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Old 26th January 2019, 03:29 AM   #81
Archie Gemmill Goal
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Tell me what you think of the following argument for God.

1. There are three ways that events come about in the world: free will, determinism and indeterminism.

2. The universe came into existence.

3.The coming into existence of the universe is an event.

4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)

5. The coming into existence of the universe can't be due to indeterminism (Since the macroscopic world is largely deterministic rather than indeterministic, what I'm referring to with this premise is the quantum or sub-atomic world. The reason the quantum world can not be indeterministic is because indeterminacy is incoherent and incoherent things can not exist. This turns quantum indeterminacy into determinism since it has causes rather than not having causes and since determinacy has already been ruled out as causing the universe, so too is the option of the universe beginning from quantum mechanical events ruled out.)

6. Therefore, the universe must have been brought into being through an act of free-will.(This is because there are only three ways events can happen and because determinism and determinism are insufficient, the only other thing that can bring the world into existence is free will. Free will works because it avoids the problem of determinacy (always needing prior events) by being able to begin a chain of events without needing a prior event.)

7. Only beings have free will. (Free will requires a mind in order to judge various options and choose)

8. Therefore, a being is responsible for the universe. (Since this description matches the idea of God, we can call this being God. But if not God then simply the creator of the universe.)
I am going to disagree with 1, 2 and possibly 3. And no doubt the rest as well.

1. You have not shown that these are the only 3 causes. And you have not shown that free will exists separate to determinism or indeterminism as a thing which can cause anything.

2. I am not sure this is proven as yet. I also query whether we can talk about the universe coming into existence if time did not exist prior to the universe - in that case there is no time at which the universe did not exist.

3. Again, to me an event is something that is temporal. It is a thing which happens at a specific point in time. To be an event then it has to be discrete and this requires that there is a time when it is happening and a time before and after when it is no longer happening. I am not sure you have shown this to be the case.
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Old 26th January 2019, 04:55 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
If you look up the definition of determinism, it states:The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.
You should clarify here. Do you mean to say that when you say "determinism" in the first premise, you mean the doctrine Determinism?

That would leave out quite a lot. When we say such-and-such event is deterministic we do not usually mean to imply that so is every other event.

You will quite often see the usage that a certain system is deterministic and another system is indeterministic, for example "We show adequacy theorems relating the first semantics to deterministic schedulers, and the second semantics to probabilistic schedulers."

Such a usage cannot relate to a doctrine that everthing is the inevitable consequence of an antecedent state of affairs.

So if "determinism" in your P1 refers to the doctrine of Determinism, then we have another possibility, that it occurred deterministically (where this usage does not refer to any doctrine), and yet another that it occurred indeterministically (again not referring to any doctrine).

So if you say "such-and-such event occurred deterministically" then there is no implication of an infinite regress, nullifying your P4.

And, just by the way, there is no intrinsic impossibility involved in an infinite regress. Not my favourite option, but not ruled out a priori.
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Old 26th January 2019, 05:09 AM   #83
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Next you need to provide some reasoning behind the assertion that indeterminism is "incoherent".

As far as I know we have mathematically consistent descriptions of indeterministic systems and we could not do that if the concept was incoherent.

If you say that "having no antecedents" is incoherent then you commit yourself to asserting that there is the kind of infinite regress you said rules out determinism.

On the other hand if you say that "there being more than one possible next state" is incoherent then you rule out free will.
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Old 26th January 2019, 07:50 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I think most deists would be inclined to believe that their god, being perfect, created a perfect system right from the start. So, although he has the power to change things, he doesn't because he got it right the first time.

I don't think that argument is either logically or experimentally worth the pixels used to type it. And, in fact, it brings up even more problems: Why do people pray for things? Why pray for a person's health or for some event to occur? If God made a perfect system, he shouldn't need to intervene. If God is willing to throw his whole plan away just because one person (or a million) prayed for some event, then why bother following any preset rules to begin with?

