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Sunny Qureshi

CEO, IQ Training & Consultancy

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Can we prove Aristotle’s “Prime Mover”:Everything that happens is caused by something else?Then what caused the first cause?

POINTS TO PONDER

The cause of the universe might be eternal, thus eliminating the need for a cause. As people have accepted the Big Bang Theory, so this objection has fallen out of favor.

It is worth pointing out that time is an aspect of the universe,without the universe, there is no time. It has existed at every point in time and that at no point in time has there been no universe.

1.Everything that exists or begins to exist has a cause?
2. Universe began to exist therefore it has a cause "the first cause" or was the matter already present that caused it?
4. If it was the first cause then what caused the first cause?

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Closing Statement from Sunny Qureshi

The Debate was a mixture of philosophical and scientific arguments presented by members.

The question still remains unanswered as both schools of thought were inconclusive on the God or no God debate.

The problem is of the fact that both atheists and theists are both opposed to each others "belief". Even in science, hypothesisation which is a kind of belief that has not been proved exists.

This debate and other debates will remain inconclusive unless and until a Collaborative stance is not adopted by the two.

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    Feb 18 2012: Its not something that can be answered (atleast to any legitimate standard) at present and trying to do so without all required information typically results in a false conclusion,
    For example, In 450BC Greece we knew that:
    -If we throw something upwards it comes back down
    -Gas disperses
    -Every fire requires an igniter
    Therefore : Balls of gas in the sky that burns must require someone to light them and hold them up.

    This is ofcourse nonsense because we know that the environment of space and the environment of Earth are entirely different and there are a number of other variables unaccounted for. This is much the same case with this question. (Eternal, first cause, infinite causality, uncaused cause, something else..)
    It would be better for further information to present itself through further technological exploration, else we're just relying on philosophy which can't actually account for the real answer either.


    'The cause of the universe might be eternal, thus eliminating the need for a cause. As people have accepted the Big Bang Theory, so this objection has fallen out of favor.'
    Not necessarily. There are variation on the big bang and its introduction to existence. A number of multiverse theories both account for the big bang and a preexisting environment that may or may not be eternal.
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      Feb 20 2012: Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself.

      Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."

      Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light."

      The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.

      References:
      Robert Jastrow; "Message from Professor Robert Jastrow"; LeaderU.com; 2002.
      Steven Weinberg; The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe; (Basic Books,1988); p 5.
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        Feb 21 2012: @Franciz why dnt you go beyond that, it has already been mentioned above that the "MATTER" was already there and it simply transformed as sated by Linda Taylor above
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          Feb 23 2012: No i wont go beyond it, going beyond the limit is prohibited, i have my own views and thus you should stick to yours dear friend
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      Feb 20 2012: Thankyou Xavier for your contribution specially this one :"It would be better for further information to present itself through further technological exploration, else we're just relying on philosophy which can't actually account for the real answer either."

      My question: , Can we explore farther than what the divine books have told us, that is from mother nature, reproduction to the universe? Science ironically is proving what the religious books have revealed some 1800 years back?
  • Mar 13 2012: The problem, as I see it, in asking what caused the "first cause" is that it begs the question. If you actually had a "first cause" then it would not need a cause insofar as it is the "first." If one is going to utilize Scholastic (Thomistic) arguments for the existence of God, then what about the following.

    There are three possibilities for the the existence of the universe:

    1. It is Uncaused
    2. Self-caused
    3. Caused

    The universe cannot be uncaused since it exists.

    It cannot be self-caused since it would have to first "not exist" in order to need causing.

    Yet, it would have to exist in order to have the ability to cause.

    It's absurd to conclude that the universe was in a state of existence and non-existence in order to cause it's own existence.

    Therefore, the universe must have had a cause by another source.

    I once heard a scientist say that he believed the universe was uncaused, and has always existed. My question is that is if it's acceptable to have an uncaused universe, why would it not be acceptable to have a creator that is uncaused? When a member of the scientific community argues for the eternal existence of the universe, do they not commit the same fallacy as the theologian who agues for the eternal existence of God?
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      Mar 13 2012: It's not the "same fallacy" because an uncaused reality does not need you to accept the existence of anything else but reality itself, while adding a creator sounds a lot like mere, and unnecessary, fantasy.

      Interesting though that the opposite tends to be true, that those arguing for a god don't even imagine that we could stop in the realm of the real, of nature itself. They can't grasp the concept.

      [EDIT: There are many other things wrong with David's comment, but I think the answers for those other wrongs were provided by some other commenter here before.]
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        Mar 14 2012: Gabo :


        I'm answering to your last reply to me .I was a bit busy in the last time .

        My idea was simple : to say that no god exist because there are so many claimed to exist it's obviously fallacious because there is a logical possibility one of them to exist and the rest to be square circles . If you think according to this logical possibility you can start 'narrow it down' .
        Of course you can think that none of them is existing even though it wasn't proven they all were made up as you suggested .

        I can't get to the true one by pure reason (not only by reason) , guiding me after some facts maybe I could but then it wouldn't be by pure reason . For example : I never excluded the possibility of seeing God and after that to think reasonable (by reason) that God exist . I never excluded the personal experiences , you remember that ?

        How the hell do I do that ? you know we have some 'revelations' , with their help ........ or maybe contacting God .

        Why would I bring you evidence ? if I can't , what about it ? if you wanna know if God exist or not go get them yourself , God to take care of Himself sharing them to you , why don't you try to contact Him ?
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          Mar 14 2012: You would have to read what I wrote again Eduard, because you are not making sense of what I said, but perhaps of what you think I said (I know you are talking about the "intellectual bankruptcy" conversation). Read carefully and you might notice. Try hard and understand what I said before attempting another answer.
          Thanks.
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        Mar 16 2012: I think I did understand what you said : -it makes much more sense in your opinion to start by thinking that gods are made up until proven otherwise because you say there aren't reasons why one god would exist . You asked me also to bring you some evidences why would one god exist . Until then you say it's more logical to think that the all gods are made up .

        Yes, I know what you meant when you told me to read again .

        It's pretty logical what you said but it's not an answer to my idea (stated again in my last reply) :

        -I talked about possibilities , if we had have evidence for one possibility we wouldn't have called it possibility , we would have called it 'reality' . Therefore I don't need evidences to think at a possibility and to try to figure out if it can be part of reality or not .
        Should I ask you to read again my comments ?

        And you continue : it is worse you say to try to 'narrow it down' as long as I agree with you that by reason we can't get to god , in other words evidences are from the start excluded . My reply : well , I talked about 'pure reason' and about reason if nothing, let's say, special don't happen . But if it does , we can get to god by reason . In other words everything ends up to a kind of another of revelation . This is why also I replied at :' how the hell do I do that ?" by saying to contact the gods to see if they answer, or by saying to look in their revelations to can understand a bit what are we dealing with ..... and so on .

        I thank you for your time and patience ........... never forget (as long as we'll continue to meet here on Ted) , I'm not afraid to be found wrong and neither of hard words .
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        Mar 16 2012: And by the way , your idea that God is evil/impotent because He created us defective as long as it is in relation with the Bible it's pure nonsense : God according to the Bible created us perfect and defective at the same time , this simply because He created us perfect beings and not gods . It's a kind of saying we have a negative quality
        You can't say a toy car company is 'impotent' because creates toy cars and not real cars .
        . As I said then I don't know why God did this and I can't label it as wrong and bad , in fact no human being can . It is proven more and more that your understanding of the Bible is defective (if I use the same word) .
        Another thing that was nonsensical at you is that you seem to have tried to found the wrongs in the Bible than to try to understand it (this is about your arguments from the same reply then). See the big picture first and after that we'll take care of unimportant (from the Bible perspective) claims like :
        -who killed who from whose order
        - the idea that the light existed before being created the stars ; in fact here we have the whole idea about creation ..... and so on.
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          Mar 17 2012: You cannot be perfect and defective at the same time. That's too obvious nonsense. Creating beings knowing that most would go to hell is either evil or incompetence (or both). Period. No discussion. Your god is a square circle.

