Simultaneous Causation

In discussing the Kalam Cosmological argument[1] an objection is often raised against the conclusion that the universe has a cause. This is that there cannot be a cause of the universe because there were no prior instants of time before t = 0 in the initial Big Bang singularity. Similarly, for the universe to have a beginning requires there be a time before the universe existed, and since the universe includes time there is no “before” the universe, making the notion apparently incoherent.

One of the worlds leading philosophers of time and proponent of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, Dr. William Lane Craig, definitively answers this objection bellow.[2]

For he [Grünbaum] fails to consider the obvious alternative that the cause of the Big Bang operated at t = 0, that is, simultaneously (or coincidentally[3]) with the Big Bang. Philosophical discussions of causal directionality routinely treat simultaneous causation, the question being how to distinguish A as the cause and B as the effect when these occur together at the same time [Dummett and Flew (1954); Mackie (1966); Suchting (1968-69); Brier (1974), pp. 91-98; Brand (1979)]. Even on a mundane level, we regularly experience simultaneous causation; to borrow an example from Kant, a heavy ball’s resting on a cushion being the cause of a depression in that cushion. Indeed, some philosophers argue that all efficient causation is simultaneous, for if the causal conditions sufficient for some event E were present prior to the time t of E‘s occurrence, then E would happen prior to t; similarly if the causal conditions for E were to vanish at t after having existed at tn < t, then E would not occur at t. In any case, there seems to be no conceptual difficulty in saying that the cause of the origin of the universe acted simultaneously (or coincidentally) with the origination of the universe. We should therefore say that the cause of the origin of the universe is causally prior to the Big Bang, though not temporally prior to the Big Bang. In such a case, the cause may be said to exist spacelessly and timelessly sans the universe, but temporally subsequent to the moment of creation.

My favorite example of simultaneous causation is that of a submerged log which causes the water to be displaced. Another example is of a man who from eternity has been standing, and by sitting (the cause A) creates a lap (the effect B). In these there is no question of the causal directionality, even though the cause and effect are operative at the exact same instant.

So the so-called problem of it being impossible for the universe to have a cause is not at all insuperable. As Craig says, it is “pretty clearly a pseudo-dilemma.”[4]


Footnotes

[1] 1.) Everything that begins to exist has a cause,

2.) The universe began to exist

3.) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

[2] William Lane Craig, “Creation and Big Bang Cosmology.” Philosophia Naturalis 31 (1994): 217-224.

[3] – coincidentally in case “simultaneity” is strictly defined in terms of occurrence at the same time. Since the singularity is not an instant or moment of time, but a boundary of time, a cause producing its effect at the singularity could not be strictly said to be simultaneous with its effect. Nonetheless they both occur coincidentally (in the literal sense of the word), that is, they both occur at t = 0. Ibid., Craig, “God and Big Bang Cosmology.” Footnote 1.

[4] Ibid., Craig, “God and Big Bang Cosmology.”

87 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    O, no. The water is there alright. And being displaced. I don’t understand how you could think otherwise.

    That's your poverty of imagination, not my problem. In order for water to be displaced from something would REQUIRE that the water was there previously. Otherwise, it's simply being fit into the shape its original container.

  2. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Stuart,

    A prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain is not a necessary condition for simultaneous causation.

    And the continuous pounding of the desk to "defend" the idea is becoming rather annoying. If they want us to accept their statement as true, which seems evidenced by the continuous reassertion of the idea, then they are going to have to convince us. Yet, to this point, they have provided two reasons why we should accept this idea, and both reasons have been shown to be deficient.

    I guess they can also restate their claim. I guess after the 500th time, maybe I'll begin to believe them. Or, they could actually show how my responses as insufficient and/or provide other reasons. Though, I'm not holding my breath on the last option.

  3. Joe
    Joe says:

    And the continuous pounding of the desk to “defend” the idea is becoming rather annoying. If they want us to accept their statement as true, which seems evidenced by the continuous reassertion of the idea, then they are going to have to convince us.