The answer: I have no idea.
Well, as you say, that kind of an argument is a load of bollocks. I'd go slightly further, though, and say it's because even before the end of the first paragraph, it sneaks in determinism all over again. It doesn't even have to go all the way to prayers and stuff to be bollocks. It gets there the moment its God both has absolutely non-deterministic free will, and yet he's absolutely railroaded into one single available position or course of action.
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Old 26th January 2019, 08:11 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Next you need to provide some reasoning behind the assertion that indeterminism is "incoherent".

As far as I know we have mathematically consistent descriptions of indeterministic systems and we could not do that if the concept was incoherent.
It's even simpler than that. There are several pieces of electronics in the computer he used to write that silliness, that wouldn't work if quantum randomness wasn't actually working very well, or if we were unable to work with that kind of concept. Probably the easiest to explain is the Zener diode in the power supply. It works and can regulate voltage BECAUSE at a certain point an electron may have enough energy to go right over the edge of the potential well, OR may be already on the other side, and we fundamentally can't know which. It's really a device designed around Heisenberg's uncertainty, and which only works BECAUSE of that uncertainty.
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Old 26th January 2019, 03:27 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
And, just by the way, there is no intrinsic impossibility involved in an infinite regress. Not my favourite option, but not ruled out a priori.
Actually, just to pick on that one too, there's an even more perverse idiocy in such 'rejecting infinite regress' arguments. Namely sneaking in the false dichotomy that it's either:

A) infinite regress, OR
B) NO regress, we're the first and only step.

But here's the exact same reasoning applied to making a new human instead of a new universe. We can either have:

A) human parents all the way back to infinity, OR
B) I'm the first human ever.

In reality, it can go back a finite amount of time before you don't even have life any more, much less yet another regression. Really, that's what the whole 'we must be the first created universe, or it's infinite regress' silliness in a nutshell.

Now there are moments where regress isn't a valid explanation, because it just moves the same woowoo one step back. But that's not the same thing as making us God's first creation the only reasonable alternative, nor automatically the right one.
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Old 26th January 2019, 03:53 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If our actions are dictated by the chemicals of our brain, then the answer to how we can blame people for their actions is surely "the chemicals make us blame them, and there's nothing we can do about it."
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Old 26th January 2019, 03:59 PM   #88
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Forgive me if I missed it but did anyone consider the "free will, determinism and indeterminism" involved in the bringing into existence of God?
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Old 26th January 2019, 05:09 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Forgive me if I missed it but did anyone consider the "free will, determinism and indeterminism" involved in the bringing into existence of God?

Many times. But the OP appears to have taken the weekend off.
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Old 27th January 2019, 03:09 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, just to pick on that one too, ...
Feel free to pick away, you are making very good points.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:29 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
They mean what they are normally defined as.
And this is?
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:32 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
Is that claim self-evident? I don't think it is. And if it's not self-evident, then you need to provide proof.


Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post


Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It reminds me of pretty much every cosmological argument anyone has made, ever. They're all made by people who don't have the remotest idea about what modern science has found about the origins of the universe, and they never fail to make the jump that since the universe was created, that creator must be the God of the Bible and therefore Jesus and sin and everything else.
Exactly. The same old, tired, chain of nonsense punctuated by answering with questions and generally attempting to shift the burden of proof.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Even if I do grant that the universe required a creator, which I don't, but even if I did, how can you demonstrate that the universe wasn't sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure?
Or indeed wasn't caused by events in a prior universe, events that propagated from the future of this universe or from a completely separate universe entirely.
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Old 27th January 2019, 04:52 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Interesting question, as I regarded Wonder's assertion as being related to philosophy, rather than physics, with the failure being in construction of the claim and the logic applied.

