Thursday, May 12, 2022

my cosmological argument

Cosmological Arguments Note on Version A (using Tillich's notion of God as Being itself

1. Something exists.
2. Whatever exists, does so either necessarily or contingently.
3. It is impossible that only contingent things exist.
4. Therefore, there exists at least one necessary thing.
5. If there is a necessary thing, that thing is appropriately called 'God.'
6. Therefore God exists.


(revised 8/6/'18)

This version understands Necessity and contingency largely in causal terms. The necessity that creates the universe must be understood as eternal and uncaused for two reasons: (1) The impossibility of ICR[1], there has to be a final cause or nothing would ever come to be, (2) empirically we know the universe is not eternal. See the supporting material. Atheists will often argue that this kind of argument doesn't prove that God is the necessity that causes the universe. but being necessary and creator and primary cause makes it the sources of all things we can rationally construe that as God.

Finally, even if the cosmological argument is sound or cogent, the difficult task remains to show, as part of natural theology, that the necessary being to which the cosmological argument concludes is the God of religion, and if so, of which religion. Rowe suggests that the cosmological argument has two parts, one to establish the existence of a first cause or necessary being, the other that this necessary being is God (1975: 6). It is unclear, however, whether the second contention is an essential part of the cosmological argument. Although Aquinas was quick to make the identification between God and the first mover or first cause, such identification seems to go beyond the causal reasoning that informs the argument (although one can argue that it is consistent with the larger picture of God and his properties that Aquinas paints in his Summae). Some (Rasmussen, O’Connor, Koons) have plowed ahead in developing this stage 2 process by showing how and what properties—simplicity, unity, omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, and so on—might follow from the concept of a necessary being. It “has implications that bring it into the neighborhood of God as traditionally conceived” (O’Connor 2008: 67).[2]

There's a problem in speaking of God as "a being" since it threatens to reduce God from infinite and omnipresent to a localized entity. This is a semantic problem and we can resole it by through understanding that God is the eternal necessary aspect of being. Being is a thing and God is "that thing" which is unbounded,eternal, and necessary aspect of being. This unbounded condition is implied by the nature of cosmological necessity.

The eternal causal agent that gives rise to all existing things could not be itself caused since that would just create the necessity of another explanation (it would mean that thing is not the ultimate cause but is just another contingent thing). Being eternal and necessary means the ground of being. The contrast between human finitude and the infinite evokes the senses of the numinous or mystical experience which is the basis of all religion.[3]

Of course we understand this eternal necessary aspect of being to be God not only because the infinite evokes the numinous but also because the notion that God is being itself is a major aspect of Christian Theology.[4]

special note: mysterious stranger who knows Quantum field theory sets atheist critic straight,

https://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-truth-of-nothing-emerges.html

for discussion come to Doxa forums.

atheists try to deny contingency as a valid part of logic, Arthur Prior used it in modal logic

Notes

[1] Infinite Causal Regression. For arguments against see: No Infinite Causal Regression

[2] Timothy O’Connor2008, Theism and Ultimate Explanation: the Necessary Shape of Contingency, London: Wiley-Blackwell.

[3] David Steindl-Rast,OSB, "The Mystical Core of Organized religion," Greatfulness, blog, 2018

https://gratefulness.org/resource/dsr-mystical-core-religion/

[4] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church NY: Penguin,1964.65



27 comments:

Eric Sotnak said...

