Posted: Sep 28, 2010 5:47 am
by xrayzed
Ichthus77 wrote:1. The universe (the whole of all physical "being") has a beginning, even in the cyclic model (Greene, Fabric of the Cosmos).

I suspect you are mis-reading Greene. Are you suggesting that Greene suggest that there was an original "Universe 0" that began at "time = 0"?

Perhaps you could clarify this, and provide the relevant passage from Greene's book.

2. In order for "doing" to happen, there must be a "being" who does the "doing".

I can see branches on a tree moving. Unless there is a being doing this - perhaps Enlil, the Summerian god of the air - your premise is false.

3. All doings of any particular being are done by that particular being "after" that particular being "is" (after it is "being").

So a being must exist for it to do something. True, if somewhat trivial.

4. "Becoming" is a doing.

Exactly what do you mean by "becoming" in this context?

5. Because of 3, the universe (see 1) cannot "become" until it already "is", therefore

See previous.

6. (Because of 2), some other "being" than the universe (see 1) made the universe (see 1) "become" in the first place.

Since (2) is false, (6) is false, irrespective of whatever you mean by "becoming".

Now. It does not follow from this that this "some other being" has no beginning (or that it does). We can't study it like we can study the physical universe, because it is not part of the physical universe (though it can be immanent in it).

Even if I accept that within the logic of our physical universe everything must ultimately begin with a being (which clearly I don't), you can't then apply that to that which is outside of our universe.

QED if it is possible that there is a sentient being that a) is the ultimate origin of our universe, b) is exempt from the rules of our universe, and c) cannot be understood in terms of the rules our our universe, it is also possible that there is a non-sentient universe that a) is the ultimate origin of our universe, b) is exempt from the rules of our universe, and c) cannot be understood in terms of the rules our our universe.

You need to make a choice: either there exist things outside our universe that cannot be understood by our universe's rules, in which case we can't say anything about them, or our rules can be applied, in which case your assertion is invalid.

However--it does follow that there IS some other being than the physical universe, something supernatural. And, if it has a beginning, it will have a cause (a being which makes it become) other than itself.

Not at all, for reasons outlined above.

The theist conclusion is that there is only one supernatural being, and it is uncaused--eternal (a personal God).
This is a new premise, and is unsupported by your previous arguments.

The atheist conclusion must be (in this case) that there is an infinite regress of those caused supernatural (personal or nonpersonal un-god) beings.

That is wrong on so many levels I can't be bothered dissecting it.

But, that isn't the atheist conclusion. The atheist conclusion is a self-bootstrapping universe (a circular argument).

Not at all.

If you assume a simple linear arrow of time that must exist for the universe(s), that has a clear sequential causal chain back to time = 0, then arguably (but not necessarily - I'll ignore the nuances for now) yes.

But you don't apply this simple linear arrow of time to your god, or else you would have a self-bootstrapping god. Your solution to this is to say that the rules of time in our universe needn't apply to a god outside it - in which case these rules needn't apply to anything outside it, be it a god or a non-sentient thing that is the cause of our universe.

So make a choice: everything must have a cause, or not.