          I read the bible trying to understand Eduard. I heard it all. I found the defects in all the answers. the special pleadings, the non-sequiturs, the contradictions, the equivocations, the false premises. I heard all the excuses, I heard all whatever. In the end, to believe that the Christian god is real requires you to believe that first, and that whatever we can't answer is because this god is incomprehensible. That we can't know why a perfect god would create to later get angry, for example drowning its failed creation out of anger as if this was the creation's fault. Sending so many to hell. We don't know, but "God" must have a perfect reason. Right. With that position, all gods will end up being real. You can't take this position of "god is love even if I don't have answers to obvious logical problems" with your god, and yet reject all the other gods. That would mean that you are reading the Koran just to find the worse in it ... the Popolvuh just to find the worst in it ... and so on.
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      Mar 17 2012: It is just special pleading not special pleading law
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_pleading

      It basically says that in order to favor one outcome, a person makes special allowances for that outcome. without giving any tangible evidence as to why that particular outcome should be allowed those special allowances and not the rest of the outcomes. In case of the Kalam argument, it gives a rule. "Everything has a cause" But it is making a special plea for God, by saying that God is a special case and requires no previous cause. Why? Why should this cause it calls God be granted an exemption to the cause-effect rules. If you are going to grant exemptions why not give that exemption to Big Bang lets say and be done with it.
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    Mar 7 2012: It is worth noting that the big bang theory does not necessarily conflict with the idea of an eternal universe; consider, for example, the cyclic model of the universe proposed by Steinhardt and Turok (I haven't looked directly at their research, but they have an excellent pop science book called "Endless Universe").

    You may already be aware of this, but what you're asking is very similar to asking "Does the Kalām cosmological argument stand up to scrutiny?"
    As such, my recommendation to you would be to search the internet for people arguing for and against this argument.
    A good place to start is, as always, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_cosmological_argument
    (see also the video at the end of this post)

    I'm a university Physics student planning on getting my Master's in theoretical physics, but I'd be lying if I said I understood much about the science of the early universe. As such, I won't try to account for modern theories of the beginning of the universe. I would however like to make one more reflection:

    A common feature of these discussions is "the law of cause and effect"; causality. I'd like to point out that this law is based on observations made within the universe; between different events in spacetime.
    If there was no time before the big bang, we cannot assume that the law of cause and effect holds sway here.
    We can ask if it's still valid; we can posit it as a hypothesis and see where it takes us. What we can't do, however, is to use it as proof for anything until we've shown that it's actually valid. If we do, we have to rely on an appeal to intuition...
    ...and while intuition is a great tool, and not to be underestimated, in science, it takes a back seat to evidence.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUYjnL2PqUg
  • Feb 19 2012: Somebody dropped something and it fell on something and that got the whole thing rolling. I'm wondering about homeostasis. I want explanations. What is causing the dynamism of our adorable universe, I wonder. Perhaps the first cause continues causing effects. I would think that equilibrium would happen and everything would be still. Kindly explain everything about reality that I do not presently understand. Thank you very much.
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      Feb 20 2012: Please clarify instead of putting you question in a philosophical argument. maybe i can be of your assistance here. Regards
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      Feb 20 2012: Dear Rhona, Thank you for an excellent argument, I usually hear from people all the time who have been trying to create something new in their life and feel discouraged when it doesn’t happen quickly enough. All discouragement is in these situations is homeostasis using your emotional system to keep you in line, to keep things the way they are. Imagine that all these elements of the life you are currently in are organized in a particular way and they are content to watch you there in the middle of it all wishing, wanting, working to make it change, frustrated that it seems that everything is resisting what you want. The resistance is not your imagination. Rather it’s the world around you simply doing its job. It is just the energetic fields of "reality" holding the orbits of the people and the circumstances together in the established and familiar way.

      The world around us is beyond our control so any energy put towards controlling is not the best use of you. Imagine instead that at all times you are fully supported by the Universe. The serenity prayer says it best:

      God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;
      and wisdom to know the difference.--Reinhold Niebuhr
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      Feb 21 2012: [ Rhona Pavis - What is causing the dynamism of our adorable universe, I wonder. ]

      The only existential imperative is survival, and it is expressed in a range of manners (relatively masculine and feminine). Activity pursues survival within the event trajectory, with each trajectory establishing a permanent informational continuum (fact clusters accurately placed within an informational representation of the trajectory itself) as a default emergence of permanent physical existence. That constantly emerging information (many, many event trajectories existing concurrently and consecutively, as you can imagine) sets and refines contextual precedence within each contextual environment and this manages progressive development in a default manner (it's called natural law by scientists). This default symbiosis between information and activity is the basis of all that increases, changes, and develops. It gets a lot more complicated than this, but there's no real way to detail it fully within a thread post.
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        Feb 21 2012: Well thank goodness then Kevin that there is more than one imperative. Not everything is a result of cause and effect. But you're right that it is the mating call of natural science:)
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          Feb 21 2012: Actually, only one imperative (survival), but several specific expressions that serve identity establishment and defense (as this is the primordial survival mechanism and definition of success) These expressions include (Masculine) competition, isolation, increase of in-kind complexity, and (Feminine) symbiosis, association. When an existential whole is complex (in ongoing structural development as an identified unique holon) the survival effort becomes more and more layered, involving both Masculine and Feminine expressions in shifting contextual balances. It gets pretty complicated once the holon entity has reached the level of complexity to be noticed by human perception. By then, the primordial nature of the enterprise itself can be difficult to recognize.
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        Feb 21 2012: Ah but your major underlying premise is that the only things that exist are humans (well, perhaps sexual lifeforms-I guess asexual lifeforms are outta luck) and the only imperative is survival. There are a whole HOST of other phenomena that occur outside of the scope of life. And that's where that imperative begins to fall apart.

        It's that whole humancentric philosophical part that I don't buy. Like life is more important than non-life. Hierarchical baloney. Life would not exist if it was not for the non-life. We tend to forget that as humans.

        That humancentric stuff is the basis for all kinds of non-life abuse. Causes stuff like global warming, ecological damage, inappropriate utilization of resources....
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          Feb 24 2012: [Linda Taylor
          3 days ago: Ah but your major underlying premise is that the only things that exist are humans (well, perhaps sexual lifeforms-I guess asexual lifeforms are outta luck) and the only imperative is survival.]

          When I used the gender qualifiers, I wasn't referring to human beings or even life forms of any kind. Qualifiers are primordial - Truth is a qualifier, if that helps any.

          I did mention human perception, but only in reference to how primordial drivers and qualifiers can become very vague if being examined by an epitome existential expression (like the human being). At that level, so much has been structured and affected that what ends up being most perceptible is subjective (relative) aspects that are the result of layers of survival driven interpretations. Hell, at that level nothing is objectively noted. Perception itself is incapable of objectivity.
      • Feb 22 2012: Thank you, Kevin. During the majority of the time we live, I think we all take survival for granted. While we do, I think things like pleasure, happiness, joy, fun......stuff like that motivates human beings to move their muscles.
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        Feb 24 2012: OK Mr. Carroll. I really am trying to understand because I truly do not. I am just asking for clarification.

        Gender = qualifiers = primordial : therefore : Gender = primordial
        So why am I wrong that sexual beings are primordial and other stuff is not? How is a non-lifeform a gender?

        Truth = qualifiers = primordial : therefore : truth = primordial
        How much primordial stuff can you have in a world view? I guess, it's your world view so as much as you want.

        But I completely disagree that human beings are anywhere near an epitome existential expression. But it is your hierarchy. I also disagree that survival is THE imperative. I have seen different and can illustrate. The only qualifier is who or what's survival. When you have that broad a definition of survival, meaning is lost. It is no longer an imperative. I do agree that at the level of survival, perception is incapable of objectivity. If survival is between you and me, I win. If it is between me and my kids, the kids win.
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    Mar 17 2012: I would like to share something about kalam/special pleading as shared below by me it basically says that in order to favor one outcome, a person makes special allowances for that outcome. without giving any tangible evidence as to why that particular outcome should be allowed those special allowances and not the rest of the outcomes. In case of the Kalam argument, it gives a rule. "Everything has a cause" But it is making a special plea for God, by saying that God is a special case and requires no previous cause. Why? Why should this cause it calls God be granted an exemption to the cause-effect rules. If you are going to grant exemptions why not give that exemption to Big Bang lets say and be done with it.
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    Mar 10 2012: 0 =+1 -1
    Maybe there is negative version of our universe that cancels our one out.
  • Mar 1 2012: very interesting question,

    Here is an offering from my perspective. If we look at matter from a science point of view that everything is energy and that matter is energy condensed to a certain vibrational frequency. This would suggest that even before matter existed the intelligent energy that created it or chose to vibrate at this current frequencies level has eternally been there. If we look at time which means nothing in the flow of eternity... time began when matter began for time is nothing but a way to keep track of somethings distance from something elses in the field of matter itself.