I've addressed problems with affirming a necessary being before (especially the problem that a necessary being appears to lead to full-blown necessitarianism), so this time I'll take a different tack:
I'm not convinced that an infinite causal regress is impossible. (To be clear, I'm not taking the position that an ICR is possible. Rather, I'm taking the position that it has not been convincingly proved to be impossible.)
The argument you rely on against an ICR hinges on this claim: "it never really has a cause since it has no beginning."(From your post "Against Infinite Causal Regression
")
The "since" here suggests the following argument:
1. If a series has no beginning, then it has no cause.
2. An ICR has no beginning.
3. Therefore, an ICR has no cause.
But to make your case, you need to continue the argument as follows:
4. If a series has no cause, then it is impossible.
5. Therefore, an ICR is impossible.
But premise 4 is by no means obviously true. The reason is that one can simply insist (as Paul Edwards does in his critique of the cosmological argument) that it is a fallacy of composition to ask after the cause of a series once an accounting has been made of the members of the series. If every member of S has a cause, then one does not also need a cause for S.
You endorse the response to this that the causal connection between members of S is (merely) "horizontal" and that one also needs a hierarchical cause for S. But I don't see why this needs to be granted, even if one accepts a pretty strong version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. Suppose someone says that horizontal causation can explain adequately why each member of S is at it is, but cannot explain why S exists, rather than some alternative series S*, and therefore a hierarchical cause (or explanation) is necessary. To this I suggest three replies:
(a) the possibility of brute facts needs to be definitively refuted, which I think not only cannot be done, but also would be bad news for your position because (as I have suggested previously) commits you to necessitarianism.
(b) The reasons why we have S rather than S* just is the fact that each member of S is fully accounted for by its causal predecessor, and since S is nothing distinct from the totality of its members, to account for each member of S is to account for S -- there is simply nothing left unexplained once each member of S is accounted for (this is Edwards' point, again).
(c) Once the coherence of an infinitely regressive series of horizontal causes is granted, nothing prevents also granting the coherence of infinitely regressive hierarchical causes, obviating the need for any single necessary first cause for any series.

(I also think that it is false that if a causal series has no first member, then it must be an ICR, but I'll hold off on that for now.)

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Hey Eric, great of you to stop by and give me a serious discussion, Thanks.


I've addressed problems with affirming a necessary being before (especially the problem that a necessary being appears to lead to full-blown necessitarianism), so this time I'll take a different tack:
I'm not convinced that an infinite causal regress is impossible. (To be clear, I'm not taking the position that an ICR is possible. Rather, I'm taking the position that it has not been convincingly proved to be impossible.)

The argument doesn't really even mention ICR that was an extension. The argument turns on necessity and contingency. Now mind you I don't like ICR and have been known to argue against them. But this argument does not stand or fall on that point, however, I should have extended differently. Since I opened the door to this argument I will defend it.


The argument you rely on against an ICR hinges on this claim: "it never really has a cause since it has no beginning."(From your post "Against Infinite Causal Regression
")

That's not my only argumet on that score but I'll go with it here.


The "since" here suggests the following argument:
1. If a series has no beginning, then it has no cause.
2. An ICR has no beginning.
3. Therefore, an ICR has no cause.
But to make your case, you need to continue the argument as follows:
4. If a series has no cause, then it is impossible.
5. Therefore, an ICR is impossible.
But premise 4 is by no means obviously true. The reason is that one can simply insist (as Paul Edwards does in his critique of the cosmological argument) that it is a fallacy of composition to ask after the cause of a series once an accounting has been made of the members of the series. If every member of S has a cause, then one does not also need a cause for S.
You endorse the response to this that the causal connection between members of S is (merely) "horizontal" and that one also needs a hierarchical cause for S. But I don't see why this needs to be granted, even if one accepts a pretty strong version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. Suppose someone says that horizontal causation can explain adequately why each member of S is at it is, but cannot explain why S exists, rather than some alternative series S*, and therefore a hierarchical cause (or explanation) is necessary. To this I suggest three replies:

I don't think my argument does rest on questioning the overall series apart from each individual cause. I think you must prove that every s has a cause since infinite regression means no starting point. In our world we see starting point as causes. WE see causes as necessary to existence in most cases.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

(a) the possibility of brute facts needs to be definitively refuted, which I think not only cannot be done, but also would be bad news for your position because (as I have suggested previously) commits you to necessitarianism.

Not sure what necessitarianism is. If we talked about that before I need refresher. Brute facts are tricky and I think it matters how one reckons brutness. I am not sure that the argumet really stands or falls on this point. I think brute facts will be assessed as a consequence of the nature of the universe. So that's an outcome of the argumemt not a prerequisite or it.

(b) The reasons why we have S rather than S* just is the fact that each member of S is fully accounted for by its causal predecessor, and since S is nothing distinct from the totality of its members, to account for each member of S is to account for S -- there is simply nothing left unexplained once each member of S is accounted for (this is Edwards' point, again).

sorry Eric I have trouble seeing it that way. Yes I agree the overall series doesn't need any special proof if all the induvial members are accounted for. But are they? Since there is no first cause the series is sort of cheating what we know of c/a. That is it's uncaused. The notion that each step is accounted for is really false. None of it is accounted for.


(c) Once the coherence of an infinitely regressive series of horizontal causes is granted, nothing prevents also granting the coherence of infinitely regressive hierarchical causes, obviating the need for any single necessary first cause for any series.

my point is that I'm not granting it.

