## Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

iamthereforeithink wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:
Rumraket wrote:Anyway, my understanding is that vacuum energy is due to these virtual particles. The fact that the vacuum has energy is because of uncertainties associated with the fields, these uncertainties then manifest as particles coming into and going out of existence.

Not really. It is possible to express vacuum energy in terms of virtual particles, but not necessary. Only the effects of vacuum energy can be observed.

What is vacuum energy, then, and how can it causally interact with electrons, causing them to wobble in their orbitals?

Well, all we have are mathematical descriptions and the observed effects. The mathematical descriptions involving Feynman diagrams include virtual particles. But if it is possible to describe the observed effects in terms of mathematical descriptions that do not include virtual particles, then why must we persist with virtual particles? They are an additional entity that are not needed. Parsimony and all that.

No I don't agree with that. It's not that virtual particles are an additional entity we don't need, it's just an interpretation of the observed effect that differs by name.

I guess it doesn't matter really, because it's just another name for the cause of the observed effect. Whether we say energy is fluctuating in and out of existence in the vacuum (causing electrons to wobble in their orbits), or we say particles are fluctuating in and out of existence (causing electrons to wobble in their orbits) shouldn't really matter.

The fact is that there's something there, fluctuating in and out of existence, and we're just calling it by another name when we describe it as "vacuum energy" instead of "virtual particles". I suppose you could say to call it particles brings with it certain unnecessary connotations associated with the behaviors of classical objects (billiard ball physics) in contrast to the more correct fields-description used in quantum field theory.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Rumraket wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:

Not really. It is possible to express vacuum energy in terms of virtual particles, but not necessary. Only the effects of vacuum energy can be observed.

What is vacuum energy, then, and how can it causally interact with electrons, causing them to wobble in their orbitals?

Well, all we have are mathematical descriptions and the observed effects. The mathematical descriptions involving Feynman diagrams include virtual particles. But if it is possible to describe the observed effects in terms of mathematical descriptions that do not include virtual particles, then why must we persist with virtual particles? They are an additional entity that are not needed. Parsimony and all that.

No I don't agree with that. It's not that virtual particles are an additional entity we don't need, it's just an interpretation of the observed effect that differs by name.

I guess it doesn't matter really, because it's just another name for the cause of the observed effect. Whether we say energy is fluctuating in and out of existence in the vacuum (causing electrons to wobble in their orbits), or we say particles are fluctuating in and out of existence (causing electrons to wobble in their orbits) shouldn't really matter.

The fact is that there's something there, fluctuating in and out of existence, and we're just calling it by another name when we describe it as "vacuum energy" instead of "virtual particles". I suppose you could say to call it particles brings with it certain unnecessary connotations associated with the behaviors of classical objects (billiard ball physics) in contrast to the more correct fields-description used in quantum field theory.

It does not, however, have a fuck of a lot to do with theology. It is not the job of theology to explain how things happen, but why. Mick doesn't want to get to that any more than jamest does, because that's where the funny stuff lies and the funny lies stuff it.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Half-Life 3 - I want to believe

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

iamthereforeithink wrote:
Mick wrote:
Oh, no. Just the opposite! He doesn't have limited abilities-he has them all! What moves is exactly what he moves-just not him. Are you asking how he moves without himself moving?

Is there anything that exists in the beginning, apart from the prime mover? If nothing else exists, then all the prime mover has available to move is himself. But he cannot move himself, being the "unmoved mover". So nothing moves.

In the beginning of what, exactly? The argument I gave does not require a beginning.
Christ said, "I am the Truth"; he did not say "I am the custom." -- St. Toribio

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Rumraket wrote:I like how this mysterious supernatural force that keeps the universe going is also a "him".

At one point in time, this force had a curious obsession with menstruating women and the smell of burned goat-flesh (which is, to be quite honest, so remarkably human it's a miracle this isn't obvious to everyone at the first reading). Then "he" went on and sacrificed "himself" to "himself" to forgive us for the sins "he" made sure we'd go on to commit.

That pronoun is just a way to express the idea that god is personal.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:I like how this mysterious supernatural force that keeps the universe going is also a "him".

