Sunday, February 14, 2010

HRG's Arguments on Tillich's God as Being Itself.

HRG is Hand Reginold Grum a mathematician from Austria who has been my nemisis on CARM for about eight years now.

HRG on carm
Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post

The builder of the car is a bad analogy becuase it casts God in the role big guy in the sky. That would mean belief in God is merely adding one more fact to the universe. God is not just one more fact, God is not an object alongside other objects, but the basis upon which all existence coheres, the basis of all existence.

Including his own ? If all existence needs a basis, then what basis is there for this god's existence ?

He's saying is God the basis of his own existence. First here's how I usually answer the question; why doesn't God need a cause:

First check to see if the Skeptic has managed to disagree with line A.6 becasue the answer to this objection is built into the argument there. If that premise has been granted than essentially the skeptic has granted this point. Since there must be a final cause which begins the chain of cause and effect, logically the final cuase itself is not subject to it. So God is that point and therefore does not require a cause. There essentially five answers to this argument:

a) God is the final cause and by defintion does not need a cause himself.

The internet atheist will argue until dooms day that if "everything must have a cause" than God must have one too. This is of course illogical. God does not require a cause for several reasons:

This is merely a priori, if there must be a place where the chain stops, logically that place is the final cause of all things, which is what we say God is. Therefore God cannot need a Cause.

b) Everything but God needs cause

We are arguing that everything has to have a cause, except one this, that is the "final cause" or "first cause," the cause of all causes. Trying to the turn the words of the argument against itself wont work because we specify "everything but one needs a cause." Now this is not circular becasue the proof of the hypothosis is that no other alternative works, not that we merely stipulate it. Since this is the only alternative that adequately explains things, it is the most logical alternative.

c) By Definition God is not an effect

By definition God is beyond the natural realm of cause and effect, if not, "He" Would not be God, because that's what God is

d) all the more reason to assume God.

Since there must be a final cause, God is the only alternative since God is eternal and not arbitrary.

2) God is Being itself and thus trasncends The laws of Cause and effect.

a) God is not a thing alongside other things in creation.

God is by definition not a thing alongside other things in creation (ontologically speaking) but is on the order of being itself; the cause of the whole, which means God is the creator of the chain of cause and effect is therefore logically outside of it. (see also Timothy Ware The Orthodox Chruch; Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be, and Dynamics of Faith, Systematic Theology, and John MacQuarrie Principles of Christian Theology).

b) Being itself

God is Being Itself (see above) Being has to be. The fact that there is anything at all indicates that there is no such thing as true nothingness. If anything is than there must have always been something. Since God is Being itself in a sense we could say that being causes God,although this is not an adeuate way to pu it.

3) God is Spiritual and not physical, thus does not need physical cause

4) God's essence is his existence.

a) The Scholastic answer:

God's essence is his existence. The thing that makes God what he is (essence) coincides with the fact that he is (existence).For all other things the essence of a thing is to be the particular thing that it is. But with God the essence of the divine is to to be; thus, God's being is the same as his essence and to be the certain thing that God is is to be. God cannot fail to exist and requires no cause. see Eteinne Gilson, God And Philosophy.

b) This is the only logical answer,

otherwise we just have an ifinite regress of the same problem; it's a logical deduction

5) Proper use of Ocam's Razor

It would be a useless multiplication of entitites to posist a cause of God; God is sufficient explaination in and of "Himself" and logically deos not requrie a cuase.
The argument proves prior existance of creative "Source" as origin of the univserse, by logical deduction as the most plausible answer. Logically it cannot be an infitine regression, cannot be subject to the same laws of cause and effect but must be "first cause." Logically it must be eternal, and must be necessary to the existance of the singularity that produced the universe, by the law of Ockum's razor cannot be multiplied to include an infintie regress. Logically than we are talking about an erternal creative agent that stands behind all existance as the cause of all that is that creates as a free creative act; "that thing," as Aquinas says, "we call God."

F. Objection 2: Eternal Cause Cannot have Time bound Effects

1) Can timeless facts cause timebound facts?

Metaphysics and Epistemology of Causation Robert C. Koons (University of Texas)

a) Yes they can.


First, we must admit that logical and mathematical realities, although they are certainly outside physical spacetime, can be causally efficacious. Otherwise, it would be impossible for us to have knowledge in logic and mathematics, and impossible for us to think about and refer to particular mathematical objects, like specific numbers or numerical relations.

Second, it seems plausible to suppose that space and time are themselves definable or constructible in terms of causal relations. One event is earlier than another, just in case the first is causally prior to the second, or if the first is spatially related to an event causally prior to the second. Two events are in the same spatiotemporal neighborhood just in case there are direct causal relations between the two. What we call physical or measurable time is a simple and systematic system of measurement that can be imposed on the whole network of causal relations. It is reasonable to expect that some of the causal network will lie outside of the system of measurable space-time. At least, it would be a remarkable coincidence if all of the causal network could be included in a single simple and systematic measurement system.

