Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

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Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by RockSlider »

Two brilliant minds, non argumentative analysis. William Lane Craig has always annoyed me in listening to his formal debates with various atheists. This podcast has changed my view of him. And Alex O'Connor, how would it be to be so young and brilliant? A new release on the Cosmicskeptic's youtube channel came up for me tonight:

I can barely/partially conceive and follow this, but do think I caught alex's conclusion
This is a very good interchange.

William Lane Craig and CosmicSkeptic
Discuss the Kalam Cosmological Argument

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Stem »

Thanks. I like Alex and find him thoughtful for such a youngster, well, true if he were more aged as well.

I've heard and read Craig's reliance on the Kalam Cosmological argument. I'm not sure how to connect it to God. I do believe Sean Carroll's debate with him said it best--there is no reason to assume a beginning.

Also, it seems Craig's use of that argument dismantles LDS thought on God since Craig's case assumes a nothing, previous to the beginning of the Universe. Without that the argument falls apart.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by moksha »

The Kalam cosmological argument in simple form:

Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.

An example in another form:

Diamonds began to exist
due to great pressure from the earth
therefore, the earth forgot to take Valium.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Chap »

moksha wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:10 pm
The Kalam cosmological argument in simple form:

Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.

An example in another form:

Diamonds began to exist
due to great pressure from the earth
therefore, the earth forgot to take Valium.

Hope that helps.
I have to say that the Kalam argument strikes me as about as faulty as this one:

In a program written in the BASIC programming language, every quantity calculated by the program is the result of an operation involving the '=' sign.
Therefore the BASIC programming language is the result of an operation involving the "=" sign.
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
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That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Physics Guy »

I'm not familiar with this argument under this name. I have a hard time connecting medieval Islam with cosmology since the cosmology I know only began in the 1920s. As far as I understand what is getting called "the Kalam cosmological argument", though, I guess I actually believe it, but I wouldn't call either of its premises self-evident.

The major premise is pretty hard to doubt, though, I think. I mean, you can say that something could begin, yet without being caused by anything else; but I'm not sure that that statement would actually mean anything. And even if there were some way to wiggle out of the major premise, I just have no interest in doing that. I'm a scientist, and science is all about believing that events have causes. So even if the major premise does count as an assumption, it's one I'm happy to make.

The minor premise—that the universe had a beginning—doesn't make sense to me as an assumption. It's not at all obvious to me a priori that the universe couldn't just have always been there. An eternal universe seems like a logical possibility. Popular astronomy books that I found in libraries as a kid used to mention the "Steady State" model of the universe as a potentially viable alternative to the Big Bang model, even though now the only reason I can see for anyone ever to have taken that old Steady State cosmology seriously is ideological, because it just discards basic laws of nature in order to avoid an uncomfortable conclusion. Physically plausible it wasn't, but logically possible, sure.

The universe having had a beginning, at which even time itself as we know it began, is also a logical possibility, however—and there's actually a lot of empirical evidence in its favor. One sometimes hears about "the Big Bang" having been discarded as a theory, but this is a less drastic change than it sounds. Cosmologists today often mean "the Big Bang" to refer only to the first and simplest version of the theory, which has since been refined in some significant ways. Those refinements don't change the basic scenario of a beginning to all space and time, a finite time ago. Indeed the main refinement—so-called "inflation"—is essentially just to make the Big Bang bigger.

It's not a completely clear picture, because data from fourteen-odd billion years ago is fuzzy and the theory which we would need to interpret that data is dubious. So there are still lots of speculative alternative theories that are nothing like the old Steady State model, since they look just like the Big Bang after the first tiny fractions of a second, but which replace the actual beginning of time itself with a brief episode of extreme conditions within an eternally ongoing story. These theories are viable, in the sense that they haven't all been ruled out yet by observations, and they are popular among cosmologists because they offer the opportunity of writing new papers, but so far none of them has won general acceptance. Every couple of years some new speculation gets puffed by popular science writers as a radical breakthrough; one should take these reports about as seriously as the stories about miracle foods.

