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Why God Cannot Exist (logical proof)


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^ Elaborate? How does the the statement that everything exists within spacetime lead to your conclusion that (if this is true) spacetime cannot exist? Seems nonsequitur to me.

^ Well now, that was sure helpful, wasn't it? [/sarcasm]

 

Yes, it was. [/sarcasm]

 

One can contemplate on the "helpfulness" of a topic where the chosen premise is a blatantly false statement, and when I explain in detail that the argument is flawed and why,

all I receive in reply is two more false statements.

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Yes, it was. [/sarcasm]

 

One can contemplate on the "helpfulness" of a topic where the chosen premise is a blatantly false statement, and when I explain in detail that the argument is flawed and why,

all I receive in reply is two more false statements.

 

 

Oh, my bad for me and, well, every other philosopher in the past 2000 years for misunderstanding that arguments which call the origin of the universe "God" aren't actually calling the origin of the universe "God".

 

Please, by all means, rid us of this misconception by presenting Aquinas's proofs and Kalaam without it.

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I fail to see any parallel between 'my house' and the set-of-all-sets. Either way, I tend to follow Russell on this, who felt that the solution to this problem was given by G.S. Brown. Okay, the theory of types is a practical work-around, but it's not a solution just a moving of the goalposts. The solution does away with the need for a theory of types.

 

Back to the issue. If we define 'God' as the origin of all that exists, then clearly He cannot exist. This is consistent with the widespread view that the origin of all that exists is umnanifest and is not properly called God. The proof given is sloppy, but there seems to be some sense in it.

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I fail to see any parallel between 'my house' and the set-of-all-sets.

Keep trying, you might get it eventually.

The important thing is that they both include the whole of themselves.

No part of the set of all sets is outside the set of all sets.

No part of my house is outside my house.

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I am wondering how could you arrive at the same conclusion from this premise?

 

 

Wouldn't it just shorten it?

 

  1. God is outside of space-time.
  2. All that is known to exist, exists within space-time.
  3. If 1 & 2 are true, then God does not exist.

 

If you want to argue that god does exist outside of space-time, well that's a huge freaking assumption, but its also special pleading. You are constraining the universe itself based on rules that exist within it, when we know the rules as they exist today were not always the same. Yet, you want to make up a magical being that is beyond any rule. Just say that and be done with it.

 

 

 

For example, philosophers of science often argue that science would be pointless without our assuming an ultimate organising mind behind the order of the universe.

 

Unless you can talk to the mind over a beer, I see no use in making the assumption. In fact, it can be a hindrance, as in Newton with planetary motion.

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Great! Progress!

Now there seems to be acceptance that my house is not outside itself.

It shares that property with space-time.

Agreed. Sorry if I seemed to be suggesting otherwise, and my apologies for thinking you were suggesting otherwise. My point was a slightly different one, that space-time would not be equivalent with the set of all sets, as I think someone suggested it was, and for just the reason you give.

 

YdoaPs - I doubt philosophers of science often argue that science would be pointless without our assuming an ultimate organising mind behind the order of the universe. Could you point us at one or two examples of someone who argues that science would be pointless in these circumstances? It would be very strange to say that science is pointless unless we make an assumption, and I'd be intrigued to see how such an argument might be made. Is this exactly what you meant to say?

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YdoaPs - I doubt philosophers of science often argue that science would be pointless without our assuming an ultimate organising mind behind the order of the universe. Could you point us at one or two examples of someone who argues that science would be pointless in these circumstances?

 

Not unless you count Christian Apologists (aka professional liars) as philosophers.

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Oh, my bad for me and, well, every other philosopher in the past 2000 years for misunderstanding that arguments which call the origin of the universe "God" aren't actually calling the origin of the universe "God".

 

Please, by all means, rid us of this misconception by presenting Aquinas's proofs and Kalaam without it.

 

 

A quote from the thread-starting post: "To refute the existence of God, I must first define what I mean by God."