(I also think that it is false that if a causal series has no first member, then it must be an ICR, but I'll hold off on that for now.)

works the same for multiple first members. btw the original argumemt turns upon the need for a necessity to hang contingencies upon. I think that discussion could be had without appeal to ICR.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

btw I looked up necessitarianism is seems to say it means one who doesn't accept human free will. I don't see how that comes from my argument

im-skeptical said...

atheists try to deny contingency as a valid part of logic, Arthur Prior used it in modal logic

- I wonder if you realize that modes of existence (necessary, contingent) and modal logic (necessarily true, possibly true, etc) are not the same thing. I've heard you say this before, so I know it's not just a typo. Modal logic is about the truth value of propositions. To quote the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "A modal is an expression (like ‘necessarily’ or ‘possibly’) that is used to qualify the truth of a judgement."

It is worth reading the whole article. Modal Logic. The first thing you might notice is that this has nothing to do modes of existence. But as is the case with 'necessary', the term 'contingent' is used in modal logic as well as a mode of existence. In modal logic, it means "not necessary", and that may be where you take your definition from when you talk about contingent existence. But there's a problem with that. If you want to say that things exist either necessarily of contingently, that's fine - until you pivot the definition of contingent to mean that which depends on something else for its existence. You have created a false dichotomy.

There is nothing in logic that would dictate such a dichotomy. Why can't there be something that exists without being necessary, and without being dependent on another thing for its existence? If we think of this in terms of possible worlds, a necessary thing must exist in all possible worlds. A contingent thing (if defined as 'not necessary', would exist in some, but not all possible worlds. But does that thing need to be created or caused by something else? The answer is no. It could be eternal, but only in some possible worlds. It would be a brute fact in those worlds where it exists. Logic, including modal logic, doesn't preclude that.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

- I wonder if you realize that modes of existence (necessary, contingent) and modal logic (necessarily true, possibly true, etc) are not the same thing. I've heard you say this before, so I know it's not just a typo. Modal logic is about the truth value of propositions. To quote the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "A modal is an expression (like ‘necessarily’ or ‘possibly’) that is used to qualify the truth of a judgement."

come on now use your brain. what you are saying is like saying a warranty isn't a from of insurance because insurance is about premiums. Necessary and contingent are modalities. they are applied to forms of life.

It is worth reading the whole article. Modal Logic. The first thing you might notice is that this has nothing to do modes of existence.

The guy who wrote that article was not trying to disprove my argue, mts, ye wasn't thinking applying modal logic to God arguments. that doesn't mean you can't do it. I discussed God arguments with Plantinga he never said. You can't apply one thing to another.


But as is the case with 'necessary', the term 'contingent' is used in modal logic as well as a mode of existence. In modal logic, it means "not necessary", and that may be where you take your definition from when you talk about contingent existence. But there's a problem with that. If you want to say that things exist either necessarily of contingently, that's fine - until you pivot the definition of contingent to mean that which depends on something else for its existence. You have created a false dichotomy.

So you are saying cause and effect is a false dichotomy?

There is nothing in logic that would dictate such a dichotomy.

Intl you apply logic to the world. When you do that you find some things are necessary and some are contingent,


Why can't there be something that exists without being necessary, and without being dependent on another thing for its existence?

Cause and effect is a true process. That's the way things happen. There is nothing you can point to in the naturalistic universe, that does not exist because it was produced conjunction with a prior cause.

If we think of this in terms of possible worlds, a necessary thing must exist in all possible worlds. A contingent thing (if defined as 'not necessary', would exist in some, but not all possible worlds.

You talk like you have never been outside before. the only thig I can think of of that we know was produced by prior causes is gravity, that probably is. All things physical are part of the nexus of cause and effect. That means they are all depended on some prior things and they are all contingent. Not only can we apply logic to the world but we have to in order to understand it.

But does that thing need to be created or caused by something else? The answer is no. It could be eternal, but only in some possible worlds. It would be a brute fact in those worlds where it exists. Logic, including modal logic, doesn't preclude that.

There is nothing like that in physical reality. Existence in a physical sense must be part of the nexsus of cause and effect. That's the way the physical world works. Name one thing that is not?
8:22 AM

im-skeptical said...

Necessary and contingent are modalities. they are applied to forms of life.
- True. But it's not the same thing as modal logic. And modal logic is not what your article is about.