    In essence if everything came from that eternal energy that gave birth to matter itself than we are that source exploring itself and all that is capable. A process of evolution, for we can see that reguardless of the endless perspectives and opinions and the differences there of bottom line is, everything evolves. And its increasing exponentially, here in we can all form our own opinions and choose the ones that work best for our own personal paradigms. Knowing that there is never just one way to do something brings one to realize that its not really about one truth for truth is subjective depending on the beholder. Granted we all feel inclined to choose a path and believe in its results however those results limited by a restricted discipline wether that be dogmatic or unaccepted advanced science could be a drop in the bucket compared to things which are far beyond measurement with such tools.

    Science has done studies where in they divided a single particle and they seperated its other half, hundreds to hundreds of thousands of miles from itself and whatever they subjected one half to the other registered it instantly reguardless the distance. Which proves even though we may feel seperate from that which created everything we are not and no matter the form or distance its all eternal and exploringly evolutional. Lol is that even a word? Well at any rate thats my take on it
    • Mar 13 2012: Anthony Rifflard said: "Science has done studies where in they divided a single particle and they separated its other half, hundreds to hundreds of thousands of miles from itself and whatever they subjected one half to the other registered it instantly regardless the distance. "

      This is a gross misunderstanding of quantum physics (I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by not calling it a misrepresentation). In the experiments you refer to, scientists have generated two dependent or "entangled" particles, separated them and then looked at one and, shockingly, the other is complementary. Anything they do with one oft he particles after this, however, is not registered by the other.

      Let me give a more practical example. Say I took a doll, cut it in half at the waist and mailed one half to you and one to a colleague on the other side of the world. When you opened your package, not only would you know what you received, you would instantaneously (faster then the speed of light) know what was in the other package on the other side of the world. All very interesting, but manipulating your half of the doll will do nothing to the other half.

      If your understanding was correct we could use the phenomenon to build a faster-than-light communication system that we could install in our intrastellar exploration vehicles (which would be just one of a vast array of cool things we could do). We don't because we can't. We can't because it just doesn't work like that.

      I'm curious. You felt that your understanding "proves even though we may feel seperate from that which created everything we are not and no matter the form or distance its all eternal and exploringly evolutional (sic)." Now that you know that you misunderstood the science, does this then disprove that statement for you?
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    Mar 1 2012: The argument uses Cause and Effect. If there is an effect there must be a cause to this effect, and in order to avoid infinite regress, there must exist a first cause that has effected and caused everything else, otherwise there would be no other causes.
    If we apply this to our existence, we are simply dependent on our cause, our parents, and they were caused by their parents and so on. to help us in our understanding, lets simplify things by supposing that only one thing exists right now, A1, which was brought into existence by, A2, which died shortly after A1 came into existence. Suppose that A2 was created by A3, and A3 by A4, and so on. We will call this a causal series. At this point nothing seems wrong with there existing a causal series that could go back infinitely, not being dependent on any one uncaused cause, but only on its predecessor.
    A Cosmological argument, such as stated by Aristotle would say:
    1.Every member of the collection of dependent beings has a cause or explanation.
    thus,
    2. The collection of dependent beings has a cause or explanation.
    The argument fails to realize that for there to be an explanation of a collection of things is nothing more than for there to be an explanation of each of the things making up the collection. Since in the infinite collection of dependent beings, each being in the collection has an explanation- by having been caused by a preceding member of the collection- the explanation of the collection, so the criticism goes, has already been given. As David Hume said, 'Did i show you the particular causes of each individual in a collection of twenty particles of matter, I should think it very unreasonable, should you afterwards ask me, what was the cause of the whole twenty. This is sufficiently explained in explaining the cause of the parts.' It is certainly a mistake to think that a collection of stamps is itself a stamp, so it is a mistake to think that the collection of dependent beings, is itself a dependent being
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    Feb 29 2012: Sunny said "I wonder may be this life is just a "Trial" in which at least i do not want to end up on the wrong side"

    "Trial" this is what "holy" books dictate and convey; it is a way to terrorize people. Religious people are more terrorized than being convinced. Like other believers you worry about the "eternal fire" and so you chose not to be "on the wrong side"; an example of Pascal Wager. When fear dominates, reason and logic retire. This is why I consider non-theists as courageous and brave people who rely on reason and logic to find knowledge instead of submitting to psychological fear created by Bronze age texts.
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      Mar 6 2012: Great quote Mind S when you mention "When fear dominates, reason and logic retire. This is why I consider non-theists as courageous and brave people who rely on reason and logic to find knowledge instead of submitting to psychological fear created by Bronze age texts."

      By the way ever consider why these sacred texts / holy books, dictate & convey the same message of Armageddon , hell etc??. I think it was a way to discipline the people of that era who were indulged in chaos, immorality, obscenity etc. At the same time it is important to note here that things like, morality, ethical behavior, norms of the society all were a result of information provided in these religious books hundreds of years back. And what science proved today was somehow magically present then without all the new age gizmo stuff? These are the things that force us to think about religion/spirituality

      People during the deadly tornado at kentucky, began praying, Why was praying the first thing that came to her mind? link attached below is quite evident of a spiritual connection that each one of us has during fear, we connect with god:

      http://youtu.be/2Po7Xyn-Amg
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      Feb 27 2012: which breaks the "rule" that everything must have a cause.

      perhaps there is a natural cause beyond most of our capacities to comprehend

      perhaps there is a circle or sphere of causes that has no beginning or end.
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      Feb 28 2012: So true GOD is the uncaused Cause
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        Feb 28 2012: Maybe. Which I acknowledge.
        Maybe not. Which you seem reluctant to acknowledge.
        And if there are gods they are probably not anything like described in any religion
        Probably beyond our comprehension or imagination.
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    Feb 27 2012: If you assume that everything has a cause then the first cause produced any result, even your question on this page.
    All that has a begin must end. Anything only can begin within something existing.
    In fact nothing begins for all things are a momentary transit by which the participating forces are composed untill they disintegrate into other things. All these forms are temporary the only thing not temporary is existence itself and the energy by which it is expressed.
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      Feb 28 2012: One idea that's being tossed around on this thread is that of a mere speculation/notion that there is no proof for God’s existence.Of course such a notion is mistaken. Philosophical arguments to prove God exists are woefully ignored. Consider Saint Thomas Aquinas’ argument on motion. Motion Exists. Motion can only be caused by other forms of motion. If you go back far enough you will find a primary unmoved mover. This is God.

      The Cosmological argument is another simple argument. We know that everything that exists has a cause related to its existence. We know that the universe exists. Because it is exists it must have an uncaused cause. The uncreated cause is God.

      Both of these arguments are dependant upon the universe having a beginning. If the universe is infinite, then a primary mover -- a creator -- has no place. However modern cosmology has determined the universe does have a beginning. The laws of thermodynamics have determined this. According to the second law of thermodynamics, we are running out of working energy. It’s obvious that things wear down. If the universe were infinite then we would have run out by now.
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        Feb 28 2012: Philosophical arguments for the existence of some sort of god are not woefully ignored, we have heard them, we have read them, we have found their fallacies upon fallacies, thus rejected them.

        Example, the cosmo-illogical argument, do we really know that everything that exists has a cause to its existence? Is that kind of existence the same as the universe would have started to exist? In other words, there is an obvious fallacy of equivocation right at the beginning of your argument, yet, you are oblivious to it. Do you notice it now? There are more fallacies in it, but one so important at the beginning, and you really don't see it? If you can't see such fallacies how can we trust your philosophical anything?

        Motion? That one strikes as ridiculous. Motion, gravitation, expansion of the universe, I see no need for gods anywhere. That you can ask "then why is there gravity?" is but the same thing I can do "then why would there be a god?" So, I stop in nature, whether I know if I have reached its foundations or not does not matter, I still stop at nature. You go into fantasyland for no justifiable reason. Nature, at least we know it is there.
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        Mar 1 2012: I'm pretty certain that Saint Thomas Aquinas laid down his argument regarding motion well before the concepts of kinetic and potential energy were well understood. So if today, all of the heavenly bodies are in motion, this is due to the potential energy that was released in the Big Bang. Now I cannot claim to know what happened at the precise moment of the Big Bang, especially since scientists themselves are just starting to peek into what might have happened in those first fractions of seconds following the Big Bang using the super-colliders. But I do not just whip up a deity out of thin air to answer that question - I simply say "We don't know".