So at this point it's not really certain but it does look rather as though the universe may have had a beginning. That's not an assumption; it's a somewhat ambiguous but straightforward interpretation of empirical observations. Since those medieval Muslims didn't have radio telescopes or General Relativity, I don't see how any of their theological speculations can really have anything to do with modern observational cosmology. So there might be a cosmological argument for some kind of First Cause but I really don't get the "Kalam" part.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Gadianton »

I think he assumes for the sake of the argument the universe had a beginning, but he's open to it being otherwise. Not saying it's self-evident. The big bang as a data point says the universe had a beginning, and so let's say it had a beginning. If you want to say the big bang is wrong, then you get out of it.

But if you believe the big bang, then bam, you're stuck believing it was caused. A standard atheist response that I think goes back to the 80s was to reject the term "causation" for whatever happens beyond t=0. But Discovery Channel gives plenty of other options. For instance, behind everything is a steady-state of D-branes lined up like slices of bread. If two bread slices clash together, then bam, a universe is created. Without knowing much about D-branes, I'm inclined to say that's at least as reasonable as Craig's conclusion, that t=0 happens when an ineffable God wills about creation through his un-caused libertarian free will. The 'personal' link between God and us, per the video, is apparently the common property of free-will.

While Carl Sagan ruled out God by the triumph of steady-state theory, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas both had steady state models, and so God as a part of a steady state is certainly a possible assertion of God, and I'm pretty sure if the big-bang is falsified, then Craig isn't going to lose his faith. Likewise, atheism isn't tied to one or the other, at least in my opinion, although surely taking down Carl Sagan is a point for the Christian scorecard. It's too bad the old-school Mopologists can't claim an equivalent win on any point they've ever made.

As one who identifies both as atheist and Mormon, I really can't conceive of what atheism means beyond rejecting the Gods of scripture. The word "God" is just too nebulous. On the one hand, if God is subtle, if he's behind the x which is behind the D-branes, and there is really no connection to scripture and faith or an afterlife or any of the main things religious people hold over the rest of us, then if there is such a God then great, it would be nice to know in the same way it would be nice to know more about D-branes but no more. But on the other hand, if God is too much like us, such as in Mormonism, where you have some galactic dude out on a space adventure creating worlds and giving people rules to follow and then rewarding them with afterlives for their faith, then this also misses the mark of intrinsic meaning and purpose, if those things are fundamental to what it means to be God. On one extreme, purpose is too alien and tacit in material reality, on the other it's to obvious.
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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by huckelberry »

First I have never been able to find a way to think I know whether the universe had a beginning or not. Second I have been unsure how Gods freewill escapes the problem. Third freewill is at best a murky proposition.(what caused God to decide to create?)

Perhaps relatedly I find the Kalam argument aesthetically unappealing. In that all arguments for Gods existence leave room to doubt I favor aesthetically appealing ones or practically useful ones.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by huckelberry »

Idle thoughts. I am sure that there is a potential for the universe to exist otherwise there would not be one. I do not see how there could be a time when no such potential exited becuause if it did not exist there would not be a universe.But what caused the transition. God of the gaps could do this. Or perhaps the potentiality goes through a cycle and starts over again and again. For some reason (perhaps a quirk in neuron arrangements) infinite past time laid out in a line seems more contradictory than infinite time laid out in repeating cycles.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Physics Guy »

Gadianton wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:21 am
A standard atheist response that I think goes back to the 80s was to reject the term "causation" for whatever happens beyond t=0. But Discovery Channel gives plenty of other options. For instance, behind everything is a steady-state of D-branes lined up like slices of bread. If two bread slices clash together, then bam, a universe is created. Without knowing much about D-branes, I'm inclined to say that's at least as reasonable as Craig's conclusion, that t=0 happens when an ineffable God wills about creation through his un-caused libertarian free will. The 'personal' link between God and us, per the video, is apparently the common property of free-will.
I don't know that I see much point in quibbling over the term "causation". I think it should be obvious that we must be using the term rather dimly for events before time, but at the end of the day I think a scientist is still going to ask, "Well, anyway, though, what caused the universe?" "For certain values of 'caused'" is implicit but I don't think we want to give up the faith that there will still be some meaningful value of "caused" that could be correctly inserted.