I discussed God arguments with Plantinga he never said. You can't apply one thing to another.
- Of course you can apply modal logic to God arguments. But your cosmological argument does not use modal logic. To say that God is a necessary being is NOT modal logic. It's a mode of existence.

So you are saying cause and effect is a false dichotomy?
- Where did you get that? I didn't say it. I said if you define contingent existence as that which is caused, then necessary/contingent existence is a false dichotomy.

Intl you apply logic to the world. When you do that you find some things are necessary and some are contingent,
- And some things are neither, as I explained. That's why it's a false dichotomy.

There is nothing you can point to in the naturalistic universe, that does not exist because it was produced conjunction with a prior cause.
- Wrong. Quantum events have no prior cause. They do produce things. But that's beside the point. If the universe is eternal, or part of some eternal substrate that spawns the universe, such as a quantum vacuum, then there is no causal beginning. You can deny that any suh thing exists (without really knowing) but you can't deny that it is a logical possibility. And this is what Eric says, too.

All things physical are part of the nexus of cause and effect.
- The nexus of cause and effect is part of Aristotle's physics. It is outdated, and superseded by modern physics, which recognizes domains of applicability that were not known to Aristotle. In the quantum domain, cause does not apply. That's physics, and I do know something about it. The predominant theories of cosmology hold that the universe itself is the product of quantum events that have no prior cause.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

im-skeptical said...
Necessary and contingent are modalities. they are applied to forms of life.


- True. But it's not the same thing as modal logic. And modal logic is not what your article is about.

yes that us the kind of logic that deals with modalities,

Stanford encl. Phil
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-modal/
A modal is an expression (like ‘necessarily’ or ‘possibly’) that is used to qualify the truth of a judgement. Modal logic is, strictly speaking, the study of the deductive behavior of the expressions ‘it is necessary that’ and ‘it is possible that’. However, the term ‘modal logic’ may be used more broadly for a family of related systems. These include logics for belief, for tense and other temporal expressions, for the deontic (moral) expressions such as ‘it is obligatory that’ and ‘it is permitted that’, and many others. An understanding of modal logic is particularly valuable in the formal analysis of philosophical argument, where expressions from the modal family are both common and confusing. Modal logic also has important applications in computer science.

Joe:I discussed God arguments with Plantinga he never said. You can't apply one thing to another.

- Of course you can apply modal logic to God arguments. But your cosmological argument does not use modal logic. To say that God is a necessary being is NOT modal logic. It's a mode of existence.

Yes obviously it does since it's based upon modal operators.


Joe:So you are saying cause and effect is a false dichotomy?

- Where did you get that? I didn't say it. I said if you define contingent existence as that which is caused, then necessary/contingent existence is a false dichotomy.

That is rubbish. I can define terms anyway I want to for my argument you must show that I don't use them consistently. I define contingent as dependent upon prior conditions and could cease or fail to exist. That entails cause and effect

Intl you apply logic to the world. When you do that you find some things are necessary and some are contingent,


- And some things are neither, as I explained. That's why it's a false dichotomy.

wrong. The only things that are neither are non-concrete such as pity r hope.

Joe: There is nothing you can point to in the naturalistic universe, that does not exist because it was produced conjunction with a prior cause.


- Wrong. Quantum events have no prior cause. They do produce things. But that's beside the point.

That is debatable they do depend upon prior conditions. You can't demonstrate that the universe could come to exist from mere QM events.


Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Skep" If the universe is eternal, or part of some eternal substrate that spawns the universe, such as a quantum vacuum, then there is no causal beginning.

First Cause/effect are entailed in my definition of contingent but they are not the substances of the definition. Secondly, if the universe is the product of some process or substrate that "spawned" it it is contingent upon that and not eternal. Your BOP to show the universe is eternal. We need not take for granted the idea of an eternal procession of universes.


You can deny that any suh thing exists (without really knowing) but you can't deny that it is a logical possibility. And this is what Eric says, too.

You must prove it's eternal. It may exist but it is a contingency

All things physical are part of the nexus of cause and effect.


- The nexus of cause and effect is part of Aristotle's physics. It is outdated, and superseded by modern physics, which recognizes domains of applicability that were not known to Aristotle. In the quantum domain, cause does not apply. That's physics, and I do know something about it. The predominant theories of cosmology hold that the universe itself is the product of quantum events that have no prior cause.