        The religious among us are famous for quoting the "Second Law of Thermodynamics" but therein lies the rub. If you ask one of them what is the First Law of Thermodynamics, they are usually dumbstruck. For that matter, they don't know how many Laws of Thermodynamics there are. And furthermore, the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to closed systems and I don't think anyone can say with any certainty that the Universe is a closed system. Now, I am not a physicist, but then, I'm not trying to claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics proves the existence of God. I think that for those who do, it's incumbent on them to have an understanding of those Laws before bandying them about wrecklessly. OK - I caught you googling about the Laws of Thermodynamics, didn't I ? ;)
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    Feb 24 2012: [Rhona Pavis: Can you please elaborate a little bit on what you meant when you said "our advanced technologies have begun to indicate that some of our reality anchors may not be as reliable as we have traditionally declared them to be"...]

    I'm referring to all the hub hub surrounding Quantum Mechanics and how many theoretical physicists are running off cliffs clutching to their anomalous research indications. Some are demanding that time doesn't exist and that reality is imposed by the perceiving agent. Crazy stuff. Now the "God Particle" is getting ready to disappoint its most fervent devotees. The double-slit experiment has morphed into wild speculation involving lettered researchers declaring that you can go back in time and unravel causal precedence. All the fault of our technology presenting us with indications that debunk our traditional interpretations of the basics of physical reality (reality anchors), and our thought leaders refusing to deal with the possibility that humanity might've gotten the initial interpretations of those staples wrong.

    Take matter, for instance. Is it indivisible at any specific level of reduction? And if it is, then what causes it to emerge as existent in the first place? If you haven't got that answer, then you may as well declare God as the author. Truth is that matter is not indivisible at any level of reduction. In fact, matter isn't solid or physically concrete, and not in any sense of what those terms suggest. So, what is it? Its appearance of solidity is simple flawed human perception of the impact of Survival (the one existential imperative) requiring the primordial expression "Identity" to be established and defended by what has emerged as dynamic and initiative. The orbit, the linear trajectory, the change from this to that, and all occurring in sync with the same matrix of trajectories happening at all levels within each human being. We see ourselves as solid, so we see particles as solid too. Smaller but similar.
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      Feb 24 2012: From my limited educaton and understanding,i always thought there was a level of disapation and that one could not breach the shortest unit of time.They all want to find "The Door" to what? who knows,maybe zero point, we'll have to wait and see when they kick the hadron back up Hehe.
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    Feb 23 2012: I think it's safe to say no one can really answer that. There is more than one way to understand reality as a concept and this does not have to only be an intellectual endeavor (because everything has limits) Besides, all the new discoveries of science we are now" understanding" even less of what we thought was possible concerning the nature of this wild and wonderful universe and that is exactly how it should be if you ask me.
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      Feb 23 2012: Finally thank you for sharing this. Talking about what caused the first cause is out of question indeed!
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    Feb 23 2012: 1st state. Something i can't imagine,all i see is a blackness
    2nd state. The universe
    3rd state. The Earth organic universe
    4th state. The Human Conscious universe
    5th state. Something i can't imagine so i'm stuck in the 4th state albeit the begining of the 4th state and looking back at the 1st state wondering if there was a blackness or does it come down the lines of the Plasmic universe? I lean towards God,i can't get the "For every action there is a equal and opposite reaction" out of my head,neither do i subscribe to the "Push pull Universe" which would conflict with the first state.Plasma theorists atleast acknowledge they have no idea what caused the second state but have a firm understanding of it,has there ever been a plama theorist speak at Ted? My generation and the younger generations all have a firm and incorruptable belief in the bang,like it's sponsored.Circles within circles.
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      Feb 23 2012: I am interested why you think the 1st state ever existed? What in your experience causes you to think this? Just wanting to know why you think there was blackness???
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        Feb 23 2012: That would stem from my first memories as a child asking questions of the universe,The bang was predominant then as it is now, on the other hand there was the bible,the two fit so nicely.one could connect plasmic theory to god aswel if one wanted, though far fetched.If there was a 1st state and i was on my way to witness the first cause i would never get there,i could never get past the time wall.Why i say blackness is that is all i could come up with,i can't use the word void, that would give it a sense of space and dimension.
        My modern view of the universe is it's a mass of boiling bubbles,simple i know but i'm a firm believer in seed galaxies and that we need to really look at hubbles law and rethink it.
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        Feb 23 2012: Scientists, Theorists everyone is inconclusive why? because the mind cannot comprehend the infinite and God created all.
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    Feb 22 2012: I don't think by knowing how the universe (not just humans) started would prepare us better for the future or any field of study. Also I won't pretend to think I know the answer to this question - because no one knows, just theories.

    If somehow a scroll/message feel from the sky that did have the complete science/details of the beginning, would we really understand it to the full extent using our interpretations of math and physics?

    "You learn far more looking at death, than you do at birth"
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    Feb 22 2012: Before answering you I just would like to say that this is a great talk you brought up and is a question that is been "bothering" me for a long time. Sometimes I asked if no one ever tought of that.

    To me it's a very trouble question. I mean, let's face the Big Bang Theory. Where did it come the heat and the material that originated the explosion. We know that material and energy doesn't disappears, it transforms, renovates (Law of Conservation of Matter and the Law of Conservation of Energy).
    If we face the The Circular cycle it stills doesn't answer our question. The Universe didn't started with matter and energy already created.

    I can't even answer my self and I doubt that anyone can. It's very hard to even to talk about it and explain how we think about that.

    I now leave another question;

    Having such a hard question, do we need do know the answer to this problem like many others questions, instead fixing and working for other problems that are real and possible to solve in our own world?
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      Feb 22 2012: Thank you Joao Pinto for your comments in the Debate, I believe we all have a purpose in life, for some it would be fixing problems of the present, and for some understanding life's purpose. And yes this is an unending analogy but understanding the cause can help us learn our purpose of life. I wonder may be this life is just a "Trial" in which at least i do not want to end up on the wrong side.
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        Feb 23 2012: I agree with you about our purposes in life, but I figured it out that we give our own purpose to our lives, we give sense to them. We choose our ways and decide what we want to do and how we give our contribution to mankind.

        And the "trial" in this world you mentioned, that´s quite a problem, I ask myself the same thing.
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      Feb 23 2012: "The Universe didn't started with matter and energy already created."

      And you know this how? What in the experience of your life has led you to believe this? I just want to know how you understand this.
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        Feb 23 2012: I´m just saying that everything has a cause. If we face the first cause, the starting point, what was the cause of that?

        Ex.: It was A that created the universe, and it was B that created A, and it was C that created B, etc, etc.

        Every cause has is own cause. How is it possible that the first cause has been originated with no cause?
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          Feb 23 2012: Thank you Sr. Pinto! This is what I have been saying too. First cause makes no logical sense. The problem is not in the answer, it is that the question is incorrect.

          Whenever you have a cause, you always have an antecedent cause.

          So for instance, the big bang theory. If all matter was glumped together in some gigantic mass that blew apart and became the universe, how did matter get that way? Maybe matter blows apart and re-aggregates in some big bang cycle. Maybe matter just keeps flying into infinity until it runs into some more matter from some other big bang to aggregate once again. Even in the big bang theory, there would have to be an antecedent cause.

          As I said in a previous post for those that believe that God is first cause. As if by magic, it must be God.

          Both explanations (God and big bang) are very similar to a child's response when they do not completely understand yet. Both are part fantasy.
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          Feb 23 2012: No it is written in every bible worldwide in the book of genesis.

          Yes it is a faith position because it gives a singular cause where is all ancient peoples creation stories are built around multiple deities involved,including my own races stories.

          One cause and only one.
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          Feb 23 2012: @ Mr. Brown. So? Those books were written by people with the wrong question too. Just because something got printed doesn't make it true. Just look at tabloid rags.

          Unless, of course, you assign belief to those books and then we are back to the fantasy part.

