause of itself is a name for absolute reality. Our everyday attributions of causes and effects is called common sense. Thinkers are a little closer to reality ; they rely upon science or the arts to steer closer to reality. Maybe mystics, in some sense, know absolute reality.
I agree the problem of infinite regress can end once a causeless cause can be established, however in the scientific framework where the very fabric of reality can be torn apart and understood to degrees so infinitesimally small that we can't even fathom it, the causality principle gets very blurry. When we are speaking of effects of physical things (matter) it's hard to imagine how one thing came to be unless something else had caused it.
In a cognitive framework causal principles aren't restrained by the laws of nature, so yes perhaps at some conscious level of reality the concept of uncaused causes may not be so elusive.
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Felix
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 18th, 2018, 7:13 pm

Thinking critical: The Uncaused cause tends to be more problematic for theists hence the cosmological argument where they feel it necessary to slot in an agent, then call it god in order to have a complete picture of the Universe which they feel happy with.
Not problematic if God is considered to be the causeless cause, but if not a personal God, most theists will consider it irrelevant. Scientists can be more compulsive than any theist about seeking a complete picture of the Universe with which they can feel intellectually satisfied.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 19th, 2018, 4:14 am

Felix wrote:
Not problematic if God is considered to be the causeless cause, but if not a personal God, most theists will consider it irrelevant. Scientists can be more compulsive than any theist about seeking a complete picture of the Universe with which they can feel intellectually satisfied.
But theism rests upon God as causeless cause. Both theism and pantheism rest upon causeless cause. The difference is that while pantheist causeless cause is not concerned with final cause, theist's causeless cause is final cause personified.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Thinking critical » June 19th, 2018, 7:32 am

Felix wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 7:13 pm
Thinking critical: The Uncaused cause tends to be more problematic for theists hence the cosmological argument where they feel it necessary to slot in an agent, then call it god in order to have a complete picture of the Universe which they feel happy with.
Not problematic if God is considered to be the causeless cause, but if not a personal God, most theists will consider it irrelevant. Scientists can be more compulsive than any theist about seeking a complete picture of the Universe with which they can feel intellectually satisfied.
This is simply a god of the gaps move which proves my point. Before assigning god to the explanation of the uncaused caused, surely it stands to reason that the existence of such a thing must first be established otherwise the "god solution" is nothing more than a ad hoc solution.
If one were to argue that god is necessary to answer the uncaused cause problem then god becomes entangled in a tautological fallacy.
Do scientists feel compelled do understand the origin of the the Universe? Sure, aren't we all? If scientists could understand the origin of the universe would it be intelectually satisfying? Without a doubt.
The difference between the two positions is clear, the scientist/atheist/agnostic excepts the fact that the answers to such questions are unknown yet feel humbled by the fact that humanity has got this far without the urge to create or invent and answer. The theist on the other hand seems to be compelled to assert that since no one has figured out the answer, it must be god by default, this being nothing more than a philosophy of ignorance.
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Felix » June 19th, 2018, 3:18 pm

Thinking critical: The theist on the other hand seems to be compelled to assert that since no one has figured out the answer, it must be god by default, this being nothing more than a philosophy of ignorance.
Don't lump all theists together, each will have different reasons for believing in a Supreme Being. Their belief may indeed be based on blind faith and/or a subliminal emotional need, but it may also be based on non-intellectual knowledge, i.e., an extra-sensory perception or realization. Mental comprehension alone is not the be all and end all to understanding life.
Before assigning god to the explanation of the uncaused caused, surely it stands to reason that the existence of such a thing must first be established....
Why would you think that Science could establish the existence of an uncaused cause? It can only apprehend material causes and effects, anything operating outside of that arena is incognito.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Thinking critical » June 22nd, 2018, 9:11 am

Felix wrote:
June 19th, 2018, 3:18 pm
Thinking critical: The theist on the other hand seems to be compelled to assert that since no one has figured out the answer, it must be god by default, this being nothing more than a philosophy of ignorance.
Don't lump all theists together, each will have different reasons for believing in a Supreme Being.

You are right, I shouldn't have stereotyped, I do apologise.
Why would you think that Science could establish the existence of an uncaused cause? It can only apprehend material causes and effects, anything operating outside of that arena is incognito.
Definitvley it would be very difficuilt to do, i suspect we could only ever demonstrate an uncaused cause in a falsifiable theoretical model and prove it to be true by varifying it's predictions. However even if this were so, due to the nature of the claim the limit of our knowledge an our predispisition to experience reality based on causality principles, I'm sure many people will still remain sceptical of any such findings.
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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 23rd, 2018, 5:15 am

How can there not be a unique uncaused cause?

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Alias » June 23rd, 2018, 11:58 pm

Belindi wrote:
June 23rd, 2018, 5:15 am
How can there not be a unique uncaused cause?
I should think the First Cause is unique by definition - or by default.
How it can be is anybody's guess.
Since something/everything clearly is, and since we can only trace causation back a relatively few steps, any causes beyond what we can see or calculate is a matter of speculation. Some people speculate on the basis of the physical world as they have learned of its workings; some base it on their mathematical models; some on mythology and dogma.
It's easier to imagine a causeless cause, back at the beginning of time, than to admit the limits of our vision.

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Re: Cases against Teleological Arguments

Post by Belindi » June 24th, 2018, 2:55 am

"Within the limits of our vision." The synthetic a priori , including causality, are among the limits of our vision. Since limited vision is all we have to work with, and since it's imperative that regardless of what we want we each must make decisions then causality is one basis upon which we may make decisions.

Despite that linear causation may be traced back only a few steps, and that causal circumstances may be mapped only a few steps , we can glean the general rule that there is order. We seek out apparent order so that we can predict and we seem to find descriptions of and explanations of orderly systems. Sometimes we get it wrong as did the Cargo Cults. The search for order involves us in an act of faith rather like the search for God involves us in an act of faith, and we cannot escape the search.

Within the limits of some perspectives there is a whole reality and that whole reality is ordered, and may be named the unique causeless cause.

The formal cause(Aristotle) of something is what- it -is -to- be. Thus a finished work of art is what- it -is -to- be. When it's finished it's finished. The intention of the work of art is what-it-is-to-be. The user of the work of art, not the original maker, uses the work of art for a different what-it-is-to-be because the user has a different perspective from the original maker of the work of art. However all perspectives including the maker's perspective make up a whole what-it-is-to-be . This why a good novel ,for instance, can give rise to sequels and prequels. Any of the characters in the novel, any of the events in the novel, might be developed by another creator into another perspective arising from the original story.
The subjective perspective of any subject of experience is in a constant state of change. The formal cause , and the final cause, can be viewed as timeless so that all perspectives are a whole which is both causeless cause from the point of view of eternity, and formal/final cause from the point of view of the perceiving subject that changes with time.

Alias, we cannot know that our vision is limited unless we can first envision causeless cause to compare with the limited, fractured, and piecemeal.

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