At one point in time, this force had a curious obsession with menstruating women and the smell of burned goat-flesh (which is, to be quite honest, so remarkably human it's a miracle this isn't obvious to everyone at the first reading). Then "he" went on and sacrificed "himself" to "himself" to forgive us for the sins "he" made sure we'd go on to commit.

That pronoun is just a way to express the idea that god is personal.

It doesn't make it any less incomprehensible and laughable an idea, that this mysterious supernatural force is now a god taking a personal interest in your human life.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:
Mick wrote:
Oh, no. Just the opposite! He doesn't have limited abilities-he has them all! What moves is exactly what he moves-just not him. Are you asking how he moves without himself moving?

Is there anything that exists in the beginning, apart from the prime mover? If nothing else exists, then all the prime mover has available to move is himself. But he cannot move himself, being the "unmoved mover". So nothing moves.

In the beginning of what, exactly? The argument I gave does not require a beginning.

What is it that he moves(not him)?
Are you proposing an eternal universe of matter/energy that is stirred by god? Do the rail carts exist anyway and god is just the engine that pushes them along?
Why do you think that?
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:I like how this mysterious supernatural force that keeps the universe going is also a "him".

At one point in time, this force had a curious obsession with menstruating women and the smell of burned goat-flesh (which is, to be quite honest, so remarkably human it's a miracle this isn't obvious to everyone at the first reading). Then "he" went on and sacrificed "himself" to "himself" to forgive us for the sins "he" made sure we'd go on to commit.

That pronoun is just a way to express the idea that god is personal.

Why him? Why not it?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:I like how this mysterious supernatural force that keeps the universe going is also a "him".

At one point in time, this force had a curious obsession with menstruating women and the smell of burned goat-flesh (which is, to be quite honest, so remarkably human it's a miracle this isn't obvious to everyone at the first reading). Then "he" went on and sacrificed "himself" to "himself" to forgive us for the sins "he" made sure we'd go on to commit.

That pronoun is just a way to express the idea that god is personal.

Why him? Why not it?

Yes, whatever the merits of Mick's arguments up to now, they haven't involved anything remotely like a god. All of a sudden we are informed that it's personal, with no attempt at argument either from logic or evidence. Is this where faith comes in?

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

I think WLC makes the leap to 'a personal first cause' by assuming that humans have free will as 'un-caused cause'. Perhaps Mick takes a similar line.
Tenuous, isn't it?
Why do you think that?
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

GrahamH wrote:I think WLC makes the leap to 'a personal first cause' by assuming that humans have free will as 'un-caused cause'. Perhaps Mick takes a similar line.
Tenuous, isn't it?

And requires a whole new set of arguments which get stymied with the point you've just made in the free will thread, that quantum indeterminism (or any merely sceptical indeterminism) doesn't help the attempt to argue for free will:

GrahamH wrote:His form of free will is random variation (not will!) constrained by physical selection mechanism (not free!)

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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

zoon wrote:
GrahamH wrote:I think WLC makes the leap to 'a personal first cause' by assuming that humans have free will as 'un-caused cause'. Perhaps Mick takes a similar line.
Tenuous, isn't it?

And requires a whole new set of arguments which get stymied with the point you've just made in the free will thread, that quantum indeterminism (or any merely sceptical indeterminism) doesn't help the attempt to argue for free will:

GrahamH wrote:His form of free will is random variation (not will!) constrained by physical selection mechanism (not free!)

Yes, I don't think WLC's argument for personal first cause has any merit. Perhaps Mick will offer some defence of his 'personal god'. I found nothing here or in the debate thread referring to 'personal' cause.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:
Mick wrote:
Oh, no. Just the opposite! He doesn't have limited abilities-he has them all! What moves is exactly what he moves-just not him. Are you asking how he moves without himself moving?

Is there anything that exists in the beginning, apart from the prime mover? If nothing else exists, then all the prime mover has available to move is himself. But he cannot move himself, being the "unmoved mover". So nothing moves.

In the beginning of what, exactly? The argument I gave does not require a beginning.

Ah so you do not propose a beginning to the universe, space, time etc. (as in the Kalam cosmological argument)? What is the role of a "prime mover" in a universe without a beginning? In fact, where does the concept of a "prime" anything fit into a universe without a beginning?
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

This is where Mick will tell you that if his prime mover wasn't around to sustain existence, it would all instantly disappear.

