Lev Muishkin wrote:1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. The universe has a cause.
Since you've taken Phil 101, I know you know that it is not enough to simply state that a premise is unfounded; that you must show how
it's unfounded. I was under the assumption you could actually show
how these premises don't hold. If you can't
, no worries (though maybe you don't want to let your Phil prof know that). Someone else will surely come along who can. Nevertheless, here are a few preliminary responses:
1. In light of the basic premises of logic and philosophy (not to mention science), your objection here strikes me as nonsensical, so I'll simply ask for further clarification. How is it unfounded? You've discounted some fairly important principles of causation here with no good reason, otherwise.
2. I know a scientific community that would disagree strongly with you on this one. I imagine you could probably find a cosmologist who claims the universe did not begin to exist, but you might have to go to that Bible college you all were talking about to find him.
But seriously, what is the Big Bang if not the beginning of the universe's existence? In effect, you've just declared an entire branch of science to be "unfounded." That's a heavy burden of proof you've taken on yourself, and I'm going to hold you to it if you double-down on your "unfounded premise" objection.
3. Insofar as you've yet to show how 1 & 2 are unfounded (completely independent of the fact that you're claiming that basic scientific and philosophical principles are unfounded), you've failed to show how 3 is an unsupported conclusion. If the reply "unfounded premise" is all that's required to show an argument not to hold, then you've opened a Pandora's Box you'll never be able to close. If you want to revisit 1 & 2 with something substantive, I'm happy to see if I can rebut your rebuttal.
Lev Muishkin wrote:So, let's imagine that your premises are true. What makes you think that positing "god" as a cause does not transgress premise number 1?
And what makes you think the cause is best described by an ancient mythical entity?[/color]
I think here you're assuming that "god" began to exist, which is question-begging if you can't show it to be true. If we allow that non-contingency is logically necessary (I'm happy for you to show it's not), "god" is simply the theist's appellation for whatever is non-contingent. I'm hard-pressed to think of a mythical being who was not created, so they would all be contingent. If it'll help, I'm arguing from something like an Aristotelean position here, and not a Christian one, so don't take "god" to mean "the God of Christians." I would certainly not argue that all Christians understand "god" in a philosophically, logically, or even theologically robust sense. But as far as I know, we're not debating the existence of the Christian God here, just, well, "god." (That is, I'm open to the argument that YHWH or Allah are instantiations of the non-contingent "god," and therefore not provable by appeal to KCA or other such proofs.)
Lev Muishkin wrote:It's only RelSt, don't get carried away with yourself.
I'll do my best. What degree are you working on?
Lev Muishkin wrote:It's obvious enough here that my Philosophy 101 trumps your prospective RelSt Ph.D.
Unless you can demonstrate the viability of your argument.[/color]
Insofar as my first premise is a gnerally-accepted principle and my second premise appeals to an accepted scientific theory, I believe I have. 3 is the conclusion that follows from 1 & 2. At this point, the burden is still on you to demonstrate how your objections hold, not simply state that you object.
So far, I am entirely unimpressed by your Philosophy 101 course. That, or you just didn't pay attention in class.