Response to Jim__ (Reply #5)
Fri Feb 17, 2012, 08:35 AM
deadinsider (201 posts)
7. From Wikipedia
Last edited Fri Feb 17, 2012, 08:54 AM - Edit history (1)
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause (or instead, an Uncaused cause) to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God.
What caused the First Cause?
One objection to the argument is that it leaves open the question of why the First Cause is unique in that it does not require a cause. Proponents argue that the First Cause is exempt from having a cause, while opponents argue that this is special pleading or otherwise untrue. A brief review of the first premise in both arguments above, however, shows that the first cause is exempt precisely because it did not begin to exist or because it is not contingent or finite. Thus claiming that there is special pleading on the part of the first cause essentially amounts to a rejection of the formulation of either of the first premises above. The problem with arguing for the First Cause's exemption is that it raises the question of why the First Cause is indeed exempt.
Secondly, the premise of causality has been arrived at via a posteriori (inductive) reasoning, which is dependent on experience. David Hume highlighted this problem of induction and argued that causal relations were not true a priori (deductively). However as to whether inductive or deductive reasoning is more valuable still remains a matter of debate, with the general conclusion being that neither is prominent. Even though causality applies to the known world, it does not necessarily apply to the universe at large. In other words, it is unwise to draw conclusions from an extrapolation of causality beyond experience.
One could argue that the Big Bang could physically be called the "First Cause" because causal events have 'time' itself as a predicate, meaning time actually has to exist, and it did not 'before' the Big Bang. As you probably understand, time did not exist at the moment before the Big Bang due to the lack of the space-time continuum. However, I identify this as a problem somewhat loosley likened to the "Incompleteness Theorem" because we can not actually answer it; any answer to the question would require evidence that would involve empirical data. But data can not exist before existence.
The infinite regress is also a problem for truth itself; the sceptics like Sextus Empiricus realized this (this is where Descartes comes in, doubting everything, including his own actuality, but then finds that he must exist because he is actually think ing about it "I think, therefore I am.")
In order to 'prove' a logical proof there are predicates. But in reality, in order for the predicates themselves to be taken as true you would have to prove the predications of the predicates themselves, therefore leading to the necessity of yet another proof. And then you would have to proof the predicates for these predications you just used. This would go on forever. This is where the Postmodernists come in and say nothing has inherent value, as nothing can totally be proved to be ture. However, we know this is not true, not through logic, but rather our intuition. And no one has been able to provide a good logical argument for intuition as the definition of intuition reveals that it does not and can not depend on logic by its own definition.
I'm sure you have more questions, so do I.
edit: *** actually there are spots where I stated 'predicate' but should have probably used 'contigency' instead. But I hope you get the gist of my post.
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