    You're a funny man, Crafty. You both admit that all evidence of causality points to a prior antecedent. The best Stu's done is point to a circular argument of "in a simultaneous causation where there's no previous antecedent, there is no previous antecedent". Except this is problematic to begin with, especially since the water's not being "displaced" when it's wasn't there to BE displaced in the first place in his example. Also, you haven't even begun to answer the analogical differences between this and the particular causation that is an ACT OF CREATION, which is TO BRING ANEW. Thus, you're left with the paradox of something that both always existed and was created.

    Yet, to this point, they have provided two reasons why we should accept this idea, and both reasons have been shown to be deficient.

    LMAO!

    I guess they can also restate their claim. I guess after the 500th time, maybe I’ll begin to believe them. Or, they could actually show how my responses as insufficient and/or provide other reasons. Though, I’m not holding my breath on the last option.

    I meant it seriously when I said you should just butt out if you don't have anything to actually contribute except more hot air.

  4. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Stuart,

    A prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain is not a necessary condition for simultaneous causation. This can be shown with the etnernally submerged log that has always produced the effect of water displacement. In that illustration it is easy to see that simultaneous causation can occur without there being a time prior where the effect did not obtain.

    I am quite confused by the italicised bit; the word 'obtain' is completely alien here (to me) Could you put it differently?

    But to address how I understand of your argument:

    Your first sentence is simply wrong. Empirically. Only a deluded person looks at the entire corpus of known observation – which shows that a prior state of affairs is necessary – and then prefers the imaginary world in their head.

    I believe that it is you that claims that actual infinities are impossible. (And, again, this is terrible empiricism. What do we know that has remained the same for infinity?) You need to remove the word "shown" and replace it with "imagined, in order that I be right".

    Thus, in the real world, where we make sensible infrences from sensible data around us, there is no such thing as simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state.

  5. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    In order for water to be displaced from something [it] would REQUIRE that the water was there previously

    Not at all. In order for water to be displaced, all that is required is for something to create a potentiality such that if it were not there, then the space could be filled.

    Also, a CREATION EVENT as I’ve already explained above is bringing about anew, which REQUIRES a previous moment where it did NOT exist.

    Thats just repeating your position and the objection addressed in the article which is a psudo-dilemma. The CraftMan is pretty much right.

    you haven’t even begun to answer the analogical differences between this and the particular causation that is an ACT OF CREATION, which is TO BRING ANEW.

    The log displacing the water from eternity illustrates that a prior moment where the effect does not obtain is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition of simultaneous causation. It is not meant to illustrate a creation event. It is meant to defeat your objection to simultaneous causation of the universe.

  6. Joe
    Joe says:

    Not at all. In order for water to be displaced, all that is required is for something to create a potentiality such that if it were not there, then the space could be filled.

    That makes no sense. In order for the water to be displaced, it must first inhabit the space which would BE displaced. Or are you saying ALL water is now being displaced? Just because it has the hypothetical "potential" doesn't mean jack.

    Also, a CREATION EVENT as I’ve already explained above is bringing about anew, which REQUIRES a previous moment where it did NOT exist.

    Thats just repeating your position and the objection addressed in the article which is a psudo-dilemma. The CraftMan is pretty much right.

    It's not a pseudo-dilemma but a real issue with your position which you're just trying to evade, and failing. Not only have you failed to even explain what the "cause" and "effect" would be with regards to the universe, you just claim it's "simultanenous", making the whole thing simply incomprehensible. What's the cause? The cause of the universe is simultaneous to the universe itself? The cause of time is simultaneous to time itself? What does that even mean? Either time has always existed, or it "began" at a certain point, which itself is an incoherent notion. Face it, buddy. Even your "simultaneous" example is deeply rooted in time. The only way your "log" example would even work is if it CONTINUES to cause and effect.

    you haven’t even begun to answer the analogical differences between this and the particular causation that is an ACT OF CREATION, which is TO BRING ANEW.