I also wouldn't want to trust my life to Discovery Channel on such arcane topics, but as I said it's certainly true that there are lots of hypothetical alternatives to a hard Big Bang, alternatives in which there actually is some kind of "before" before the early phase of expansion, and that earlier time is still governed by some kind of natural law. Cyclic models with alternating Bangs and Crunches have been popular, I think just for huckelberry's aesthetic reasons, but they look unlikely today not because of anything we've learned about the early universe but because of things we've learned about the present. The expansion of the universe really seems to be accelerating, not slowing towards an eventual re-contraction. So nowadays the most likely alternative to a beginning is not a cycle but a Big Bounce scenario, in which the universe contracted for the first half of eternity and we are now in the second half.

My summary is that after about a century of modern cosmology, the "beginning of time" scenario in which all natural law began after a singularity is still an annoyingly perverse simple answer that fits the evidence well. That could all change in the coming century, but for now, if the question of whether nature had a beginning were an ordinary scientific question then I think the "Yes" hypothesis would be considered the current default, just for being the simplest answer that has continued to fit the evidence for several decades. Of course this question isn't an ordinary scientific question, and merely being a simple answer that fits the evidence is by no means a compelling case in a case like this. It's not as though you have to believe in a hard Big Bang to be an honorable scientist. Cosmology is not an experimental science.

Did Carl Sagan really believe in Hoyle's Steady State theory? If so, yikes. It was a really kludgy theory in which natural law was just fudged to ensure an ideologically acceptable conclusion. To point it out as a logical possibility was fine, as an encouragement to gather more data in order to rule it out, but to take it seriously as a theory was bizarre.
As one who identifies both as atheist and Mormon, I really can't conceive of what atheism means beyond rejecting the Gods of scripture. The word "God" is just too nebulous. On the one hand, if God is subtle, if he's behind the x which is behind the D-branes, and there is really no connection to scripture and faith or an afterlife or any of the main things religious people hold over the rest of us, then if there is such a God then great, it would be nice to know in the same way it would be nice to know more about D-branes but no more. But on the other hand, if God is too much like us, such as in Mormonism, where you have some galactic dude out on a space adventure creating worlds and giving people rules to follow and then rewarding them with afterlives for their faith, then this also misses the mark of intrinsic meaning and purpose, if those things are fundamental to what it means to be God. On one extreme, purpose is too alien and tacit in material reality, on the other it's to obvious.
I quite agree that a really transcendent God might be important but unimaginable like D-branes, while Mormonism's cosmic codger hardly counts as a God. Just because we can envision both these extremes, though, why should we rule out anything in between? Why could there not be a God who extended well off into the unimaginable but who also understood creatures like us in detail, having orchestrated creation in part so that we might emerge? If an unimaginable transcendent being made a universe, might we not be features of the project rather than bugs?

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by Stem »

I listened to part of the video now so I wanted to comment on something Craig said. But, I wanted to also add the comments in this thread to this point are very fascinating, and beyond my pay grade, so there's plenty I'm missing in all of this.

Craig suggested it's universally accepted by theists that God is not composed in parts. To bring this into the Mormon context, that is not true. For Mormons God was just like us, a materially composed spirit combined with a materially composed other body. I don't see how that really means anything eternally, but for Mormons it means everything somehow. If God is both spirit and body, then it is obviously best if we too end up both spirit and body...but the spirit is body too....ah well. If Mormons can fit reality into their religion, then before the Big Bang, if we go with that as the point of time start, then what was there besides other universes with other beings and other gods, plus us in some molecularly scattered state? If Mormonism then Craig argument which seems to be nothing more than an argument made to conclude an assumption, is simply nonsense anyway because all we have is an eternal regress of cause.

Anyway, back to his argument, he states two premises and then concludes a cause. Even if we grant the first two premises, there's no reason other than religious assumption, to think God. Of course God is such the nebulous concept, as mentioned above, that even if it were God, it hardly means Craig's Christian personal God.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by huckelberry »

Stem wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:36 am
I listened to part of the video now so I wanted to comment on something Craig said. But, I wanted to also add the comments in this thread to this point are very fascinating, and beyond my pay grade, so there's plenty I'm missing in all of this.