True story, I just shaved off all the torturous philobabbling contortions.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Rumraket wrote:
Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:If what you're trying to ask if "why is there a causality at all, whether infinitely regressive or only finite?", one has to wonder why we should presuppose there is a reason. It might just as well be the nature of existence itself that it has these causal properties instead of inventing special entites outside of nature to keep it going.

I don't see why we have to take it seriously that existence must somehow be "kept going" from the outside. This is what I talked about earlier when I said you're inventing problems it isn't even clear exist, just so you can invent your god to solve it.

Not why there is any causality. But, in the context of larger argument, why is there any change at all? With the carts we know there is movement. We know that no cart moves itself-we know it is derived from another. So why is there any movement at all? Telling me that we should not suppose there is a reason why there is movement is awfully silly-but I already commented on that in the OP. Telling me that it might be the nature of existence constitutes a reason, though you'll have to defend that.

It seems to be a true dichotomy, either it is a property of nature or it is not. You obviously think it is not, and my question is why?

Well, you think there's a god that does it. Good for you, why should we believe it's your god that does it and not just nature itself? You think your god has the property of keeping nature going and "in existence", why can't it simply be a property of nature to exist?
Why should we take the contrary seriously at all? Nature is here now, it exists after all. You're the one inventing the problem of it's potential non-existence. I don't see any reason to take it seriously.

Regarding your premises and associated commentary, I have a number of questions:
2. Whatever changes is changed by another (non-identical to it).

In relation to all of nature, why should we believe this is true? Why can't it simply be a property of nature itself that it changes over time?

You say of premise 2:
"Premise {2} refers to an essential causal series only. Consider the alternatives to premise {2}. I can think of two: self-change and change from nothing."

"This causal series is simultaneous: Each member of the causal series is affected only inasmuch as the first member ('first' in the sense of being ultimate source) continuously imparts an effect."

So you have essentially begged the question in your 2nd premise, by stating that it only applies to an essential causal series, you imply causality is that, where the definition of an essential causal series you operate with already requires a prime mover.

3. If something changes, then there is either a first, unchanged changer or an infinite, essential causal series.

Why must it be an essential causal series? Do you mean to say you think nature or causality itself is an essential causal series? I don't see any reason to take on these postulates.

4. There is no infinite, essential causal series.

Why must it be an essential causal series? There obviouslt can't be an infinite essential causal series when you define the very thing to require a prime mover to begin with.

You also say about premise 4:
How about premise {4}? An essential causal series requires a first member or an ultimate source of the empowering effect, since the series only exists inasmuch as an effect is continuously imparted onto the each member of the series. Contra Hume, an infinite number of moving carts on a locomotive train would not explain why the train itself is moving, because none of the carts move unless there is a locomotive. Likewise, the music from a flute is sustained here and now only by an empowering breath.

Because - as you say, the carts are merely "intermediate causes", who only move because they are moved by the train.
My question is, why believe causality is analogous to a train in this way? Why can't causality have the property of movement in the first place? You obviously believe there is an entity that has this property of making things move, that can cause things to change, why can't causality itself be such an entity? That would be much simpler than invoking strange and alien god-concepts that are "pure actuality".

We certainly do observe change to happen in nature, all the more reason to think it's an inescapable property of it. Why invoke an external changer at all?

You say of self-change:
Nothing self-changes. Consider animals. Change in an animal is brought about by something distinct from the animal himself. If an animal grows, dies or moves, it is because of some change in or by one of his parts, or some outside actor, each distinct from the animal himself. I can reason similarly for any scenario.

But I think quantum theory gives us good reasons to doubt this is true.
In quantum mechanics, uncertainty is an inherent property of existence. This uncertainty entails that nothing ever remains static, that change is inevitable given long enough timescales. If quantum mechanics is really true, things really can self-change. The changes are only constrained by the associated probabilites given by the uncertainty relation. That's for example why you get things like quantum-tunneling, an real and concrete observed behavior of matter.

Furthermore: something changes only if there is a transition from potency (potential) to act (actuality). by something already actual (because only actualities are causally efficacious). But if that which changed underwent self-change, then it would have actuated itself before it actually existed, and that is unintelligible.