    The log displacing the water from eternity illustrates that a prior moment where the effect does not obtain is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition of simultaneous causation. It is not meant to illustrate a creation event. It is meant to defeat your objection to simultaneous causation of the universe.

    Except it doesn't, seeing as the water is no longer strictly being displaced when it was never there TO BE DISPLACED in the first place. Just saying IT COULD FILL THAT SPACE doesn't translate to THEREFORE WATER IS BEING DISPLACED.

    All this doesn't count for jack when all KCA rests on are unsupported assertions. Even your goldenchild BVG is only a POSSIBLE theorem which Aguirre & Gratton's theorem so eloquently shows.

    simply asserting that it's a "simultaneous causation" when a CREATION event is one that's decidedly NOT one doesn't help your case at all.

  7. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Original Simon,

    I am quite confused by the italicised bit [prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain; the word ‘obtain’ is completely alien here (to me) Could you put it differently?

    Sure thing. Its your and Joe's objection put succinctly. It runs like; "[there can be no simultaneous causation] if there was no BEFORE where there was no effect."

    The words, "where the effect does not obtain," restated is something like, "where there is no application of the [aforementioned] effect."

    This I have argued is false with the eternally submerged log illustration.

    But to address how I understand of your argument:

    [1] Your first sentence is simply wrong. Empirically. Only a deluded person looks at the entire corpus of known observation – which shows that a prior state of affairs is necessary – and then prefers the imaginary world in their head.

    [2] I believe that it is you that claims that actual infinities are impossible. (And, again, this is terrible empiricism. What do we know that has remained the same for infinity?) You need to remove the word “shown” and replace it with “imagined, in order that I be right”.

    [3] Thus, in the real world, where we make sensible infrences from sensible data around us, there is no such thing as simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state.

    Other Simon's argument abbreviated [my comments italicized and in parentheses]:

    (1) You're deluded (Ad hominim) – empirically, a prior state of affairs is a necessary condition [for simultaneous causation]. (Observation does not make a prior temporal state a necessary condition. That is like saying "We see that Mother always enters the kitchen to bake a cake, therefore mother entering the kitchen is a necessary condition for one of mother's cakes." The necessary conditions for an effect are only those conditions that produce the effect. In the example of a cause for one of mother's baked cakes, the necessary conditions for the effect are ingredients (material cause), Mother (formal cause) and heat to do the baking (efficient cause). Anyway, the premise is false as shown by the eternally submerged log displacing the water.)

    (2) [According to you] actual infinities are impossible in the real world. (Yes, I do. In philosophy we use thought experiments to test and reveal the nature or implications of a thing. So the eternally submerged log displacing the water is not an example in "the real world," but it is a perfectly comprehensible illustration which reveals that, "a prior temporal state where the effect does not obtain (or is not in application)" is not a necessary condition for causation.)

    (3) Therefore, there is no such thing as simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state. (Question Begging)

  8. Joe
    Joe says:

    Can't believe I forgot this bit of strawman:

    So the so-called problem of it being impossible for the universe to have a cause is not at all insuperable. As Craig says, it is “pretty clearly a pseudo-dilemma.”[4]

    This is with regards to the claim that time "began" at some point. Having said that, it leads to further problems for you, since your examples of "simultaneous causations" never show anything to BEGIN.

  9. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    I believe you misunderstand

    Stuart: Not at all. In order for water to be displaced, all that is required is for something to create a potentiality such that if it were not there, then the space could be filled.

    Joe: That makes no sense. In order for the water to be displaced, it must first inhabit the space which would BE displaced. Or are you saying ALL water is now being displaced? Just because it has the hypothetical “potential” doesn’t mean jack.

    (1) The log has eternally been in the water. (2) The water has eternally been displaced. (3) Therefore, at every moment in time, there was cause (a submerged log) simultaneous to the effect (water displacement).