That is BS. I said c/e are emailed I didn't say they must be the case. I have not spoken of causes but prior conditions, you have no answer so you assert it's not true, That is not proof.

you are trying assert your way to victory without having to prove your case. sorry that does not work,

Eric Sotnak said...

"I looked up necessitarianism is seems to say it means one who doesn't accept human free will."

This isn't quite the sense in which I was using it. I was using it in the sense of the view that everything that happens is necessary -- that everything that happens must happen. If you remove the word "human", however, you reach the heart of the problem (which is one Leibniz wrestled with his whole life and was never able to solve satisfactorily) How can a necessary being do anything contingently? Suppose God created A but could have created B, instead. This means God's creating A was contingent. Either there is a reason why God created A rather than B, or God's creation of A rather than B was a brute fact. If (as you do) one rejects the possibility of brute facts, then God's reason (R) for creating A rather than B was necessary or contingent. If necessary, then God's creating A can't be contingent, after all, since what follows necessarily from a necessary truth is, itself, necessary. So the only possibility is that God's reason for creating A rather than B is contingent. But now we perform the same steps regarding R: R either follows from a necessary truth, or a contingent truth, or is a brute fact. What you end up with is an infinite regression of reasons leading to God's creation of A rather than B. But you've also rejected infinitely regressive chains of explanation. As I see it, you're stuck. You either have to accept the possibility of infinitely regressive chains of explanation, or the possibility of brute facts, or accept that everything is necessary (this is the necessetarianism I was talking about).

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

This isn't quite the sense in which I was using it. I was using it in the sense of the view that everything that happens is necessary -- that everything that happens must happen.

That has nothing to do with necessary being., No reason Necessary being should lead to determinism.


If you remove the word "human", however, you reach the heart of the problem (which is one Leibniz wrestled with his whole life and was never able to solve satisfactorily) How can a necessary being do anything contingently?

I don't know what doing contingently means,..God could create contingent things, no reason to think otherwise.

Suppose God created A but could have created B, instead. This means God's creating A was contingent. Either there is a reason why God created A rather than B, or God's creation of A rather than B was a brute fact. If (as you do) one rejects the possibility of brute facts, then God's reason (R) for creating A rather than B was necessary or contingent. If necessary, then God's creating A can't be contingent, after all, since what follows necessarily from a necessary truth is, itself, necessary. So the only possibility is that God's reason for creating A rather than B is contingent.

God's action and God's being are two different things, so God can have necessary being and still take contingent actions.


But now we perform the same steps regarding R: R either follows from a necessary truth, or a contingent truth, or is a brute fact. What you end up with is an infinite regression of reasons leading to God's creation of A rather than B. But you've also rejected infinitely regressive chains of explanation.

the chain would not be infinite because it stops with god.

As I see it, you're stuck. You either have to accept the possibility of infinitely regressive chains of explanation, or the possibility of brute facts, or accept that everything is necessary (this is the necessetarianism I was talking about).


If God exists there is no infinite chain of reasons, it all stops with God's lve.

im-skeptical said...

you are trying assert your way to victory without having to prove your case. sorry that does not work
- I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm talking about what is logically possible, that you are denying. You need to understand what logic entails, what it doesn't entail, and what is not precluded.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you don't know shit about logic. Plantinga was a major logician and I discussed this with him.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you have not proven ICR is logically possible. There is no demonstration popping from nothing is possible.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Here is a page from my site Religious A priori which discusses the general logic involved in this argument.

https://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2019/03/notes-on-necessity-and-contingency.html

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

<a href="//religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2019/03/notes-on-necessity-and-contingency.html”>

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...



here's the link

Eric Sotnak said...

"God's action and God's being are two different things, so God can have necessary being and still take contingent actions."