Yes, I do have tertiary physics qualifications and my careers have required application of same - but I don't think I (consciously) used that knowledge in this case. If that was necessary, I'd be turning to others in the forum with much greater knowledge of that field than I.
I took what I think was AP Physics in high school (there wasn't a AP test, so maybe it wasn't). I did well, but the class didn't get into quantum mechanics at all. Nothing violated my intuition and later I did some popular-science writing that was largely concerned with planetary science (Mars missions, Cassini, Jupiter meteor storm). I could put those things in accurate but everyday language. When it came to cosmology, I could no longer explain it to the layman. I kind of doubt my ability to ever grasp it, but I haven't put in the effort to find out if that's true for sure.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:12 PM   #94
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[quote=Loss Leader;12576813]And right out of the gate, we hit a major roadblock. Why should we believe that there are as many as (or only) three ways things happen?/QUOTE]

When you look around the world at things happening what do you see as the most fundamental types of causes? We see it rain, we see the leaves change color, we see wind blowing things over. Those are deterministic processes. Further, we see people do things. If it were not for various scientists, we probably wouldn't know about indeterminism on the quantum scale, and I have as yet to hear science announce any other type of causal mechanism. These are just all of the causal mechanism I've heard of and experienced. I invite you to try to think of another. In the meantime, I'll try to come up with a logical proof that these three mechanisms are the only possible, or maybe I may find more mechanisms.

[quote=Loss Leader;12576813]And why is free will different from determinism or indeterminism? Those to concepts, being opposites, would seem to cover every eventuality. /QUOTE]

It would seem so, but perhaps it isn't. Events brought about by determinism and free will both have causes. But whereas deterministic events are brought about by laws of nature, events brought about by free will are brought about by persons.

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Do you have evidence free will even exists? Could you devise a test that would be positive only if there is free will and/or negative only if there is not? I just ate an apple. To a certain extent, I ate it of my own will. I chose an apple of my own accord, nobody had a gun to my head.

And yet, I ate the apple because I was hungry. I was going to eat something. I needed a low sodium snack but my house held only an apple, a bag of potato chips, and a raw squash. So, my choices were constrained against my will. Heck, even if I was in a grocery store with thousands of items, I'd still only have finite choices. I am not free to eat whatever I want. I can't eat a Volkswagen.
I don't know that free will exists, but the argument kind of shows that something like free will must exist if the universe is to be set in motion. As far as devising a test to prove the existence of free will, I suppose one could try to find neural event in the brain that didn't have any prior causes through some kind of brain imaging. I don't know if that would provide evidence for free will, but it would be interesting.

And about your example: Free will is about bodily actions, not about objects or things that you can use or consume. You may have the freedom to spin around in a circle, but if you only have an apple to eat, that doesn't take away from the actions you can do with your body which is how your free will is really exercised. Choices like eating an apple are just a particular instance of body movement (walking over to the apple, grabbing it, biting it, and chewing it (all bodily movements))

And about the part about the Volkswagen, yes you are constrained physically and logically, but that doesn't you can't move around inside the boundaries of that physical and logical constraint and it doesn't mean you aren't free.

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Are you sure about that? We absolutely cannot know the state of things before the universe began. That's the definition of "universe." It's all things. We can never get outside it or observe it from a distance. By definition, we cannot know what existed before the universe and/or how any of it might have caused the universe to come to be. Heck, even the word "before" in my last sentence is meaningless. There was no time before the universe because time is a function of the universe.

In any case, if you'd like to stick to this point, I'd ask you to remember it. You're going to contradict yourself in about two sentences.
If you could only know things through observation, then I'd agree with you, you probably can not go outside the universe to observe it. But the universe and reality is constrained by logic, what is logically impossible can not exist, and since logic pertains to the mind, you can determine what must've been the only logically coherent way for the universe to begin.

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Plenty of incoherent things exist. Your argument is incoherent. And yet it exists. In any event, I know of no way of testing any of this. Do you? Do you have any experimental evidence that falsifiably demonstrates that quantum events are not random?

