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Author Topic:   My mind's in a knot... (Re: Who/what created God?)
Reality Man
Member (Idle past 5145 days)
Posts: 23
From: Ottawa ON, Canada
Joined: 01-10-2008


Message 1 of 156 (462618)
04-05-2008 9:41 PM


I don't get it...
Ok, so this question's been asked before: Who/what created God?
And then I hear the just-as-common reply: God is eternal, he exists outside our realm, and is not bound by "our" laws of physics.
But then, where does that come from? Is it said in the bible? If so, who/what created the bible? Is it God that created it? But then, who/what created god? Oh right... It says in the bible he's eternal, I almost forgot. Wait a second, how do we know the bible's telling us the truth? Oh right, God wrote the darn book.
Now I get it.
Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added the "(Re: Who/what created God?)" part to the topic title.

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Message 2 of 156 (462620)
04-05-2008 10:16 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2214 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 3 of 156 (462623)
04-05-2008 11:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Reality Man
04-05-2008 9:41 PM


If its "turtles all the way down" its "deities all the way up" (or is it "intelligent designers all the way up?")

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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 156 (462624)
04-06-2008 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Reality Man
04-05-2008 9:41 PM


Welcome to EvC, RM. I and others have posted quite a lot regarding reasons why we consider the Bible to be a credible record. If you click on my user name you will get my index file. I suggest that if you're seriously interested in answers to your questions you take the time to read up on some of this. If you find in these archives items which you would like to discuss or debate in threads still open you can do so.
If you find in closed threads things to discuss you can propose a new topic to discuss them.

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

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Grizz
Member (Idle past 5579 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 5 of 156 (462637)
04-06-2008 12:05 PM


I think this very issue surfaced in a post last year(I cannot locate it). Someone posed the question "...if God exists, where did God come from?" As usual, it went around for a while as a cat and mouse game. Someone eventually replied, "Well, where did the laws that made the Big Bang possible come from?"
Both of these questions originate from an assumption formed from inductive inferences that are based on our experiential interaction with the world. This assumption is that all causes must also be an effect of something ontologically prior. This inference is inductive, not deductive. One cannot use it to prove anything about the reality of fundamentals.
In short, there is nothing deductive that states the form of laws that give rise to the causality we observe must themselves be causal effects of something ontologically prior. Eventually, one will reach a point where something will exist in and of itself. Whether that something is the 'material' world as we know and define it, the laws that give rise to this material world, or a God that gave rise to both, in order to avoid an infinite causal regress, something must exist in and of itself. It must exist as a fundamental and primary cause for everything causal that proceeds from it, without itself being an effect of something ontologically prior.
The only other way out of an infinite regress is to speculate an existence without temporal beginning or end. Current theory implies this is likely not the case. Something has to be ontologically fundamental and not prior to something else. One could certainly ask why is there a need to add another level of complexity by invoking God as an extra cause when 'nature' itself can be that final causal stop in the food chain.
The thiest is simply starting with the premise that God exists. We already know nature exists so we do not have to use it as a premise -it is an observation.
For someone who holds to theism, I would not be trying to establish the Bible as a means of proving the existence of God. I would appeal to the argument above then try to explain why that extra level of causation would be neccesary when the nature of things themselves would suffice as a fundamental cause.
In short, there is no deductive certainty that requires all causes to be effects of something ontologically prior.

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 156 (462640)
04-06-2008 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Reality Man
04-05-2008 9:41 PM


It appears that we have two possibilities. At least there are only two that I can think of.
Either everything has a "cause", in which case we have an infinite sequence of prior "causes".
Or there must be one thing that exits (or existed at one point) that has no cause.
Personally, I go with the second. That's because all we really know exists (or ever existed) is the universe in which we live; we have no real good evidence that there ever was anything else that can serve as a "prior cause" for the universe.
Added by edit:
To bring this into line with the OP, I will add that the Christian does go one step further. She will, presumably, assume that her god created the universe, and that this god itself requires no creator.
Now, logically, it's no more nonsensical than assuming that the material universe in which we live requires no creator; no is it, in my opinion, no more nonsensical that there is a certain number (perhaps infinite) of prior creators. I don't buy the notion of a transcendent First Creator mostly because I see no evidence that one exists.
On the other hand, I do agree that the notion that God is transcendent and created time and space ex nihilo is extra-Biblical.
Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president. -- Kurt Vonnegut

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Grizz
Member (Idle past 5579 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 7 of 156 (462653)
04-06-2008 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Chiroptera
04-06-2008 12:47 PM