Therefore, from this perspective, it seems reasonable to think that there might be exceptions to the general rule of causation occurring within physical spacetime.

Third, scientific realism depends on the possibility of timeless causation. Scientific realism is the thesis that we sometimes know that our scientific theories are approximately true. Philosophers and historians of science are generally agreed that the acquisition of empirical data alone does not determine which scientific theories we accept. This is known as the "indeterminacy of theory by data". In addition to data, we use considerations of simplicity, symmetry, and elegance to guide our theory choice. For example, scientists accepted Copernicus' theory despite the fact that, for over 200 years, it did not fit the astronomical data as well as Ptolemy's theory. The fit with data was less important than the fact that Copernicus's model was vastly simpler than the ramshackle, epicyle-laden Ptolemaic model.

However, if our choice of theories is guided by considerations of simplicity and elegance, then our scientific beliefs constitute knowledge only if these aesthetic preferences are a reliable guide to the truth. In order for these to be truly reliable, there must be some causal mechanism that ensures that the deep structure of the world (as describable by our theories) is, by and large, very simple, symmetrical, elegant, etc. Any such causal mechanism must be a timeless fact, since it causes the history of the world to take a certain form or shape. This is especially so in light of general relativity, which takes the form of space and time to be themselves an essential part of the structure of the world. Hence, there must be a cause that determines the spacetime structure of the universe, introducing a bias toward simplicity. Thus, there must be at least one cause that lies outside of time.
Is God the basis for his own existence? That question doesn't make any sense. The statement that promoted it applied to contingent existence so it doesn't apply to God. But since God is not a thing in creation alongside other things then we can't really ask if he's the basis of his own existence. It's a nonsense question to begin with. But technically asiety has always been assumed to be self sustaining. Of course if you say that the atheists try to turn into a contradiction because they don't understand it.

That a thing exists is just a fact. It is a philosophical postulate that this fact needs a basis, or that existence has to "cohere". You are welcome to it, but I don't share it. I regard it as an anthropomorphic imagination.


In fact he's actually doing what Tillich called "looking only at the surface." Here is someone who doesn't understand depth fo being. He thinks being is only surface, things are what they seem, there's nothing going on beyond just the fact of things existing.

He asserts that it's a philosophical postulate that things need a basis that shows me he doesn't understand the concept. Say materialism at its post shallow, thing are just brute facts and that's all they are. They still have reasons for existing, we call them "causes." We still assert then need them. The basis for that is whatever the basis is. It still must be there whatever it is because we still believe in causes. We have not established that anything can just start existing for no reason at all Begin a fact does not mean it's a fact without a reason. Can you think of any other instance in which an atheist materialist would allow for things just popping out of nothing than the creation of the universe? Why don't we see things popping into existence all the time?

HRG dogmatically discounts any sort o ontology a prori merely because he knows it's going to lead to God. But is nothing more than an ideological predilection. There is no basis in scinece for the idea that things are surface only.

So it's not something can be laid alongside other things and terms "another fact in the universe." That's like trying to use a scale to weigh itself.


Thus it is as meaningless to speak about the weight of the scale as about the existence of this god.

That doesn't make any sense either. He's just trying to win by cheating, ruling God out by twisting the language rather than understanding the concepts. It is meaningless to speak of the scale but he's the one doing that. HE is the one who asked about God's cause and if he's the basis of his own existence, that's demanding the weight of scale, talking about why t's a foolish question is not demanding the weigh to fhte scale it's sayign i'ts a foolish question! The foolish question is the atheist argument!

You carefully try to remove your God from the need of objective arguments for his existence. But that removes him as well from the realm of objective existence.

Well you have to since you want me to talk about it. I told you it can't be spoken it's beyond langaue and beyond undersanding, it can be experinced. But you poo poo experience and foment the propaganda that all experince is BS so you just refuse a prpori to eve rthing clealry  or honestly about any issue connected with God.

This is also and switch because he's actually reversing the true understanding of objective and of empirical. Empirical doesn't mean absolute objective evdience it means first hand experience. So my religious experience is empirical evidence of God. Empirical and objective are not the same thing. Objective is a pretense. There is no such thing as objective, there is varying degrees of subjective. He wants to make the pretense that abstracting particulars through statistics and probability is "objective" but in reality it's nothing like objective, it's creating cracks through which a lot of data falls to the way side but hat suits the atheist need to lose the phenomena. When  you see the dishonesty that HRG employs you will see what I mean by "pretense."

The problem with the hurricane analogy is that it doesn't take into account the basis of what consciousness is. God is not just an impersonal force or a happenstance or set of circumstances. I don't blame you for saying there's no clear idea here. Because that's what it means to say God is beyond our understanding, we don't have a convenient thing for it.

