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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Servidor

  1. I see. However, why couldn't the universe at bottom be identical with what it means “to be?” It seems to me that that's what everybody who holds it ‘just is’ intends by the claim. If your only disproof is that the universe could conceivably have not existed, God too could conceivably not exist. There are people who are very confident there exists no such thing or being. An atheist's response to your refutation is as simple as shuffling the word ‘essence’ round. Label the universe's essence as ‘to exist’ and it equally well no longer requires a first cause. The very notion of the universe as the sum total of space, time, matter and all physical reality really involves that anything that exists has to be, in some significant sense, part of it. It's only by presupposing there is some other sort of things (immaterial, spiritual, so on) that one can avoid it. It isn't very fair to say we know they exist just because by definition they must. That's purely a matter of how we define them, after all. We can define any number of things like that and thereby populate reality with innumerable novel things. Recall Meinong's jungle. We've strayed so far from the original issue, however, that we've come back to it full circle. The sole refutation available is to show that the universe is a set of mutually dependent causes, the persisting existence of which is only accountable by something/s outside of the causal collection that they definitely, not definitionally, actually are. It is not very simple to do. By a stroke of fantastic good luck though, Aristotle's already done the work. It took a sophisticated account of causality, paired with a world-shattering distinction between potential and actual infinities, that demonstrates the latter are impossible, and rests atop the axiom ‘out of nothing, nothing can come.’ Nothing to do with arguing out of an arbitrary definition. Definitions are descriptive. They are valuable only when they correspond to the thing defined. You cannot define a thing into existence. That would be very simple, but strictly circular as well. Literally “It is because I say it is.”
  2. Saw this and thought of this thread.
  3. What if freedom from pain was happiness? And so the two poll options were one and the same? Aristippus and Epicurus thought so.
  4. I have always found this objection a bit embarassing whenever I hear it being brought up. It's interesting that a preeminently mathematical mind of the kind Russell possessed, didn't see the problem here. The primary problem is precisely the fact that the universe, crudely put, is a collection of causes. A collection of causes cannot consistently account for themselves taken together as a whole. No collection of causes is exhaustively explicable in terms of its parts. If I can explain every domino's being knocked down in terms of another domino, I don't explain how the dominoes started to knock one another down to begin with. And I cannot. I can't explain it from inside the domain of the dominoes, using dominoes themselves alone. God would not, presumably, be a collection of causes like that. That's more promising as a candidate for a brute fact then than the sum of causally dependent parts. Whether the universe really is a collection of causes in such a straightforward sense, is open to enquiry. Russell allows it however. Or it seems he did. Perhaps in asserting the universe "just is," he intended that it is therefore not a collection of causes of the kind envisaged in the proof. I do wonder if the OP will ever get round to their refutation though lol.
  5. Wonder! Aristotle and Socrates for the win. The other two, without suggesting they have no merits in other respects and contexts, don't seem to me capable of doing the work here. Skepticism as an attitude or tendency has a 'can't-do' touch to it. It is broadly negative. Good at breaking, but not for building. Skeptics are in their element telling or showing you what isn't the case or what you don't know. Fear of the Lord, I don't see has anything to do with knowing as such. I can't see somebody seriously saying they know anything, outside of a strict religious framework, because they fear the Lord. Both these claims fall to a further fatal flaw they share, which wonder does not: that they presuppose knowledge. Knowledge precedes them. In the absence of backwards causation, they can't very well be its beginning then. Skepticism takes time and experience to develop and distil in a mind. Fear of the Lord requires considerable background knowledge. About the Lord, why one would fear them, so on. Wonder? It's the first thing we do! A child's eyes light up and their brains work away on perceived perplexities well before they begin to talk. Once they can, it is all questions. "Who's that?" "Why this?" "If I Y will X happen?" Questions coupled with a positive, proactive, 'can-do' approach. That's the beginning of knowledge. That is wonder.
  6. So cute! And now I own a company and my boss works for me.
  7. If you're ever beginning to take yourself slightly too seriously, reread something you wrote on a discussion forum four years ago.
  8. Just so everyone knows, today is national cat day in the Russian Federation— Yes. In Russia there is a cat day on a par with mother's day, father's day, book day, museum day and so on.