To bring this into line with the OP, I will add that the Christian does go one step further. She will, presumably, assume that her god created the universe, and that this god itself requires no creator.
Now, logically, it's no more nonsensical than assuming that the material universe in which we live requires no creator; no is it, in my opinion, no more nonsensical that there is a certain number (perhaps infinite) of prior creators. I don't buy the notion of a transcendent First Creator mostly because I see no evidence that one exists.
On the other hand, I do agree that the notion that God is transcendent and created time and space ex nihilo is extra-Biblical.
The question 'Who created God?' then boils down to 'why is it necessary for there to be a God?' It can be argued consistently and rationally that nature can be assigned the status of an ontological self-sufficient causal generator, not an effect. What is responsible for this causal generator then becomes a meaningless question. As in an axiomatic system, axioms are statements that generate the proofs, they are not things being generated. They require no proof.
The problem for the Theist using this line of reasoning to establish God as Ontologically fundamental is that they assign God numerous anthropomorphic attributes -- intelligence, emotion, will, reason etc. These things are all parts of the causal machine we are subject to here in the temporal world. If God possess such properties he is also subject to casual mechanisms - thought and reasoning proceeds in an orderly and timely manner etc. One can then state God is not fundamental and ask from what ontologically prior causal generator gave rise to these mechanisms?
To avoid this quagmire, one can certainly dump all of those anthropomorphic properties we assign go God. We then end up with something akin to this concept of nature - a causal generator and nothing more. What rational reason is there then for assuming the existence of a rather redundant extra step in the food chain?
This certainly is not a proof or argument that a God does not or cannot exist. I am thoroughly Agnostic. But as noted above, it may help more than hurt the popular theist position and that is probably why it is seldom used. Perhaps a rational argument can be presented by theists that offers a way around the problem, but unfortunately, as the OP states, many are too preoccupied with using circular attempts at answering the questions.
Using scriptural texts as self-validating(e.g. God exists because the Bible says so and the Bible is true because it's the word of God) certainly can be a faith-based initiative, but in this forum or in public discourse it's kind of like showing up to a gun fight with a knife.

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Reality Man
Member (Idle past 5145 days)
Posts: 23
From: Ottawa ON, Canada
Joined: 01-10-2008


Message 8 of 156 (462678)
04-06-2008 10:33 PM


So basically, despite your position in this never ending debate, we're all in for a good fight/argument, just cause it's fun. I can't proove anyone wrong, they can't proove squat either. Discussions make way for two way learning (both sides of the argument).
Hey, so long as we don't start killing people, like some nations do, the feeling should be mutual.
No matter what we discover, accomplish or experience, all of it comes down to being happy. I say, we shall shake hands with christians, muslims, jewish, atheists, agnostics, the others, and pat ourselves on the back.
No one, NO ONE, can deny making peace as being universally good. That's the ultimate way of life. Ain't nothing better.
But... now I'm not loosing hope or anything... but it's just, people don't strive for peace. It really is discouraging. Wars, name calling, money over lives, blah blah... It's everywhere we look.
Wow that's off topic.

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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 2805 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 9 of 156 (462679)
04-06-2008 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Grizz
04-06-2008 3:59 PM


Grizz, I think you've put forth a fairly convincing argument from a naturalistic perspective. I don't think theists would buy it at all, though. Here's what I'm referring to:
Grizz writes:
The problem for the Theist using this line of reasoning to establish God as Ontologically fundamental is that they assign God numerous anthropomorphic attributes -- intelligence, emotion, will, reason etc. These things are all parts of the causal machine we are subject to here in the temporal world.
The typical theist doesn't see emotions, intelligence, etc. as parts of the physical world, but as manifestations of the immaterial spirit within us. Thus, the attributing of these qualities to God makes perfect sense within the theistic framework.
The problem then becomes explaining how spiritual emotions can be altered by head trauma or chemical substances. This could be easily rationalized away by saying that our emotions have to work through a physical medium. However, God's emotions are pure and perfect, and are not restricted or corrupted by a physical medium.
However, I'm a Mormon: we believe God also has a physical body. I personally believe emotions are just chemical reactions that God uses to teach us lessons.
Intelligence is a bit of a different story. While Mormon beliefs don't really bear on this debate (yet, I seem to be sharing them a lot recently, and today in particular), this is applicable here. We aren't strictly monotheistic: God was created by another God. He was once a man, like us, and rose to the station of deity in the same way that He is now instructing us to follow (yes, that means we're destined to be gods, just like Him). Of course, we still have the same problem of circularity: God was created by another God, who was created by another God, who was created by another God, who was created by another God, etc., and this has been going on for eternity.
Our explanation is that we're limited in our ability to understand "eternity." I personally wish we had a better explanation. That's one of the main reasons why I hope so strongly that there is a Heaven: it's the only chance I seem to have of ultimately getting the answers to all these questions.

I'm Bluejay
Darwin loves you.