 

In the post he admits that the basis of his premise is his own definition, then adds his assumption that "most theists could agree with this basic definition". However, as I explained, that assumption is definitely false, and merely subjective.

 

Since you mentioned Kalām and Aquinas arguments - as an attempt to refute my point - then you need to elaborate how those arguments support the thread-starter's premise and how they contradict the definition I referred to.

 

Wouldn't it just shorten it?

 

  1. God is outside of space-time.
  2. All that is known to exist, exists within space-time.
  3. If 1 & 2 are true, then God does not exist.

 

If you want to argue that god does exist outside of space-time, well that's a huge freaking assumption, but its also special pleading. You are constraining the universe itself based on rules that exist within it, when we know the rules as they exist today were not always the same. Yet, you want to make up a magical being that is beyond any rule. Just say that and be done with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you can talk to the mind over a beer, I see no use in making the assumption. In fact, it can be a hindrance, as in Newton with planetary motion.

 

Okay - first let's get this straight, I am equally uninterested in anyone's zeal and bias towards either theism or atheism.

I am wondering if anyone at all is capable and willing to discuss a god-related argument in a rational and calm manner, without getting cold sweat in advance about the outcome - if any.

(I personally don't care either way)

 

Second, it is your frigging assumption that anyone wants to make up a "magical being" that is beyond any rule.

 

Third, your assumption that "All that is known to exist, exists within space-time" is an equally huge assumption and begs the obvious question what caused time and space to come into existence. (Since as we know they did have a beginning.)

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Since you mentioned Kalām and Aquinas arguments - as an attempt to refute my point - then you need to elaborate how those arguments support the thread-starter's premise and how they contradict the definition I referred to.

 

I really don't. Res ipsa loquitur. Anyone can see that "first cause" fits the OP definition.

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I am wondering if anyone at all is capable and willing to discuss a god-related argument in a rational and calm manner, without getting cold sweat in advance about the outcome

 

If there are such people, it seems that you're not one of them.

 

Third, your assumption that "All that is known to exist, exists within space-time" is an equally huge assumption and begs the obvious question what caused time and space to come into existence. (Since as we know they did have a beginning.)

 

This is trivially false. The universe is all that exists, all that ever has existed, and all that will ever exist. There is no time at which the universe did not exist, so the universe has always existed. There is not beginning.

 

Nope, experiments prove that there is a reality not embedded in space-time.

 

Then you should be able to provide me with a paper.

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Nope, experiments prove that there is a reality not embedded in space-time.

 

^ Citation needed.

 

Then you should be able to provide me with a paper.

 

 

Sure.

 

http://www.templeton...20Am%201979.pdf

 

http://arxiv.org/pdf...h/9802046v2.pdf

 

http://catdir.loc.go...31/88003658.pdf

 

"An 'ultimate reality' exists which is not embedded in space or time"

 

- Bernard D'Espagnat

 

Our cosmos doesn't obey this proof and hence this whole thread is pointless.

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If there are such people, it seems that you're not one of them.

 

This is trivially false. The universe is all that exists, all that ever has existed, and all that will ever exist. There is no time at which the universe did not exist, so the universe has always existed. There is not beginning.

 

Then you should be able to provide me with a paper.

 

 

"Not unless you count Christian Apologists (aka professional liars) as philosophers."

 

You wrote above line, correct? Does it sound "calm" to you? Not to me. It sounds like an ad hominem. No, wait - it is one!

 

Okay, so your trolling attempts aside, you may want to decide if you are here to discuss this topic or evangelise your atheism. In case of the latter, as I said, I am not interested, so in that case feel free to ignore me from now on.

 

In case you are interested in the topic itself, we can continue. Then please notice that neither the thread-starter post nor your posts rely on any "paper".

He/she did not substantiate the truth-value of any of his premises with any reference, let alone scholarly sources.

From the others you expect papers while you throw in "arguments" like : 'everyone can see', or 'trivially false', etc.

If we want to exchange papers, then we need a paper to begin with.

