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wattle

Why Must An "uncaused Cause" Be A God?

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i dont know just to know if ur a real and not a troll , dont waste our time the forum is filled with threads before this absorb question , which is like a piece of !!!! in a muslim shoe...

 

I'm not a troll and I like arguing about ideas - 'arguing' in the good sense, not the bad sense.

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PropellerAds

hmm looks like he cant read il repost it

it ur opinion , today through the observation of this world of opinions is going into illusions ? are you bordering in and out to the same perspective and not indulging any facts but rephrasing them in complex illusions of no meaning????????!?!

Your infinite brain sequence in ur observation? any judge can alienate judgment to any1, but what is the final verdict of these maneuvers of merrygoroundrides???

 

do u want it rephrased?

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What do you mean by "capacity"? I don't see that this gets you much further. The sperm and ovum that created Shakespeare might or might not have had greater "capacity" than Shakepeare (I wouldn't have thought so, but you seem to regard the cause as being more important than the caused) but they certainly weren't sentient.

 

Also, and this is a slight side-track but it's about something that seems inherent in most of the god-believers' arguments: there is nothing special about humans. There is nothing special about consciousness. There is nothing special about human intelligence. They are just things that happened.

 

I don't see the Shakespeare example as being analogous to what I'm proposing. I see the cause of the universe as being something that has caused the universe without recourse to other things. The sperm and ovum that were partly responsible for Shakespeare can not make such a lofty claim. Countless other things were also required for Shakespeare's birth, not least the male and female humans that carried the sperm and ovum, the countless inputs that sustained the mother and father, the existence of space, time and the Earth and so on and so on. Dependent causes can not be compared to an independent cause.

 

I'm afraid I don't agree that intelligence and consciousness should not be considered special. They are quite special, if for no other reason than the fact that only a tiny proportion of all matter in the known universe has come to possess them. If they were such ordinary characteristics, we ought to have seen a far greater preponderence of them. Instead, we see that most matter is lifeless, that most life is unconscious, and that most conscious life has limited intelligence. So of course consciousness and human intelligence are 'special'. But anyway, the specialness of these things is not relevant to my argument. I'm simply saying that if the universe has these things, so too might the uncaused cause of the universe. Funnily, if you say that these characteristics are not special, that they are quite ordinary, then you make it all the harder to say that the 'uncaused cause' of the universe should not have them.

 

As an aside, here's a further argument in favour of the 'uncaused cause' being sentient:

 

1. The universe must be caused by an 'uncaused cause', exisiting outside of the time and space of the universe.

 

2. This 'uncaused cause' either willed the universe to begin to exist, or possessing no will, was simply the necessary and sufficient reason for the universe to come into existence.

 

3. But if it was simply the 'necessary and sufficient' reason for the universe coming into existence, there is no reason why the universe should not have existed sooner.

 

4. Therefore, the uncaused cause must possess will.

 

Elements of this argument were proferred by the likes of Said Nursi and William Craig. Maybe have a look at Craig's, 'The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe' for a better elucidation of this point. I'm sorry, I'm unable to post links on these forums yet.

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I don't see the Shakespeare example as being analogous to what I'm proposing. I see the cause of the universe as being something that has caused the universe without recourse to other things.

 

You could have said that regarding the acorn and oak analogy, after which you changed "greater" to "more capacity". Now I gather that you don't accept any in-universe examples. Which demolishes your "look around you" argument.

 

 

 

I'm afraid I don't agree that intelligence and consciousness should not be considered special. They are quite special, if for no other reason than the fact that only a tiny proportion of all matter in the known universe has come to possess them. If they were such ordinary characteristics, we ought to have seen a far greater preponderence of them. Instead, we see that most matter is lifeless, that most life is unconscious, and that most conscious life has limited intelligence. So of course consciousness and human intelligence are 'special'.

 

Only a tiny proportion of all matter is a methane (or whatever) storm on Jupiter, too. Everything in the universe is "special" in that it is where and what it is and not somewhere /something else.

 

But anyway, the specialness of these things is not relevant to my argument. I'm simply saying that if the universe has these things, so too might the uncaused cause of the universe. Funnily, if you say that these characteristics are not special, that they are quite ordinary, then you make it all the harder to say that the 'uncaused cause' of the universe should not have them

 

You're flip-flopping between allowing analogies between things in the universe and things outside it, and not allowing it.

 

As an aside, here's a further argument in favour of the 'uncaused cause' being sentient:

 

1. The universe must be caused by an 'uncaused cause', exisiting outside of the time and space of the universe.

 

2. This 'uncaused cause' either willed the universe to begin to exist, or possessing no will, was simply the necessary and sufficient reason for the universe to come into existence.