Craig suggested it's universally accepted by theists that God is not composed in parts. To bring this into the Mormon context, that is not true. For Mormons God was just like us, a materially composed spirit combined with a materially composed other body. I don't see how that really means anything eternally, but for Mormons it means everything somehow. If God is both spirit and body, then it is obviously best if we too end up both spirit and body...but the spirit is body too....ah well. If Mormons can fit reality into their religion, then before the Big Bang, if we go with that as the point of time start, then what was there besides other universes with other beings and other gods, plus us in some molecularly scattered state? If Mormonism then Craig argument which seems to be nothing more than an argument made to conclude an assumption, is simply nonsense anyway because all we have is an eternal regress of cause.

Anyway, back to his argument, he states two premises and then concludes a cause. Even if we grant the first two premises, there's no reason other than religious assumption, to think God. Of course God is such the nebulous concept, as mentioned above, that even if it were God, it hardly means Craig's Christian personal God.
Stem, I think your observation is correct that the argument points to a something, an unknown something, which may or may not be like Craig's Christian personal God. People have observed that all of the versions of cosmological arguments have that problem. One can argue that all change is happening under the control of some infinitely powerful order which is the ground of being but is that a personal God? Aquinas being an alert thinker looks to revelation at that point of the argument.

I think it is of some value to use the arguments to ask if or how ones ideas of God qualify for the word. People do use the word in different ways. Long ago some wags called the guitarist Eric Clapton god. The meaning there is more superlative than ground of being but nobody was confused. If some being is claiming to be the authority over you it makes sense to ask why. For most theist God is your creator, the creator of the order and natural laws of the universe in which you live ,completely understands you and the people around you. Considering authority over you I think it is important to add that God cares for you.

Traditionally God is the source of the order with which pieces of things work together so God cannot be made of pieces coming to gether and changing. This is a very different picture of God than Mormons use. I think if you consider it can appear that Mormon understanding God is receiving power and authority from some source which is eternal light truth etc and fits the traditional God concept except known to us only through intermediary finite person. Without that source I cannot see how Mormon conception of God would have power and authority and be viewed honestly as God.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by SteelHead »

Problem with all cosmological arguments for the necessity of god is that they ultimately rely on a special exception of something that is uncaused. A primary uncaused cause. The cosmological argument grants that exception to god, but why is that valid? If we can grant an exception for god, we can grant an exception for universes.

The obvious question is "whence came god?" or "why is god given an exception to the premise?"
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Post by Gadianton »

Physics Guy wrote:Just because we can envision both these extremes, though, why should we rule out anything in between?
That last post was a bit stream-of-conscious. I didn't imagine the two options to be on the same continuum. I guess the question is "what do we mean by God?" For individualists in the West, we gravitate toward God as one of or a combination if not conflation of a) physical necessity b) logical necessity c) anthropomorphic comfort.

My "extreme" options reflect (a) and (c). Quantum mechanics already shows that reality is nowhere near shallow, and God must be deeper than all of that in order to be the explanation for it (a). But for Mormons who are raised believing God is the ultimate male role model, they can't fathom anything other than a loving but rugged head of the family as what the very word "God" refers to (c). They are fine with the universe existing independent of God, and God being subject to "universal laws".

Of course Mormons grapple with impulses of (a) and (b). Physically, who created God? His Father! and if there is a multi-verse with bubble universes then each one has it's own God. They feel like God must be tied to ultimate causes in physics and they try to work it out, but they are confused as hell about the terms of that relationship. The answers await "in the next life". But (b) is just as important. Though Mormonism condemns philosophy and creeds, the pull of the ontological argument is at work in Mormon thinking. God's father is greater in creations than God, but not in power and knowledge. Christ is also a God, and will eventually have all the same physical power and knowledge as God. But if that's true, then isn't Christ a little better than his father since he did this huge thing of dying for the sins of the world? That won't do, and so God must have been a Christ on his home planet! The pull of logic, the ontological argument and paradoxes of infinity, get worked on ever-so slowly by moving the big crude beads around on Mormonism's abacus.