If this alleged god is beyond our understanding, you should heed Wittgenstein's advice: "What one cannot speak about, one must remain silent about".

ahahaha that was Hegel! You are misquoting! typical, typical. But hey I would remain silent, except you want listen. you wont accept the need to seek and then go seek yourself. Of cousre i"m not considered with HRG seeking, I know he never will, he's way too invested as a would be big shot in the Adelaide he get's from being an atheist. But who who read his misguided insincerity need to understand that taling and silence are both the same, everything is inadequate short of actually experiencing God for yourself. So everything I can say about it is just a means moving the reader close to the point where s/he will be willing to seek.

here I refer to HRG's tendency to bring up his silly little "three partical univdrse" non answer taht he always beings up:

 I have beaten that silly unfounded assertion so many times it's not funny.

(1) 3pu would be being, God is being itself, therefore, 3pu has god.

(2) unfounded assertion that one can assert God or lack of God based upon the appearance of world--that is the same logic as the design argument. In design argument you assert this cannot be done, and now assert it can be done in your argument. contradiction!

(3) only thing it could possibly prove is that God is not interested in doing much. not that there is no God

(4) God has to exist in all possible worlds, that proves that God has to exist. 3pu does noting but prove that God exits!

(5) there is no such thing as 3pu you are merely asserting it's assumed possible becuase you want to beat my God argument. you have not evidence at all that a 3pu is even possible. I have good reason to believe it's not, therefore, 3pu is not a possible world!

at various times I've argued all five of these and more. you have never beaten one. any one of them clobbers your argument.

you are bringing the old propaganda out of moth balls because you have nothing to say. But this is dead horse and you can't make it run by beating it yet again.

not just a dead horse it's throttled bag of horse bones.

in the words of our illustrious former Governor of Texas, the late great Anne Richards, "that God wont hunt." __________________

now at this point he charges the Being itself thing with being an abstraction and all his answers are based upon that premise.

At this point I quote the long quote that I did of Tillich in the Part 2 of the into to Tillich's ontology:

When a doctrine of God is initiated by defining God as being itself, the philosophical concept of being is introduced into systematic theology. This was so in the earliest period of Christian theology and has been so in the whole history of Christian thought. It appears in the present system [meaning in his systematic theology] in three places, in the doctrine of God where God is called being as being or the ground and the power of being; in the doctrine of man…and in the doctrine of Christ where he is called manifestation of New Being…In spite of the fact that classical theology has always used the concept of “being” the term has been criticized from the standpoint of nominalistic philosophy and that of personalistic theology. Considering the prominent role which the concept plays in the system it is necessary to reply to the criticisms and at the same time to clarify the way in which the term is used in its different applications.

The criticism of the nominalists and their positivistic decedents to the present day is based upon the assumption that the concept of being represents the highest possible abstraction. It is understood as the gneus to which all other genera are subordinated with respect to universality and with respect to the degree of abstraction. If this were the way in which the concept of being is reached, nominalism could interpret it as it interprets all universals, namely, as communicative notions which point to particulars but have no reality of their own. Only the completely particular, the thing here and now, has reality. Universals are means of communication without any power of being. Being, as such, therefore, does not designate anything real. God, if he exists, exists as a particular and could be called the most individual of all beings.

The answer to this argument is that the concept of being does not have the character that nominalism attributed to it. It is not the highest abstraction, although it demands the ability of radical abstraction. It is the expression of the experience of being over against non-being. Therefore, it can be described as the power of being which resists non being. For this reason the medieval philosophers called being the basic transcendetntale, beyond the universal and the particular. In this sense was understood alike by such people as Parmenides in Greece and Shankara in India. In this sense its significance has been rediscovered by contemporary existentialists such as Heidegger and Marcle. The idea of being lies beyond the conflict of nominalism and realism. The same word, the emptiest of all concepts when taken as an abstraction, becomes the most meaningful of all concepts when it is understood as the power of being in everything that has being.[viii]
from system one* around page 167.

To this Hans (HRG) says "he's just using semantics!" he goes on using the same old arguemnts! I just proved that he's dead wrong. Tillich says point bland "ti's not an abstraction!" moreover, he explains at length why that's the case and that expiation should make sense in the context of the two pieces I posted of intro to his ontology. It should be clear at that point that Tillich is not merely using semantics but that he has an elaborate sysetm of which HRG knows nothing and he doesn't want to know anything of it. He's merely fudiging the ponit to keep up the appearance that his arguments apply when Obviously they do not.

He's just using semantics! in other words. I cathc him point blank, the guy syas you are wrong! What does he say "I refuse to accept that I'm wrong, Tillich must mean what I said even he doesn't know it." I didn't say that but what he did say says that in other words.

To put it bluntly HRG says "I cannot be wrong even when its proved."

to me this is total dishonesty.

*Systematic Theology Volute I by Paul Tillich


James F. McGrath said...

I'm glad you clarified what HRG stands for - my initial reaction was to assume from the title that this had something to do with Heroes! :)

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

lol He's a good guy in many ways. But he has that academic disease we all have, thinks he knows stuff.

I have it but I think I'm getting over it, I know I don't know crap about much of anything. The further I went in my doctoral work the less I knew.