 

3. But if it was simply the 'necessary and sufficient' reason for the universe coming into existence, there is no reason why the universe should not have existed sooner.

 

4. Therefore, the uncaused cause must possess will.

 

As you have no idea (and can have no idea) of the processes outside the universe which lead to this universe coming into being, that isn't much of an argument. Perhaps the proceses are creating universes continually. I'm sure, though, that Craig et al have an answer for that, and that other philosphers have counter-arguments. I'm not qualified to judge them.

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wattle [at] Nov 3 2009, 08:10 PM)

twoswords ali, have a look at the 'refutation of atheism' thread. It was argued as a proof of god/s that this universe must have been caused by something outide this universe, outside of time and itself not caused - known as an uncaued cause. It was claimed that this uncaused cause is what human call "god/s".

 

In this thread I want to discuss attributes of this hypothetical uncaused cause, not its existence.

 

Ok one attribute is The All Knower, for your understanding or rather your saying the uncaused cause must have an attribute of being very knowledgble. This universes is filled with knowledge, knowledge of which we look at and study and after long studies we ourselves become very knowledgble in studying the universe. Question comes up well then where did this knowledge come from in the first place? Knowledge originates from somewhere, all that we know we konw nothing on our own. So the uncaused cause had to have been the most knowledgble in order to cause the universe to come into existence entrenched with knowledge. Thus giving the attribute of the All Knower or the most Knowledgeble one

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You could have said that regarding the acorn and oak analogy, after which you changed "greater" to "more capacity". Now I gather that you don't accept any in-universe examples. Which demolishes your "look around you" argument.

 

No, I'm not saying this at all. I'll accept an analogy if it's valid. As you would know, various factors could diminish the validity of any given analogy. Your sperm and ovum / Shakespeare analogy is invalid as a comparative tool when discussing the uncaused cause of the universe / universe. I'll restate my reasons for this.

 

In our previous thread we resolved that the universe ought to have an 'uncaused cause'. Given that this uncaused cause must also be the 'first and only cause' so as to prevent further regression, it can not be compared to simple 'apparent causes' within the universe. Because the cause of any given thing within the universe can never be regarded as the one and only cause of somethings existence. This is self evident. Countless other things participate in the process. What good is a sperm and ovum in the absence of a male and female engaging in a reproductive act? So the situation of a sperm and ovum producing Shakepeare is fundamentally different to the situation of an 'uncaused cause' producing a universe.

 

Only a tiny proportion of all matter is a methane (or whatever) storm on Jupiter, too. Everything in the universe is "special" in that it is where and what it is and not somewhere /something else.

 

This is also invalid, on two grounds. Firstly, I would confidently suggest that the amout of all matter in the universe that has changed from its initial state into Methane, or any gas for that matter, would be massively greater than the amount of all matter that has become biological.

 

Secondly, things like Methane ect, regardless of their preponderence, can not be regarded as 'special' in the same way as biological life with consciousness and intelligence. Biological life is massively more complex than anything else in the universe. It is therefore special.

 

You're flip-flopping between allowing analogies between things in the universe and things outside it, and not allowing it.

 

Again, I will entertain the validity of any given analogy on its individual merits.

 

 

As you have no idea (and can have no idea) of the processes outside the universe which lead to this universe coming into being, that isn't much of an argument. Perhaps the proceses are creating universes continually. I'm sure, though, that Craig et al have an answer for that, and that other philosphers have counter-arguments. I'm not qualified to judge them.

 

But we are not talking about processes here. We are talking about the initial and uncaused cause. This, by definition, can not be a 'series of causes' or a 'number of causes'. Even if the universe was created in a number of steps, our discussion in this thread relates to the first step. The processes don't concern us here, we're interested in what it was that caused any process to commence. We're investigating the attributes of that.

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"But anyway, the specialness of these things is not relevant to my argument. I'm simply saying that if the universe has these things, so too might the uncaused cause of the universe. Funnily, if you say that these characteristics are not special, that they are quite ordinary, then you make it all the harder to say that the 'uncaused cause' of the universe should not have them"

You're flip-flopping between allowing analogies between things in the universe and things outside it, and not allowing it

 

Furthermore, my argument about the 'uncaused cause' possibly possessing consciousness and intelligence is not an analogy. It's not designed to be a comparative tool. It's a proposition. I'll restate it as simply as I can:

 

P1. A given thing causes something to come into existence.

P2. That thing possesses certain attributes.