If you have no such evidence, then there's no reason to discount the possibility. If you have such evidence, you should publish it immediately. You'd be as guaranteed to win a Nobel Prize as Sheldon is in the series finale of The Big Bang.
Yes, a persons thinking can be incoherent. I can believe, for instance, that something can create itself. But that is only incoherence on the level of representation. You can visually represent a skeleton dancing in a movie, but does that mean that the skeleton is actually dancing? Likewise, certain things can represented in language but are incapable of being actualized in the world due to internal logical inconsistencies. In the case of the dancing skeleton, there is nothing to move its bone (no muscle) and no brain to direct its movement so how could it move in the real world?

And as far as physical evidence for the inability of incoherent things existing, one could go that route, but for this particular problem I prefer logical reasoning. It should be self-evident that incoherent things can not exist. By incoherent, I mean self-contradictory. Imagine an infinitely large sphere. There are two problems with this. How can it be of infinite size and yet still have the shape of a sphere, since to have a shape, it must stop at some point? Also if it's infinitely large, then it doesn't have a particular size. How can something not have a particular size?

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
And there it is. Except, your conclusion contradicts one of your premises. You said everything must have a cause. Yet you haven't identified what caused this thing you're calling "God." You said, "every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about." So what prior event brought about your God? If God used free will to create the universe, then who used free will to create God?
Yes, I said deterministic EVENTS must have a prior cause. Since God did not come into existence, there was no event that created God, and that also rules out God being created by free will. As you know from cosmology, the universe came into existence, and since nothing can come from something, there must've always been something that existed or else there'd be nothing now. As I think I've shown in the argument, that original thing must have free will and thus must also be a person. That rules out the first thing being something inanimate.

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
ETA: I've never understood why a deist would resort to a definition of god that's as flimsy as, "creator of the universe." Even if we granted that a god created the universe, how would it affect anything? The proof doesn't support the idea the god knows or cares what the universe is doing, let alone what primates living on a clump of dirt are doing to each other. It doesn't even support the idea that this god still exists at all. It's a rather impotent and irrelevant god, as deities go.
As for me, I'm not religious and don't believe in the God of Christianity or any of the other Abrahamic religions. So without that definition of God to work from, I don't really have a robust idea of God other than as the creator of the universe. As far as it attributes, I prefer to deduce those through logic rather than just accepting the attributes usually attributed to God such as omnipotence and omnibenevolence. My aim was never to prove the God of the Abrahamic religions, nor do I want to.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:15 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's what Einstein thought too, when he said "God does not play dice". But he was wrong, and so are you.
If I'm wrong, please show me. But just saying "but he was wrong, and so are you" is not helpful because it's not self-evident and you didn't provide any proof.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:24 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Who used his free will to begin God? Supergod
I did not say that God was created. Ultimately there must be something that was not created or else the universe could not come into existence. If this thing were just inanimate then it would need to bring the universe into existence deterministically, which I don't believe it can do because then it would need to rely on an infinity of past events which can never begin and never reach the present and doesn't really make sense enough to be a real possibility. And indeterminacy can not be actualized because it's self-contradictory. IF determinacy and indeterminacy are the only other options, then free will must ultimately be responsible for the universe.

The free will, determinacy, and indeterminacy options may not be exhaustive. But, it is, to the best of my knowledge, all of the options we come across in daily life in terms of things that bring about events and things. I will try to come up with an argument for those three being the only three options possibly at some point, but for now I think it would be interesting that, to try to refute the argument, you try to to come up with another option.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:28 PM   #97
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Oh there you are Wonder. I thought someone said you were out to lunch.


Would you give some consideration to the question regarding the "free will, determinism and indeterminism" involved in the bringing into existence of God?

