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Is God Designed?

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  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    Originally posted by Leonhard
    Originally posted by JimL
    How are you suggesting that god creates. Does he just speak, or think things into existence?
    I'm not sure what you're asking for here. Speaking, thinking? Do you want me to explain what God is doing using human analogies? I don't think there's anything we can compare with in our mundane experience that would be equivalent to what God is doing.
    Well, who says that there are even potential existents that could be actualized or caused to be? Why assume that that even happens, why assume that there is a non-existent but potentiality that is somehow brought into existence out of nothing? If there is no way to explain how that could be done, why assume it to have been done?
    Nothing youíre asking here has anything to do with your original question. You asked me whether God just spoke or thought things into existence. I answered that there is no reason to think Godís actions can adequately be captured by analogy.

    Originally posted by JimL
    Originally posted by Leonhard
    Asking 'what kind' something is, is to ask what sort of class something belongs to. Because of God's properties he transcends any classification
    That's assuming that there is a god and that he has the properties to somehow do that, i.e. to actualize a potential, but non-existent thing, from out of nothing.
    This response makes very little sense. God as I described Him would defy all attempts at classification, except to say that He would be unlike anything that exists.

    This would be true regardless of whether or not He existed.

    I think you're the one that's simply asserting this without an argument. Why does an actual cause need be distinct from that which it causes?
    Thatís probably the simplest thing to show. First we donít have evidence of anything that causes itís own changes.

    A match is struck by a hand. Radioactive decay happens from a W-boson coupling to isospin between nucleons. A stone moves from rest to falling under the force of gravity from the Earth. Etc.. all things in the universe are continuously changing due to other already existing substances.

    Furthermore everything owes its properties to other substances. Your arm is strong because of its bones, those gain their strength from their cellular structure and so forth.

    In this latter kind of timelessly ordered series of causes, each substance has potential and actuality.

    Since everything that is a composite of actuality and potentiality, has itís actuality actualized, by something else that Is already actual. Then in order for anything undergoing change to exist at all something has to exist that is pure actuality and the ultimate cause it.

    Why is what you call a purely actual cause necessary at all?
    This follows from the argument that I have repeated to you a couple of times now.

    And how does god create the non-existent to become existent? On what basis should it be believed that non-existent things even exist as potentialities. Why should one believe that the substance of existence was at one time just a potential existent which potential was actualized by a being that has the power to create things out of nothing? Upon what reasoning should that be believed?
    Are you really trying to disprove the argument by suggesting that it is impossible for things to exist?

    The argument has itís conclusion as a deductive demonstration. It follows trivially as a corollary based on things existing that there was a potentiality to actualize.

    As for whether the universe was at some point actualized de novo, the argument is agnostic about that, and I in this discussion I wonít make a claim either way.

    The classical argument from motion focuses only on timelessly ordered chains of causality.

    As for why one would make a division between actuality, and potentiality. The answer is that it makes great sense of a universe where things can change, while preserving identity rules for those things undergoing change. Modern Quantum Mechanics in many versions takes this approach as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking for here. Speaking, thinking? Do you want me to explain what God is doing using human analogies? I don't think there's anything we can compare with in our mundane experience that would be equivalent to what God is doing.
    Well, who says that there are even potential existents that could be actualized or caused to be? Why assume that that even happens, why assume that there is a non-existent but potentiality that is somehow brought into existence out of nothing? If there is no way to explain how that could be done, why assume it to have been done?


    Asking 'what kind' something is, is to ask what sort of class something belongs to. Because of God's properties he transcends any classification.
    That's assuming that there is a god and that he has the properties to somehow do that, i.e. to actualize a potential, but non-existent thing, from out of nothing.


    And yes, it needs a purely actual cause in order to for something that goes change, to do exist. That's what I've been arguing. Stating the opposite conclusion is no argument at all.
    I think you're the one that's simply asserting this without an argument. Why does an actual cause need be distinct from that which it causes? Why is what you call a purely actual cause necessary at all?