Conclusion. It is possible that the cause also possesses those attributes. Perhaps even likely.

 

Any 'in universe' analogy you use to discuss this argument needs to be such that the elements of the analogy are comparable to the elements of the argument. Comparing apples with apples, as they say. Perhaps only an abstract analogy will be successful, in the case of our argument here. Anyway, that's a matter for you.

 

But here's an analogy in support of my argument.

 

P1. A human builds a computer and programs it to perform mathematical calculations.

P2. The computer then performs a mathematical calculation.

Conclusion. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also possesses the ability to perform mathematical calculations.

 

Transposing this to the actual argument:

 

P1. An 'uncaused cause' causes a universe to come into existence.

P2. That universe comes to possess things with life, consciousness and intelligence.

Conclusion. It is at the very least possible that the uncaused cause also possesses these attributes. Certainly, it is not precluded.

 

This is surely a very simple argument. I have not put too forcefully. I have left out religion, revelation and everything else. For my argument to fail, you would need to show that the 'uncaused cause', for whatever philosophical or logical reason, is precluded from having life, consciousness or intelligence.

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No, I'm not saying this at all. I'll accept an analogy if it's valid. As you would know, various factors could diminish the validity of any given analogy.

 

In that case there cannot, by definition, be a within-universe situation useful as an analogy. If you think there is one, let's hear it.

 

This is also invalid, on two grounds. Firstly, I would confidently suggest that the amout of all matter in the universe that has changed from its initial state into Methane, or any gas for that matter, would be massively greater than the amount of all matter that has become biological.

 

Something which humans classify as a certain type of matter has to be the least common arrangement of molecules in the universe. If it happens to be (I doubt that it's really the case) what humans classify as biological matter, so what? There's nothing inherently special about Mt Everest other than a human calculation of its relative height.

 

Secondly, things like Methane ect, regardless of their preponderence, can not be regarded as 'special' in the same way as biological life with consciousness and intelligence. Biological life is massively more complex than anything else in the universe. It is therefore special.

 

And complexity is important because?

 

It occurs to me that deciding that the least common way of matter being arranged is an indicator of the attributes of the uncaused cause is a very odd thing to do. Surely the most common arrangement of matter is a more likely indicator. Looking at the universe for clues you ought to decide that hydrogen and non-sentience are most likely to be involved.

 

But we are not talking about processes here. We are talking about the initial and uncaused cause. This, by definition, can not be a 'series of causes' or a 'number of causes'. Even if the universe was created in a number of steps, our discussion in this thread relates to the first step. The processes don't concern us here, we're interested in what it was that caused any process to commence. We're investigating the attributes of that.

 

I go back to my point that if the uncaused cause created the universe as a single act, then that act must have had a before and after. If not, causing-the-universe must be all that the uncaused cause has ever done or will ever do.

 

 

edit - oops, sorry, didnt see your other post.

 

Furthermore, my argument about the 'uncaused cause' possibly possessing consciousness and intelligence is not an analogy. It's not designed to be a comparative tool. It's a proposition. I'll restate it as simply as I can:

 

P1. A given thing causes something to come into existence.

P2. That thing possesses certain attributes.

Conclusion. It is possible that the cause also possesses those attributes. Perhaps even likely.

 

Even if this was true (I disagree), it doesn't help you at all, as a large part of your argument is that the uncaused cause is free from some aspects of this universe, such as determinism and time. You have arbitrarily decided that a certain rare attribute in the universe (the result of deterministic processes) is likely to be an attribute of the cause of the universe. I dont see that as logical at all.

 

P1. A human builds a computer and programs it to perform mathematical calculations.

P2. The computer then performs a mathematical calculation.

Conclusion. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also possesses the ability to perform mathematical calculations.

 

Transposing this to the actual argument:

 

P1. An 'uncaused cause' causes a universe to come into existence.

P2. That universe comes to possess things with life, consciousness and intelligence.

Conclusion. It is at the very least possible that the uncaused cause also possesses these attributes. Certainly, it is not precluded.

 

A human builds an atomic bomb which is able to reach temperature X. The bomb reaches temperature X. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also posseses the ability to reach temperature X. Certainly it is not precluded.

Edited by wattle

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Even if this was true (I disagree), it doesn't help you at all, as a large part of your argument is that the uncaused cause is free from some aspects of this universe, such as determinism and time. You have arbitrarily decided that a certain rare attribute in the universe (the result of deterministic processes) is likely to be an attribute of the cause of the universe. I dont see that as logical at all.