          From a previous post of mine:
          Jan 14 2012:
          Creation stories have been around since the dawn of man. Because no one was around when the world was created, we can reasonably be sure no one really knows how it all started. Because no one really knows how it all started, humans developed creation stories. These creation stories became a way to explain to outsiders what the values, morals and beliefs were of the people that created the stories. When two groups of people came together in the past, the exchange of creation stories was part of the diplomatic exchange as different peoples got to know one another.
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        Feb 26 2012: Dear linda we understand your "cause and effect theory" being a " Circular theory" meaning that the cause and effect occur on that which has always existed so there is no need for the "first cause theory". This would include time. But there is usually a time delay between cause and effect,. Circular time is such a large circle it only appears linear from our viewpoint. I hope this clarifies people "who believe that God is first cause. As if by magic, it must be God." as per you.

        By the way how can you say/speculate or know the "creation of stories by people" with regards to religious books? Whats faith then? or even Blind faith for that instance?
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          Feb 26 2012: "Whats faith then?" I have been trying to figure that out for a long time. If you find out let me know. I am continually amazed at what people believe. Perhaps it helps them make sense of the world.

          For instance, the idea of circular nature. That is a very ancient understanding of the world and frankly, for me, the only one that makes sense. But for some people, it makes sense that God created the earth in seven days and they believe it.

          I guess faith gives us structure to chaos, the Illusion of control.

          I would not say that I believe in circular nature. It is just a theory and one that makes sense. I am always looking for other theories and enjoy the exploration. Understand also that in the past, creation stories were just stories. Nobody actually believed in any of them. That is a recent phenomena.
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          Feb 28 2012: @ linda “Who wrote the Bible” is a question that can be definitively answered by examining the biblical texts in light of the external evidences that supports its claims. 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is inspired by God….” In 2 Peter 1:20-21, Peter reminds the reader to “know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, … but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” The Bible itself tells us that it is God who is the author of His book.

          God does not leave us with just claims of His divine handiwork in the Bible, but also supports it with compelling evidence. The design of the Bible itself is a miracle. Written over more than 1,500 years by vastly different writers, yet every book in the Bible is consistent in its message. These 66 books talk about history, prophecy, poetry, and theology. Despite their complexity, differences in writing styles and vast time periods, the books of the Bible agree miraculously well in theme, facts and cross-referencing. No human beings could have planned such an intricate combination of books over a 1,500-year time span. Bible manuscripts (remember, there were no printing presses until 1455) have survived despite weather, persecution and time.
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          Feb 28 2012: Interesting Franciz. The book itself says that it comes from God. So I can write some stuff down and say that it was inspired holy work coming from God and you would call the exact SAME process blasphemy.

          Oh I agree completely the book is incredibly old. And people were able to copy very accurately because they took their work seriously. A scribe was a pretty important guy to be and had a work ethic.

          And the whole no human can plan a 66 chapter book thing. Actually there were entire counsels that planned the book. The council at Jerusalem. The council at Nicea. Couple more that I forgot. They went through it with a fine tooth comb. 'This we keep, this we get rid of.' In fact, I think there may be some records somewhere documenting the process. I don't follow that closely.

          But Egyptian hieroglyphics were too. So were Mayan. And some of them claim to be from some god too. And they were pretty consistent. I am sorry but your compelling evidence is not so compelling.
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    Feb 22 2012: The start of it all is the most baffling for me.

    No one knows for sure either way, however I find the Prime Mover less satisfying for me than a natural universe that started with no help. Everything we have figured out doesn't need help of other entities. Lightening, the sun the moon, growing crops, sickness. Expect it is the same for this most difficult challenge to figure out.

    After all it was about 13 billion years ago.

    I use to wonder : 0 = -1 +1
    Maybe there is a negative universe to offset this positive one with a net result of zero.

    My sketchy understanding of quantum theory etc is that is contains some explanation for how something might come from nothing, multiple universes moving forward in different time lines. It really does baffle my super primate mind.

    Once every thing got started we seem to do better with natural explanations. I wonder if we will figure it out in another 100,000 years. I wonder if other life forms with say a million year head start on us have a better idea.

    If there is a prime mover it really seems to have no practical impact on our lives, except when different cultures and societies try to define it human terms and we end up with all the false claims of religions.
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    Feb 21 2012: Would be funny if the last cause would be the first. Or it has something to do with the one who experiences the world in cause and effect. (From a separated perspective, choosing between the judgement of cause or effect, the third way might be true, when being one with what is.)
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    Feb 21 2012: The biggest challenge of thinking about creation and God is to not think literally or materially when we try to envision anything spiritual.
    BTW the Creation Story has nothing to do with the creation of this universe or world. It is a parable.

    The first thing we should admit is that this physical world is the result of a spiritual world. In short, every single thing we do on our level is caused by a spiritual endeavour or love in the mind. Even the slightest move of a finger, if something needs doing or communicated, we do it from our mind. And our mind is in that other, non physical world.

    We make the same 'connection' between our mind and our personal, material surroundings. Are we in the drawing we make? No, however, in a way, yes we are. I'll try to use the right words and ideas to express something I read but which is way beyond me.

    God has 'distanced' His Love from Himself, far enough from the infinite, that, from Divine and spiritual, it became spiritual and heavenly. From heaven it 'continued' to become matter. As you know, matter is more a cloud of particles held together by a force than being 'solid.' Spiritual love results in physical attraction.

    This booklet is what I read and, yes, it's all about creation.. please enjoy
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/Creation.pdf
    • Mar 18 2012: To state that the entire universe, its creation and development, is to be envisioned in a spiritual way (i.e., to eliminate the consequences of science, and to discredit logic) would be opening a field in which anything can be believed. According to your rationale, that things intangible exist beyond our realm of understanding- therefore leading to our own existence- you should be an Agnostic who is unsure, seeing as anything is possible. Just because science cannot pinpoint the exact way the world was created does not warrant you to assume that there was a higher being who did it. There is no reason to believe in something unless proven to a degree- divinity being unproven, one shouldn't even consider its part in our existence. Also, I hate to be "that guy who trusts empirical evidence as opposed to abstract mysticism", but the concept that there exists a direct correlation between our mind wanting to perform an act (such as the "slightest move of a finger") and our body performing that act is an integral part, if not the essential component, to biological neuropsychology. We do not make this connection through spirituality or love- rather, we possess neurotransmitters that which transport the chemical information throughout our bodies. I take it that you're a very privileged person because you believe that god is love. If you've ever taken a closer look at this planet that we live on it's pretty evident that the only 'love' that exists is man-made. The amount of hell that most of the people on this planet go through is a pretty strong indication that there is no god, let alone a loving, benevolent, omnipotent one. And if there is one, I'm sure that he'd pardon me for calling him a first class selfish, ego-maniacal jerk. I appreciate your zealousness towards spreading love across the world, but please don't lie about its origin.
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    Feb 21 2012: I am blessed to have come to know God. The understanding of him explains the foundation of life. If you seriously look at both angles because you want to know the truth, you will come to the conclusion that only something greater can create something less and not the other way around. The big bang could easily have happened with a snap of God's approval.

    I just wouldn't come up with my own theory and then throw the "idea" of God away because one's theory doesn't require "faith". In the end it requires more faith to accept man's version of how the puzzle came to be. And if you do accept it, well then why did it happen? It can't just have happened because it happened. That's bad logic and a poor reason for giving life its intelligence.

    If we are all a product of our environment, then what was the environment that allowed the big bang to come to be and who allowed it? You can't even think in that frame. This is what leads me to one conclusion: God exists because nothing can or has been explained before him.

    It all boils down to a choice to accept you are from a greater source, or just the result of randomness. My question to all is what gives an atom energy? There is no reason for it to have energy unless there is a plan to use it. Things just don't do or exist after something made it for the sake of itself.

    I just can't simply accept randomness when everything in life functions so well when planned. Why does man want to create and have organization? It reflects God. We are a mirror of him. Look at the world, minus sin see what man has created with his mind. You don't have to look into space for answers when you're living proof. Think about it.
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      Mar 1 2012: Well, I'm thinking about it. So you believe in God because that gives you comfort in explaining life. That's fine but doesn't make it true. Kids believe in Santa Claus because it gives them hope that if they behave all year long, on Christmas Day, they'll get a sackful of presents. You get my drift...

      Only something greater can create something less[er]? How about the slow accumulation of minerals carried by water droplets that create stalagmites and stalactites, or the formation of quartz crystals, or the Sahara winds that move and shape the dunes? There are just the most obvious, but any cursory reading of Dawkins's books would convince you that simplicity can lead to complexity.