    By actualizing a potentiality that exists. It is possible for things to exist (do you intend to deny this?). God simply actualized this possibility.
    And how does god create the non-existent to become existent? On what basis should it be believed that non-existent things even exist as potentialities. Why should one believe that the substance of existence was at one time just a potential existent which potential was actualized by a being that has the power to create things out of nothing? Upon what reasoning should that be believed?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    How are you suggesting that god creates. Does he just speak, or think things into existence?
    I'm not sure what you're asking for here. Speaking, thinking? Do you want me to explain what God is doing using human analogies? I don't think there's anything we can compare with in our mundane experience that would be equivalent to what God is doing.

    What kind of cause is god?
    Asking 'what kind' something is, is to ask what sort of class something belongs to. Because of God's properties he transcends any classification.

    Change is inherent in the nature of the universe itself.
    And yes, it needs a purely actual cause in order to for something that goes change, to do exist. That's what I've been arguing. Stating the opposite conclusion is no argument at all.

    So, how does god cause that which is non-existent to exist?
    By actualizing a potentiality that exists. It is possible for things to exist (do you intend to deny this?). God simply actualized this possibility.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    What prevents it from actualizing a potentiality?



    Only in a set of historical causes, such one domino brick falling on another. I was talking about essentially ordered causality, such a cup that is on a table remaining in position. What is the cause of the cup remaining in its position? It's the table beneath it. What is the cause of the table's properties? It is it's structure and material. Where does it's material get its properties from in turn, it gets it from the micromechanical properties of it's wooden fibers, etc... Each layer simultaneously exists with the other.

    But since each layer has potentiality and actuality, then in order for them to exist and undergo change and all they have to be actualized by something else which is already actual. Therefore in order for anything that exists to undergo change, something purely actual has to exist.

    That is the argument.

    There is nothing that prevents a timeless cause from having a timeless effect. It is not going from a state of not-acting, to a state of acting. That would be accidentally ordered causality. It is just pure act, always in action.
    How are you suggesting that god creates. Does he just speak, or think things into existence? What kind of cause is god? Change is inherent in the nature of the universe itself. As the Budhists, i think, would say, the world is one of ever changing form, its the cause of it's own internal effects. So, how does god cause that which is non-existent to exist?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    I think we're talking past each other. The question is, how can a cause, also be immutable. How can that which doesn't change be the cause of anything, like actualizing a potentiality.
    What prevents it from actualizing a potentiality?

    The universe, or the substance thereof, actualizes potential forms of itself, yes?
    Only in a set of historical causes, such one domino brick falling on another. I was talking about essentially ordered causality, such a cup that is on a table remaining in position. What is the cause of the cup remaining in its position? It's the table beneath it. What is the cause of the table's properties? It is it's structure and material. Where does it's material get its properties from in turn, it gets it from the micromechanical properties of it's wooden fibers, etc... Each layer simultaneously exists with the other.

    But since each layer has potentiality and actuality, then in order for them to exist and undergo change and all they have to be actualized by something else which is already actual. Therefore in order for anything that exists to undergo change, something purely actual has to exist.

    That is the argument.

    There is nothing that prevents a timeless cause from having a timeless effect. It is not going from a state of not-acting, to a state of acting. That would be accidentally ordered causality. It is just pure act, always in action.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    Because - following your argument where we give the universe the properties God has - the Universe would be immutable, and furthermore would be simple and without parts.

    The Ďuniverseí would be identical to God in this case, who is pure actuality and without any potentiality.

    Which by analysis we derived as a necessary cause if anything that undergoes change is to exist at.

    Such a cause would exist, and it would be solely unique, because being purely simple nothing could be different about this cause to distinguish it from another similar cause.

    And this we call God.
    I think we're talking past each other. The question is, how can a cause, also be immutable. How can that which doesn't change be the cause of anything, like actualizing a potentiality. The universe, or the substance thereof, actualizes potential forms of itself, yes? But it does this because it is mutable, and does change. How are you suggesting that the immutable actualizes a potentiality?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    Why would the universe be unable to actualize any potentialities within it if it was immutable?
    Because - following your argument where we give the universe the properties God has - the Universe would be immutable, and furthermore would be simple and without parts.

    The Ďuniverseí would be identical to God in this case, who is pure actuality and without any potentiality.

    Which by analysis we derived as a necessary cause if anything that undergoes change is to exist at.

