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Who or what created God?


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#31    Rlyeh

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:27 PM

View PostAngel Left Wing, on 28 July 2012 - 01:15 PM, said:

Did you notice the link is speaking about isolated and closed systems?

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You seem to be missing the point.
I don't even see it. I still can't work out how someone saying the universe is eternal requires them to believe in God.


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For someone who doesn't believe in Him to state something else can be explained as possible using the same reasoning believers use to explain God would first require them to believe that God exists.
If you give your god an attribute, and I use that same attribute in for a different being/object, do I have to believe in your god?


Edited by Rlyeh, 28 July 2012 - 01:30 PM.


#32    Left-Field

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:46 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 28 July 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

Did you notice the link is speaking about isolated and closed systems?

Yes - and to the best of my current understanding it is considered unknown as to whether or not the universe is a closed / isolated system.

I believe it is only fairly recently that science has even considered it a possibility that the universe may not be a closed / isolated system.

View PostRlyeh, on 28 July 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

I don't even see it. I still can't work out how someone saying the universe is eternal requires them to believe in God.

I think I've stated it pretty clearly and it seems others understand the reasoning as to why.

This particular discussion about it was based on Waspie Dwarf stating that if people can explain God's existence by believing he has always been and always will be, then he can apply that logic to the universe.

So the question is, what if no one believed in God? What would Waspie Dwarf then fall back on as his reasoning that the universe has always been and always will be?

If the reasoning believers use to explain God's existence is the only thing he has to fall back on as his belief that the universe has and always will be, then he must acknowledge God exists in order for it to hold any credence.

If Waspie Dwarf truly doesn't believe in God then it does not make sense for him to rely solely upon any of the things credited to God by believers to explain the reason behind how the universe came to be (or anything else for that matter).

View PostRlyeh, on 28 July 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

If you give your god an attribute, and I use that same attribute in for a different/being object, do I have to believe in your god?

It depends.

If that particular attribute is so unique that it is only associated as being real - or even possible - because people attribute it to a god, then yes, it would stand to reason that you hold a belief in that god's existence as well.

If you have other reasons for considering that attribute as real (or possible), then no, it does not require you to believe in that god in order to apply it to someone or something else.

In this case there is another factor, however. Being as science states you can't come up with something from nothing, one would have to believe that science is flawed if they believe the universe has always been and always will be and / or that it came into existence out of nothing.

Edited by Angel Left Wing, 28 July 2012 - 02:20 PM.


#33    eight bits

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:58 PM

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I think I've stated it pretty clearly and it seems others understand the reasoning as to why.

Maybe some seem to, but I don't.

Clearly the creator God story doesn't "explain" how anything came from nothing, it simply posits that something did, to wit, God.

The idea that there is something to explain arises from the intuiton that the set of things now existing is a subset of things that began to exist. Once it is pointed out that that intuition may be false, for example by asserting the existence of something that now exists but didn't begin to exist, like God, then the possibility of abandoning the intuition is necessarily raised. The intuition must be false for the God-assertion to be true.

"Abandonment of the intuition" means speculating about the contents of the set "things that exist now that had no beginning." You believe that that set isn't empty, you think God is a member, possibly the unique member.

WD thinks you may be right about the non-emptiness of the set. He just seems to explore different ideas about what the membership could be. His opinion about God need have nothing to do with that. He certainly doesn't contradict himself by agreeing with you in part (that some set is non-empty) and disagreeing with you in another logically indpendent part (what the membership of the set is), that is, denying the uniqueness of your proposed member.

Edited by eight bits, 28 July 2012 - 05:00 PM.

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#34    Left-Field

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 06:52 AM

View Posteight bits, on 28 July 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

Maybe some seem to, but I don't.

I'm not sure I can explain it much better or more clearly than I have stated so far, but I will try to.

View Posteight bits, on 28 July 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

Clearly the creator God story doesn't "explain" how anything came from nothing, it simply posits that something did, to wit, God.