    – But you object to #2. You say "In order for water to be displaced from something [it] would REQUIRE that the water was there previously."

    This is incorrect. The only necessary conditions for the water to be displaced is the log (material cause), and that it is submerged (effectual cause). If the log were not there, the water would inhabit the place where the log would have been if it were. Because the log is there in the water, the water is displaced.

    – The objection Joe is possibly making above; "Just because it [the log] has the hypothetical “potential” [to not be submerged in the water] doesn’t mean jack."

    It actually does mean something – it means that the water is displaced. Material causes only exist as potentials, thus they can be there or not be there: be used or not be used. And the possibility of the log not being submerged in the water (which is perfectly understandable) shows us that the water could have been there where the log currently is, and thus the water that is not there now, is displaced.

    Please Note: Try stay on topic Joe. Looking at the nature of the cause of the universe is not the burden of this article and is addressed adequately on this blog elsewhere if you care to look.

  10. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    Your first sentence is simply wrong. Empirically. Only a deluded person looks at the entire corpus of known observation – which shows that a prior state of affairs is necessary – and then prefers the imaginary world in their head.

    This is nothing more than empty rhetoric. First, you appeal to an "entire corpus of known observation" which has never been presented. "Entire" provides the piece with a sense of completeness or conclusiveness in nature. As with many of your previous posts, it is little more than rhetoric. We can know this because it is unlikely that you have reviewed the "entire corpus" to learn this. We can also know this because the corpus which has been present is limited to a few examples.

    Second, you simply restated your position. Restating your position does not advance the "discussion." We get it. We really do. You believe a "prior state of affairs is necessary." However, rather than simply state it again for rhetorical impact, something with is obviously not having on Stuart and myself, you need to actually produce some kind of support for your position. Thus, again, it's nothing more than empty rhetoric.

    Third, it fails to address my previous criticism about the appeal to ignorance.

    Fourth, it attacks an anonymous — not so anonymous really — person as being deluded for not agreeing with you. Again, it's empty rhetoric.

    Thus, in the real world, where we make sensible infrences from sensible data around us, there is no such thing as simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state.

    This has still not been established. It has been asserted many times over, but not established. Yes, I understand you believe that you have sufficiently defended your assertion, but it's clear you have not otherwise we'd all be in agreement. Thus, "sensible" people need to regroup and consider how it might be possible to move the "discussion" forward. Or, the more "sensible" thing might be to abandon it.

  11. Joe
    Joe says:

    1) The log has eternally been in the water. (2) The water has eternally been displaced. (3) Therefore, at every moment in time, there was cause (a submerged log) simultaneous to the effect (water displacement).

    – But you object to #2. You say “In order for water to be displaced from something [it] would REQUIRE that the water was there previously.”

    This is incorrect. The only necessary conditions for the water to be displaced is the log (material cause), and that it is submerged (effectual cause).

    How can water be displaced from something it never occupied in the first place? Are you even trying anymore?

    If the log were not there, the water would inhabit the place where the log would have been if it were. Because the log is there in the water, the water is displaced.

    IF the log were not there, the ABSENCE would in fact be the cause of the water taking place where it never was before. This isn't quite the same. Also, when did it ever "begin" in your example?

    The objection Joe is possibly making above; “Just because it [the log] has the hypothetical “potential” [to not be submerged in the water] doesn’t mean jack.”

    It actually does mean something – it means that the water is displaced. Material causes only exist as potentials, thus they can be there or not be there: be used or not be used.

    How can something be displaced where it never occupied in the first place? It BEGINS to occupy a new territory once the log is TAKEN OUT in your example.

    move: cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense; "Move those boxes into the corner, please"; "I'm moving my money to another bank"; "The director moved more responsibilities onto his new assistant"

    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    And the possibility of the log not being submerged in the water (which is perfectly understandable) shows us that the water could have been there where the log currently is, and thus the water that is not there now, is displaced.