Your distinction between being and action is unclear. But even granting such a distinction, the problem remains. Let A be an action God has actually performed. Let B be an action God could have performed, instead. To say that A is a contingent action is to say one of the following:
(i) There is no reason at all why God performed A rather than B -- God's performing A is a BRUTE FACT. But you can't take this option because you have denied the existence (or perhaps even the possibility) of brute facts.
or
(ii) God performed A rather than B because of some reason R. This is the option you must take if you reject brute facts. So, now:
R is either necessary or contingent.
Suppose R is contingent. That is, there are possible worlds in which God fails to have R. So now we must consider whether God's having R is (a) a brute fact, or (b) God has R because of some reason R1. Since you reject the possibility of infinite explanatory regresses and you also reject the possibility of brute facts, there must be some first reason R* that is not contingent. This means R* must be necessary.
So now let's consider the relation between R* and A. To simplify, let's condense any steps between R* and A and just say that R* = R. That is, R is the reason for God's performing A, and R is not contingent, but necessary (since your view commits you to the view that there must be some reason that explains God's performing A rather than B and that reason cannot be contingent -- it must be necessary.)
So, R implies God's performing A rather than B.
There are two possibilities: Either R necessarily implies God's performing A, or R only contingently implies God's performing A.
Suppose R necessarily implies God's performing A. Then A CAN'T be contingent, since R is necessary and R necessarily implies A. By modal logic, this means that A is also necessary.
So your only option is to hold that R is necessary (because it is not a brute fact nor has infinitely regressive contingent justification), but that while R implies A, it does so only contingently.
But R's implying A can't be a brute fact, nor can R's implying A be itself implied by an infinitely regressive chain of contingent justifications, since you reject both brute facts and infinitely regressive chains of explanation. So your only remaining option is to accept that R's implying A is necessary.
So we are back to my original point: Once you reject the coherence of brute facts and of infinitely regressive chains of contingent explanations, you are committed to the view that everything is necessary. In particular, all God's actions are necessary (= necessitarianism).

im-skeptical said...

"Truth itself can be either necessary or contingent:" - a statement about modal logic.
"Notice there is no third kind of modal being." - a statement about modes of being.

These two things are not the same. And yet your argument treats them as if they are. Please notice that the articles you reference are only talking about one or the other. They don't make any claim that the two modalities are interchangeable. To mix terminology like this in your argument is called equivocation. It is a logical fallacy. Plantinga is the greatest religious philosopher alive. His arguments are different from yours. They don't contain blatant fallacies, the way your arguments do. If you have spoken to him, that does not guarantee that you understand logic. I am certain that he would agree with me that your argument is fallacious.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Eric Sotnak said...
"God's action and God's being are two different things, so God can have necessary being and still take contingent actions."

Your distinction between being and action is unclear.


It's really a matter of freedom vs determinism. God exists and as an existent he can take any action he chooses. Or not at all. his actual being is not determined by his actions.


But even granting such a distinction, the problem remains. Let A be an action God has actually performed. Let B be an action God could have performed, instead. To say that A is a contingent action is to say one of the following:
(i) There is no reason at all why God performed A rather than B -- God's performing A is a BRUTE FACT. But you can't take this option because you have denied the existence (or perhaps even the possibility) of brute facts.
or
(ii) God performed A rather than B because of some reason R. This is the option you must take if you reject brute facts. So, now:

R is either necessary or contingent.
Suppose R is contingent. That is, there are possible worlds in which God fails to have R. So now we must consider whether God's having R is (a) a brute fact, or (b) God has R because of some reason R1. Since you reject the possibility of infinite explanatory regresses and you also reject the possibility of brute facts, there must be some first reason R* that is not contingent. This means R* must be necessary.

wait up. I never said I'm against brute facts. Depends upon the kind of brutness. For example zanthum is in chewing gum, That is a brute because it has no reason beyond what it does for the gum. There is no higher or deeper meaning to it. I call that a necessary or regular BF. it's got no higher reason beyond its immediate practical nature. That kind of BF happens all the time. I am against thing there is no actual higher meaning beyond such bf's.



8:38 AM

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

So now let's consider the relation between R* and A. To simplify, let's condense any steps between R* and A and just say that R* = R. That is, R is the reason for God's performing A, and R is not contingent, but necessary (since your view commits you to the view that there must be some reason that explains God's performing A rather than B and that reason cannot be contingent -- it must be necessary.)

sorry I think you are misinterpreting or perhaps (this is likely) I didn't present my view clearly. An action by God might be limited to the reason itself. so if God refrains from answering a prayer because it's selfish. There need not be a reason higher than God's dislike of selfish prayers.

So, R implies God's performing A rather than B.
There are two possibilities: Either R necessarily implies God's performing A, or R only contingently implies God's performing A.
Suppose R necessarily implies God's performing A. Then A CAN'T be contingent, since R is necessary and R necessarily implies A. By modal logic, this means that A is also necessary.

I think most of the time there's a finer gradation in why God answers some prayers and not all. In your example R is both necessary and not. Necessary with respect to God's reason or the action but not in that there's no higher reason, so it can be a regular brute fact.