 

Of course, my personal view is that the 'uncaused cause' does possess the said attributes. But for our present purposes, I don't expect you to embrace this. I am simply demonstrating that there is nothing to preclude the idea.

 

You, on the other hand, are of the view that the possibility is precluded. But on what basis? After all, you have maintained quite vehemently that life, consciousness and intelligence are nothing special - that they 'just things that happen'. If this is really so, why the aversion to the idea of a living, conscious 'uncaused cause'? Obviously, it is the theistic implications that worry you.

 

Indeed, if you had no particular prejudice toward the notion of a deity, you would not be forced to make unsustainable assertions. But the fact is, you can not defeat the argument. Worse still, you weaken your own argument by saying, "Life is nothing special, consciousness is nothing special," while maintaining that the 'uncaused cause' must not possess life!

 

I repeat my question: Is there anything you know of, either in science or logic, that precludes the notion that the 'uncaused cause' could possess life?

 

Why do I 'arbitrarily decide' that the uncaused cause could have life? Why do speak of life in the universe when discussing this uncaused cause? Simply to demonstrate that there is nothing to preclude it. Had there been no such thing as intelligence within the universe, a person might have stronger grounds for suggesting that there was no intelligence outside of it.

 

It's true that we say that Allah is totally free of space, time and matter. But we don't say there are not certain attributes within the universe which are also applicable to Him. Just because He is free of space and time, doesn't mean He must also be free of Life.

 

A human builds an atomic bomb which is able to reach temperature X. The bomb reaches temperature X. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also posseses the ability to reach temperature X. Certainly it is not precluded.

 

This is completely invalid. But I'll humour you a moment... The situation above is not analogous to my assertion. I'll restate it for ease of reference:

 

P1. A human builds a computer and programs it to perform mathematical calculations.

P2. The computer then performs a mathematical calculation.

Conclusion. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also possesses the ability to perform mathematical calculations.

 

Nowhere here do I make the assertion that, "A cause of a thing will always possess all the characteristics of the caused thing". But your joke implies that I have said this. I have not. Of course, Allah is exempt from all the limitations of the universe. But this is not to say that He doesn't possess certain attributes that we do see in the universe.

 

Anyway, we digress. The purpose of my argument is simply to show that nothing in science or logic precludes the idea that the uncaused cause might possess life, consciousness and intelligence. You might say I gain little ground by saying this, but I view it as being a very important step. Once you accept that the notion is not precluded, you can look at the matter without prejudice, without unwarranted scepticism. For at present, you rule out the idea a priori. You make the unsustainable assertion that it's impossible for the uncaused cause to possess life. This claim is without basis, and ought to be discarded. But if you persist in claiming that the idea is impossible, the onus is on you to show how.

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You, on the other hand, are of the view that the possibility is precluded. But on what basis? After all, you have maintained quite vehemently that life, consciousness and intelligence are nothing special - that they 'just things that happen'. If this is really so, why the aversion to the idea of a living, conscious 'uncaused cause'? Obviously, it is the theistic implications that worry you.

 

I dont think it's precluded, I think that it it so unlikely that it would be silly to live as though it were the case, on the basis of zero evidence.

 

Worse still, you weaken your own argument by saying, "Life is nothing special, consciousness is nothing special," while maintaining that the 'uncaused cause' must not possess life!

 

Again, you're choosing to equate in-universe and outside-universe things when it suits you. There is nothing inherently special about consciousnes in this universe. What we're specifically talking about i whether or not a cause which exists outide this univere has consciouness.

 

I repeat my question: Is there anything you know of, either in science or logic, that precludes the notion that the 'uncaused cause' could possess life?

 

"Life" is an odd term to use for something that exits perpetually outside the univere. Why not stick to 'sentience'? And no, there's nothing to suggest that it doesn't, but this thread asks why you asume that it does.

 

P1. A human builds a computer and programs it to perform mathematical calculations.

P2. The computer then performs a mathematical calculation.

Conclusion. It is possible, indeed likely, that the human also possesses the ability to perform mathematical calculations.

 

Nowhere here do I make the assertion that, "A cause of a thing will always possess all the characteristics of the caused thing". But your joke implies that I have said this. I have not. Of course, Allah is exempt from all the limitations of the universe. But this is not to say that He doesn't possess certain attributes that we do see in the universe.

 

My counter example is an exact equivalent. The difference is that you are attempting pick examples which help your case and ignoring the far greater number of examples which do not.

 

p1. A human builds an atomic bomb and programmes it to explode

p2 The bomb explodes

Conclusion; It ia possible, indeed likely, that the human also posseses the ability to explode.