Thanks.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:28 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What purpose beyond creating the universe does such a god serve? Does it intervene directly in human affairs? Did it create the universe specifically for humans to inhabit? Does it dictate laws that humans must follow, and does it provide a place for people who follow those laws to go after they die?
Like I said, I'm not religious and don't believe in a religious analog of a Deity as portrayed in various religions. Rather, I like to try to figure out what I can, and where I can't figure things out, not to have faith, but to go with what makes most sense to me, or not to go with anything at all.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:30 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Myles View Post
Be it well that the arguments of different thoughts debated in fora here and there stimulate the mind at a particular interval in a life, in the end, of what worth is it really to you?
Yes, I know that creating arguments for God isn't practical, but I can't seem to let go of the part of me that wants to know what existence is about.
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Old 27th January 2019, 07:33 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Naughty naughty. I see what you did there. The important part of that quote is the use of the plural case: “... states of affairs”. So, no prior CAUSE for you. And no soup for you either.
I'm sorry I don't understand, can you explain?
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Old 27th January 2019, 08:12 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I don't know that free will exists, but the argument kind of shows that something like free will must exist if the universe is to be set in motion.

You're just making a hash of things.

There is determinacy - this covers all things that are determined. There is indeterminacy - this covers all things that are not determined. That's it. You've now covered every possibility. There is no room for a third option. It's like saying that there are numbers which are positive, numbers which are not positive, and the number 8. The first two completely exhaust every possibility. The third is just a thing that you tacked on in order to make your conclusion work.

That's not logic. That's just nonsense.
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Old 27th January 2019, 08:15 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
As you know from cosmology, the universe came into existence, and since nothing can come from something, there must've always been something that existed or else there'd be nothing now.
Your whole argument seems to be a case of "I don't understand A, B, C and D, therefore it must have been E, F, G and H instead", which is as broken an argument as it gets. It's in fact exactly on par intellectually with Pixie Of Key's insisting that there is no space curvature because he doesn't understand it and can't visualize empty space being curved.

But let's talk cosmology, because that's the chief failure there. In fact, there are several cosmology explanations -- including our universe being just the inside of a ridiculously giant black hole -- but as far as the time axis goes, there are basically two possibilities:

1. Space and TIME began at the big bang

2. Actually the history of our universe goes back all the way to minus infinity time, just space gets asymptotically more compressed the farther back you go. The big bang would be just the point at which it had expanded past the point where it gets, shall we say, really interesting.

Note that explanation #2 doesn't involve a beginning at all, since the universe always existed in that explanation.

Now look at #1, though. In that version, the universe also "ALWAYS" existed. At any time t that actually existed, so did the universe. There is no t1 when the universe didn't exist, and a t2 when now it does, so you can't actually squeeze in a creator between t1 and t2. Because that interval of time itself didn't exist.

So, yeah, both versions equally have the universe "always" existing. Where they differ is just how far back does "always" go.
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Old 27th January 2019, 08:39 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
"Free will" is not part of this equation. "Determinism" and "indeterminism" form a mutually exclusive and exhaustive set of all possible ways that events can come about. At best, "free will" is a subset of "indeterminism".
Free will is actually different from determinism and indeterminism.

Determinism means that because of prior events the current event had to be what it is. But if the event that caused the first event had no cause then it would be indeterministic, meaning "event without a cause" and if it did have a cause then it would be deterministic. But deterministic events always need a prior cause, otherwise they'd be indeterministic or caused by free will. And indeterministic events don't need a prior cause because they are acuasal, but can't exist because it is self-contradictory. Free will doesn't need a prior cause, but it is not indeterministic either. It doesn't need a prior cause because it's cause is itself. The cause and the effect happen simultaneously and are almost the same thing. And unlike how determinism is driven by the laws of nature, free will is driven by persons.

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
... or the universe has always existed.
I guess it depends on what you mean by universe. If you mean "everything that exists" then I would have to say yes, the universe is eternal according to my argument because it posits that there was always something and since that something is something that exists, then the universe, "all that exists" has always existed.