The other direction, from the ultimate ultimate to something that relates to people might be just as bad though. My summary thought: If God is such that relates to these "bags of mostly water" psychologically (a new one for DCP; from Star Trek) , if God is essentially the same kind of being, then why not just create a sky with a planet, and a bunch of three dimensional trees and rabbits and people? Why go through all this trouble of conjuring D-branes and quarks, and having the uncertainty principle as the pathway to get to people and the rather simplistic lives we live?
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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

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Physics Guy wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:07 am
Why could there not be a God who extended well off into the unimaginable but who also understood creatures like us in detail, having orchestrated creation in part so that we might emerge? If an unimaginable transcendent being made a universe, might we not be features of the project rather than bugs?
What would make you question the existence of god? Why would a god allow suffering?

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

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DoubtingThomas wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:38 pm
Physics Guy wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:07 am
Why could there not be a God who extended well off into the unimaginable but who also understood creatures like us in detail, having orchestrated creation in part so that we might emerge? If an unimaginable transcendent being made a universe, might we not be features of the project rather than bugs?
What would make you question the existence of god? Why would a god allow suffering?
Because I like Physics Guys statement here I am going to try the exercise of stringing my thoughts about this together.

I think suffering is closer to being a feature of the project not so much a bug. I might venture that the reality of suffering is a necessary part of life being an adventure real enough to create strong creatures capable of courage invention and love.

That summary has obvious problems. Suffering can be excessive. It is unfairly distributed and can overwhelm individuals. At some point it overwhelms us all. I think a few lines of consideration arise here which may need to be combined for any hope of seeing a possible combination of created by a God who cares and this reality. Basically I do not think it is possible for God to create humans with enough individual strength to be able to love and avoid suffering at the same time. It appears life involves suffering take it or leave it.

I think the idea that God can do anything creates confusion. I have no reason to think that God can do just anything. I am thinking with the traditional understanding that God is all powerful and is not opposed by other forces, God is the source. Traditionally it is observed that this does not mean God can do contradictions. God cannot have his cake and eat it too,neither can he provide that for us. I see a second very important step here. Creation itself starts to limit what God can do. A real existing creation has a network of cause and effect shaped by the structures given it. One could say that God being free could have structured atoms differently but once done one way Chemistry will operate under those terms not willy nilly or by whim. I think there is a third limitation. In the face of nothingness there could be limitations presented. God may have all power but still be able to do only that which is within his power. It is not scripture but I have always appreciated a story where in the afterlife people get angry with God because life was not better. They go in search of him only to find him chopping wood. To their angry questions he replied something along the lines that he worked hard the best he could. Now some people my sneer at such a God, I do not but am happy to thank God for life as it is. I will do that even if there were to be no after life, no collecting human life into a Kingdom of God where injustice and suffering is overcome.
I think considering the various ways creation blocks and tangles the smooth running of the hopes for creationg the perverseness of humans is the most difficult part. If humans were machines who operated on an inflexible program then it would be workable to make them only do good or constructive things. Instead we are flexible , capable of learning, inventing and relating to each other in creative ways. We are also capable of cheating harming and destroying order. We are capable of resentment and a desire to destroy life instead of picking up our burden to help make the best of life.

To the question how to create people who care and invent with courage and leave the destructive possibilities of those abilities behind It appears God choose to place us in a real world operating on stable natural laws which present opportunity and real danger.

I did say I am thankful for this life even if it is left brutaly unfair. It is what it is. However I do believe there is an afterlife where what good is started here finds its completion with the whole human family. There are children who have suffered disease starvation war. I believe they will share in the kingdom of God which is the kingdom of the human family.

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

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huckelberry wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:06 pm
Basically I do not think it is possible for God to create humans with enough individual strength to be able to love and avoid suffering at the same time. It appears life involves suffering take it or leave it.

I think the idea that God can do anything creates confusion. I have no reason to think that God can do just anything. I am thinking with the traditional understanding that God is all powerful and is not opposed by other forces, God is the source. Traditionally it is observed that this does not mean God can do contradictions. God cannot have his cake and eat it too,neither can he provide that for us. I see a second very important step here. Creation itself starts to limit what God can do. A real existing creation has a network of cause and effect shaped by the structures given it. One could say that God being free could have structured atoms differently but once done one way Chemistry will operate under those terms not willy nilly or by whim. I think there is a third limitation. In the face of nothingness there could be limitations presented. God may have all power but still be able to do only that which is within his power.
Interesting. Do you believe god created matter out of nothing?