So your only option is to hold that R is necessary (because it is not a brute fact nor has infinitely regressive contingent justification), but that while R implies A, it does so only contingently.

You have problem with the dualistic nature of brute facts I just unveiled?


But R's implying A can't be a brute fact, nor can R's implying A be itself implied by an infinitely regressive chain of contingent justifications, since you reject both brute facts and infinitely regressive chains of explanation. So your only remaining option is to accept that R's implying A is necessary.

I don't necessarily reject infinite chains of realm I object Infinitely causal regression in a naturalistic field. I can see saying why does God Love? because it's nice. why is it nice, because it's positive. why is it positive, because it promotes the good, why is it good? ect ect. but that is different from a physicals and mindless chain of causes. The thing that makes the former an seemingly endless chain is the complexity involved in motivations. But you are dealing with one eternal mind so there's no question of a causal chain being endless. with a mindless chain of physical causes there is for me a question of possibility. Since it is endless none of the casual events explain the origin.


So we are back to my original point: Once you reject the coherence of brute facts and of infinitely regressive chains of contingent explanations, you are committed to the view that everything is necessary. In particular, all God's actions are necessary (= necessitarianism).

I think I was not clear enough before. I hope I have clarified bow. I think brute facts come i different kinds and some are sop. I think there are limited forms of necessity and brutness.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

im-skeptical said...
"Truth itself can be either necessary or contingent:" - a statement about modal logic.
"Notice there is no third kind of modal being." - a statement about modes of being.

These two things are not the same. And yet your argument treats them as if they are.

which two? how does it do that?

Please notice that the articles you reference are only talking about one or the other. They don't make any claim that the two modalities are interchangeable. To mix terminology like this in your argument is called equivocation.

I don't think I am. I actually wrote that article so I don't think I am violating anything it says. where do You think I said they are interchangeable?


It is a logical fallacy. Plantinga is the greatest religious philosopher alive. His arguments are different from yours.

Yes, I know him. He introduced to my friend Tom Crisp. He was a good friend of my old prof the late Billy Abraham. I am not using his arguments but I ran my arguments by him.

They don't contain blatant fallacies, the way your arguments do. If you have spoken to him, that does not guarantee that you understand logic. I am certain that he would agree with me that your argument is fallacious.

Dr, Sotnack is a logician why isn't he showing the fallacies in my thinking? why don't you show me what they are? Why are you not focusing on that?

Be specific Skepie, where's the fallacy?

im-skeptical said...

"Where's the fallacy?"

equivocation

Specifically, your use of the term 'contingent', which does not mean the same thing in the context of modal logic and modes of existence or being. In modal logic, contingent does NOT mean something that has prior cause, as it does in the context of contingent existence, and I challenge you to show any reference that says it does. But your argument glides between those two different definitions. That is a logical fallacy.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you need to listen better. The formal definition says that which could cease or fail to exist. But in the world it works out to causation as the intervening variable. Using a different definition would not be a fallacy but is not a different definition it's an extension which is also not a fallacy.

im-skeptical said...

You need to listen better. This is about logic. The way you pivot definitions is equivocation. It may be your religious belief that anything which is non-necessary is caused, but I already explained to you that it is a logical possibility for something to be both non-necessary and uncaused (ie, a brute fact). If you want to make a valid logical argument, you have to account for that logical possibility. And you should also listen to Eric. He's telling you that it is incoherent to reject the possibility of brute facts.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

im-skeptical said...
You need to listen better. This is about logic.

I know more about logic than you do. Nothing I said above is contradicted by pointing out that we are dealing with logic.



The way you pivot definitions is equivocation.
bull shit, all that means i understand them better you do.


It may be your religious belief that anything which is non-necessary is caused, but I already explained to you that it is a logical possibility for something to be both non-necessary and uncaused (ie, a brute fact).

First that does nothing to disprove my argument, Secondly, show me an example? you no example and there are no uncaused existents in natural world Even virtual particles emerge from, pre existing particles.


If you want to make a valid logical argument, you have to account for that logical possibility.

No you must prove it is a possibility because we never observe it.


And you should also listen to Eric. He's telling you that it is incoherent to reject the possibility of brute facts.

why don't you try reading my answers? you speak as though you I, rejecting brute facts altogether that means you not reading my answers.

7:12 AM