My claim has never been that the "God story" explains how something can come from nothing. In actuality, the fact that the "God story" doesn't explain how something can spring forth from nothing plays a large part in me stating one would have to believe in God in order to meaningfully apply the reasoning "believers" give for His existence to anything else that exists - in this case, the universe.

The only way one could meaningfully use the reasoning "believers" give to explain God's existence without actually believing in God is if they can apply that same reasoning to at least two things unrelated to God (or anything they feel is fictitious or lacks scientific explanation).

So in this case, one could apply such reasoning to the universe as one example of such an instance. Now, what other tangible thing exists (outside of God) that people (more specifically science and the individual who uses the reasoning) have no explanation for its origin and being other than to say it has always been and always will be?

This is important because if there is nothing else the individual who does not believe in God can apply that belief to other than being a reason for why we can't explain the origins of the universe, then they are either basing that belief on a faulty premise (because in their mind God is fictional) or they are basing that belief on nothing more than faith.

In the world of science, nothing exists simply because of one's faith. Faith is not a scientific way of explaining anything.

So that said, if one uses faith as their way of reasoning that the universe has always been and always will be, then they are essentially holding the universe itself as being so incredibly unique that the only other comparison known to explain its origins is to things that atheists believe come from fictitious beliefs (whether it be "my" God or anyone elses belief of a god, gods, or higher being).

View Posteight bits, on 28 July 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

The idea that there is something to explain arises from the intuiton that the set of things now existing is a subset of things that began to exist. Once it is pointed out that that intuition may be false, for example by asserting the existence of something that now exists but didn't begin to exist, like God, then the possibility of abandoning the intuition is necessarily raised. The intuition must be false for the God-assertion to be true.

"Abandonment of the intuition" means speculating about the contents of the set "things that exist now that had no beginning." You believe that that set isn't empty, you think God is a member, possibly the unique member.

WD thinks you may be right about the non-emptiness of the set. He just seems to explore different ideas about what the membership could be. His opinion about God need have nothing to do with that. He certainly doesn't contradict himself by agreeing with you in part (that some set is non-empty) and disagreeing with you in another logically indpendent part (what the membership of the set is), that is, denying the uniqueness of your proposed member.

I understand what you are saying and all of that makes sense. I'm pretty sure I actually agree with all of it too. My response to that, however, is the following (which is also touched upon in my statements above):

In order for one to hold a belief in everything you state directly above, wouldn't that person have to admit their belief in such a stance is based on nothing more than faith?

If that is so (which is what my current understanding of this indicates to me) the belief that anything is contained within the set "things that exist now that had no beginning" - whether it be God, the universe, or anything else - becomes an issue of faith and stands in direct contrast to all scientific principles.

Edited by Angel Left Wing, 29 July 2012 - 07:00 AM.


#35    eight bits

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:45 AM

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My claim has never been that the "God story" explains how something can come from nothing.

No, but it is the crucial aspect of the argument Waspie commented upon, which both of you discussed.

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This is important because if there is nothing else the individual who does not believe in God can apply that belief to other than being a reason for why we can't explain the origins of the universe, then they are either basing that belief on a faulty premise (because in their mind God is fictional) or they are basing that belief on nothing more than faith.

No, I can deny that a solution is unique without naming a second solution. For example, I can assert with certainty that the equation x * x = 36 has two solutions without solving the equation. Solving the equation is one way to establish that, but I might appeal to a general theorem of algebra instead.

Now, as it happened, Waspie named a second candidate for a "currently existing thing without a beginning." He's telling a historical story, and that's what happened back then. However, if he were making an argument, then he could just as well say that the claimed uniqueness of the God-story is unsupported, and say no more than that.