    Such a cause would exist, and it would be solely unique, because being purely simple nothing could be different about this cause to distinguish it from another similar cause.

    And this we call God.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    Why would God be unable to actualize anything because of His immutability?
    Why would the universe be unable to actualize any potentialities within it if it was immutable?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    Right, and what if like god, the universe was immutable? Then it couldn't actualize anything, right?
    Why would God be unable to actualize anything because of His immutability?

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    Are you asking me that if the universe was God, whether it could do what God can? The answer would be trivially yes.

    However, the universe isnít God; It undergoes change.
    Right, and what if like god, the universe was immutable? Then it couldn't actualize anything, right?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    If the universe were defined, the way you define god, i.e.as immutable, could it actualize anything?
    Are you asking me that if the universe was God, whether it could do what God can? The answer would be trivially yes.

    However, the universe isnít God; It undergoes change.

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    What problem would there be in this?
    If the universe were defined, the way you define god, i.e.as immutable, could it actualize anything?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    And how does god actualize the potentialities if in god himself there is no potential for change?
    What problem would there be in this?

    Leave a comment:


  • JimL
    replied
    Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
    Because any substance that has a potential actualized has a potential actualized by something else. There's no such thing as a potential book that writes itself into existence. You would have to give a coherent description of a situation where something actualizes itself.

    I think it is obvious there is no coherent way for a non-existing teapot to actualize its own existence.

    Now there are two different kinds of causal chains in this matter, accidental (or historical) causal chains, and essential causal chains.

    Essential causal chains are chains where each cause has to exist together in order for a certain result to be a certain way. Take for instance a teapot at rest on the flat surface. What prevents the teapot from falling into the core of the Earth is that this surface constantly actualizes the potential for the teapot to remain at that position. How does the surface derive those powers? It does this from its mechanical structure, and so on down through various levels of explanatory layers for how that surface can have those powers at that time.

    Note this chain implies nothing about time, but only what is true at any moment that the table is holding up something. I am not making an argument about the beginning of the universe. Note also that this chain cannot go on forever, or nothing would be actualized. Each term, because it consists of actuality and potentiality, has to have its potentiality actualized by something else that is already actual.

    They're all such essentially ordered causal chains have to terminate in a particular cause: Something that is purely actual without any potentiality at all.

    And this we call God.

    This pure cause is a soliton without any peers, it is purely simple without any parts, it is omnipresent at all places and times, and because it is the ultimate cause of anything that happens it is omnipotent.
    And how does god actualize the potentialities if in god himself there is no potential for change?

    Leave a comment:


  • Leonhard
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    And why does a change in the forms that an actual substance takes need be done by a distinct actual substance? Why can not a change in the form of a substance be inherent in the substance itself?
    Because any substance that has a potential actualized has a potential actualized by something else. There's no such thing as a potential book that writes itself into existence. You would have to give a coherent description of a situation where something actualizes itself.

    I think it is obvious there is no coherent way for a non-existing teapot to actualize its own existence.

    Now there are two different kinds of causal chains in this matter, accidental (or historical) causal chains, and essential causal chains.

    Essential causal chains are chains where each cause has to exist together in order for a certain result to be a certain way. Take for instance a teapot at rest on the flat surface. What prevents the teapot from falling into the core of the Earth is that this surface constantly actualizes the potential for the teapot to remain at that position. How does the surface derive those powers? It does this from its mechanical structure, and so on down through various levels of explanatory layers for how that surface can have those powers at that time.

    Note this chain implies nothing about time, but only what is true at any moment that the table is holding up something. I am not making an argument about the beginning of the universe. Note also that this chain cannot go on forever, or nothing would be actualized. Each term, because it consists of actuality and potentiality, has to have its potentiality actualized by something else that is already actual.

    They're all such essentially ordered causal chains have to terminate in a particular cause: Something that is purely actual without any potentiality at all.

    And this we call God.

    This pure cause is a soliton without any peers, it is purely simple without any parts, it is omnipresent at all places and times, and because it is the ultimate cause of anything that happens it is omnipotent.
    Last edited by Leonhard; 01-19-2020, 06:40 AM.

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