      It requires more faith to accept man's version of how the puzzle came to be? As opposed to believing that someone up there zapped us into existence? I may not be a physicist nor a biologist but the research these folks do is peer reviewed and junk "science" is tossed out. Religion by definition, cannot be peer reviewed.

      "It can't just have happened because it happened". But isn't this the crux of the religious argument? God exists because some ancient scribblings say he exists and you are not supposed to question that. And nobody created God because God just happened.

      Why does someone have to "allow" the Big Bang to occur? Why must there be a reason for an atom to have energy?

      "accept you are from a greater source, or just the result of randomness" - I'll take two lumps of randomness, please. What the religious always, always, always confuse with randomness is that species development is like hitting on a lottery number, rather than a step by step approach. Dawkins illustrates this beautifully using software that mimics monkeys typing on typewriters.

      Your last point, you have got it completely backwards. As it says on the cover of the Jethro Tull album "Aqualung" - "And Man created God in his own image"
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    Feb 20 2012: Mass is the prime mover.
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      Feb 20 2012: where did this mass come from??
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        Feb 20 2012: It has always been. There is no more or less of anything. Matter only changes form.
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          Feb 21 2012: Hi Linda, Are you talking about the doctrine of "Ex nihilo"? And are you saying that universe may have indeed risen from chaos rather than god's hand?

          Ref: 1992 discovery of the planet orbiting another star other than the sun as given in hawkings book.
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          Feb 21 2012: Dear @Sunny & Linda, I Still find it interesting that some people can find this a solid argument against a creator, except they still have no first cause theory. "Because there is a law such as gravity...", where/how did this 'law' of the physical universe come about???

          NASA definition of gravity is: "Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between any two masses, any two bodies, any two particles," With Hawkin's assertion as per the Related TED-talk link given above: "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing." Nothing has zero mass and I would suspect has no gravity"

          This is the most pointless argument imaginable. God or no God,..it's a question that will be answered for everyone of us when we take our last breath. I'll still put my faith in God over Stephen Hawking any day.
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          Feb 22 2012: Sunny,
          Why should it be chaos if not god(s)? Aren't there other options at all?

          Franciz,
          Maybe you should read Hawking's book instead of trying to take it from such a philosophical, while uninformed, point of view. Hawking is talking about more advanced physics than "the attraction of two bodies ..."

          While I don't completely buy into it, because I am also ignorant of physics, probably, or perhaps because despite my ignorance I note (I read the book) some noise indicative of brand new fields of study in those regards, thus no well established principles yet, I don't think it is right to just shrug and say "This is the most pointless argument imaginable ..." That's worse than ignorance. It is pretending understanding and knowledge while holding none.
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          Feb 22 2012: @Gabo, by chaos i meant mixing of elementary particles including protons, electrons, and neutrons to form matter for the universe unstructured. BTW What other options are you talking about?

          @Franciz,Its quite amusing how so many people can so easily prove Hawking, and so many more of the world's most brilliant minds wrong, with their "vast and total comprehension".It's not a religious debate. Its' an account of how the universe came to be and the rules that govern it. Is it so impossible to think that an omnipotent and omnipresent God put forth the rules that govern the natural world?
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          Feb 23 2012: Sunny,

          That's exactly the point, what do you mean by unstructured and structured, how do you know that without god(s) the universe should come by itself from complete non-structure to order, or chaos versus god(s). Seems like a false dichotomy because I see no reason why the properties of the universe, or an upper nature, would be such that universes could appear, not from chaos, but perhaps from absolute nothingness, which is not a chaos, or from a different structure into a universe structure. What came across from your chaos versus god(s) comment was a classic false dichotomy that you should expect things to come from utter disorder/randomness, whatever creationists version of that might be, into being, thus impossible, thus god(s).

          I am not claiming to know how or what, or from what. I am saying that putting chaos against god(s) is a false dichotomy because it discounts that "structure" can be a natural consequence of the way this nature we live in works. The false dichotomy being designed to allow for no options but god(s).

          I hope that was clear.

          Best!
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          Feb 23 2012: Franciz, I find it equally interesting how people can assume a creator that didn't need to be created itself. It really only shifts the question back a step.

          Creationists often assume the creator sits outside time and is eternal. They believe in something eternal that is not matter or energy but can create matter and energy so the law of conservation of matter is void for the start of the universe. Apparently the laws of physics don't apply in this convenient spiritual realm.

          Suggest it is at least as logical to assume that there was some initial natural state before the big bang that was conducive to the big bang. Maybe there was not "nothing". But it wasn't matter or energy as we know it. Maybe there is a third form of matter and energy infinitely dense.

          Maybe the starting point of the big bang wasn't nothing exactly - it just is not matter or energy in a form we now know it.

          I suggest most the laws of physics apply to the universe post big bang. Maybe gravity is inherent to matter so can we say it existed before matter did as we know it now?

          We don't know if multiple universes have banged into existence all over the place or in the past if that has meaning.

          A first mover or creator is a valid option. In it's broadest form it is impossible to disprove. But so is the option of the universe starting off without a conscious entity involved.

          Perhaps you also take it to the next level and believe in a particular interventionist god as revealed by scriptures or prophets etc. Perhaps you believe in a particular interpretation associated with this god/religious belief in opposition to the thousands and millions of alternative beliefs humans have had.

          Creator - maybe
          Interventionist god - unlikely
          Specific god/dogma/interpretation/religion sect - highly unlikely - a product of where and when you were born and what you have been exposed to
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        Feb 21 2012: What argument? Cause makes no sense .

        In a cause-effect paradigm, there is ALWAYS an apriori cause. At least until you hit the final. And then by magic, you say "it must be God."

        That wonderful catch phrase for " Stuff Humans Can't Explain."

        @ Sunny No, I do not ascribe to ex nihilo. (How old do you think I am dude;) And were you talking about my 20 year old reference or someone else's?
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        Feb 21 2012: Ah Mr. Qreshi. So you thought that ex nihilo would make me young. Perhaps you are correct. It is a theory that would attract the young. You convinced me.
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      Feb 23 2012: @dear dear Gabo , Sunny,GM, linda: I have been reading him ince 1988 and i never called you people ignorant of physics as put by Senior Gabo Moreno, but yes i call hawking as an ignorant why because his hypothesis is inconclusive having an elementary fallacy of logic, like every other theorists or scientists dealing in cosmological arguments . And again like every one else hawking himself states in his book:

      " the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, is remarkable, and is compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed" : This means that he still has doubt that something is present that is controlling it or has caused it, why is this always the case???

      2.nd Excerpt From his book the grand design:
      "Because there is a LAW such as gravity, there is something rather than nothing"

      If there is a law of gravity, or other laws of physics, how did they come to exist???

      I still find it interesting that some people can find "MASS TRANSFORMATION" a solid argument against a creator, except they still have no first cause theory??

      p.s: I can understand its a debate, but i never called anyone ignorant here, and i would like the other person to treat me in the same way :)
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        Feb 23 2012: Sorry Franciz, but calling someone ignorant when you notice ignorance is proper. Not only that, I said I am ignorant myself, only I don't try and give an opinion on Hawking's ideas while ignoring what he is talking about. That first quote, I bet you can't give me the context, can you? Were those really the ideas he was conveying or did you take it out of context or from some source other than his books?

        So you commit the same mistakes yet again, worse now because you call Hawking ignorant and fallacious without knowing, nor understanding, what he was talking about. You cited gravity as "defined" by NASA, but did you read Hawking's explanations at all? It does not seem like you did, thus you criticize from a position of ignorance. Not just that, but an arrogant position of ignorance, since you did not bother to check before calling Hawking on fault logic.

        Whatever laws, why do they have to have a source that is not a natural source, why can't they be ultimate properties of nature? Just because you say so?

        I don't find mass transformation a solid argument. But even if I found that convincing, I do not think that such is an argument against the existence of god(s). It all depends on what kind(s) of god(s) are imagined. But causality is about transformations of mass and energy, also an abstraction about how and why these transformations happen. The cosmological fallacy starts with equivocations about cause/effect and about existence. But, since you seem to be versed in logic, maybe you can pinpoint the problems yourself.

        P.S. Did a little search for that quote and guess how it goes?:
        "That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions-the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings."

        So, where did you take that misquote from? Maybe I should add "misinformed" to the way you form your opinions?
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          Feb 26 2012: @ Franciz, dear! quite a revelation frm Sr Gabo, i would like to ask franciz the same question?