The key thing is that he ceased to be willing to assume that "there just had to be" any world creator at all. He thus explored a new and distinct logical system from the one he had previously considered. Nothing of the first system bears on the second system, they are alternatives to one another. Whether or not Waspie believed that the Universe always existed (and in reviewing his post # 14, all I see is him entertaining a possibility) simply has no bearing on whether there is a possible world in which the creator-God hypothesis is false. There is, and Waspie found one.

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If that is so (which is what my current understanding of this indicates to me) the belief that anything is contained within the set "things that exist now that had no beginning" - whether it be God, the universe, or anything else - becomes an issue of faith and stands in direct contrast to all scientific principles.

There is no "faith" here, either way. If somebody believes in God because they have reasoned their way to that position ("natural theology"), then to that extent no faith is involved. Ditto, if someone reasons to the opposite conclusion, or leaves the matter unresolved.

The question is, at least currently, outside the scope of scientific consensus. Just because someone forms a personal opinion about something doesn't mean that "faith" is involved. Conversely, just because the subject matter of an opinion is of interest to science, doesn't mean that the personal opinion is "scientific."

Edited by eight bits, 29 July 2012 - 08:46 AM.

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#36    Left-Field

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 09:37 AM

I can't say that I agree with everything you stated above.

A belief in God does involve faith. A belief in anything that cannot be (or has not yet been) documented, proven, and / or scientifically explained will always involve some degree of faith.

It also holds true that a belief that the universe has always existed cannot be documented, proven, and / or scientifically explained. Therefore anyone that believes that is the case is reliant upon faith in holding that belief.

In regards to Waspie Dwarf's statement that:

"My young mind reasoned that if a god could exist without beginning and end then it was not impossible for the universe to have existed without beginning or end, and thus there was no need for a creator for the universe to exist."

In stating that he reasoned such a thing about the universe - that it could exist without a beginning or an end - based upon the thought of "if a god could exist without beginning and end" he is cleary contradicting his beliefs as an atheist that God does not exist.

It does not equate that an atheist could say "if a god could exist without beginning or end then x, y, and z are possible for the same reasons" because an atheist clearly does not believe a god exists to begin with.

The statement itself contains an acknowledgement of God. If an atheist truly does not believe in God though, then there is no way they should be acknowledging Him, or even the possibility of Him, in regards to any of their stated beliefs.

It would be like me saying:

"I don't believe in ghosts, but if those that do believe in ghosts say they can pass through brick walls then I think it's possible other materials can pass through brick walls as well."

That type of statement by me would clearly be a contradiction.


How could I reason that other materials can pass through brick walls based upon the thought that ghosts can do the same thing when I don't believe in ghosts to begin with?

Edited by Angel Left Wing, 29 July 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#37    eight bits

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

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A belief in God does involve faith.

Some Deists and pantheists would disagree with you about that.

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In stating that he reasoned such a thing about the universe - that it could exist without a beginning or an end - based upon the thought of "if a god could exist without beginning and end" he is cleary contradicting his beliefs as an atheist that God does not exist.

No, he entertained a counterfactual hypothetical. When I quote Shakespeare with approval, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride," I do not contradict my belief that horses, unlike wishes, are flesh and blood. I am considering an alternative possibility, which as it turns out, reinforces my belief that the hypothesis is indeed contrary to fact. If it were true, then I should be seeing something routinely that I don't often see.

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The statement itself contains an acknowledgement of God.

Not if you mean an acknowledgment of God's existence. What is acknowledged is a logical possibility, or a well-formed hypothesis, without any commitment to its truth.

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"I don't believe in ghosts, but if those that do believe in ghost say they can pass through brick walls then I think it's possible other materials can pass through brick walls as well."

That type of statement by me would clearly be a contradiction.

No. The situation actually comes up in the Christian faith, that the resurrected Jesus was said to pass through a secured door without opening it. It is completely unremarkable for a Christian to believe in the Resurrection, including this incident, and not to believe in ghosts, including not to believe that Jesus became a ghost. The beliefs of such a person are described by, not contradicted by, your quoted sentence. The beliefs themselves are entirely consistent, too. There is no contradiction there at all.

