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It’s Intuitively Obvious

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110 thoughts on “It’s Intuitively Obvious

  1. It’s so obvious John. I feel sorry that you cannot SEE what is right in FRONT of your eyes!

    Don’t you just hate reading comments like that? I’m sure you’ve read it a lot more than I have. Drives me nuts.

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    • Has something to do with “faith” I’m told 😉

      Now, who would have thought a “scientist” would coin the term “Quantum Weirdness” to describe how counter-intuitive the subatomic world is?

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  2. The entire “Kalam cosmological argument” is silly.

    The classical argument says:
    1. Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
    2. The universe has a beginning of its existence;

    Therefore:

    3. The universe has a cause of its existence.

    However I must disagree.
    1. We do not know wether if everything has a cause of its existance, and even, if that is so, we have no clue, none what so ever, as to what ever is the cause for a universe to exist. Making up a cause, that could explain something, is not actually demonstrating that IS the cause.
    2. The universe is the word used for describing everything observable, material and verifiable existing, hence it is very difficult to make any assumptions about the beginning of all based on what we know. But on what we assume, it is “intuitively obvious” that we should not overextend any such assumptions to include any mythological entities known to us from religions, or other folklore.

    Therefore:

    3. What ever the cause for the existance of the universe, we are in no position to lable it any of the personal gods humanity has invented so far.

    The Kalam cosmological argument is basicly superstition in that it really discusses a matter whith too many possibilities to become into any certainty of any logical conclusion.

    The argument is childish, but it makes a big buck, when religious organizations desperate to controll people (and their money) are clinging on anything that might look like sciency “evidence” for the justification of faith. This is actually counterintuitive, because faith as a concept expects people to take some particular story at face value on the authority of an imaginary character in the story.

    The Kalam is an attempt to reveal a god that has chosen to hide, but it actually only reveals that no such god is to be found from the beginning of the universe…

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    • The funny thing about “faith” (as you alluded to) is that its jettisoned the moment “evidence” comes into play. Forget that that “evidence” is not evidence at all, but if bullhorned in some authoritative sounding way it supplants the very thing theists believe is of absolute importance: Faith!

      Yes, The KCA is silly and childish, but this won’t stop theists using it. On the up-side, John G. Cramer is currently carrying out experiments at the Large Hadron Collider into retrocausality which will annihilate the KCA once and for all.

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  3. I don’t have a problem with it.

    Okay, it could lead to a progression that curves into infinity (a bit like looking into a pair of opposing mirrors)—I keep thinking of course about whomever it was created the creator of the Creator’s creator … ad infinitem. Intuitively obvious, ennit, that everyfing ‘as to ‘ave a Maker, Guv?

    I didn’t see the show, can’t spare the time just now (but I’ll bet it was good!).

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    • Even if this universe did have a beginning (which is looking less and less likely) it doesn’t suggest a conscious mover was responsible. Positing that, as you said, simply leaves and even bigger mystery.

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      • “Looking less likely” … oh no … don’t tell me they’ve changed their minds, and we no longer have to believe in their Big Bang (distressingly similar in concept to the hatching of the Primeval Egg)?

        I still say that science and superstition both try to explain the inexplicable, and actually blend seamlessly into one when they reach the beginning. It all boils down to “Cherchez la buck” …

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  4. Atheists habitually deploy a medley of logical fallacies in all of their statements.

    This post is based on an atheist favorite: the logical fallacy of comparing apples to oranges.

    Let me explain:

    The Cosmological Argument is beyond the atheist’s ability to comprehend because it is an exercise in pure reason.

    Understanding the position of the Earth is an exercise in empiricism.

    So the atheist would be well advised to give up his medley of logical fallacies and exchange them for a collection of intellectual tools based on reason and science.

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    • “The Cosmological Argument is beyond the atheist’s ability to comprehend because it is an exercise in pure reason.”

      The guy who believes in the invisible man in the sky based on a set of plagiarized scriptures that are riddled with unreasonable expectations is accusing atheist of being unable to comprehend pure reason. Someone check the local asylums. A patient has gotten loose.

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      • Woody,

        You are blaming me for your own personal hallucination of an atheist alternate reality.

        The remedy for your affliction is to learn how to think systematically and develop at least a passing acquaintance with common sense.

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      • Keith,

        You’ll have to speak postmodern gibberish with your atheist brethren.

        Postmodern gibberish is the one language that I objected when my college professors tried to teach it to me.

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      • Dude, essentialism is the category of philosophical systems which includes those of Aristotle and, more recently, Oderberg. Not exactly postmodernist hardcore. Now if you think I not being clear, that is likely, ’cause we’re covering this in the comments section of somebody else’s blog. If you want me to break it down for you, I’d be happy to do so, but to call me a continental – Please! You’re hurting my feelings!

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    • Dammit. I really can’t spare the time right now but I just have to pop over and visit Silence in his lair.