 

Applying your method, such as "trivially false" I can contend, for example, that your statement: "so the universe has always existed. There is not beginning" is trivially false.

Everyone knows that the universe started with the Big Bang, so it did have a beginning. Therefore you need to deliver a paper that would state - and prove - the opposite.

 

Now, if the universe had a beginning, then the question remains what caused it. Whatever the cause was or is, has to be beyond our universe.

 

I really don't. Res ipsa loquitur. Anyone can see that "first cause" fits the OP definition.

 

 

Okay. So again, please elaborate how and why the Kalam argument refutes the definition I referred to:

 

"The Kalām cosmological argument:

 

Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;

The universe has a beginning of its existence;

 

Therefore:

 

The universe has a cause of its existence." (Wikipedia)

Edited by My2cents
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"Not unless you count Christian Apologists (aka professional liars) as philosophers."

 

You wrote above line, correct? Does it sound "calm" to you?

 

Yes. It's quite calm. Apologists are notorious liars, and this isn't a recent thing. Even the early Christian apologists like Tertullian lied their mother loving rear ends off.

 

 

 

Not to me. It sounds like an ad hominem. No, wait - it is one!

 

You may want to learn what an ad hom is, because that quote isn't even close to an ad hom. Nice try, though. I'm sure if you keep throwing around Latin phrases that you don't understand, you'll fool someone ijnto thinking you know what you're talking about eventually.

 

Okay, so your trolling attempts aside, you may want to decide if you are here to discuss this topic or evangelise your atheism.

 

Where have I done any such thing? I've merely pointed out that the objections thusfar don't hold. That's a large part of what being a philosopher is about.

 

From the others you expect papers while you throw in "arguments" like : 'everyone can see', or 'trivially false', etc.

 

You may want to learn what an argument is. An argument is a finite sequence of well-formed formulas of a language which are axioms of the system in use, members of a premise set, or follow from those via the rules of the system in use. I never claimed that "everyone can see" is an argument. It is, however, a legitimate shorthand. What it basically does is let you bring in a theorem without explicitly naming it.

 

For example, let's say my system is equivalent to the systems S, S*, SL, etc., has all of the connectives of SL, but doesn't have a conditional negation rule. It is perfectly acceptable to say "From '~(a⊃b)' everyone can see it follows that '~b' and 'a'". One can do that, because it is perfectly obvious. One need not write out the proof used to reach that theorem. So, one can say that instead of, "~(a⊃b), ~(~avb), ~~a•~b, therefore a•~b".

 

Furthermore, phrases like "trivially false" are usually (as my example in this thread) followed by a justification.

 

 

Applying your method, such as "trivially false" I can contend, for example, that your statement: "so the universe has always existed. There is not beginning" is trivially false.

 

Nice straw man. Care to try doing what I actually did?

 

Everyone knows that the universe started with the Big Bang, so it did have a beginning.

 

So, you didn't read what I wrote. Good good. The BB is an edge, not a "beginning" to apply the word "beginning" here would make it such that God "began" to exist, and many Christian arguments won't like that one bit.

 

The universe is eternal, because there is no time at which it did not exist and there will never be a time at which it does not exist. The only sense in which the BB is the "beginning" of the universe is such that "Object X 'begins to exist' at time t iff object X exists at time t and there is no time prior to time t at which object X does not exist". The thing is, that's only true because there is no time prior to time t. So, let's take a look at what it means to be eternal. An object is eternal iff the there is no time at which the object does not exist. Yep, the universe satisfies that condition.

 

 

Now, if the universe had a beginning, then the question remains what caused it.

 

It's kind of funny seeing you argue for Kalaam since you started this thread with this:

 

At first sight your argument sounded convincing, (and for an agnostic point of view, compelling) but then I realised that the definition of 'God' that you chose for your premise: "the origin of all that exists" is not exactly how the concept is normally defined.

 

But that's neither here nor there.

 

A few things here. You seem perfectly fine slapping the label of "beginning" to the universe for a notion for which God would have "begun to exist". Since you're making the HUGE assumption that anything with a beginning must have a cause, and the only notion for which the universe "began to exist" also applies to God, you're left with an insurmountable problem. Who created God? Meta-God?