    Main Entry: dis·place

    Pronunciation: (?)dis-?pl?s, di-?spl?s

    Function: transitive verb

    Etymology: probably from Middle French desplacer, from des- dis- + place place

    Date: 1549

    1 a : to remove from the usual or proper place; specifically : to expel or force to flee from home or homeland b : to remove from an office, status, or job c obsolete : to drive out : banish

    2 a : to move physically out of position <a> b : to take the place of (as in a chemical reaction) : supplant

    synonyms see replace

    — dis·place·able -?pl?-s?-b?l adjective

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displac

    So want to try again? Even the last definition which is what you use, shows TO MOVE PHYSICALLY OUT OF POSITION. How can you move something OUT of position when it was never IN that position in the first place?

    Please Note: Try stay on topic Joe. Looking at the nature of the cause of the universe is not the burden of this article and is addressed adequately on this blog elsewhere if you care to look.

    Why don't you actually stay on your own topic, instead of pulling the ultimately irrelevant example of a causation? It's irrelevant since you're using this as a support for the claim that the universe BEGAN, and thus was caused. You see the problem here?

  12. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    That water can be displaced from a space if it could occupy that space were the material cause not to obtain, that is to say, if the log was not present in the water. I addressed this already.

  13. Joe
    Joe says:

    That water can be displaced from a space if it could occupy that space were the material cause not to obtain, that is to say, if the log was not present in the water. I addressed this already.

    You didn't address it so much as just assert just because IF you removed the log, the water would occupy the space it never occupy to begin with, the water is being displaced, despite the fact that you can't displace something that wasn't there TO displace in the first place. I love how your example SHOULD IT BE LEGITIMATE, STILL fails because it never BEGAN to displace, which is the KEY point that makes the entire KCA fall or stand. Because KCA's CORE point is with regards to things BEGINNING, which your example of "simultaneous causation" DOES NOT EXEMPLIFY and in fact works IN OPPOSITION to that, your "support" for it really does not buttress the KCA at all.

  14. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Stuart,

    This issue can be easily resolved by pointing to the definition of displacement. Displacement is "the state of being displaced" (Source: Merriam-Webster). Is the water being displaced? Yes.

  15. Joe
    Joe says:

    Main Entry: dis·place

    Pronunciation: (?)dis-?pl?s, di-?spl?s

    Function: transitive verb

    Etymology: probably from Middle French desplacer, from des- dis- + place place

    Date: 1549

    1 a : to remove from the usual or proper place; specifically : to expel or force to flee from home or homeland b : to remove from an office, status, or job c obsolete : to drive out : banish

    2 a : to move physically out of position b : to take the place of (as in a chemical reaction) : supplant

    synonyms see replace

    — dis·place·able -?pl?-s?-b?l adjective

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displac

    how is the water being displaced if:

    1a: it's not being removed from the usual or proper place since it never occupied it IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    2a: How is it being "moved physically out of position" it never had taken IN THE FIRST PLACE and b. take the place of something when its place was never empty in the first place?

  16. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    You really are a troll. I've never called anyone a troll before, but you take the cheese. I did address it. Here it is again. Material causes are only potentials, thus they can either apply or not apply. As the water is not where it could potentially be, it is displaced.

    I love how your example SHOULD IT BE LEGITIMATE, STILL fails because it never BEGAN to displace, which is the KEY point that makes the entire KCA fall or stand. Because KCA’s CORE point is with regards to things BEGINNING, which your example of “simultaneous causation” DOES NOT EXEMPLIFY and in fact works IN OPPOSITION to that, your “support” for it really does not buttress the KCA at all.

    The point of this discussion is to address a particular objection against the conclusion of the KCA. Not to address the KCA's second premise. Please try stay on topic. That said, I know my example of simultaneous causation (the eternally submerged log) does not exemplify a beginning. It doesn't need to. The point of it was to illustrate how a prior temporal state is not a necessary condition of causation. Its doesn't also need analogue to a beginning/creative event. Illustrations are not usually designed to illustrate two things at the same time. They only need to illustrate one for a reasonable person to see the point being made. The oft-repeated objection failing, it is thus a coherent notion for the universe to have a cause.