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#38    Timonthy

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:27 AM

View PostThe New Richard Nixon, on 28 July 2012 - 06:34 AM, said:

I always wanted to know this but who or what created him? was it himself? created by other gods? a super-god?

Because in order of something to exist, he or she has to be created.
Humans.

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#39    Left-Field

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

View Posteight bits, on 29 July 2012 - 10:16 AM, said:

No.The situation actually comes up in the Christian faith, that the resurrected Jesus was said to pass through a secured door without opening it.

It is completely unremarkable for a Christian to believe in the Resurrection, including this incident, and not to believe in ghosts, including not to believe that Jesus became a ghost.

The beliefs of such a person are described by, not contradicted by, your quoted sentence. The beliefs themselves are entirely consistent, too. There is no contradiction there at all.

I'll have to comment on the rest later, but in regards to what you state above you completely missed the point. I am a Christian, and as such I do believe the things you stated above.

When I used "I" in the example I gave about ghosts going through walls it was not meant to be applied to me specifically. It was meant in the general sense of a person who does not believe in ghosts.

With that being the case, for someone (not me, not a Christian, just any random person who states they do not believe in ghosts) who proclaims they absolutely, positively do not belief in ghosts to make the following statement:

"I don't believe in ghosts, but if those that do believe in ghosts say they can pass through brick walls then I think it's possible other materials can pass through brick walls as well."

They would absolutely be contradicitng their beliefs within that statement.

I see zero possibility how a person could claim otherwise, and that would, in fact, mean that Waspie Dwarf (being an atheist) did the same exact thing when he stated his reasoning that the universe may have always existed was based upon "believers" holding such a belief about God.

Edited by Angel Left Wing, 29 July 2012 - 10:45 AM.


#40    notoverrated

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:58 AM

View PostAngel Left Wing, on 29 July 2012 - 10:40 AM, said:

I'll have to comment on the rest later, but in regards to what you state above you completely missed the point. I am a Christian, and as such I do believe the things you stated above.

When I used "I" in the example I gave about ghosts going through walls it was not meant to be applied to me specifically. It was meant in the general sense of a person who does not believe in ghosts.

With that being the case, for someone (not me, not a Christian, just any random person who states they do not believe in ghosts) who proclaims they absolutely, positively do not belief in ghosts to make the following statement:

"I don't believe in ghosts, but if those that do believe in ghosts say they can pass through brick walls then I think it's possible other materials can pass through brick walls as well."

They would absolutely be contradicitng their beliefs within that statement.

I see zero possibility how a person could claim otherwise, and that would, in fact, mean that Waspie Dwarf (being an atheist) did the same exact thing when he stated his reasoning that the universe may have always existed was based upon "believers" holding such a belief about God.
i think its flaud logic to say "if god can exist forever and didnt need to be created so can the universe" but i dont think tht means they must believe in god cuz well obviously they dont but i get where you are comming from and seems you are making the most sense out of the bunch.

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#41    Left-Field

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:12 AM

View Postnotoverrated, on 29 July 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

i think its flaud logic to say "if god can exist forever and didnt need to be created so can the universe" but i dont think tht means they must believe in god cuz well obviously they dont but i get where you are comming from and seems you are making the most sense out of the bunch.

I understand why you say "I don't think it means they must believe in God cause obviously they don't" because like you said, if they don't believe in Him they don't believe in Him. It's pretty simple.

What I am saying though is that they can't have it both ways. You can't not believe in God and they say you explain the origins of the universe as having always existed because those who do believe in God state He has always existed.

If someone is going to cling to that reasoning about the universe's existence while still maintaining a 100% confident belief that God does not exist they would have to base that belief upon something other than the thoughts "believers" have about God.

To expand upon that, I am also stating that not only would they have to base it on something other than "believers" thoughts about God, but that unless they can come up with a proven scientific principle that  states something can be of existence having had no beginning or end (and / or that something than come into existence out of nothing) that belief would be a matter of faith as opposed to fact.


Edited by Angel Left Wing, 29 July 2012 - 11:17 AM.


#42    eight bits

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:06 PM

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...  you completely missed the point ...

Maybe not so much:

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... it was not meant to be applied to me specifically...

I didn't apply it to you specifically. I just showed that a specified set of beliefs can be consistently held by somebody. Even if I could guess that you were a Christian, I just don't know what you think about ghosts in general. So, it couldn't be you personally whom I had in mind.

It is hard for me, however, to think of many realisitic examples of somebody thinking about what, besides ghosts, could move through intact walls. So, the hypothetical Christian ghost-sceptic example was chosen mainly for its homely familiarity to most people on the board, including you and me.

Similarly, I don't know anything about Waspie's thought process, except what he shares of it here. I understood his report to be about how he came to question the creator-God story, which turned out to be an early step on his road to atheism. I don't think that he was already an atheist when that thought occurred to him. On the contrary, it seems to me he was explaining how he became an atheist sometime afterwards.

Regardless of what happened to him later, what had already happened by then was over and done with. The very fact that Waspie's story succeeds as an explanation, "I thought this, so I started on the road to concluding that," reinforces the impression that there is no contradiction between thinking this and later concluding that.

Nor in thinking both simultaneously, either.

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#43    Left-Field

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:20 AM

View Posteight bits, on 29 July 2012 - 12:06 PM, said:

Regardless of what happened to him later, what had already happened by then was over and done with. The very fact that Waspie's story succeeds as an explanation, "I thought this, so I started on the road to concluding that," reinforces the impression that there is no contradiction between thinking this and later concluding that.

I tend to think you are going far deeper down the path than what was actually stated. Waspie Dwarf's statement was very clear - he said the following:

"My young mind reasoned that if a god could exist without beginning and end then it was not impossible for the universe to have existed without beginning or end, and thus there was no need for a creator for the universe to exist."

I am basing everything I said off of that statement and that statement alone. In doing so I feel I have accurately explained how the statement itself is a contradiction given the fact Waspie Dwarf does not believe in God.


For someone who does not believe in God in any way, shape, or form to reach a conclusion about another subject based solely upon the belief others have regarding something they feel is fictional (in this case God) is clearly faulty reasoning and stands in contrast to their stated beliefs whether they realize it or not.

I should also note that I am not intentionally signaling out Waspie Dwarf, nor am I trying to state that he believes in God and just doesn't realize that he does. I am using his name simply because he is the person who made the statement and therefore I have to reference him when speaking about it.

My statements regarding the subject, however, apply to anyone that would state they do not believe in God, yet will then base their beliefs concerning another subject based soley on the beliefs others have about something they themselves feel is nothing more than fantasy.

Edited by Angel Left Wing, 30 July 2012 - 12:23 AM.


#44    StarMountainKid

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:17 AM

"Who or what created God?"  The question implies that God was created, and that there was a time in which God did not exist. If  the universe, space and time as we understand them were creations of God, then God may exist beyond or separate from space and time.  If this is true, God exists 'outside' of time and space, so asking this question would be meaningless.

If God exists beyond time and space, cause and effect may also not apply to God. There was no cause for God's existence, God was never created, because the laws of cause and effect and 'creation' may only be valid within the universe.  

In this sense, God is not even eternal, because 'eternal' implies time. I don't know where God resides (if there is such a being), but even saying God 'resides' would be incorrect, because 'resides' implies space.

It may be meaningless to impose any human concept upon God. On the other hand, God may be some very knowledgeable and therefore a very powerfully creative creature who likes creating universes. This creature may wonder itself where it came from.

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#45    Habitat

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 02:41 AM

“Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time: and not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections, not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time.”
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