  9. The applicant must be Australian.
  10. People in the West are apparently afraid that Russian hackers are after them. This cartoon is, probably unintentionally, doubly funny because a lot of the best upload hosts as well as the best anti-virus system (Kaspersky) are indeed Russian.
  11. Amused me. Anti-smoking ad— Smoking kills more people, than Obama Although he kills a lot of people DON'T SMOKE Do not be like Obama
  12. For Ruq— This made Russian news this week. The first operation on a bear for cataracts in Russian Federation. She had them since she was very young. But, Glory to God, the operation was successful and she will see better now. Her name is Marta.
  13. Forgive me, perhaps I was unclear. On Fr. Lemaitre's theory the universe comes to exist in the big bang—or from what he called the primeval atom, since renamed a singularity. To Fr. Lemaitre's thinking, the universe is the sum total of all those things I enumerated which included matter. If all of all of those things, matter included, came to exist in the initial event his model posited and that was derisively described by his opponents as the "big bang"—then they cannot have existed before that event. Therefore they can't have been its cause. If you believe those things, matter particularly, are the only things that can exist then before the big bang there was—nothing. You then have a severe problem if you hold dear conventional causality and refuse to admit of anything other than the stuff of our universe. The problem was immediately grasped and has been grappled with by physicists, cosmologists, astronomers and mathematicians ever since Fr. Lemaitre's proposal was first put forward. I gave a list of those solutions whose acquaintance I had made when these kinds of questions interested me. No, I was not talking about gravitational waves.
  14. This isn't true. Father (Societas Iesu) Lemaitre's original theory works on the supposition that the universe is the sum total of time, space, matter, constants and the fundamental forces. If you believe these are the only things that exist or can exist—which it's funny to note a materialist can't as time and the forces are not material—then we do know what was before the big bang. Nothing. This was keenly felt as requiring that something could come from nothing (which Hume thought possible anyway) or that you would need to have recourse to some other kind of explanation. It's clear what Fr. Lemaitre was getting at. Soviet physicists tried to circumvent the problem by cyclical inflation. Hugh Everett suggested there were many worlds. Paul Davies posited pantheistic multiverses. Smolin and Smith argued that causative collapsing black holes were at work. Hartle and Hawking performed a mathematical magic trick and removed the space-time coordinate from Einstein's field equations to replace it with multiples of the square root of negative one. The effect was a model where a beginning of the universe would be as arbitrary as which part of the earth is the top or bottom. Canadian physicists like ekpyrotic explanations. And now there are any number of string theories multiplying dimensions beyond necessity. Gödel's universe is my favourite. It spins and allows time travel. But the big bang theory proper would make theism far more reasonable than atheism. A personal explanation being better than that nothing suddenly up and turned into the universe. Although, as you'll gather by now, it isn't the only model on the market.
  15. Vladimir Vladimirovich—There's less and less democracy in the USA Lukashenko (President of Belarus)—Of course. They keep exporting it.