    As I am busy with other projects and have answered all the relevant objections that keep coming up, I'll allow you to continue being a troll, but don't expect me to reply back. Good luck, The Craft Man.

  17. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    You're just arguing a definition. Not the illustration. Replace "displacement" with "not there." The effect is the same either way.

  18. Joe
    Joe says:

    You really are a troll. I’ve never called anyone a troll before, but you take the cheese.

    Thanks for the ad hom.

    I did address it.

    And I've already pointed out how your "addressing" of this is rife with errors.

    Here it is again. Material causes are only potentials, thus they can either apply or not apply. As the water is not where it could potentially be, it is displaced.

    Material Causes are what the efficient causes work on. Again with this "possibility is actuality" [Edited out foul language]! Just because it COULD be at a certain place provided it is not occupied doesn't mean it EVER was there, nor does it mean that just because it COULD be there, but it's not, it's being displaced. Water is only displaced when it previous inhabits a certain location that is, "moved physically out of position" by the submerging log.

    I love how your example SHOULD IT BE LEGITIMATE, STILL fails because it never BEGAN to displace, which is the KEY point that makes the entire KCA fall or stand. Because KCA’s CORE point is with regards to things BEGINNING, which your example of “simultaneous causation” DOES NOT EXEMPLIFY and in fact works IN OPPOSITION to that, your “support” for it really does not buttress the KCA at all.

    The point of this discussion is to address a particular objection against the conclusion of the KCA. Not to address the KCA’s second premise. Please try stay on topic.

    What I'm dealing with IS the topic, you moron! What kind of [Edited out foul language] is this? The conclusion DEPENDS on the previous two premises, which HINGE on BEGINNING. When you don't deal with this, you FAIL.

    That said, I know my example of simultaneous causation (the eternally submerged log) does not exemplify a beginning. It doesn’t need to. The point of it was to illustrate how a prior temporal state is not a necessary condition of causation.

    Are you being intentionally dense? OF COURSE it needs to, otherwise your analogy DOES NOT APPLY. KCA, especially Craig's version explicitly states one of CREATION, which is an EVENT of TEMPORAL CAUSATION, since it NEEDS a beginning. Your example of "Simultaneous Cause", like the "eternally submerged log" at BEST, IF it is even a valid example, shows something do not have an antecedent if it does not BEGIN. However, your example STILL fails since by not having BEGUN displacing, you can't say the water is being displaced except in the hypothetical IF the log was PREVIOUSLY NOT THERE, and was placed, the LOG would be displacing the water. As is, however, all that points to is that since there's no water ever being "moved physically out of position" TO BEGIN WITH, THERE IS NO DISPLACEMENT.

    Its doesn’t also need analogue to a beginning/creative event. Illustrations are not usually designed to illustrate two things at the same time. They only need to illustrate one for a reasonable person to see the point being made. The oft-repeated objection failing, it is thus a coherent notion for the universe to have a cause.

    As I am busy with other projects and have answered all the relevant objections that keep coming up, I’ll allow you to continue being a troll, but don’t expect me to reply back. Good luck, The Craft Man.

  19. Joe
    Joe says:

    Forgot to deal with this drivel:

    Its doesn’t also need analogue to a beginning/creative event. Illustrations are not usually designed to illustrate two things at the same time. They only need to illustrate one for a reasonable person to see the point being made. The oft-repeated objection failing, it is thus a coherent notion for the universe to have a cause.

    Here's why your analogy fails. You are claiming that "an eternally submerged log does not require a previous antecendent for it to cause simultaneously", this is like the "universe being created does not require a previous antecedent". It fails because you've essentially equivocated CAUSE, where the distinction is SIGNIFICANT.

