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Cosmological Argument

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So I hear a lot of people using this argument as the justification for God - the idea is that the Universe had a beginning because a past that is infinitely long would be impossible. Therefore the one to start the Universe would be God.

 

But why do people stop at God in such a premise. Surely you could invoke the same reasoning again to see that you go in an infinite loop.

 

Side note: I feel that our existence doesn't really make any sense without theology, but I feel that theology doesn't really make sense itself (ie contradicts with our observations). Islam feels like a very closed bubble where free thinking is dissuaded and may even be punishable by hellfire (such as those who leave the religion). Why would Allah give us 3aql if he ultimately wanted us to rely on faith. I would be very interested to learn a scholars take on this - I am learning Arabic so I can explore Islamic history/sciences in further detail.

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One can make arguments based on logic for the existence or not of God. St Thomas Aquinas did the prime mover unmoved argument a few centuries ago and Satre (sp) did the opposite in the 19th century.  My personal logic is infinity +1. But that's me.

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Aristotle argued that infinity cannot exist in real world in any form. Then people took it as a premise for the cosmological argument.

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11 hours ago, superman said:

So I hear a lot of people using this argument as the justification for God - the idea is that the Universe had a beginning because a past that is infinitely long would be impossible. Therefore the one to start the Universe would be God.

 

But why do people stop at God in such a premise. Surely you could invoke the same reasoning again to see that you go in an infinite loop.

 

The idea of a single Creator is simpler than an infinite loop of events. If you're a proponent of Occam's razor, then you should incorporate the idea of infinity into your understanding of the world in a way that is simple, meaningful, and unified. The only way to do that is to designate the term "infinity" only as belonging to God. Otherwise it is merely a concept.

 

And even as a concept, the philosopher René Descartes believed that the idea of infinity is so great and unique that it could have come only from God: "René Descartes believed God was actually infinite, and he remarked that the concept of actual infinity is so awesome that no human could have created it or deduced it from other concepts, so any idea of infinity that humans have must have come from God directly. Thus God exists. Descartes is using the concept of infinity to produce a new ontological argument for God’s existence." (Source)

 

11 hours ago, superman said:

Side note: I feel that our existence doesn't really make any sense without theology, but I feel that theology doesn't really make sense itself (ie contradicts with our observations). Islam feels like a very closed bubble where free thinking is dissuaded and may even be punishable by hellfire (such as those who leave the religion). Why would Allah give us 3aql if he ultimately wanted us to rely on faith.

 

Intellect and faith are not necessarily antithetical elements. Rather, they are supposed to reinforce each other. And obviously there are plenty of verses in the Quran that tells us to observe and to ponder on the creations around us. Therefore clearly Islam seeks to expand our thinking faculties, not stifle them.

 

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5 hours ago, Haku said:

Aristotle argued that infinity cannot exist in real world in any form. Then people took it as a premise for the cosmological argument.

 

Some mathematicians have also argued that ... and it makes sense, IMO.  

 

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I would disagree about Islam not stifling intellect. For instance, speech against Islam or the prophet are not allowed in Islamic countries and there is a hadith where the prophet orders death by apostasy.

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36 minutes ago, Spider said:

 

Some mathematicians have also argued that ... and it makes sense, IMO.  

 

often what makes sense to you or what is intuitive has no basis in reality. Also, see this video about infinity:

 

 

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2 hours ago, Spider said:

 

The idea of a single Creator is simpler than an infinite loop of events. If you're a proponent of Occam's razor, then you should incorporate the idea of infinity into your understanding of the world in a way that is simple, meaningful, and unified. And the only way to do that is to designate the term "infinity" only as belonging to God. Otherwise it is merely a concept.

 

 

I don't really follow what you're saying here.

 

The cosmological argument is nice in that it offers an explanation that makes sense - an uncaused cause.

 

However a lot of things start making sense if left to supernatural causes - where does thunder come from? Oh it must be the thunder god when he's angry.

