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Amoli, Ay. Jawadi - A Commentary on Theistic Arguments.pdf

Argument from contingency 

Something that existence and nonexistence are not parts of its essence, and has equidistance towards the two, cannot become existent or nonexistent by virtue of its essence. That is, if not for an external causal efficacy (al-‛illiyya al-
fā‛iliyya), which would necessitate either existence or nonexistence for it and characterize it with one of the two qualities, its essence can be neither existent nor nonexistent. Otherwise, it will mean that while a thing is equidistant towards existence and nonexistence, it has existence or nonexistence, and therefore, it is devoid of equidistance towards the two. The concurrence of equidistance and non-equidistance is conjunction of contradictories (ijtemā‛ al-naqīdhain), which is impossible.

 

Can someone explain this to me in a simple way. I don't seem to get it. 

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It's written in broken English. When I get time to decipher the broken grammar, I'll see if I can get back to you (if nobody else responds to you). 

Feel free to google explanations for this argument. There are many websites that talk about it. Or you can always find YouTube videos on it.

Edited by iCambrian

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This is my understanding of his argument: 

 

His point is that ordinary objects dont have existence or non-existence as part of their essence i.e. as part of their essential characteristics which is what makes them what they are.  Given that they dont have existence or non-existence as part of their essence, they need an external cause to either make them exist, or make them not exist.  Take an apple - this doesnt have existence as part of its essence, therefore could not have existed.  But equally, it doesnt have non-existence as part of its essence, therefore could exist.  Given that neither existence nor non-existence is part of its essence, then in order for it to either exist or not exist, there has to be some external cause.  

 

But the apple either has to exist or not exist - there is no third option, therefore we have something that on the one hand, doesnt have to exist or not exist (because its essence is neutral with respect to both), and on the other hand, does have to exist or not exist (as there is no third option).  This leads us to a contradiction.  To get out of this contradiction, there must be an external cause which makes it either exist or not exist.

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On 9/22/2016 at 7:29 AM, .InshAllah. said:

His point is that ordinary objects dont have existence or non-existence as part of their essence

How do we know that. How can we prove that the existence of objects is neutral. 

 

On 9/22/2016 at 7:29 AM, .InshAllah. said:

Take an apple - this doesnt have existence as part of its essence, therefore could not have existed.  But equally, it doesnt have non-existence as part of its essence, therefore could exist.

Again we don't know this, just because I can concieve an apple in a different way doesn't necessarily mean it can exist in another way. Just because things can logically failed to exist doesn't mean they could have physically failed to exist. 

 

On 9/22/2016 at 7:29 AM, .InshAllah. said:

But the apple either has to exist or not exist - there is no third option, therefore we have something that on the one hand, doesnt have to exist or not exist (because its essence is neutral with respect to both), and on the other hand, does have to exist or not exist (as there is no third option).  

I'm sorry I don't see the contardiction. The apple exists. I don't see why it has to non-exist and exist at the same time. 

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17 minutes ago, Qasim_Husayn said:

How do we know that. How can we prove that the existence of objects is neutral. 

 

I havent read all of Ayt Amulis book so not sure what he would say.  

I would say if it wasnt neutral, then it would either be impossible (and therefore never exist), or it would be necessary (in which case it would have to exist).  But ordinary objects are neither impossible (in virtue of existing), nor necessary (in virtue of having a beginning)

Quote

 

Again we don't know this, just because I can concieve an apple in a different way doesn't necessarily mean it can exist in another way. Just because things can logically failed to exist doesn't mean they could have physically failed to exist. 

 

 

 

The apple began to exist, and will go out of existence, therefore isnt necessary.  

Regarding our conceiving things, this is evidence that something is possible, but not proof (IMO).

Edited by .InshAllah.

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35 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

I would say if it wasnt neutral, then it would either be impossible (and therefore never exist), or it would be necessary (in which case it would have to exist).  But ordinary objects are neither impossible (in virtue of existing), nor necessary (in virtue of having a beginning)

 

The state of existing is just that; a state. I don't understand the need for such a convoluted assumption.

Reality: the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
 

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32 minutes ago, Quisant said:

 

The state of existing is just that; a state. I don't understand the need for such a convoluted assumption.

Reality: the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
 

A state that had to exist, or didnt have to exist?  This is a meaningful question

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1 hour ago, .InshAllah. said:

A state that had to exist, or didnt have to exist?  This is a meaningful question

It neither had to exist or not exist... it just is. 

There are only two things, what is and what isn't - 'existence' obviously is.

Unless of course you are able to prove that it once wasn't.   :)

ws

*

 

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25 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

Logically, for anything that exists, either it has to exist or doesnt have to exist.  This is a logical truth.

 

Anything that exists just exists, the rest is speculation. (Imo)

Truth is quality of reality, not logic.  And the "the universe" is a collection of material things, not a "collection of concepts."
Logic is a tool we use to make sense of our reality, it does not force reality to conform to our logic. Logic is not magic: it has no effect on Nature.

2 = a number
1 = a number
2 = 1
From here, interesting essay about logic:
http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/What-is-LOGIC-Logic-does-NOT-Provide-PROOFS-and-TRUTHS#

wslm.

*

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20 hours ago, Quisant said:

 

Anything that exists just exists, the rest is speculation. (Imo)

Truth is quality of reality, not logic.  And the "the universe" is a collection of material things, not a "collection of concepts."
Logic is a tool we use to make sense of our reality, it does not force reality to conform to our logic. Logic is not magic: it has no effect on Nature.

2 = a number
1 = a number
2 = 1
From here, interesting essay about logic:
http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/What-is-LOGIC-Logic-does-NOT-Provide-PROOFS-and-TRUTHS#

wslm.