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Phat
Member
Posts: 18427
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 10 of 156 (462681)
04-07-2008 2:28 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Grizz
04-06-2008 3:59 PM


Uncaused First Causes
Grizz writes:
The question 'Who created God?' then boils down to 'why is it necessary for there to be a God?'
I believe that it makes more sense for any type of creation....be it a thought, a word, a physical invention, or a math formula...to have had a Creator.
I also don't see a problem with assuming that a Creator need not be created.
As we ask ourselves these questions, we ourselves are becoming wannabe creators of theories. where did our thoughts on these issues originate from? In other words, when Thomas Edison invented all of his patented ideas, were his thoughts formulated originally by him or did the thoughts (and ideas) previously exist?
Another example: Say I build a robot that talks and thinks. The robot, upon being activated, looks at me and blurts out "who created you"?
What audacity for the robot to assume that his Daddy had to have a Daddy!! Why the need for infinite regress? Why must humans seek an answer except the one they don't like?

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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 115 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


(1)
Message 11 of 156 (462682)
04-07-2008 2:45 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Phat
04-07-2008 2:28 AM


Re: Uncaused First Causes
Phat writes:
quote:
I believe that it makes more sense for any type of creation....be it a thought, a word, a physical invention, or a math formula...to have had a Creator.
Why? Why is it that god gets to be uncaused but everything else doesn't? If you're going to allow that there are some things that happen all on their own, you're going to have to explain the criteria that allows us to distinguish those that can from those that can't.
quote:
I also don't see a problem with assuming that a Creator need not be created.
That's fine. What you need to do is explain why only some things get to be "uncreated" while others don't.
quote:
What audacity for the robot to assume that his Daddy had to have a Daddy!!
Not at all. It is, after all, the seeming nature of things. Everybody else had a creator: Why should you be any different?
And it turns out your robot is correct: You did have a creator: Your parents. You certainly aren't going to lie to your robot and say you sprang into the world unbidden, are you?
quote:
Why the need for infinite regress?
Because if everything needs a creator, then that includes those who create. If you're goint to say that there is a creator that violates this edict, then you're going to have to explain why.
quote:
Why must humans seek an answer except the one they don't like?
Because.
Don't like that answer? Then you just answered your own question.

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

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ICANT
Member (Idle past 135 days)
Posts: 6769
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 12 of 156 (462690)
04-07-2008 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Grizz
04-06-2008 12:05 PM


Re-Nature
Hi Grizz,
Grizz writes:
We already know nature exists so we do not have to use it as a premise -it is an observation.
So we can observe nature today.
How old is nature?
Did nature cause the singularity or whatever it was the universe came from?
If nature was in existence prior to the universe where did it exist?
If it was not in existence prior to the universe who/what created it?
If there was existence, what difference does it make what you call it?
It would be the creator of all things.
God Bless,

"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 156 (462701)
04-07-2008 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by ICANT
04-07-2008 9:48 AM


Re: Re-Nature
How old is nature?
That's not the question. The question is: Why do some people believe that the universe must have been created, but the creator was not created?
There is another question: is this idea (of the creator being uncreated and transcending space and time) in the Bible?

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president. -- Kurt Vonnegut

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Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 156 (463195)
04-12-2008 11:06 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Chiroptera
04-07-2008 1:05 PM


Has The Creator Ever Transcended Space And Time?
Chiroptera writes:
There is another question: is this idea (of the creator being uncreated and transcending space and time) in the Bible?
Imo, no. I would need documentation from someone to show that to be the case. Imo, the Biblical record clearly implies an eternal universe in which the creator has always had a heavenly abode; a universe which he has been creating, managing and occupying for eternity. Otherwise he could not possibly be the eternal creator, the same yesterday, today, and forever, as one text puts it.
The above is assuming that the word/term universe in inclusive of all that exists, including space, time and the supreme creator.
All hypotheses and theories have mysterious and unexplainable complex factors relative to them, including the Big Bang Singularity (or whatever you want to call it) and the TOE. This is no exception.
Abe: The above reflects my opinion that space has no properties but existing area in which all else exists and that space is unbounded.
Edited by Buzsaw, : As noted.

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 173 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 15 of 156 (463236)
04-13-2008 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Buzsaw
04-12-2008 11:06 PM


Re: Has The Creator Ever Transcended Space And Time?
All hypotheses and theories have mysterious and unexplainable complex factors relative to them, including the Big Bang Singularity (or whatever you want to call it) and the TOE. This is no exception.
There is a key difference. Religious claims seem to assert that some things are inherently unknowable and untestable and that the questions are therefore unanswerable. Scientific theories instead have elements that are as yet unknown or for which there is currently insufficiant evidence available from which to draw reliable conclusions. These are areas for research and investigation.
The eternal nature of a creator Vs the as yet unknown aspects of BB theory are a case in point.
An inherently untestable hypothesis is not really a 'hypothesis' at all so the two are not equally valid.

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