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What is wrong with this arguement?

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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melanie.
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Joined: January 13th, 2009, 6:25 am

What is wrong with this arguement?

Post by melanie. » January 13th, 2009, 6:57 am

Hi guys! I'm just looking for some criticism for this argument. Thanks. =]

1. Everything is either caused or uncaused.
2. If caused, it would have had to be created by another being other than the thing itself.
3. If uncaused, the thing would need to create itself to exist because no one else created it.
4. The universe cannot create itself.
5. Therefore, the universe has cause.
6. God defined as an almighty being, has the defined characteristics to contain within itself the reason for its own existence.
7. Therefore it is more likely than not for God to exist.

nameless
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Location: Here/Now

Re: What is wrong with this arguement?

Post by nameless » January 13th, 2009, 9:53 am

melanie. wrote:Hi guys! I'm just looking for some criticism for this argument. Thanks. =]

1. Everything is either caused or uncaused.
2. If caused, it would have had to be created by another being other than the thing itself.
3. If uncaused, the thing would need to create itself to exist because no one else created it.
4. The universe cannot create itself.
5. Therefore, the universe has cause.
6. God defined as an almighty being, has the defined characteristics to contain within itself the reason for its own existence.
7. Therefore it is more likely than not for God to exist.
Numbers '3' and '4' are problematic. If something is 'uncaused' it would necessarily be 'uncreated'. Cause = creation. To posit that if the universe is 'uncaused' that it would have to "create itself to exist" is not logical. You have already posited the existence of an "uncaused" universe and then you want to require causality/creation which violates your 'uncaused' premise. Capisce'?

Number '6' seems like a rather arbitrary and problematic definition of your 'god'. All 'definitions' are arbitrary and irrational and ultimately paradoxical (a sure sign of error). And the rest of it.. a 'self-contained reason for its existence' says nothing but provides fluff for support of your 'conclusion'; pure idle speculation/fantasy.

Until your premises 'firm up', your conclusion remains 'questionable'.

(And I understand your lack of response.)
Last edited by nameless on January 20th, 2009, 6:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

Belinda
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Post by Belinda » January 13th, 2009, 11:28 am

Is not existence itself the only being that is the cause of itself? All the separate things that exist, including ideas , have causes although we never know what all the causes are.

God is traditionally , in the Abrahamic monotheistic religions , taken to be transcending created things, and also immanent within created things.

In the Eastern traditions, which are usually pantheistic, God does not transcend creation but is creation, so that God is all immanent.

My excuse for this little lecture is that your ideas about God seem to be limited to western monotheism.

Possibilia
Posts: 23
Joined: January 11th, 2009, 6:13 am

Post by Possibilia » January 14th, 2009, 1:07 am

Hi Melanie,

It seems a bit awkward to divide things into 'caused' and 'uncaused'. Why should we believe anything is uncaused? Maybe what you meant was that it must be possible for a thing to have been its own cause. We might like that idea because otherwise the regress of things that were caused by something that preceded it which must also have been caused by something that preceded it, is infinite. Because most of us supposedly believe that time is finite (that time along with the universe 'began' at some stage), the causal series must have begun with something that wasn't caused by something that preceded it - something (God) must have been its own cause.

With this adjustment, your argument might start to look similar in character to the 'Kalam Cosmological Argument' which goes like this:
P1. All things that begin to exist have a cause for their existence.
P2. The universe began to exist.
P3. Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence.

From this point, William Lane Craig proceeds to argue, as i think you need to, that the universe's cause would need to have those properties which are traditionally attributed to the theistic God i.e. the four 'omni's.

Incidentally, i don't think Craig succeeds in his argument. But that must have required some real original thinking on your part to come up with a version of what is often considered the most compelling of arguments for theism.

I nod approvingly in your general direction.

df544
Posts: 98
Joined: February 20th, 2009, 6:17 pm

Post by df544 » February 20th, 2009, 8:33 pm

If something was caused but we cannot trace it to the origin, does it really have a cause?

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