 

Now I'm debating in my head weather the above analogy is a straw man.

 

I heard the only truly intellectual position is to neither be atheist or theist - but agnostic instead.

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20 minutes ago, superman said:

I would disagree about Islam not stifling intellect. For instance, speech against Islam or the prophet are not allowed in Islamic countries and there is a hadith where the prophet orders death by apostasy.

 

You're changing the subject because that has nothing to do with intellect. Those are about the importance of speaking with respect and dignity regarding Islam and our Prophet (PBUH). You are allowed to debate or argue against specific issues as long as it done respectfully. So there are rules and expectations with regards to speech, yes, but you are free to think what you want. 

 

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49 minutes ago, superman said:

However a lot of things start making sense if left to supernatural causes - where does thunder come from? Oh it must be the thunder god when he's angry.

 

That's just a bad analogy.

 

And to this comment: "often what makes sense to you or what is intuitive has no basis in reality," to me that basically sounds like a cop out because you could say that anytime just to support your own arguments or beliefs. It's not providing anything concrete nor meaningful to discuss. What you said is true, and you can say that (I say that also), but it's not really a counter-argument to anything.

 

Edit: Also, when I say so and so makes sense to me, I don't mean that it truly has basis in reality. I just mean that this is the stronger view in my opinion, or more likely to be true. 

 

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42 minutes ago, Spider said:

 

You're changing the subject because that has nothing to do with intellect. Those are about the importance of speaking with respect and dignity regarding Islam and our Prophet (PBUH). You are allowed to debate or argue against specific issues as long as it done respectfully. So there are rules and expectations with regards to speech, yes, but you are free to think what you want. 

 

 

What I have heard is that in Islamic countries you can not preach Christianity or Judaism (I don't know if this extends to anti Islamic ideals in general). If so - this is clearly against a free exchange of ideas where people born in Islamic bubbles will remain within them.

 

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1 hour ago, Spider said:

 

That's just a bad analogy.

 

And to this comment: "often what makes sense to you or what is intuitive has no basis in reality," to me that basically sounds like a cop out because you could say that anytime just to support your own arguments or beliefs. It's not providing anything concrete nor meaningful to discuss. What you said is true, and you can say that (I say that also), but it's not really a counter-argument to anything.

 

Edit: Also, when I say so and so makes sense to me, I don't mean that it truly has basis in reality. I just mean that this is the stronger view in my opinion, or more likely to be true. 

 

 

While I get where you're coming from I think it is best to remain agnostic on the issue as to whether infinity can exist in reality or not. Really - it's best to ask a mathematician about this - as someone who has studied physics I have no idea when it comes to fundamental mathematics.

 

Now this statement I said wasn't really meant as a counter argument but more to say that there are things that do not make sense intuitively in our minds - but exist in reality regardless. For instance look at the Add to simultaneity of events

 

Btw when it comes to supporting views, I think the best way to achieve this is in either 2 ways: Either through evidence (science) or through logic (philosophy). Large faith depends on an absence of both of these elements does it not?

 

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Science and logic are over-rated in terms of knowing the ultimate truth. These are good for investigating particular matters. Truth, however, is not necessarily constrained by science and logic. It requires that we take into account subjective experiences, morality, the psychology of man, the yearnings of the soul, and so on, in addition to the scientific modes of understanding reality. Therefore, I would argue that the ultimate truth is both rational and irrational at the same time. That's what faith amounts to; it's a combination of both and that's why you can't justify it purely from a scientific or logical point of view.

 

Unfortunately many people's minds are (like a lot of scientists these days) trapped in the straight-jacket of militant rationality, unable to accept anything beyond that.

 

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I hear what you're saying - but isn't this a copout according to your own definition? Ie, to your argument I say: "to me that basically sounds like a cop out because you could say that anytime just to support your own arguments or beliefs"

 

I would argue psychology is a science

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