I believe that something can't come from nothing. This means that new matter can't be "created" as in the sense of being a completely new thing. Rather, what "created" must mean is that a thing becomes what it is. So if I have a cup of water, the water in the cup is just water, but when it is ice, it must become ice, from the state of being water.

Likewise, everything must come from one (or maybe multiple (haven't worked that out yet)) original substance. If you define that substance as the universe, you can, but if you define universe in terms of galaxies, planets and stars, then whatever that original substance was, when it existed, "the universe" (as defined as I just mentioned) could not be said to exist until that original substance transformed itself into it.

So, I do not know the exact definition of "universe" when it is distinguished from it's definition as everything that exists and into something like "the physical structure of all galaxies, stars, planets, etc." but that would be my definition when I say that the universe came into existence.

As far as the universe coming into being, I would have thought that the Big Bang Theory would have already proven that the universe came into being, unless you consider the singularity or initial conditions of the universe to be the universe. But, there was an event that resulted in something, we can distinguish what resulted from that event from what may have existed at its start.

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You are assuming that prior to the universe there was nothing. There is no objective evidence that proves such an assumption. Something may have existed prior to the universe.
I don't see where I've done that. I said:

4. The coming into existence of the universe can not be due to determinism. (This is because every deterministic event requires a prior event to bring it about and that event requires another event and so on to infinity. A deterministic system can not just initiate action out of nowhere or from a state of rest.)

Yes, if you define the universe as everything then that would be the coming into existence of everything. And I was not explicit with my definition of universe, and I apologize, but what I meant is the universe that began to look like the universe we have today, not everything that exists.

But otherwise, I don't see where I've stated that prior to the universe there was nothing. Again, it may be implied, and that is probably because I was not explicit with my definition of universe but what I mean by universe is not "everything that exists" but something like the universe as it looks to us today, or the thing that resulted from the event that set it in motion.

Also, my argument posits that something existed before the universe and that is a being with free will.

Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
An assumption that has not been proved. Although many will claim that we could not create a sentient computer with free will, I am not convinced that this is the case since computing algorithms get closer to mimicking the structure of the human brain everyday.
The difference between a person having free will and a computer having free will is that at it's most fundamental level, a person is a person, not a substance. What that means exactly, I'm still working out but the reasoning behind it is partly the same reasoning that says humans don't have free will. It is said that we don't have free will because our brain is a physical substance and physical substances are deterministic. To have free will you ultimately need a person who's personhood is not reducible to a physical substance, but whose personhood is irreducible to anything else. Computers ultimately just reduce to physical substance with no personhood, leading to the question what is a person if not a physical substance? I'll get back to you on that because I'm still working it out.
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Old 27th January 2019, 08:52 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
And indeterminacy can not be actualized because it's self-contradictory..
You have stayed this several times. I do not see where you have proven it. Where exactly is the logical contradiction that proves it impossible?
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Old 27th January 2019, 08:53 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I did not say that God was created. Ultimately there must be something that was not created or else the universe could not come into existence. If this thing were just inanimate then it would need to bring the universe into existence deterministically, which I don't believe it can do because then it would need to rely on an infinity of past events which can never begin and never reach the present and doesn't really make sense enough to be a real possibility.

Doesn't a god have the same problem? If it has no beginning, it must exist for an infinite duration, and then decide to create the universe.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:06 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
5. Not true. It's an inherent attribute of the quantum world that events can occur without cause.
I think it just seems like they don't have a cause.

Mechanisms are the means by which events are actualized. Nothing can come to be without a mechanism that underlies it and makes it possible. To say that an event doesn't have a cause is to say that it doesn't have an underlying mechanism that allows it to happen. How can an event occur if you take away the very means for it to occur? To say that there is no mechanism for how it happens (a cause) you're saying that there is no way for it to happen.