 

If you are trying to show that an effect might sometimes have some of the attributes of its cause, fair enough. But you have arbitrarily decided that sentience in an effect is a sign of sentience in its cause. There is absolutely no reason to make this decision and you have not attempted to provide any evidence for it.

 

You make the unsustainable assertion that it's impossible for the uncaused cause to possess life. This claim is without basis, and ought to be discarded. But if you persist in claiming that the idea is impossible, the onus is on you to show how.

 

Again, I did not say that. I started this thread with the question "Why assume that the uncaused cause is sentient?" You so far have not provided any argument that it is.

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Sallamm All,

 

 

 

I had brief discussion with Wattle a while back, my conclusion is, I don’t think he is interested in the truth and neither is he looking for the truth. His replies are either totally absurd, simply not addressing the argument given, inconsistent and at most times; pure nonsense . I don’t know about you but my take is , this guy is a waste of time. I’m done with him.

 

 

 

ard

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If you think that any of my replies do not address the argument, please say so. If you think that omething I say is "pure nonense", please say so - giving reasons.

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I dont think it's precluded, I think that it it so unlikely that it would be silly to live as though it were the case, on the basis of zero evidence.

 

"QUOTEYou make the unsustainable assertion that it's impossible for the uncaused cause to possess life. This claim is without basis, and ought to be discarded. But if you persist in claiming that the idea is impossible, the onus is on you to show how."

 

Again, I did not say that. I started this thread with the question "Why assume that the uncaused cause is sentient?" You so far have not provided any argument that it is.

 

Okay, we're on the same page now. If you say that you don't rule out the possibility, then we can move on.

 

When you commenced this thread, you put in place certain caveats, certain limitations on what you would consider as valid evidence. I put it to you that these limitations are too restrictive, for reasons which I will discuss shortly.

 

Let's assume for a moment that the uncaused cause is sentient and see where it leads us. If it is sentient, I believe a number of things can be assumed about it. Firstly, I can't see how a sentient thing could exist without possessing life. But not life of the sort we understand. Biology attempts to define life largely on the basis of self-replication, but I believe we needn't apply such a restrictive definition to something that might be alive outside of the universe. To my mind, if a thing is sentient, it is also conscious. If it is sentient and conscious, then ontologically speaking, it exists. If it exists, is sentient and is conscious, it can be said to be alive, as opposed to dead. And if it exists outside of our time, I would assume that not only was it alive at the outset of the universe's creation, but that it is also alive now. If it is alive and created the universe at a given point (14 billion years ago in our time), it can be said to possess will. If it possesses will and freely created the universe, it is probable that it created the universe for particular reasons.

 

If all of the above is true, I believe it is reasonable to suggest that whatever exists in the universe was meant to exist, was willed to exist, and has a purpose. This would mean that the emergence of living, conscious, sentient beings in the universe was something that was willed. If this is also true, it is not unreasonable that the 'uncaused cause' would somehow communicate the purpose in the creation of the universe and conscious beings, to those conscious beings. This then opens the door to considering the validity of Prophethood, revelation and religion.

 

For the foregoing reasons, I believe that if it is at least possible that the 'uncaused caused' possesses any one of the attributes of will, sentience, consciousness or life, religion should be considered. And given the fact that of all the religious books that claim to be the word of this uncaused cause, only the Quran can be shown to be unchanged or uncorrupted, then the information provided in this book about the uncaused caused should be considered with an open mind.

 

However, you say that you will not consider the validity of this book. It seems to me then, that we reach an impasse. As has been stated often in this thread and others, nothing in the universe will force you to believe. I can not prove to you indubitably that the uncaused cause must be sentient. But I can confidently say that if you consider the validity of the Quran with an open mind, you will find a very satisfactory basis for the belief that it is sentient.

 

I encourage you to have another look at Craig's discussion of why the uncaused cause should possess will. (If I recall correctly, it appears in the conclusion to his article.) But try to do so without any a priori scepticism. I believe it provides a good starting point for forming the belief that the uncaused cause should possess will. You say require evidence of likelihood rather than mere possibility - I believe Craig, in a reformulation of an ancient argument, demonstrates this likelihood.

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When you commenced this thread, you put in place certain caveats, certain limitations on what you would consider as valid evidence. I put it to you that these limitations are too restrictive, for reasons which I will discuss shortly.

 

They weren't so much limitations as an attempt to keep the discussion focussed on any argument anyone might have that the uncaused cause is sentient, based on logic applied tp the concept of an uncaused cause per se. You gave the 'will' argument but apart from that I don't think anyone has managed to come up with anything.