      (We should treasure these guys …)

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  5. Maybe. Maybe not. But this rational person has concluded that the “cause” explained in the Judeo-christian bible and that I’m sure WLC is trying to justify, is a plagiarized fairy tale, which leads one to ask, “Is WLC a rational person?”

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    • He’s functionally delusional. In a lecture last year a student asked him (I paraphrase) “If it was proven to you, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your god does not exist what would you do?” Craig answered, “I’d pray to god for guidance.” This exchange proves he’s not interested in truth, just maintaining his delusion.

      And you’re right, how Christians make the leap from their god of the bible to this cosmological first mover is baffling.

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      • Hah! At least ol’ WC is honest, ‘pray to Big G for guidance’. I like that, it shows faith.

        But what, pray, if his God confirmed what he’d just been told by lesser mortals?

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  6. Perhaps one should also remind him that the Universe is eternal, that is, had no beginning and will never end. Beginnings and endings, (and, ergo, causality,), occur only within the universe.

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    • Technically (semantically) speaking, spot on. What was going on before Inflation and the Bang (or Crunch, depending on your flavour), though, is a complete mystery right now. That’s the only honest answer.

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  7. Aaaah, WLC, my favorite. Can you believe I am commenting on a Christian blog where the host and a couple of her guests have not heard of dear William? I kid you not….

    Oh, and isn’t Silence of no Mind such a sweetheart? A regular Jesus Sunbeam. lol…

    He makes atheists look good in the eyes of ordinary Christians. Our ‘work’ so much easier whe he turns up! I love him to bits.

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  8. So, if I get this right … when my disbelief began around the age 13 there had to be a cause and that cause could be … hmm … Satan, maybe! Whether one believes in cause and effect as the only mechanism by which things happen, one still isn’t allowed to make up causes as one wishes. I was watching the TV show Ancient Aliens the other night as an exercise in uncritical thinking. These folks take archeological and historical conundrums then say “no one has ever been able to explain this” and then ask “could it not have been aliens who did it?” Look at Stonehenge (the Pyramids, etc.) “how could these have been built by stone age cultures without extraterrestrial help?”

    So, anything that has not been explained is a gap in our understanding (Gosh, we don’t know everthing!). Some people fill the gaps with aliens, others with powerful invisible friends. It’s a phase they are going through and I just wish they would hurry up and grow out of it.

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    • “As some ancient astronaut theorists believe…” I LOVE THAT LINE!!!

      I was just telling Raut above that John G. Cramer is currently carrying out experiments at the Large Hadron Collider into retrocausality which will blow the whole cause-effect lineage out of the water.

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  9. Okaaaay … I popped over to SOM and had a look. Yep, definitely different. I liked the use of ‘anus’ in one of his/her comments.

    Sadly the rest of it is typical of empire.

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  10. John,

    Thank you for your running a high quality intellectual discussion forum. I have been a regular reader for over 6 months now and eagerly wait each new post. Your crisp prose and pristine logic have helped me immensely in refining my own thinking. I made the personal transition from agnostic to atheist years ago, but for professional reasons (public service) have not aggressively pursued countering the evangelical terrorist threat publically. Armed with the logic and clarity you have helped refine, I now have much more confidence in defending (defeating) the ‘faith’ from a position of strength. Thanks again!

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    • It’d be nice if someone asked Craig that point-blank. If he’s willing to give an exception to causality to his god why not just give it to the universe itself? The ‘evidence’ for the universe existing is, after all, a tad more tangible than the ‘evidence’ for his god.

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    • Dear X,

      Science has proven that the universe had a beginning.

      Time exists within the universe that God created. That means God is not affected by time.

      That is why God, by nature and definition is eternal.

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      • Come on SOM, don’t wiggle out of it: you claimed “science has proven the universe has a beginning” and i’m asking you to cite this “science” which you seem sure exists.

        Surely you weren’t just making this up, SOM? You’d never do that, would you? 😉

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      • John,

        I pointed out the fact that your post is based on logical fallacy.

        You ridiculed me.

        Also, it is clear that you are completely ignorant of basic science.

        So all I can say is do your own homework. That way you can ridicule yourself when you learn something factual and real.

        Your profound, bleeding ignorance is not my responsibility.

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      • John,

        For the hearing impaired and intellectually challenged, I will repeat myself only in more simple language.

        Since I sited the logical fallacies that underlie this post and got ridiculed, in order to avoid further abuse at your hands and those of your friends, I won’t cite anymore simple, well known facts that destroy the atheist worldview.

        If you wish to partake of simple, well known knowledge you’ll have to do that yourself.

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      • John,

        Clearly you are hearing impaired and intellectually challenged.

        That is the problem.

        If you weren’t so psychotically abusive I would be clad to enlighten you on atheism’s total rejection of modernity and modern science.