Originally Posted by baron View Post
8. No. And even if it were true, you're back to step 1: How did the being get here?
This may sound like a cop out, but it's not, the being is eternal.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:26 PM   #107
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Wonder, the entire thing is based on that eternal being from the start. There is a point that cannot be debated.

For those who believe it is just confirmed.
For those that simply cannot accept that eternal being it is not logical.

You chose your audience going in. They must think like you.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:32 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
...
And unlike how determinism is driven by the laws of nature, free will is driven by persons.
...
You continue to claim this, but you have provided nothing to justify the separation. Are persons not part of nature? Does a dog have free will? What about an amoeba? What about ammonium chloride?

Since you have attributed free will to god, and god is not a person, what then is god?
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:37 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Then how did that being come into existence?
Nothing can come from nothing. Therefore, if there was ever nothing, there'd be nothing now. So since there is now something, there must've always been something. There must be something eternal for anything to exist at all. So I'd say that the first thing must've ultimately been an eternal being, since free will is needed for the first event, and therefore needed for everything that comes into existence by means of an event.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:48 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Doesn't a god have the same problem? If it has no beginning, it must exist for an infinite duration, and then decide to create the universe.
Normally "eternal" does not refer to an infinite duration, but something atemporal. Aquinas defines it as "Doesn't begin to exist, doesn't cease to exist and there is no succession"

That is fine as far as it goes but there doesn't seem to be any necessity that an "eternal" thing must have a mind, or any sensible way of attributing a mind to something like that.

If the Universe began to exist from some "eternal" state then it would seem unlikely that it arose from the action of a mind.

The quantum soup or foam hypotheses seem to fit the bill better as something "eternal".

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Old 27th January 2019, 09:56 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
Says who? Seems to me that acts of free will are caused by the operation of a brain, clearly a prior event or events.
The brain is ultimately an inanimate object. You can see this when you look at the brain of a dead person. It is no better than dominos. The first domino in a line can not knock itself over because it has no mind or free will. So the brain can not initiate events because ultimately it has no mind. Because all substances are ultimately inanimate, free will can not come from substance, but somehow (I'm still working this out) come from persons.
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Old 27th January 2019, 09:58 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Nice.

Yes, free will must ultimately be reducible to a being, not a substance.
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:06 PM   #113
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The more I read this kind of argument, the dafter it gets, I swear. And you know an argument is daft when it needs to arbitrarily redefine words to even seem like it has a point.

Determinism and non-determinism do NOT mean whether it has a cause or underlying mechanism or not. It means whether the result is always the same or not. Even taking it as causal determinism, which is the usual take, does NOT mean whether it has a cause or not, but whether the cause-effect relationship if deterministic, as in it always has the same effect for the same cause.

E.g., Newtonian acceleration is deterministic. If I'm far out in space, without gravity or matter to brake it, and I push a 1 kg object with a force of 1 Newton, it ALWAYS will accelerate 1m/s2 in the same direction as the force.

On the other hand Quantum indeterminacy explicitly does not fit that kind of determinism. There are ways that philosophical determinism handwaves around it, as basically, eh, quantum doesn't matter at large scales. But simply filing it under determinism because it still has an underlying mechanism is just daft nonsense.

In fact, there's a fundamental way it even PREVENTS any kind of workaround to get more accurate readings, much less anything even vaguely resembling determinism. See for example the EPR Paradox.
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:07 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
Ok, you have doubled back on your definitions for determinism and indeterminism to the point you are left with nothing. Free will is in the same boat, and you have introduced being as something that may distinguish among determinism, indeterminism, and free will.
Can you explain how I am left with nothing and how free will is in the same boat?

Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
Care to try again? How do you define the three terms so they are pairwise disjoint while covering all possibilities?
What do you mean by "pairwise disjoint"? Do you mean explain them separately?