 

Let's assume for a moment that the uncaused cause is sentient and see where it leads us. If it is sentient, I believe a number of things can be assumed about it. Firstly, I can't see how a sentient thing could exist without possessing life. But not life of the sort we understand. Biology attempts to define life largely on the basis of self-replication, but I believe we needn't apply such a restrictive definition to something that might be alive outside of the universe.

 

Why go off on this tangent? All I'm asking for are arguments that that the uncaused cause is sentient (by which I pretty much mean conscious).

 

If all of the above is true, I believe it is reasonable to suggest that whatever exists in the universe was meant to exist, was willed to exist, and has a purpose. This would mean that the emergence of living, conscious, sentient beings in the universe was something that was willed. If this is also true, it is not unreasonable that the 'uncaused cause' would somehow communicate the purpose in the creation of the universe and conscious beings, to those conscious beings. This then opens the door to considering the validity of Prophethood, revelation and religion.

 

Well, perhaps, but you have assumed the very point that we are investigating.

 

I can not prove to you indubitably that the uncaused cause must be sentient. But I can confidently say that if you consider the validity of the Quran with an open mind, you will find a very satisfactory basis for the belief that it is sentient.

 

Believing in the validity of the Koran depends on believing that a sentient uncaused cause exists. If one does not believe that a entient uncaused cause exists, one cannot believe that the Koran is the product of a sentient uncaused cause. You've set up a circular argument.

 

It isn't that I won't consider the validity of the Koran, it's that I've already had lot of discussions about 'miracles in the Koran' without being convinced that there are any, and I'm loathe to cover the same ground again. I assure you that if I were convinced that the Koran was supernatural I wouldn't be worrying about attributes of uncaused causes, I'd be a believer.

 

I encourage you to have another look at Craig's discussion of why the uncaused cause should possess will. (If I recall correctly, it appears in the conclusion to his article.) But try to do so without any a priori scepticism.

 

Sorry, but scepticim is the primary tool for dicovering truth.

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Believing in the validity of the Koran depends on believing that a sentient uncaused cause exists. If one does not believe that a entient uncaused cause exists, one cannot believe that the Koran is the product of a sentient uncaused cause. You've set up a circular argument.

 

If you'll oblige me, I'll restate my point using the following hypothetical (wherein I'll replace 'skepticism' with 'dogmatism'):

 

Let's say you have a person who does not believe in Allah, or a sentient 'uncaused cause' of any description. But the person is only an implicit atheist, not a 'strong' one. The person lives their life without giving any real thought to the matter of God's existence. They have no real bias either way. And it's not that this person doesn't care about the matter, it's just that they lead quite a busy life and have never really had the time to consider the matter at length. Let's further assume that the person holds no cultural, political or social biases or prejudice. Quite a Utopian scenario, I know! None the less, let's say this person now decides, for whatever reason, to investigate both Theism and Atheism. The person might approach the matter via the following two options.

 

Approach 1.

 

The person commences a properly informed investigation of the phenomenon known as the Holy Quran, in an unbiased, non-dogmatic fashion. They see that the Quran they read today has not changed at all from the oldest existing copy, that it is inimitable and unique in several ways, and that scholars of Arabic, Muslim and non-Muslims alike, have declared it superior in terms of rhetoric and literary composition to any Arabic book ever written. The person concludes that this book could not be the work of man, and finds a satisfactory basis for belief. The person then follows this up with a thorough investigation of science and philosophy, and sees that nothing in these fields precludes the possibility of Allah's existence, and strengthens and confirms their belief.

 

Approach 2.

 

Alternatively, the person may commence their investigation into the existence of God not from the perspective of the Quran, but from an unbiased, non-dogmatic study of what science and philosophy say about the matter. The person finds that while these fields can't indubitably prove that there must be a God, they certainly leave the door open for it. The fields together demonstrate to the person that the universe must have an uncaused cause, existing outside of time, space and matter. The person then muses,

 

"Is it more likely that this universe was willed by a sentient cause, or that it was caused by some unconscious thing?"

 

He asks atheism what the characteristics of the 'uncaused cause' may be and atheism says,

 

"I have no idea, but I'm just telling you that's there's no such thing as God. I can not describe the 'uncaused cause' to you in anyway, nor can I explain how or why it should have caused the universe in the first place. But I want to live my life free of any of the restrictions imposed by religion, so I'll take my chances and assume I am not accountable to any God. And I encourage you to do the same, otherwise you will fail to maximise your utility during your life."