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      • Silenceofmind, the scientific proof that you must be referring to (Big Bang theory) also proves that God did not do any of the creating he’s being credited with.

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      • Dear X,

        You couldn’t be more wrong.

        Recent discoveries in cosmology have atheists in such a tizzy that they have purposed absurdities like the “multiverse” because such absurdity is all they have left to deny that science points straight to the existence of God, the First Cause and Designer of the universe.

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      • People get in a tizzy for so many ridiculous reasons, like vaccines, 12/21/2012, or alien abductions. The situation when an existing theory doesn’t explain something and has to be tweaked or replaced with another hypothesis is basically the standard scientific process.

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      • X,

        Modern discoveries in cosmology are not aliens from outer space or Mayan 12/12/12 fables.

        Aliens from out space and 12/12/12 are not science. They have nothing to do with science and should never even be brought up in reference to science.

        Modern discoveries in cosmology are based on observations of natural phenomena that correspond exactly with already tried and true discoveries in chemistry, physics and Einstein’s Relativity.

        Those modern discoveries are as bedrock fact as the Earth being a sphere in orbit around the sun.

        They are as true as the stars in the sky.

        Your attempt to reduce fact to fable is characteristic of atheistic thinking.

        An atheist can only believe in the dogma of his faith, facts be damned.

        You have demonstrated exactly why atheism is so like a religion.

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      • I was just making fun of your “atheists in a tizzy” comment. Should have put more effort into that, sorry. But whatever these “modern discoveries in cosmology” you’re referring to (it would help if you’d actually provide a link to a peer-reviewed article, by the way), it’s definitely not a proof of existence of a god.

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      • John,

        Starting a word game about the difference between astronomy and cosmology is pathetic.

        You’ve got to start making rational arguments if you want to hang out with the big boys.

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  11. I’m going to regret this as a waste of time, but when have I let that deter me…I think other commenters have been a bit unfair to Silence of Mind. There are a couple of problems with the Kalam Cosmological argument, and they lie just in the first premise and how it relates to subsequent premises. I’d submit the this is why Craig, whose stated purpose is to win a debate, wishes to assert that this premise is beyond reproach straight away. The things which begin to exist are things which do not have a functional definition. You might ask, for instance, when does a rock begin to exist? For an essentialist, that’s a meaningful question because, if he thinks that a rock is a valid object, that there are certain rules of rockdom written into the tablet of existence which, when the last of them is fulfilled by the material, cause the rock to begin to exist as a rock. For someone who considers rocks to be things which exist as rocks because of their relations with other things (their function) it isn’t so clear that the question means too much. When in the latter case, does the rock become a pebble or a nugget? Is there a non-arbitrary count of molecules which can be removed to make the rock a pebble or a nugget? Which of these two views is the better explanation is debatable at least. This is a debate which a person defending Craig’s position would like to avoid, not because his side of things can’t be defended at all, but because it can’t be decided definitively (pardon the pun), and it would need to be to proceed with the rest of the Kalam, assuming that he doesn’t want to leave the entire argument as a hypothetical.
    The other problem, and the bigger one for me, is the notion that we have the right to claim that the universe is either of those sorts of ‘thing’. If we take the universe to mean ‘all that exists’, then certainly God is not exempted and I don’t think Craig wants to say that there is a thing which contains God. So, is the universe then the set of all things subject to our senses? It’s hardly a proper set then, as it has no boundary conditions. It doesn’t therefore work very well as a formal thing (it’s hard to think of a way it doesn’t somehow define God who must not be a formal object) and it doesn’t work very well as a functional thing (its is a thing in relation to what?!). When we say ‘all’, it seems to me that we are simply pointing away to the horizon. I don’t think we can build an argument on that base.

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    • Keith, beautifully put, and if it seemed like we were being a little unfair to SOM its only because we (Mak and I and others) know him from many, many, many past exchanges, and love him dearly.

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  12. Kalam’s only logical if you look at events in a purely linear way, all things have a start and end point. It breaks down in the circular. Eat shit on that Craig. Life goes on.

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  13. Eighth-century Islam called. They want their argument back.

    P.S. John, next time please apprise readers there may be frightening images. Think of the children. 🙂

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  14. I think this is at the heart of why some seem to distrust science. They just can’t bear truths that counter their intuitions. Rationality is in part knowing when to question intuition and when to rely on it. It’s fairly obvious to me that there is a place for both, and it can even be characterized as part of the yin and yang of life.

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    • The whole concept of “distrusting science” is absurd to me. I’m singing to the choir, i know, but it’s a method, not a thing, and certainly not a person. Granted, it’s not perfect, but it takes a whole lot of paranoia to demonise a method.

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  15. Who wants to the answers to everything anyway? Where would be the fun in that?
    Late to the party as ever, and I’ve not been a very good blogging pal have I John? But better late than never as they say… now to catch up with all your other posts…

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