 

Luckily, this huge assumption is entirely unwarranted. Not only is it unsupported, unless someone can come up with a deductive argument for it (which I have still yet to see), it is entirely unsupportable. In *every* case I've seen, it's either just been baldly asserted without justification, it's been attempted to be justified by intuition, or it's been attempted to be justified by evidential evidence. Well, the last two are actually the same thing since it turns out that intuition is merely non-deductive (read inductive and/or abductive) reasoning rather than some metaphysical antennae that lets us tap into the Platonic realm. So, inductive and abductive arguments need evidence. They need sample data. This is not at all possible for us to get.

 

Here's why. There are two major types of "begin to exist": one is ex materia and the other is ex nihilo. Ex materia is the rearrangement of preexisting matter into new forms, whereas ex nihilo is new matter popping into existence out of nothing. Every single observed instance of "beginning to exist" has been ex materia. That's all we have evidence for. Yeah, one could make a really good argument that everything which begins to exist ex materia has a cause. However, there is absolutely no way to justifiably extend that to cover even ex nihilo (let alone the actual type of beginning which applies to the universe which is such an outlying case that the word doesn't even really fit). But this is the specific type that Kalaam wants to talk about. How on earth could we get data on whether something which begins to exist ex nihilo requires a cause? Well, we can observe nothing and see if when things pop out of it they were cause to! About that, we can't do that, because we don't have "nothing" to observe-we have something. The professional liar William Lane Craig (who is largely responsible for the modern popularity of this old Islamic argument) often appeals to a ridiculous example. He says that we know everything which begins to exist must have a cause, because we don't see tigers popping into existence out of nothing uncaused! Well, we don't. One of the reasons we don't is because we don't have nothing to watch to make sure tigers don't pop out.

 

Ok, so we can't get any evidential support for things beginning to exist ex-nihilo requiring a cause, but are there any reasons to think that they don't require causes? Yes. Mainly that there's no coherent definition of cause where that would work. To cause an object to do something, one acts upon that object. One cannot act upon an object which does not exist. By a simple Modus Tollens, it is blindingly obvious that one cannot cause that which does not exist to do anything.

 

Now, as I said before, the universe is an outlying case, and it's kind of dishonest to label its edge a "beginning" since it always has and always will exist. The universe is eternal in the strictest sense.

 

 

Okay. So again, please elaborate how and why the Kalam argument refutes the definition I referred to:

 

"The Kalām cosmological argument:

 

Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;

The universe has a beginning of its existence;

 

Therefore:

 

The universe has a cause of its existence." (Wikipedia)

 

"cause of its existence" is roughly equivalent to "origin of its existence". Big fracking duh.

 

LoL. The link address is from Templeton but the original paper is from Scientific American.

 

Ah, yes. The prestigious Scientific American. Because popular science writing is quality stuff.

Edited by ydoaPs
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Yes. It's quite calm. Apologists are notorious liars, and this isn't a recent thing. Even the early Christian apologists like Tertullian lied their mother loving rear ends off.

 

The above is not only ad hominem, but also a hasty generalisation. You may want to learn about the basics of critical reasoning and about what valid and invalid arguments (logical fallacies) are before signing up for a science forum.

 

"It's kind of funny seeing you argue for Kalaam since you started this thread with this:"

 

As you are probably aware, I neither started this thread nor did I argue for Kalam, I just did your job and quoted the argument that YOU brought into the topic. Then I asked you to clarify how that argument would refute the real god-definition, which you have been thus far unable to answer.

 

Since you are unaware of the rules of an honest and logically coherent discussion, - you even resort to blatant lies like the one I quoted above, there is no point in continuing this conversation.

Edited by My2cents
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The above is not only ad hominem, but also a hasty generalisation.

 

It's actually neither. Have you looked up what an ad hom actually is yet?