          So, where did you take that misquote from? Maybe I should add "misinformed" to the way you form your opinions?
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        Feb 23 2012: Franciz,

        Notice too that I don't just call you or your arguments ignorant or misinformed, I tell you exactly why I perceive ignorance and misinformation. So, it is not an insult, but a proper description.

        I also have to ask. Given that the quote you wrote is twisted to mean something different to what Hawking said, do you think that your source is trustable? How many other lies could that source of yours contain?

        Unless you produced the misquoting yourself. But I doubt it.
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    Feb 19 2012: The cause of our universe may be virtually inconsequential. The big bang may be a natural occurance, that has happened a million times. We still wouldn't know the eternal... Why does something exist instead of nothing? Is there purpose?

    I think those questions are much less important than the very simple... Is it good that things exist? Yes, as something that exists... I would like to suggest that it is wonderful. Some people feel the need to have a cause, to be able to believe that... and god represents this for them. I'm not sure about the cause, but I am certain that what little existence we have, should be appreciated.

    Without perception there is no time...

    1. So far, it seems to... Except at the quantum level... but, probably.

    2. Personally, I like to think matter is reproducing behind our back, but thats a long and crazy theory.

    3. Human beings will never know the first cause, but if there is one... it always was... I guess. And, it was good.
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      Feb 20 2012: Great way to sum up the debate but i feel is that what you are trying to say that" matter was already present and it transformed into a universe". but the question still remains unanswered who created that matter and here i believe that God One and only , created it and thus as per you we must appreciate that.
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        Feb 21 2012: Matter is a human translation of what each human corporeal whole is also comprised of - matrixed layers of concurrent and consecutive event trajectories that share holon identity, thereby maintaining and defending the fidelity of that matrixed whole in service of the preservation of that established existential identity. The particle is the smallest matrixed event whole that humanity has ever noted, and when they smash them, they seem surprised that the violence involved simply creates more such matrixed event trajectories. But what else would you expect?

        In the end, it's the human translation of observation (perception) that tries to define physical reality for the humans that long to be able to depend on that translation. An initial misinterpretation of a fundamental reality anchor like the true nature of material existence (for instance) will skew all successive determinations, and even now, our advanced technologies have begun to indicate that some of our reality anchors may not be as reliable as we have traditionally declared them to be.
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          Feb 21 2012: Quite Interesting Kevin, i presume you must have read "the power of innovative thinking by jim wheeler". Can you please elaborate a little bit on what you meant when you said "our advanced technologies have begun to indicate that some of our reality anchors may not be as reliable as we have traditionally declared them to be"...
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        Feb 23 2012: Franciz,

        Do you understand that your creator hypothesis doesn't answer the question it just adds complexity because you now have a creator entity that is even harder to explain. If you believe in a god(s) - god's existence is a mystery

        Can you understand how non theists can just accept a non god/creator state before the big bang as a the same sort of mystery.

        Theists: How did the universe start. god. How did god start. Mystery.
        Non Theists: How did the universe start. Mystery.

        We just cut out the unnecessary speculative unprovable middle bit i.e. god
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    Feb 18 2012: The literal absence of anything of a physical nature, determined by the primordial existential qualifier Truth to be the "true existence of nothing" - in truth, a conceptual something representing an existential void where one did in-fact exist - was the 1st change to ever occur. The 2nd change was the physical emergence of the fact (as a permanent information unit configuration) that this 1st ever qualification occurred. The 3rd event was the emergence of the fact that if something occurs, a fact cluster (information units) immediately emerges as permanent physical existence to represent that occurrence as having occurred.

    From there, it got pretty complicated and the rest if history. I lay it all out in greater detail in my book TAKING DOWN THE CURTAIN.
    • Feb 19 2012: Kevin, were you there at the time?
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        Feb 21 2012: Me? No. Were you?
        • Feb 22 2012: Kevin, you speak as though you were there. Thank you for admitting that you were not. I don't know, if I was there or not. It's hard to remember that far back. Happy Today.
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      Feb 20 2012: Dear kevin , can i have a link to your book?
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      Feb 21 2012: So Kevin, in summary,
      First there was nothing.
      This nothing was conceptualized. (By???)
      The nothing became fact (by whom as communicated to whom??)
      Therefore the fact of nothing is physical proof that there is nothing.

      So what you are saying is that nothing does not exist outside of human perception. I disagree.
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    Feb 18 2012: Nobody caused the first cause. It is a blasphemy to think about it. God created us all, he is the one and only. God is infinite and our mind cannot comprehend it. To see this magnificence one must look at the nature created around us with such precision & perfection. Thus it cannot evolve it self.
    • Feb 19 2012: You speak as though you know what you are talking about. Please describe the appearance of God. Is God male or female? Are you repeating what you have been told or indoctrinated with or have you personally met God? Thank you for remaining honest in your expressions.
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        Feb 20 2012: You speak as though i dont know what i'm talking about.

        1.Arent you repeating what scientist of today have told you that is not to believe, is it necessary for you to see to believe? If this is the case then why dont you challenge the concept of law of conservation of energy?

        2.Or have you only heard it from the scientists and you believe it? Have you yourself measured the proton to electron mass ratio of 1837 . That is one proton is equal to 1837 electrons. Why the ratio is 1837 and not 1500 or 2000 ?

        Prophet Moses heard a voice from a flaming bush on Mt. Sinai. The voice said," I AM WHO I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS-YAHWEH."Yahweh is the Hebrew word for God.Remember Moses wanted to see God and to that God replied something like I'll shed some of my Light on the Mount of Sinai. But that mountain blasted into Peices and still has a burnt top. And it was such a huge impact that Moses fainted. Now if Moses couldn't see His Lord, how can we?
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          Feb 23 2012: Franciz,

          Not sure if you have jewish, christian or islamic beliefs given all 3 give some credence to Moses etc. But they all disagree. Hope you got the right one of the 3.

          Hope you got the right sect of the particular stream of belief you have.

          Or perhaps a more recent variant such as JW or Mormon.

          Hope the Buddhists, Hindus, Jainists, animists etc aren't right.

          Hope the panteists aren't right.

          Hope none of the extinct religions/belief systems are right. Pity if Zeus, Odin, Isis, or Ra exist.

          Hope you can acknowledge that most often religious belief is a cultural artefact that has developed and evolved like language. That it depends on when and where you were born.

          You talk about Moses. At the time there were say 1 million hebrews. Less than 1% of the world population. Dozens of other gods in the same region at the time.
          Thousands of other local belief systems at the time in Asia, Africa and the Amercias, Europe etc. All equally valid.

          When you read the bible with a non religious background it really does seem like tribal history, laws and mythology in the first part and a tenuously linked second conflicting part.

          The prevalence of the Judeo Christian Islam has a lot to do with the Roman Empire picking it up. European colonialism. USA power etc. Just like the prevalence of English. No more valid than another specific belief system or language.
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        Feb 21 2012: Hi Rhona,
        If you are interested.. I'd love to and will be honest about it too :)
        The subject is CAUSE so here we go..

        There is a book about God and how He governs humanity which is this link:
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/DLW_DP.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

        Basically, God is above or beyond gender but, yes, the cause of gender and of everything else that is good as well.
        We were created in His image and likeness so there would be way to 'connect' with God, if we want to. As humans we were created with a will and an understanding to make this relationship possible and everlasting.

        The male and female minds are complementary and so attract each other. Each mind has an inner and outer 'circle' (or is 'spaced' like an egg :). The male inner circle is the will and the outer circle is the understanding. The female mind inside is the understanding and the outer is the will.

        Both minds primarily use the 'outside' layer to interact with the world around them. This booklet, written quite a while ago, connects these principles to marriage.
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/source/SexandMarriage.pdf?attredirects=0
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      Feb 22 2012: There is no such thing as "blasphemy," unless you are talking about not having any chocolate.
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        Feb 22 2012: I'm with Sr. Moreno on this one!
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        Feb 23 2012: No wonder why the owners of chocolate live in the west, canada/usa/europe etc. Talking about canada do you like Lindt Choc
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          Feb 23 2012: Almost any dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) makes my day. Lindt or not.
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      Mar 1 2012: @Franciz: You said "To see this magnificence one must look at the nature created around us with such precision & perfection. Thus it cannot evolve it self."

      This is not proof of God's existence - it is an argument based in the fallacy of Personal Incredulity, i.e.:

      "I cannot believe that a creature so complex as man could have come about without a God"

      or

      "It is impossible for a well-balanced universe to have come into existence unless God zapped it into being"

      etc.