 

The unbiased person, not really satisfied with the atheist's basis for disbelief, then looks to the Quran. The person seeks the advice of learned persons who have previously studied it (as you would with any unfamiliar topic) and sees that the Quran is totally unlike any other book in several respects, that it is in fact inimitable. The person further sees that numerous matters discussed in it completely accord with what science has only recently discovered. He even sees that some modern day scientists have accepted its validity purely on this basis, and have become Muslims. He thus concludes that the Quran is highly unlikely to be the conjured up words of an unlettered Prophet, and hence finds a satisfactory basis for belief.

 

 

So regardless of where one commences their investigation, whether it's the Quran or science and philosophy, the essential thing to bear in mind is that dogmatism will diminish the validity of any results obtained. An a priori conviction either way will cloud the mind - will blind a person to any truth that might otherwise be found. Limiting one's investigation to only certain avenues of enquiry clearly points to such dogmatism.

 

The question is, do you have the courage or humbleness to abandon dogmatism? I believe your presence on these forums shows that quite possibly, you do.

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The person concludes that this book could not be the work of man, and finds a satisfactory basis for belief. The person then follows this up with a thorough investigation of science and philosophy, and sees that nothing in these fields precludes the possibility of Allah's existence, and strengthens and confirms their belief.

 

There's no need for the second step. If it can be proven that the Koran is the result of a supernatural being, then a belief in supernatural being must follow. And it would not be a matter of 'belief' but a matter of fact. However I have seen nothing to prove that the Koran is the result of a supernatural being. (By the way, the "unchanged" business is not an argument at all - plenty of book are unchanged.)

 

Alternatively, the person may commence their investigation into the existence of God not from the perspective of the Quran, but from an unbiased, non-dogmatic study of what science and philosophy say about the matter. The person finds that while these fields can't indubitably prove that there must be a God, they certainly leave the door open for it. The fields together demonstrate to the person that the universe must have an uncaused cause, existing outside of time, space and matter.

 

Fair statement of the current position in this thread.

 

The person then muses,

 

"Is it more likely that this universe was willed by a sentient cause, or that it was caused by some unconscious thing?"

 

He asks atheism what the characteristics of the 'uncaused cause' may be and atheism says,

 

"I have no idea, but I'm just telling you that's there's no such thing as God. I can not describe the 'uncaused cause' to you in anyway, nor can I explain how or why it should have caused the universe in the first place. But I want to live my life free of any of the restrictions imposed by religion, so I'll take my chances and assume I am not accountable to any God. And I encourage you to do the same, otherwise you will fail to maximise your utility during your life."

 

Arguably fair statement of the position.

 

The unbiased person, not really satisfied with the atheist's basis for disbelief, then looks to the Quran. The person seeks the advice of learned persons who have previously studied it (as you would with any unfamiliar topic) and sees that the Quran is totally unlike any other book in several respects, that it is in fact inimitable. The person further sees that numerous matters discussed in it completely accord with what science has only recently discovered. He even sees that some modern day scientists have accepted its validity purely on this basis, and have become Muslims. He thus concludes that the Quran is highly unlikely to be the conjured up words of an unlettered Prophet, and hence finds a satisfactory basis for belief.

 

Again, there's no need for the preliminary stuff. Either the Koran is provabley the result of a supernatural being (in which case it would be illogical to not be a Muslim) or it isn't. I have discussed this many times and I have not yet seen any proof. To be honest, I haven't even seen anything which is even remotely close to proof.

 

The question is, do you have the courage or humbleness to abandon dogmatism? I believe your presence on these forums shows that quite possibly, you do.

 

I do not accept that I am dogmatic, merely sceptical.

Edited by wattle

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There's no need for the second step. If it can be proven that the Koran is the result of a supernatural being, then a belief in supernatural being must follow. And it would not be a matter of 'belief' but a matter of fact. However I have seen nothing to prove that the Koran is the result of a supernatural being. (By the way, the "unchanged" business is not an argument at all - plenty of book are unchanged.)

 

Fair statement of the current position in this thread.

 

Arguably fair statement of the position

 

 

Again, there's no need for the preliminary stuff. Either the Koran is provabley the result of a supernatural being (in which case it would be illogical to not be a Muslim) or it isn't. I have discussed this many times and I have not yet seen any proof. To be honest, I haven't even seen anything which is even remotely close to proof.

 

I do not accept that I am dogmatic, merely sceptical.

 

If you say that you are not dogmatic, then I welcome this and I am happy to take your word on it.