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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

Post by huckelberry »

DoubtingThomas wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:59 pm


Interesting. Do you believe god created matter out of nothing?
I was trying to keep my thoughts linked to the world of experience that I can observe and try to understand. Creation from nothing is a bit over the horizon from that. In a sense I do not know but yes I accept the traditional view of creation as from nothing. It is a logical starting point avoiding useless ambiguity. Creation from something sounds like an unspecified condition after the initial start. I suppose one could think about what if there is eternally God and some sort of not God. That is pretty vague to think about. Can matter exist without form? Is it different than nothing? If matter did not come from God how does God have any influence over it?

I do not see the ambiguities of a creation from some eternal something instead of nothing would change my observations about how the interconnected system of reality limits choices.

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Gadianton wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:09 pm
If God is such that relates to these "bags of mostly water" psychologically ... if God is essentially the same kind of being, then why not just create a sky with a planet, and a bunch of three dimensional trees and rabbits and people? Why go through all this trouble of conjuring D-branes and quarks, and having the uncertainty principle as the pathway to get to people and the rather simplistic lives we live?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by God relating to us "psychologically" or being "essentially the same kind of being". If your point is that Mormon theology makes God out to be like this, then okay, first of all you'd know better than I would about this, and secondly for what it's worth I think I agree.

My own idea is not that God is really a being like us. At least in one important sense I figure that we are not to God as the characters in a novel are to the author, and that we are not even to God as a semicolon is to the author, but that we are to God as a semicolon is to God. We're in a radically different category as beings. That line about semicolons is a provocative way to put it, though, and maybe it overstates the case. I figure that God invented us, so there is some kind of subset or aspect of God that can relate to us and to whom we can relate, in some way.

It's a question that I ask myself often, though, why the universe has to be as complex as it is. I realize that Aristotle had physics all wrong as a matter of fact, but I don't really see that Aristotle's simpler view of things was logically impossible. Why not just have everything made of continuous blobs of stuff? Why couldn't reality have no more internal structure than a potato, and everything just be itself, with wood made of Wood and stone made of Stone and that's it? Why couldn't the world be like Minecraft, in fact, in just a bit higher res? Instead it's completely absurd how many layers upon layers of complex microscopic machinery are behind even the seemingly simplest of things.

That question has a sort of mirror twin that goes in the opposite direction. Why is the universe so absurdly big? Why all those bazillions of empty light years? Haldane quipped that what Nature most reveals about God is an inordinate fondness for beetles, but if prevalence in Nature is a sign of God's fondness then what God must like best of all is cold vacuum. And surely one little Middle-Earth of a world would have been big enough to be the stage for all our human stories. Even a Star Trek only visits a few dozen worlds. What need for billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies?

In Pascal's day we had no idea just how big or small Nature was, but it was already clear that there were much smaller microscopic details and a much larger frame than the human mind could well handle. Pascal wrote of large and small as two infinities that were each alone sufficient to dwarf us. As I recall he didn't really try to go anywhere with that thought, but just left it there. I can't think of anything to do with it, either. The universe is a strange place.

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Gadianton
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Re: Kalam Cosmological non-debate analysis

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"I'm not sure I understand what you mean by God relating to us "psychologically" or being "essentially the same kind of being". If your point is that Mormon theology makes God out to be like this, then okay, first of all you'd know better than I would about this,"

Well, I think I relate to people "psychologically", within reason, and also my dog. I may have empathy to a degree for wasps and alligators; I relate to them in terms of pain, at least, such as I wouldn't cause them more harm than I need to. But I wouldn't say I relate psychologically to a wasp or alligator. That could be even more true with alien forms of life, even advanced ones, or computational life should computers one day reach the "singularity". If we admit computers could be conscious, then being the same kind of being isn't a question about hardware, it's about cognition.

Does God relate to wasps psychologically? How about bats?
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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