      Give us some actual proof man, and don't plead for us join you on your bandwagon.
  • Mar 15 2012: you said that the theory is "1.Everything that exists or begins to exist has a cause?" - which in my understanding is wrong. I think thetheory is that everything that has a beginning has a cause. Therefor in theory, can something exist without out a beginning - the answer has to be yes, as nothing can be created from nothing. To the scientist, this something would be some kind of matter. To the Theist, this would be God. This is why it is a dumb question to ask "Who created God?" as the theory of God would be that God has always existed. If one day someone proves that god had a beginning - he would cease to be God.
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    Mar 6 2012: I would like to share a quote from Mind S on this thread "When fear dominates, reason and logic retire. This is why I consider non-theists as courageous and brave people who rely on reason and logic to find knowledge instead of submitting to psychological fear created by Bronze age texts."

    People during the deadly tornado at kentucky, began praying, Why was praying the first thing that came to her mind? link attached below is quite evident of a spiritual connection that each one of us has during fear, we connect with god:

    http://youtu.be/2Po7Xyn-Amg
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    Mar 4 2012: Unfortunately the scientists/atheist are still stuck in the 18th century outdated belief system of finding "CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BRAIN" as per the thread question. Even great scientists like neil bore & max planx questioned these assumptions.
    For example in the human brain there is no connection between the electrical impulse & chemical reaction that creates consciousness when we are asked to visualize or think about an object" in Science its called a hard problem that one is unable to solve. Or even Plank epoch 10 to the power -40 what physicits are unable to solve
    whats beyond plank epoch ?
    One God is the infinite Consciousness that the mind cannot comprehend
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      Mar 4 2012: Sorry Franciz but you are talking pure nonsense. It is creationists who live quite outdated and pretend that kindergarden physics is a way for dismantling all of today's science. You are living proof. Citations to Max Plank and Niels Bohr (if these are the ones you meant) about consciousness? Besides both guys are dead, they were physicists, not neurobiologists. I don't know where you take your information from, but I have shown you that they twisted that quote you gave us about Hawking, and you keep using them as source. Don't you see anything wrong with that? Well then, since your sources are snake-oil salesmen, I can't even trust that both those guys denied the brain-consciousness idea, but that still does not matter, since they had neither the knowledge, nor the data.

      Then you say that there is no connection between our brains activity and consciousness. Really? Because I have read plenty or articles that map those activities quite well. So well that if scientists were scanning your brain, they would know if you are happy, angry, lying, and a sort more of emotional and intellectual activities going on. There are even substances in the brain that have been connected to such feelings as love, and similar substances can make volunteers stop feeling such things as love while the substances are in their bodies. And I am not even touching the surface of what is known today.

      Best, and hopefully you will learn something about your sources of information now. Believe as you wish, that's your right. But think more carefully about whether what you are saying is true given your sources. Philosophy alone won't work with well-informed people. Nor will quotations to scientists or personalities taken out of context for propagandistic effect. Nor will faulty logic, nor creationists' misunderstanding of what nature should be without a god.
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        Mar 6 2012: Thankyou for a great insight Gabo, i'm really impressed by your knowledge into the subject. Can i add you to my list of favorite members?

        How should i end this topic for an upcoming lecture at sukkur university Pakistan. I went through the thread and found things to be inconclusive regarding the first cause theory?
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          Mar 6 2012: Way cool Sunny! I did not know you were doing that. If you like I can send you reference. Let me know.
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          Mar 8 2012: Hey Sunny,

          It would be an honour if you add me to your list of favourite members.

          I think the point by Felix is quite good (If you don't see it, it starts with these words: "It is worth noting that the big bang theory"). Summarizes a lot, and warns against the gratuitous (I would add "fallacious") intent of using causality for inferring things about a process that's really outside of any ideas/experiences about causality. All of that without being as aggressive as I tend to be.

          :-)

          Best!
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      Mar 6 2012: Dear Franciz, please confirm your sources here.
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      Mar 12 2012: I note when you damage the brain you damage our mental faculties, mind, self etc.
      Same with diseases of the mind such as alzheimers etc.
      Someone with severe dementia or brain damage does not have the same level of consciousness as a healthy person.
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    Feb 29 2012: cause indeed but effect was obliterated with free will
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    Feb 26 2012: The acceptance of the big bang is something i can't understand as it should of been dropped when it was observed that the stars of our galaxy regardless of where they are all orbit the center at roughly the same speed,we make a theory,we run it until an observation contradicts that theory then we drop it and start again but we didn't do that instead we added to it.That was in the early sixties, come forward to 1965 when wilson and penzias discover the CMBR and suddenly it's direct proof of the bang.Their experiment was focused on something else,they were not looking for the CMBR they only noticed a 3* variance thus they stumbled upon it.The Cosmic microwave background radiation is not energy left over from the bang it's what happens to radiation when it has wiped out its sources.Radiation from our sun will eventually turn into the CMBR.

    Any cosmology can use it,it's there so you put it in,predictions of it's degree variance go back to 1896 when Guilluame predicted it to be 6.1* and he was for a non-expanding universe.We still haven't found dark matter,they use words like "Candidate" to slide in a possible for it's existence,30 years on and still nothing.

    We should have several cosmologies all at the same time not just one,if you're a bang proponent then fine,if you're a steady state proponent then double fine,if your Religious then ok.

    Like hoyle said it takes only one observation,just one to change it all.

    Here's one,we have no evidence to the contrary that states the universe will not dissipate

    This pix is an artists rendition of the universe

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/194/universethecosmologyque.jpg/
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      Feb 26 2012: ",we make a theory,we run it until an observation contradicts that theory then we drop it and start again but we didn't do that instead we added to it."

      Actually what happens in theoretical science is that a theory is created based on observations. That theory if it can be collaborated by other scientist, holds true until disproven. Because it is a theory and explains phenomena and can be explained to later generations. Some theories come in to and out of favor based on new information. But that is why sometimes science is advanced by a new generation working on an old observation.

      So you are correct. Sometimes there are many theories to explain various phenomena. That is why it makes no sense to assign belief to any of them. Of course, some can leave the theoretical plane and move into scientific truth through hypothesis testing. That is why so many people are trying to prove theories. Its what scientists do.

      Now observation is based on perception and we all know that can be faulty. That is why it needs to be corroborated. And the math, or logic can be substantiated. But this sometimes degrades into the whole reality debate going on in another thread.
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        Feb 27 2012: Thanks for the correction, i should of seen that

        Yes you're right,we need more young blood without the fear of the old boy network to challenge it,i for one fear a theorum middle ages that could set us back decades,preposterous as that sounds the feeling is always at the back of my mind.

        I wonder has anyone asked a blind person their thoughts on reality?
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          Feb 27 2012: You're so right about the old boy network too. One of the toughest things is to get that collaboration from fellow scientists. They can be a little cliquish.
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        Feb 28 2012: Once you're ready to ask the question, "does God exist?" here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:

        Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.

        Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?

        The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?

        Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?

        People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?
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        Feb 28 2012: The first cause theory question question would be impossible to answer from an evidentiary standpoint simply because anything which God might have done (that is, any supernatural act which might serve as evidence for His existence) would have to be explained away in terms of natural causes, not because we know what those natural causes could possibly be, but simply because a supernatural God is not allowed to exist!!!!
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      Feb 28 2012: Dr. Richard Lewontin, the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology at Harvard University, put it like this: "It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door" (Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 28).
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        Feb 28 2012: Yeah, only Lewontin continued with some reasoning why gods should not make it in the door:

        "The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."

        Also note that he says "no matter how counterintuitive and mystifying to the **uninitiated**" He is saying that an ignorant opinion on this does not matter. I add that if you are to argue against a scientific explanation you have to do so such well informed, not by misquoting, not by taking phrases and words out of context to make the wrong point. Not by misquoting in the hopes that everybody will believe that whatever some well-known biologist might have said is what every biologist/scientist is thinking.

        You already gave us a twisted quote before (just look around here). Did you learn anything from our discovery of what the real quote was about? Apparently not. You continued using the very same creationist propaganda sources.
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    Feb 22 2012: Its quite amusing how so many people can so easily prove Hawking, and so many more of the world's most brilliant minds wrong, with their "vast and total comprehension".It's not a religious debate. Its' an account of how the universe came to be and the rules that govern it.