 

I think we come to a pivotal point in our discussion. It would seem that the matter now rests on the validity of the Quran, on whether or not it can be shown that the Quran is the word of Allah. Perhaps it is time for a new thread: "Is the Quran the Word of Allah?" I would be happy to participate in such a discussion, and I hope some of our friends on these forums will join us.

 

But for now, I wish to say the following. While I agree that there is more than enough in the Quran to justify belief, it is not the case that any person who reads it will be forced to believe. This would be tantamount to Allah fully manifesting Himself and as I have discussed previously, Allah does not intend that we should be forced to believe.

 

Notwithstanding this, there are numerous reasons why an unbiased and properly informed reader should find very strong grounds to say that the Quran was not the work of man. I have alluded to some of these already. They include; the Quran's inimitability, the miraculousness in its conciseness, its superior rhetorical and literary style, its foretelling of future events and its description of phenomena that could not have been known at the time of its revelation. But not every reader will perceive or understand these signs of miraculousness. The Quran is not something that a novice reader can expect to read and understand in full. It is ideally read in conjunction with an exegesis, or under the guidance persons learned in it. It should be noted that the inability of a misinformed reader to see that the Quran could not be the word of man, in no way detracts from its miraculousness.

 

You say that you have discussed these matters with people, but have not seen any proof of miraculousness in the Quran. I'm not sure how those discussions proceeded, but I am prepared to revisit the issue if you like. I would base my argument largely on the work of Said Nursi in 'The Sixteenth Word' and 'Twenty Fifth Word' of 'The Words' treatise, as well as his famous 'Signs of Miraculousness'. English translations of these may be referred to on the internet for those who may be interested.

 

Selam.

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Yes, I was thinking of opening a thread myself. I decided not to because if the Koran is not miraculous (a position I would take) it therefore follows that Mohammed was either deluded, duped, deceitful or misrepresented. Arguing for that would get me banned.

 

Further, there's an insurmountable problem. Based on other discussions, the only argument which could have weight (all the "science" arguments I've seen are so vague as to be laughable, or just plain false, such as the 'mountains are pegs' nonsense) is the 'impossibly good literature' one. I don't read Arabic so I would have to rely on authorities. However no Muslim academic could possibly say that the Koran was not impossibly good literature or they would be being blaphemous; on the other hand no non-Muslim academic could say that it was without immediately converting. So there's a lack of authorities to consult.

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i feel sorry :sl: really i spoke to a sheikh he says this dont argue dont speak when they dont want to observe ,

u dont do anything wattle u dont observe u dont want to, ur only good in saying , muslims ( brothers and sisters ) please observe towards this meaning and extend this observation to the ones who dont do but says ,

wattle are you bordering in and out to the same perspective and not indulging any facts( as observing in them ) but rephrasing them in complex illusions of no meaning ( standing firm which isnt a do but a say ) ..

i dont understand u mean ur Einstein ? we can speak about this topic about the says and dont do meaning , dont say einstien didnt do , but atleast he had a choice , u have a choice to do ur observation in the quran , if ur numb to that extent why dont u try ? isnt the numbness occurance come from ur character ? is it ur real character or because uve corrupted ur real character to be numb , the truth is when u observe and try , the real character will be back :sl: its not magic not a considence dont judge with ur saying or thinking , think through the observation and understand or ... ..

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actually, that raises an interesting point: do you think that i've been given the message (or whatever the expression is) and thus am damned if I don't become a believer? Or is the fact that I'm not a believer evidence that I have not been given given the message properly?

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thats evidence for now because u have badness that compels u away of being a believer , maybe the way we give is improper , but we try so maybe by time step by step you will get the dejavu pop that ur waiting for maybe u had them but u neglected and say is their others i dont want to just feel this i want the feeling to come stronger , its about u to take the step to handle more of that feeling ur self :sl:

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Yes, I was thinking of opening a thread myself. I decided not to because if the Koran is not miraculous (a position I would take) it therefore follows that Mohammed was either deluded, duped, deceitful or misrepresented. Arguing for that would get me banned.

 

Further, there's an insurmountable problem. Based on other discussions, the only argument which could have weight (all the "science" arguments I've seen are so vague as to be laughable, or just plain false, such as the 'mountains are pegs' nonsense) is the 'impossibly good literature' one. I don't read Arabic so I would have to rely on authorities. However no Muslim academic could possibly say that the Koran was not impossibly good literature or they would be being blaphemous; on the other hand no non-Muslim academic could say that it was without immediately converting. So there's a lack of authorities to consult.

 

Please see the new thread "The Quran is Not the Word of Man" for a response to this post.

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