 

You may want to learn about the basics of critical reasoning and about what valid and invalid arguments (logical fallacies) are before signing up for a science forum.

 

You know that most "logical fallacies" aren't actually logical fallacies, but rather informal fallacies several of which are actually valid argument forms (such as circular reasoning), right? Of course you don't.

 

But, hey, let's talk about validity anyway. Is the following statement true or false and why: "In Sentential Logic, a set of well formed formulas M validates a well formed formula k if and only if k is a deductive consequence of M"? Also, define "validation", "assignment", "model", and "deductive consequence".

 

 

 

nor did I argue for Kalam

 

That's a bald faced lie. You know, it's probably not a good idea to lie on an internet forum about what you did or did not say, because people can quote posts and there's an arrow in the quote box to take you to the original post. For example:

 

Third, your assumption that "All that is known to exist, exists within space-time" is an equally huge assumption and begs the obvious question what caused time and space to come into existence. (Since as we know they did have a beginning.)

 

That's Kalaam in one sentence. But in case you plan on being dishonest and denying that, I'll break it down for you.

 

Kalaam:

1) Anything which begins to exist has a cause.

2) The universe began to exist.

3) By Modus Ponens, the universe has a cause.

 

Your post:

1)

2) "Since as we know they did have a beginning"

3) "begs the obvious question what caused time and space to come into existence."

 

Premise one is an implicit assumption in your terrible one sentence formulation of Kalaam, but it is there.

 

Since you are unaware of the rules of an honest and logically coherent discussion

 

I am? You could have fooled me. Perhaps you should elucidate this claim rather than just repeating it without support.

 

you even resort to blatant lies like the one I quoted above, there is no point in continuing this conversation.

 

What lie was that, again?

Edited by ydoaPs
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Ah, yes. The prestigious Scientific American. Because popular science writing is quality stuff.

 

Those are facts established from experiments. Kant was right after all.

 

"Kant taught that space and time are not part of external reality but are rather preexisting structures in our minds that allow us to relate objects and events."

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To refute the existence of God, I must first define what I mean by God. It seems to me that God, defined in the broadest terms, is simply: the origin of all that exists. I think most theists could agree with this basic definition (with the exception of Mormons, who believe God to have evolved from a human being). It presupposes nothing of God's alleged qualities such as omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. Neither do we presume any attributes to God such as personality, gender, emotions.

 

Having defined God as that which is the origin of existence, we naturally move to our second definition: what is existence? Again, we will go for the broadest definition possible and say that existence is anything within space-time (including space-time itself). This definition covers not only what exists at present, but all that has or ever will exist. It includes not only the physical realm of sensible phenomena, but all that is metaphysical as well; since even something as impalpable as a thought must take place within a period of time and must arise from a brain which occupies space.

 

Having defined our terms, we will proceed with the following arguments:

  1. God is the origin of all that exists.
  2. All that exists, exists within space-time.
  3. If 1 & 2 are true, then God is the origin of space-time.
  4. If 3 is true, God cannot be within space-time.
  5. If 2 & 4 are true, God cannot exist.
  6. Therefore, God does not exist. God transcends existence.

So there you have it. God is a self-refuting concept.

 

I respond again with the following two points:

 

First, this is a circular argument. You start from a premise (P2), which excludes the existence of anything beyond space-time , then you "arrive" at the conclusion according to which 'God' does not exist, because it transcends space-time.

 

Second:

The classical God-definition clarifies the misconception underlying your argument that attempts to limit the God-concept within space and time:

 

"According to the classical theism of Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas and their adherents, God is radically unlike creatures in that he is devoid of any complexity or composition, whether physical or metaphysical. Besides lacking spatial and temporal parts, God is free of matter/form composition, potency/act composition, and existence/essence composition."

 

"Besides perfection and necessity, immateriality, eternity, and immutability also seem to point to simplicity as their ground. Because God is simple, he cannot have parts and so cannot have material or temporal parts."

 

Divine Simplicity

http://plato.stanfor...city/#GodHisNat

Edited by My2cents
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