Discussions on this blog come around to the Cosmological Argument every so often. I enjoy talking about it and think it is a compelling argument, so that's why I bring it up.
From the last post's comment box, I thought this interaction between the Jolly Nihilist and I was worthy of posting:
JN said: our confidence is commensurate with the evidence
You mean, what you think the evidence is, now. But this is not the face you usually put forward; you guys like to present science as pretty much the be-all, end-all of knowledge. Then when we ask enough questions, we break you back down to the nitty-gritty - we can't actually be certain about these things. But we're sure we can form conclusions "commensurate with the evidence", even though we're relying on inductive reasoning and arguments from authority, and it could all be totally different tomorrow.
Ppl used to say that about geocentrism, spontaneous generation of flies from rotting meat, etc. How do you know you've got it right this time?
Again, science is not structured to provide absolute certitude, and thus, no scientific truth, no matter how well evidenced, is immutable.
So you don't know you've got it right this time. Cool, thanks.
In the very, very distant future, all the other galaxies will have receded from us to the point that, no matter how hard we look, their light will be unable to reach us.
What's even funnier is that you don't know you're looking at galaxies now. Have you ever looked at something like a 2-D illusion from one spot, which looked like it was flat, then moved to a different spot to get a different perspective, and it was a 3-D figure? Well, in our case, we can't exactly change our perspective by moving an appreciable distance w.r.t. these far-off views. But I don't hear lots of hemming and hawing from the scientific establishment that would be commensurate with the caveats you're giving us here. Why is this, if not self-deception in action, leading to deception of others?
Cosmologists of this very, very distant future could do the very best, most perfect science and reach the (erroneous) conclusion that our galaxy is alone in the cosmos.
If the cosmologists of the future are anything like the evo biologists of today, who don't have access to the past and yet presume to tell us that evolution is a "fact", they won't say what you're saying. They'll say they're sure of what we know to be true. And if you ask them enough questions, they'll throw a fit and excommunicate you.
I see no reason why those laws must exist temporally. Why could they not exist outside of space-time as we know it?
Again, laws are DESCRIPTORS.
1) Laws are statements of observed behavior. If there's no observer, there's no law.
2) As I've said at least twice now, if there's no THING to behave, there's no behavior. No behavior = no law.
3) And since, if a thing existed an infinite amount of time, we'd run into the problem of traversing an infinite, this argument fails.
We say this, we believe it, but can we prove it? No.”
Quite so - it's your blind faith religion. Well said.
one must assume that the cause of the universe did not begin to exist because... failure to make this assumption makes WLC's argument potentially infinitely regressive and, thus, absurd?
I don't know what's so hard about this. When given a choice between a logical fallacy and a logical non-fallacy, why wouldn't you choose the non-fallacy?
Merely pushes the question back a step. This is not an answer.
Exactly! And neither is WLC's argument a genuine answer.
Look, you can say that all you want, but the Ultimate First Cause, outside of spacetime, is a causally sufficient answer for the problem we're dealing with. An infinitely old piece of matter isn't. And as we've seen, "laws" aren't either.
You need to provide an argument why the UFCause doesn't answer the problem, not just assert it.
P1: Cause-and-effect relationships are temporal in nature.
Premise 1 is the problem. Some cause-effect relationships are LOGICALLY ordered, not CHRONOlogically ordered.