*

Quisant how would you like it if I said the following?

Exactly since the universe is beyond logic. God must be beyond logic too. Logic cannot dedcue the existence of God, because logic has no effect on God.

That statment kinda seems illogical. 

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1 hour ago, Qasim_Husayn said:

Quisant how would you like it if I said the following?

Exactly since the universe is beyond logic. God must be beyond logic too. Logic cannot dedcue the existence of God, because logic has no effect on God.

That statment kinda seems illogical. 

I am sorry, I am not quite sure what you mean. Perhaps you misunderstand the distinction between logic and reality.

Logic is a tool, malleable to a certain degree, that people use to further / reinforce their own beliefs/aims. 

Indeed, throughout history, many great thinkers have arrived (deduced) at the logical conclusion that God exists.
But they have never been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a God exists and is active in the universe.

To this day, despite all the arguments, the big difference between God and the universe remains that there is a vast amount of evidence for the universe whilst there is no real, tangible evidence for any God. Only words.

wslm.

*

 

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33 minutes ago, Quisant said:

To this day, despite all the arguments, the big difference between God and the universe remains that there is a vast amount of evidence for the universe whilst there is no real, tangible evidence for any God. Only words.

Well we can take a step further and say how can you prove your existence or anything but we have to have a basic measuring point.

If someone in the 12th century told you China exists but you had never seen it or heard of it you would have to trust a reliable source the same is true for God.

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Not someone, many many people tell you that china exists. You would be stupid to not believe them. 

And lets say if you dont go to china you will suffer for eternity. Would you not take the path to china?

Likewise over the years so many prophets came and mystics that say God exists. We have 'seen'. 

So take the path to God, and when you reach the end you will find Him. I assure you.

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23 minutes ago, Enlightened Follower said:

Well we can take a step further and say how can you prove your existence or anything but we have to have a basic measuring point.

I am assuming that there is my existence (assuming otherwise would lead to a contradiction, since then I could not exist to assume otherwise)
 

24 minutes ago, Enlightened Follower said:

If someone in the 12th century told you China exists but you had never seen it or heard of it you would have to trust a reliable source the same is true for God.

The existence of another nation (like China) is an ordinary claim, I would find no problem in believing that. I can always travel there and check for myself.

The existence of the supernatural is an extraordinary claim and therefore needs extraordinary evidence.

See you tomorrow. :)

*
 

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Just now, Quisant said:

The existence of another nation (like China) is an ordinary claim, I would find no problem in believing that. I can always travel there and check for myself.

The existence of the supernatural is an extraordinary claim and therefore needs extraordinary evidence.

Not if you were all the way in Great Britain were a peasant with no means of getting there in the 1200s and had to rely on testimony.

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I tend to agree with Quisant on this general topic.  Logic, or these philosophical arguments, they revolve around human thought and exist purely in our minds.  Not to say that our senses are not also dependent on our mind though.  When we assume that, what we all mutually can see and touch is reality, this assumption is different from the assumptions we may agree on based on thoughts that we derive without our senses.

For example, 10 people can go to their local zoo.  They can see, touch, taste and smell the elephants and can mutually derive truth that the elephants are there with use of their senses.  This is different from people assuming elephants are at the zoo, without having seen or touched or tasted or smelled or heard those elephants (regardless of if elephants being at the zoo appears logical or not in our minds).

Thats kind of the difference we are working with here. 

In regards to extraordinary and non extraordinary claims, this is something that is chosen by individuals. Quisant can say "the existance of another nation like china is an ordinary claim".  And this is ordinary to him, so he can truthfully say it. If it were extraordinary, at this stage in history, he could likely demonstrate its truth.  With respect to God though, regardless of if he feels it is extraordinary or not, he would likely have trouble demonstrating it. 

1200 years ago, he may have said that the existance of another nation is extraordinary, and then of course, whomever made the claim that China existed, would be responsible for demonstrating that.  In modern times, those who may claim God as undeniable truth would be making the claim and would be responsible for demonstrating that.  So too would people claiming that no God exists.

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On 9/24/2016 at 7:14 PM, Quisant said:

2 = a number
1 = a number
2 = 1

This equation is a gross fallacy (but you would need logic to determine that) and doesn't follow any of the rules that have been set forth for deduction. I don't know how much value that article has if this is the kind of stuff they are using to discredit logic.

In the conjunctive syllogism you are using, where the median (a number) is an attribute and predicated in both premises, one of the premise needs to be positive and one needs to be negative (both can't be positive like in your example, or negative).

Something like this would be valid:

  • B is not a number
  • 2 is a number
  • Therefore 2 is not B (result always follows the premises that is lower in degree, which in this case is a negative)

Wassalam

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9 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

Quisant, the irony here is that you are attempting to use logical arguments to argue against logic.  Every time you post on shiachat arguing for a particular conclusion, you are using logical principles.  You're basically refuting yourself.

Ah ah, you are absolutely right!   The worse part is that I am aware of it...

On the other hand  I admit that when it comes to other ways of communicating I am at a loss: I am terrible at poetry, I am not telepathic and I am very rusty at 'sign language'. 

I am open to suggestions... :)  

What would you recommend? How should I frame a discussion?

wslm

*

 

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9 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

Well you could be consistent.  If logic is good for arguing for the different things you believe in, then its good for arguing for the existence of God.  

If that is all you have understood from reading my posts...either I am a poor communicator or you are a biased reader.

Simply put, what I mean to say is that logic is good for arguing, bad for proving the existence of God.

In any case, thanks for your council.

All the best.

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