1. Determinism = Event determined externally by prior cause.
2. Indeterminism = Event has no cause
3. Free will = Event determined internally by agent
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:12 PM   #115
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At which point it becomes clear why that daft redefinition of words was even needed. Because it's just trying to rephrase Kalam, in a nutshell. Except instead of some smart way to come up with another version of Kalam, it's just renaming caused and uncaused to deterministic and non-deterministic, and hoping nobody notices.
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:12 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, here's a thought that ought to scare believers: DOES God actually have free will, of the totally non-determinist kind? Do you really want him to?

Because a God who has that much free will and is totally non-determinist, could for example decide that you may have been good, but you're still going to Hell because he doesn't like your stupid face. I mean, if he can't do that, he doesn't have that kind of free will. Better yet, he could decide tomorrow that his previous commandments are boring, and he wants to see who does the most creative murdering this time. Even better yet, he could decide that he's founding a totally new religion. Even better, forget about this screwed up planet entirely: he's making a new and improved universe altogether, and care about THOSE guys instead of you. Etc.

All of those are things that none of the religion proponents can actually deal with. Hell, they can't even really deal with Euthyphro: the moment God has the free will to have whatever the hell morals he wants, and to change his mind about those, instead of being chained to a set of rules, you have a big problem.

In fact, most want a God who's totally deterministic and has no choice but to stick to the same rules, same morals, same promises he once made.

So never mind the OP argument being total bollocks. Do you actually WANT a God who has the non-deterministic free will to maybe create another universe, and maybe not, and maybe destroy an old one on a whim, and maybe change his mind about what he said 2000 years ago, etc? Because it seems to me like then you have a bigger problem.
I don't know if that's possible, but I have no warrant to expect it.
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:36 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Free will, however defined, also requires an antecedent, so it must be ruled out the same way as determinism.
Can you show me why?

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
On the other hand if you say the free willer just exists uncreated, then why can't the antecedent of a deterministic.or random event just exist, uncreated?
The random event is ruled out due to incoherency.

Incoherent things are impossible. For example, a largest number. The mechanism by which an event takes place is what makes it coherent. If you take away the mechanism, the event is no longer coherent. Therefore, it can't happen.

And the deterministic antecedent would need an infinite series of prior events to begin.

A determined event is determined by pervious causes. But if that's the case for all determined events, then the prior event would need a cause, and then every event prior to every other event, creating an infinite chain which can never begin.

The uncreated creator is different from the rest of the universe. It is not like anything that comes after it.

Originally Posted by Robin View Post
By the way, free will, however you are defining it will either be deterministic or indeterministic.
Can you show me how?
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Old 27th January 2019, 10:56 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Can you show me how?

Because a set and its opposite compose all possible things. There's nothing left.

"My pet is either: 1) a dog or; 2) not a dog." That's all there is. There is no third option. You are trying to shoehorn in a third thing where there's no room for it. All possibilities have already been accounted for. You are saying, "My pet is either: 1) a dog; 2) not a dog or; 3) a hamster. The third option is already included in the second.

You've created this category of "free will" with absolutely no experimental evidence or even the possibility of creating an experiment. And it appears that the only reason you've done so is so you can shoehorn in your concept of a god. You've started from your conclusion and worked backwards. That's not logic. That's wishful thinking.

If you'd like to state that you believe in a creator, go right ahead. I, for one, have no problem with whatever you choose to believe. But don't pretend there's any logic to it. There isn't.
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Old 27th January 2019, 11:01 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
I notice a lack of demonstration that free will exists...
According to the argument, the universe can't come into existence via determinism and it can't come into existence via indeterminism and because those are the only two options besides free will, the universe MUST come into existence via free will, thus demonstrating that something like free will must exist.

However if you want a separate proof, I may come up with one at some point.
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Old 27th January 2019, 11:06 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I would have thought that 'deterministic' meant, as Ed Lorenz defines it "there being one and only one possible next state"
Yes, determinism does mean "only one possible outcome" but to be determined there must be a prior event that determines the current one. I am just emphasizing the cause aspect of determinism because that is where the argument focuses.
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