Posted: Sep 27, 2010 9:23 pm
by hotshoe
Our friend Maryann Spikes (Icthus77) chose not to quote this appalling example of theistic logic failure from her same blog article she just linked to:

... San Francisco's atheist blogger Greta Christian retorts, in her May 4 Atheist Meme of the Day,

"'Everything has to have a cause, therefore there must be a God' is a terrible argument for religion. If everything has to have a cause -- what caused God? And if God either always existed or came into being out of nothing -- why can't that be true for the universe?"

In short, "everything" refers to "everything which needs a cause". The "uncaused cause" is not physical, therefore needing no cause. Daniel Dennett in "Breaking the Spell" conjures the straw man reply that God is self-caused. God cannot "come into being" or he is not God, leaving the alternative that he always existed and is the necessary being from which all contingent being derives its being. The physical universe has not always existed but has a definite beginning, as explained below by physicist Brian Greene ...

Let's take a look at this farrago of nonsense.

"Everything which needs a cause"

Tell me, Maryann, how do you determine which objects or concepts fall into the category "things which need causes" ? Tell me, did you take a vote on it at church ? Did you ask an expert ? Which expert ? Expert on what ? On theology ?

And note, your quoted physicist "authority" Dr, Greene is not on your side, since he addresses the question of an explanation for the beginning of the cycle, which is NOT synonymous with a cause for the beginning of the cycle. Not unless you, Maryann, are choosing to lie by equivocation between his quoted word "explanation" and your desired use of the term "cause".
The "uncaused cause" ...
Honestly, Maryann, where are you getting this nonsense ? What grounds do you have for using that term as if it referenced anything in reality ? It's made up. It was adopted from Aristotle as nothing more than a get-out-of-jail-free card for your god. How do you expect to get any respect for your so-called logical column if you insist on throwing in invented nonsense like that right off the bat ?
... is not physical ...
Oh, it's not, is it ? How do you know ? Who told you ? Then, how do you imagine it "created" the physical world ? Magic ? The only examples we have ever experienced of interactions with our physical world are with other physical objects/forces. We have NEVER experienced a non-physical object/force; we have zero grounds for even imagining such might exist. Much less for the preposterous claim that, if such existed, it could interact with our physical world.
... therefore needing no cause.
So you say. Again, you totally ignore that - if you assert "no cause" as a privilege for your side - you are being hypocritical and illogical to then claim, as you later do, that "somebody got the ball rolling". Remind me, how do you, Maryann, determine which concepts fall into the category of "need somebody to get the ball rolling" and which don't ? Are we supposed to believe, just based on your unsupported word, that the "somebody" who (you think) got our ball rolling does not itself need a "somebody" to get it rolling ?
Daniel Dennett in "Breaking the Spell" conjures the straw man reply that God is self-caused.
It's a sad little lie that Dennett conjures a straw man, and a quote-mine to boot. Here's the quote:

“The Cosmological Argument, which in its simplest form states that since everything must have a cause the universe must have a cause—namely, God—doesn’t stay simple for long. Some deny the premise, since quantum physics teaches us (doesn’t it?) that not everything that happens needs to have a cause. Others prefer to accept the premise and then ask: What caused God? The reply that God is self-caused (somehow) then raises the rebuttal: If something can be self-caused, why can’t the universe as a whole be the thing that is self-caused.” (Breaking the Spell, pg. 242)

Note that you have zero effective response to this perfectly logical point except to lie about it being a straw man. You can't actually refute it, with your nonsense about "uncaused cause" being nothing more than special pleading dressed up in shopworn clothes.
God cannot "come into being ..."
Why not ? Who says ? Against some law, is it, for god to come into being ? What law ?
... or he is not God, ...
Damn fine logic you've got there. Either god matches your made-up condition, or god isn't god. Well, as an empty syllogism, yes, you're probably right. Either god matches the made-up definition of god, or by definition, god isn't god after all. But you, Maryann, have yet to advance your case for the actual existence of an entity matching your made-up definition by one iota here.
... leaving the alternative that he always existed ...
:lol: :lol: :lol: OR the alternative that it never existed whatsoever, OR the alternative that it existed but not in a form which matches your particular made-up definition, while still matching someone else's definition of god, OR ... something.
... and is the necessary being from which all contingent being derives its being.
My, my, you're really pulling in every crackpot philosophical concept you've ever heard of, aren't you. Please provide a scrap of evidence that there is any such thing as a "necessary being" named god. But for full credit, provide evidence that your particular "necessary being" is also the entity from which our real world actually "derives its being". Don't be afraid to admit that you can't do it. Far smarter people than you have admitted that it's an indefensible - or at best, an unfounded but not dis-proven - concept. We're certainly not going to take your unsupported assertion for it.
The physical universe has not always existed ...
Is that a fact ? Who says so ? What's their justification for saying so ? We know what YOUR justification is - you have to believe the universe has not always existed in order to prop up your unfounded belief that it needed a "cause" and the even-more unfounded belief that the "cause" of the universe was your preferred god. And we know you don't understand the relevant science, so you aren't competent to judge whether a particular cosmology model even allows for the possibility of god, much less supports the actual existence of god - but don't let that stop you :lol:
... but has a definite beginning ...
which you don't understand in a scientific sense, but as I just said, you are willing to grasp at any straw if it appears to match your already-chosen belief in god.
... as explained below by physicist Brian Greene ...
and with that, we're back to demonstrating that you shamelessly snatch any quote that you hope supports your theistic claim, even when you have to deliberately distort the words quoted.

I'm left shaking my head in amazement that you would willingly sign your name to that column to be preserved for posterity as an example of your thinking.