This picture changes dramatically if absolute simultaneity is possible, which someone like William Lane Craig likes to argue is. The idea then is that things change simultaneously with their existence. There doesn't, then, have to be some lag-period between cause and effect if they are allowed to be absolutely simultaneous.

On a-causality:
Consider a common example of “acausal” beginnings: virtual particles. Why is there a regularity of virtual particles emerging into being "from nothing" or "by nothing"? Why not zebras too? That last question seems silly, but nothingness has no potentialities or delimitations; and so there is nothing to regulate that there be a certain sort of change or emergence over any other. Therefore, if virtual particles can come from nothing or by nothing, then there seems to be no reason why zebras are excluded from this. (2)

We've already been over this, I don't even remember whether it ever sunk in to you. At this stage I don't even care. The answer is probability of particular microstates, and then there's the minor but still important point that virtual particles don't come from philosophical non-being(and nobody claims they do*), they emerge in empty space, a vacuum. Philosophers have made a pretty big deal out of pointing out that empty space isn't true philosophical non-being.

* In fact, it would be stupid to claim this since we can't ever create non-being in the first place. How would one even go about doing that? How much space would non-being take up? None at all, it has no properties like spatial dimensions. Consequently, you can't say that you've measured virtual particles emerging from nonbeing, since nonbeing is an incoherent concept in the first place.

I don't know why you're treating nature as a thing-what is nature? In any case, we were talking about the nature of existence, not the properties of nature. If we were to ask that question of existence, the very same one you asked of nature, then I would respond that you could describe change as part of the nature of existence, but I am unsure what that would mean. What is existence as such?

You asked me why is it my god that keeps nature in existence rather than nature itself. Here I would insist that you define nature, as it is unclear to me what it means. Nevertheless, I already stated why matter, energy and laws of nature do not meet the bill, and you can find that in the debate. I also argued why it is a god. I refer you back to the OP. I encourage you to stop asking questions already answered in the debate.

In addressing my causal principle, you asked why can't nature just have the property to change over time. My answer: whatever nature is, if it changes over time, then it has to have that property. Perhaps your question is whether it has the property of being capable of self-change; and I argue that it cannot for reasons I mentioned in my OP. It would be easier for me to answer this further, and I could even be thorough, if I knew what nature is.

You accuse me of begging the question. But I only attributed essential causal series with having a first member; I did not say that they had a prime mover. Moreover, my second premise is existentially neutral-it commits us to no existents; and hence it does not commit us to any mover.

Of premise 3 you ask me why must it be an essential causal series.the answer is that it is given in relation to premise 2- I am only talking about essential causal series. Any other series is irrelevant.

Of premise 4 you ask the same thing; I presume that is answered. You also state that it is "of course" not infinite since I defined it to have a prime mover. But that is false; I only said that essential causal series have first members.

You ask why causality does not have the property of movement; and to that I respond that you're confused. Causality cannot have the property of movement-it cannot move. Causality itself is an abstraction. That also explains why it cannot move anything, since abstract objects are causally inert.

On the question as to why the train locomotive is analogous to an essential causal series, I respond that it is an approximate example of an essential causal series. The carts are intermediate causes, and they derive their causal power from the locomotive. What else do I need?

Your note about causal simultaneity did not go as far as to state that is possible. You only stated a hypothetical; and so I don't know how to respond. Even if it were possible, I see no reason to entertain it as plausible. Possibility alone does not satisfice.

That said, my argument against self-change is not one based upon temporal priority. I mean 'before' like I meant 'first' in the earlier passages. To be a self-cause, a thing would have to firstly exist to bring about its effect, but the effect is supposed to be identical to that which brought it about. That is unintelligible. Causes are not identical to their effects.

In regards to the point about particles and zebras, as I argued earlier, you failed to understand the question I answered. The whole point was to argue that if virtual particles came from nothing, that is, non-being, then regularity of virtual particles over any other thing is inexplicable. That physicists often (always?) mean something else is irrelevant-I was merely covering my bases.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:Fleshing It Out

Anything that is pure act does not owe its sustenance to any other thing, for it does not have the potential to be any other way. After all, there is no potency to act upon or fail to actualize. Thus, it can neither perish nor diminish. We know that the laws of nature are sustained by this changer, and that they could be different. Thence, the changer is neither governed by such laws nor does this changer fall within their scope (that is, this changer is supernatural or supranatural). We also know that this changer is neither of matter, energy, nor any physical thing, since they are capable of change. Thus, it is amaterial or immaterial; and if space is capable of change, it is spaceless. We also know that it is responsible for all change; and hence it is causal and extremely powerful.

That description fits abstract objects or an intelligence exclusively. But abstract objects are causally inert; and hence it is an intelligence, what we call a deity. I therefore conclude my argument.

How can we possibly know whether intelligence is not contingent? We have no opportunity to find out if it could exist without material / energy or space-time. The biggest assumption of your whole argument is slipped into a single line at the end as if it was an evident fact.
Last edited by GrahamH on Oct 07, 2013 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

GrahamH wrote:
Mick wrote:Fleshing It Out

Anything that is pure act does not owe its sustenance to any other thing, for it does not have the potential to be any other way. After all, there is no potency to act upon or fail to actualize. Thus, it can neither perish nor diminish. We know that the laws of nature are sustained by this changer, and that they could be different. Thence, the changer is neither governed by such laws nor does this changer fall within their scope (that is, this changer is supernatural or supranatural). We also know that this changer is neither of matter, energy, nor any physical thing, since they are capable of change. Thus, it is amaterial or immaterial; and if space is capable of change, it is spaceless. We also know that it is responsible for all change; and hence it is causal and extremely powerful.

That description fits abstract objects or an intelligence exclusively. But abstract objects are causally inert; and hence it is an intelligence, what we call a deity. I therefore conclude my argument.

How can we possibly know whether intelligence is not contingent? We have no opportunity to find out if it could exist without material / energy or space-time. The biggest assumption of your whole argument is slipped into a single line at the end as if it was an evident fact.

Can you explain what you mean by 'pure act'?

The problem with pure act is that it cannot, by definition, be a mind that has all kinds of views on morals and details like who has sex with whom.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

From Mick's link on act & potency:

According to this philosophy, all corporeal beings, even all finite beings, are composed of potency and act, at least of essence and existence, of an essence which can exist, which limits existence, and of an existence which actualizes this essence. God alone is pure act, because His essence is identified with His existence. He alone is Being itself, eternally subsistent.

So, all know things are supposed to be essence and existence, but god is an exception to all known things? How is that not like defining a square and a circle as mutually exclusive then declaring that god is a square circle?

Heraclitus is at the opposite pole. Everything is in motion, in process of becoming, and the opposition of being to non-being is an opposition purely abstract, even merely a matter of words. For, he argues, in the process of becoming, which is its own sufficient reason, being and non-being are dynamically identified. That which is in the process of becoming is already, and nevertheless is not yet. Hence, for Heraclitus, the principle of contradiction is not a law of being, not even of the intelligence. It is a mere law of speech, to avoid self-contradiction. Universal becoming is to itself sufficient reason, it has no need of a first cause or of a last end.

Thus Heraclitus, like Parmenides, ends in pantheism. But, whereas the pantheism of Parmenides is static, an absorption of the world into God, the pantheism of Heraclitus is evolutionist, and ultimately atheistic, for it tends to absorb God into the world. Cosmic evolution is self-creative. God, too, is forever in the process of becoming, hence will never be God.

Is that at all close to Rumracket's position?

This doctrine is embodied in the second of the twenty-four theses, approved by the Sacred Congregation of Studies in 1914. That thesis runs thus: "Act, perfection, is limited only by potency, which is the capability of receiving perfection. Hence, in an order of pure act, only one unlimited act can exist. But where act is limited and multiplied, there act enters into real composition with potency."
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

It's difficult to untangle, but I suspect that part of what's going on in this cosmological argument is that it seeks to address at least two alleged substantive problems with the one entity. In this way, it tethers these two problems together at a certain level so that the opponent is also charged with giving a similarly unified answer. I think it wants to answer to somethings like beginning and formal regularity, but I don't see why the answer to either problem has to reside in the other.
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### Re: Peanut Gallery: A Deity Exists: Mick vs. lobawad

Mick wrote:
Rumraket wrote:...

I don't know why you're treating nature as a thing-what is nature?

That thing which you're postulating your god is preventing from going out of existence.

Mick wrote:In any case, we were talking about the nature of existence, not the properties of nature.

It seems to me that's basically the same thing.

Mick wrote:If we were to ask that question of existence, the very same one you asked of nature, then I would respond that you could describe change as part of the nature of existence, but I am unsure what that would mean. What is existence as such?

Again, the things that exist. The things we can see and hear and smell all around us, and possibly even things we can't detect (I don't know if there's more). The point is, you're claiming your god is sustaining all of it "in existence", and also "keeps it going".

Why should we believe your god does these things? Why can't "that thing which your god sustains" simply just exist? Why do we have to postulate a sustainer? Why should we believe that it can just suddenly disappear?

It is here, it exists. There's nothing that lends credence to the plausibility of imminent nonexistence without some sustaining superforce. You don't seem to have argued for it anywhere in your debate.

Mick wrote:You asked me why is it my god that keeps nature in existence rather than nature itself. Here I would insist that you define nature, as it is unclear to me what it means.

Again, that thing which you claim your god is required to sustain, to keep existing.

Mick wrote:Nevertheless, I already stated why matter, energy and laws of nature do not meet the bill, and you can find that in the debate. I also argued why it is a god. I refer you back to the OP. I encourage you to stop asking questions already answered in the debate.

Mick wrote:In addressing my causal principle, you asked why can't nature just have the property to change over time. My answer: whatever nature is, if it changes over time, then it has to have that property. Perhaps your question is whether it has the property of being capable of self-change; and I argue that it cannot for reasons I mentioned in my OP. It would be easier for me to answer this further, and I could even be thorough, if I knew what nature is.

You're constructing an argument for your god from the standpoint that "the world/existence/nature/causality"(or whatever term you wish to use to refer to that thing your prime-mover moves) somehow contains change. We see that change happens, we see movement, we experience the passage of time. This, I take it, is what you claim requires a prime mover of some sort to do what it does? The movement, the change, the passage of time. This is what you're asking why is? Why is there movement at all? Why is there change? Why is there a passage of time?

Here you postulate the prime mover as some kind of outside entity which, again, somehow sustains movement(as if the engine of a locomotive), change and/or the passage of time.

Again my question is, why do we need some outside entity to do this? Why can't that which contains the movement, the change and the passage of time, have as it's properties the properties you assign to a prime mover, the property of sustaining this movement? Why do we need to go "outside" of causality and look for a sustaining cause?

Mick wrote:On the question as to why the train locomotive is analogous to an essential causal series, I respond that it is an approximate example of an essential causal series. The carts are intermediate causes, and they derive their causal power from the locomotive. What else do I need?

And my question is, why believe causality is analogous to a series of intermediate causes with a separate prime-mover(locomotive) pushing it along?
What is it that makes you think causality is somehow causally inert and powerless without the prime mover? Why do you think it is like the carts without "him"?

Mick wrote:Your note about causal simultaneity did not go as far as to state that is possible. You only stated a hypothetical; and so I don't know how to respond. Even if it were possible, I see no reason to entertain it as plausible. Possibility alone does not satisfice.

So I take it you reject the concept of absolute simultaneity until given reasons to take it on? Well I'll have to refer you to William Lane Craig and his writings on his Kalam argument. He argues his a-temporal god causes the universe to exist absolutely simultaneously with the universe coming into existence. Here he likes to use an analogy of a ball having been resting on a cushion for an eternity past, being the simultaneous cause of a dent in the pillow. The cause is the ball resting, the effect is the dent in the pillow, one did not come before the other. If you have issues with this, talk to Craig.

Mick wrote:In regards to the point about particles and zebras, as I argued earlier, you failed to understand the question I answered. The whole point was to argue that if virtual particles came from nothing, that is, non-being, then regularity of virtual particles over any other thing is inexplicable. That physicists often (always?) mean something else is irrelevant-I was merely covering my bases.

Well since they don't, your regularity argument is thus inapplicable. It is explicable why we don't see Zebras emerging from the vacuum.
Half-Life 3 - I want to believe

Rumraket

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Age: 42

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