  16. @mohsenhona You are most welcome. I enjoy such discussions. The other day I helped a German physicist here for a conference at a local university find her way to her hotel, and the entire trip on the bus we discussed time. And God is even more interesting than that. So, you basically take issue with the Orthodox position that no words of human language are actually applicable to God. I don't think you meant to say we know how God does things; I don't disagree with you that we can know He did do them. I think the only route to take to convince you that our words don't literally, do not really apply to God is to consider where they come from. Most of us are born into a society with a language so we don't make it up as we go. We learn about something in the world and we are taught a word or words to correspond to it. Some times we don't see what the word corresponds to and we then have concepts or abstract ideas. These too, however, seem to me to derive from our experience of the world in some sense. The Romans loved abstractions. The chain of thought is clear. When something was up in the air, not determined either way, they realised that which way it went was what they decided to call luck (fortuna). They depicted this by an anthropomorphic picture of Luck as a person balancing on a ball—which way they would fall being pure chance. Our concepts like eternity work like that, I think. We make abstract ideas out of things we see or are otherwise acquainted with in the course of our experience. We are closest to words worthy of the Lord God when we talk about ourselves, that is to say uniquely human things. Love. Truth. Fidelity. Conscience. Mind. Heart. Soul. But God Himself is always and forever far and away incomparably other than we are. Revelation and theology are still possible because the Lord God condescends to show Himself to us in words comprehensible to us. But we are not permitted to take them literally of Him. There is a quote I remember from St. Gregory the Theologian I believe, but I cannot find it exactly anywhere. What he says though is that if you take everything you can learn about God through thinking about the physical universe, take every good thing you have ever found in yourself or, more likely, in others, take everything you read or hear in Sacred Scripture, from the holy fathers, all that hours standing in prayer before the Icons at home and in the temple taught you, and brought it together and made an idea by which you mentally pictured to yourself "God"—you have made an idol. St. Basil the Great says it better than I can— “If you wish to speak or hear about God, renounce your own body, renounce your bodily senses, abandon the earth, abandon the sea, make the air to be beneath you; pass over the seasons of the year, their orderly arrangement, the adornments of the earth; stand above the ether (dark matter), traverse the stars, their splendor, grandeur, the profit which they provide for the whole world, their good order, brightness, arrangement, movement, and the bond or distance between them. Having passed through all of this in your mind, go about heaven and standing above it, with your thought alone, observe the beauties which are there: the armies of angels which are above the heavens, the chiefs of the archangels, the glory of the Dominions, the presiding of the Thrones, the Powers, Principalities, Authorities. Having gone past all this and left below the whole of creation in your thoughts, raising your mind beyond the boundaries of it, present to your mind the essence of God, unmoving, unchanging, unalterable, dispassionate, simple, complex, indivisible, unapproachable light, unutterable power, infinite magnitude, resplendent glory, most desired goodness, immeasurable beauty that powerfully strikes the wounded soul, but cannot worthily be depicted in words.” This is the God we worship.
  17. 5 sales. Or at least beat the German boy (again) and Englishman today. I am as well going to carry around an umbrella—I call it my sunbrella—so I don't get sunburnt walking around knocking on doors.
  18. RF has never deliberately targeted civilians in airstrikes. The terrorists themselves tacitly acknowledged this by caging women on roofs to avoid being hit; they knew Russian pilots wouldn't fire on them then. The Ministry of Defense is very open with their data, who they hit, where, how many each day or week and so on. It's on Russian news regularly, Russian language and English (Sputnik and RT). They also forward information to other relevant parties in the area ahead of time to avoid accidents. They've been completely transparent. Western media outlets have, as usual, been either unbelievably unprofessional or professionally dishonest; blaming certain airstrikes on Russia that Russia didn't carry out and even, conversely, using footage of Russian jets hitting an oil convoy and calling them Americans. As well, I don't see how RF working with Iran now as the USSR did before is "ironic." This is continuity of interests, not irony.
  19. No, they are not. Forgive me, but you have been misinformed. Most Muslims in the Russian Federation, outside of the two Republics already mentioned, are temporary migrants either studying or working. They are not Russian citizens. They have a specific set time for which they will be in Russia. Then they generally go back to Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey or wherever. And I still highly doubt that 2 million of those temporary migrants and students are from Azerbaijan.
  20. This is correct. Dagestan is a Russian Republic. So is Bashkortostan. These are Muslim majority places with very broad degrees of autonomy that are ethnically, culturally and religiously very different from Russia in general but are still protected by the Russian army, often can speak Russian and they pay taxes that go into the Federal treasury. There is almost no Shia population to speak of in these places. Historically they were only very relatively recently converted to Islam. It's interesting, because their late rebelliousness during the time of Tsars derived from and was driven by their new religion. They remind one of Cossacks except that they are not Orthodox. They became a fifth column to be counted on by Turkish Empire the same way Uniates in Western Ukraine were/are for Poland and the Germans and the rest of the West. Azerbaijan is not a part of the Russian Federation. You must thank Lenin for such things. That country is, however, a Shia majority. The second largest in the world after Iran itself. But, like the Sunnis in the Russian Republics with Muslim majorities, their practise and knowledge of Islam would probably be lamented by the average committed Shia from Iran or Iraq or Lebanon.
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