    As I am busy with other projects and have answered all the relevant objections that keep coming up, I’ll allow you to continue being a troll, but don’t expect me to reply back. Good luck, The Craft Man.

    LMFAO tuck tail, run. This isn't the first time either, buddy.

  20. Joe
    Joe says:

    Let me make this clear once more: UNLESS there is a previous antecedent prior to which the log was not submerged with which the water is DISPLACED, you CANNOT claim the water is being "displaced" since it NEVER WAS MOVED FROM ITS ORIGINAL POSITION IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  21. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    I actually am busy with other projects. Its not an evasion maneuver.

    You have been warned to watch your language. This is second warning – a warning which you were not promised. Further infractions of foul language will result in your comments being placed automatically in purgatory before they are aired for public viewing. Please respect the trust I am placing in you.

  22. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Stuart,

    Hehe. I'm not going to bother with him. My summary of his argument: Assert. Reassert. Pound fist. Reassert. Yell louder. Reassert. Repeat.

    My conclusion: No substance. Empty rhetoric only.

    Though, I'm sure he'll attempt some appeal to my ego.

  23. Joe
    Joe says:

    Hehe. I’m not going to bother with him. My summary of his argument: Assert. Reassert. Pound fist. Reassert. Yell louder. Reassert. Repeat.

    If you're not going to bother, then shut up and go away. All you've done is fail to point out the problems with YOUR OWN ANALOGY.

    My conclusion: No substance. Empty rhetoric only.

    The irony here is great, kid.

    In fact, what the hell is up with you? NEVER have you even TRIED to deal with the matter, except to REPEAT incessantly with your sniveling tone of "well i'm not going to deal with him!" If you won't, then shut up and get the hell out. Nobody gives an ounce of [edit comment: foul language] whether you do or not, except to note how irritating it is and intellectually vacuous.

    Here it is again, Stu and Crafty:

    Here’s why your analogy fails. You are claiming that “an eternally submerged log does not require a previous antecendent for it to cause simultaneously”, this is like the “universe being created does not require a previous antecedent”. It fails because you’ve essentially equivocated CAUSE, where the distinction is SIGNIFICANT. Your analogical distance is too great for the example, EVEN IF IT IS HYPOTHETICALLY VALID for it actually count as a support for your position.

  24. Timothy H.
    Timothy H. says:

    Guys, don't mind Joe. I've seen him in action elsewhere — he's just a rather dogmatic troll who refuses to be proven wrong.

  25. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    Your continual use of foul language has landed your comments in purgatory where they will be monitored before public airing, as per warning.

  26. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Stuart,

    That is like saying “We see that Mother always enters the kitchen to bake a cake, therefore mother entering the kitchen is a necessary condition for one of mother’s cakes.”

    If every single instance that we have ever observed a cake being made involves Mother entering the kitchen, then the only sensible conclusion would be that this is a necessry condition for a cake to be made.

    Again, only a deluded person looks at the absolutely unequivocal evidence for a prior state of affairs and then prefers the imaginations in their head.

    So the eternally submerged log displacing the water is not an example in “the real world,”

    Lol. I rest my case. You do not live in the real world Stuart, because it conflicts with what you want to believe.

    I see nothing but fanciful wishings in 'opposition' to the cold hard empirical fact that a prior state of affairs is necessary to simultaneous causation.

  27. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    TheCraftMan,

    You are not really worth responding to. When people start claiming ("First, you appeal to an “entire corpus of known observation” which has never been presented. ") that the entire corpus of evidence be presented, they really just don't have any good argument, so all they can do is try to throw doubt onto reasonable claims.

    Put up or shut up. If the entire corpus of known observationdoes NOT involve a prior state of affairs, then give me EVEN ONE EXAMPLE THAT DOESN'T. You can't. Because you are wrong. I'm just not going to respond unless you can do this.

  28. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Original Simon,

    Repeating assertions and calling me deluded is not really worthwhile commenting on.

    If every single instance that we have ever observed a cake being made involves Mother entering the kitchen, then the only sensible conclusion would be that this is a necessry condition for a cake to be made.

    Only its not sensible. Some things are just obvious and shouldn't need to be argued. Here, have some mother's cake that was baked in the staff room at school.

    Have a nice day. :-)

  29. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    You are not really worth responding to.

    Thanks.

    When people start claiming (“First, you appeal to an “entire corpus of known observation” which has never been presented. “) that the entire corpus of evidence be presented, they really just don’t have any good argument, so all they can do is try to throw doubt onto reasonable claims.

    If you had understood the criticism properly, then you would have realized it was centered on your use of categorical statements for rhetorical impact when, in fact, the categorical statements themselves were absurd in nature. Have you reviewed the entire corpus? No. Is there anyone here who has? No. Therefore, none of use can possibly make appeals to the entire corpus. We can only appeal to what we know and can present.

    And, again, you're employing weasel words (i.e., "reasonable claims").

    Put up or shut up. If the entire corpus of known observationdoes NOT involve a prior state of affairs, then give me EVEN ONE EXAMPLE THAT DOESN’T. You can’t. Because you are wrong. I’m just not going to respond unless you can do this.

    If you review the thread, you will notice I never claimed "no prior state of affairs is necessary." I have simply been countering your arguments against the notion. It's kind of like the way many atheists argue in favor of atheism. (I should know. I learned the tactic from atheists.)

  30. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Stuart

    Have you ever noticed how atheists get their panties in a bunch when they're expected to actually defend a position rather than simply having everyone assume it?

  31. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Stuart,

    Repeating assertions and calling me deluded is not really worthwhile commenting on.

    …Only its not sensible [Mother's cake]….

    Yeah, harsh but true I think. In trying to claim simultaneous cause you have used infinities which you yourself don't believe in, used blatantly incomparable situations (baking cakes and simultaneous cause), and continue to contradict yourself by asserting that the univese was created at a certain point in time, while accepting that time is internal to the universe.

    And yet you run round calling people contradictory. I think deluded is quite apt.

  32. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    TheCrafMan,

    If you had understood the criticism properly, then you would have realized it was centered on your use of categorical statements for rhetorical impact when, in fact, the categorical statements themselves were absurd in nature.

    Oh, I understand it. If one cannot apply a categorical statement to the empirical observation that everything we ever seen has a prior state of affairs, then one cannot make a categorical statement ever! Ergo, your epistemology is completely useless.

    If you review the thread, you will notice I never claimed “no prior state of affairs is necessary.” I have simply been countering your arguments against the notion.

    So you think that a prior state of affairs IS necessary then.

    You are one of theose people, then, who doesn't really care what they are arguing about; the goal of the argument for you is that you can feed your ego and feel superior. Well, do you? Considering that your arguing is plain wrong: a prior state of affairs IS necessary.

  33. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    Oh, I understand it. If one cannot apply a categorical statement to the empirical observation that everything we ever seen has a prior state of affairs, then one cannot make a categorical statement ever! Ergo, your epistemology is completely useless.

    Hehe. This is incorrect. We can make categorical statements when they are properly supported by conclusive reasoning. That is, when there are no other possible options. With a lack of such support, we can only make statements as strong as the support allows. So, rather than being "completely useless," my perspective is actually being honest.

    So you think that a prior state of affairs IS necessary then.

    I never claimed a prior state of affairs is or is not necessary. I have argued that your arguments in favor of a prior state of affairs being necessary have failed.

    You are one of theose people, then, who doesn’t really care what they are arguing about; the goal of the argument for you is that you can feed your ego and feel superior. Well, do you? Considering that your arguing is plain wrong: a prior state of affairs IS necessary.

    My emotional attachment or lack thereof is irrelevant. What is relevant are the arguments presented. You have not bothered to address my criticisms, but rather you simple restate your conclusion. So, any chance you'll bother to answer my criticisms? Or will you simply get your panties in a bunch again?

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *