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In the Name of God بسم الله
Qasim_Husayn

Help explaining why the first cause of the universe must be personal?

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I was debating an atheist and would appreciate if someone could properly phrase this argument better for me.

There are two types of causes that can theoretically exist

1. Agent-Causation

2. Non-Agent Causation

Agent-Causation is causation that is willed, if you woke up and decided to go to work, then this is an agent cause, because you could have decided to not will yourself to wake up and sleep in early.

Now someone might object and say that the only reason you woke up was because the neurons firing in the right time and right place, with the particles colliding in such  away to make it seem like you willed yourself to get up,and free will is just an illusion.

That's fine. My point was just to illustrate that if there was a type of causation known as agent causation it has the power to decide whether or not to do an action. An agent cause would have the ability to decide whether or not to execute the action or not.

A rock's reason for falling is non-agent causation, a rock cannot decide whether to fall or not, its condition of falling is predetermined by the fact that the gravitational force of Earth is so large that that it  accelerates the rock downward. The rock falling is not determined or willed by the rock but it is determined by previous conditions that were already existing. Likewise all deterministic causes are ultimately dependent on a set of causes prior to it in order for that cause to be able to cause anything.

Now the first cause of the universe can fall under category 1 or category 2. The first cause has no cause prior to it; therefore no prior conditions existed that can cause the first cause to act. Therefore there were no conditions that caused it to act, yet it still acted, The ability to cause without any pre-existing causes, means the thing willed itself to act. If the first cause did not have agency and it depended on previous factors in order for it to be able to cause the  universe to exist, the first cause would never cause the universe as there are no causes prior to it and hence the universe would not exist. A cause with agency can choose  to decide whether or not to cause or not even if there were no prior conditions or causes to enable it to act or cause . Therefore the being must have agency in order to make decisions, to execute the first cause, and hence to cause the universe to exist.

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12 hours ago, Qasim_Husayn said:

Now someone might object and say that the only reason you woke up was because the neurons firing in the right time and right place, with the particles colliding in such  away to make it seem like you willed yourself to get up,and free will is just an illusion.

That's fine. My point was just to illustrate that if there was a type of causation known as agent causation it has the power to decide whether or not to do an action. An agent cause would have the ability to decide whether or not to execute the action or not.

That objection you raised shows that there is no such thing as "agent-causation".  it is as meaningless as  there being a "personal God that willed everything into existence".

 

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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3 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

That objection you raised shows that there is no such thing as "agent-causation".  it is as meaningless as  there being a "personal God that willed everything into existence".

 

 

It shows there is no free WITHIN the universe as there are various conditions and factors infleuncing our actions.

But the first cause has the ability to execute an action and does not have any causes prior to its causation, therefore no preceding causea or actions dictating its causation,  and the only way the first cause can act with no prior conditions influencing infleuncing it,is if the first cause has a will and wills itselt to act as the first cause.

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11 hours ago, Qasim_Husayn said:

It shows there is no free WITHIN the universe as there are various conditions and factors infleuncing our actions.

But the first cause has the ability to execute an action and does not have any causes prior to its causation, therefore no preceding causea or actions dictating its causation,  and the only way the first cause can act with no prior conditions influencing infleuncing it,is if the first cause has a will and wills itselt to act as the first cause.

So, did the first cause give the executive order 13.8 billion years ago?  

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Guest Kakamora
On 3/31/2020 at 11:00 AM, Qasim_Husayn said:

Therefore the being must have agency in order to make decisions, to execute the first cause, and hence to cause the universe to exist.

You meant to say, the being shall have a mind to choose whereby it decide or reject. While being is not contained in any limits. The cause that your intelligence is contained within you, is to show you that you are not God, you exist within and without is your body. The being you imply to contains all of us within His power. If you ask for evidence know that there is opposite in existence. Some are contained and other contain. The being contain all of us wotb his might but none contains it. 

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On 3/31/2020 at 2:47 PM, eThErEaL said:

That objection you raised shows that there is no such thing as "agent-causation".  it is as meaningless as  there being a "personal God that willed everything into existence".

Perhaps we are just...observers of consciousness. A microcosm of awareness of the universal essence.

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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

Perhaps we are just...observers of consciousness. A microcosm of awareness of the universal essence.

can you explain more what you mean?  
 

I would word it like this (not sure if you meant this):

There is nothing but universal awareness (“universal essence” if you like) that is Self-aware.  It perceives, It senses, It feels, It thinks, It observes the myriad things or objects of phenomena through individuals or minds. This One Universal Essence or Consciousness is doing everything, but it “only appears as if” individual minds are doing the perceiving, doing the observing, doing the feeling, doing the sensing, and doing the thinking.

if you want to know if these phenomenal objects can exist independent of all the individual minds, then the answer is: it might be.  But it is not really necessary.  It is a useless theory that Is of no benefit.  For example, would Pluto exist if no individual or mind were observing it?  Or as you once asked before:  if no one is there to observe, would a tree make any noise if it fell in the middle of a forest?  Well, more importantly, would the entire forest even be there if no one was there to observe it!  And the answer is, who cares! The only thing that matters is that we can think about it, and that it doesn’t disrupt our plans so that if we were intending to make camp out in that forest we can expect to observe it when we want to observe it!  And this is all that matters.  Yes, this would entail that the universe is predictable and can be analyzed to our advantage.  But this does not entail necessarily that objects exist independent of individual minds (this may or may  or be true).  
 

But most certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, absolutely nothing whatsoever is independent of consciousness!  

 

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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1 hour ago, eThErEaL said:

can you explain more what you mean?  
 

I would word it like this (not sure if you meant this):

There is nothing but universal awareness (“universal essence” if you like) that is Self-aware.  It perceives, It senses, It feels, It thinks, It observes the myriad things or objects of phenomena through individuals or minds. This One Universal Essence or Consciousness is doing everything, but it “only appears as if” individual minds are doing the perceiving, doing the observing, doing the feeling, doing the sensing, and doing the thinking.

if you want to know if these phenomenal objects can exist independent of all the individual minds, then the answer is: it might be.  But it is not really necessary.  It is a useless theory that Is of no benefit.  For example, would Pluto exist if no individual or mind were observing it?  Or as you once asked before:  if no one is there to observe, would a tree make any noise if it fell in the middle of a forest?  Well, more importantly, would the entire forest even be there if no one was there to observe it!  And the answer is, who cares! The only thing that matters is that we can think about it, and that it doesn’t disrupt our plans so that if we were intending to make camp out in that forest we can expect to observe it when we want to observe it!  And this is all that matters.  Yes, this would entail that the universe is predictable and can be analyzed to our advantage.  But this does not entail necessarily that objects exist independent of individual minds (this may or may not be true).  
 

But most certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, absolutely nothing whatsoever is independent of consciousness!  

 

I think that the theory should matter to us. Maybe not for asthetic purposes. If none could experience the forest, it might seem irrelevant. But what if our individual experiences and minds were dependent upon the pre existence of objects which could not be experienced?

Maybe without that silent forest, maybe our individual minds wouldn't be here, much like an adult might not be here, if not first being a sperm and egg (without individual experiences or a mind).

The individual mind is self perpetuating. It brings us joy to distinguish other individuals from ourselves, even if we are of a same essence. If we never distinguished ourselves from others, we wouldn't be individual.  Maybe it's meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but we will always care. We must care about that tree in the woods. 

Edited by iCenozoic

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57 minutes ago, iCenozoic said:

 

I think that the theory should matter to us. Maybe not for asthetic purposes. If none could experience the forest, it might seem irrelevant. But what if our individual experiences and minds were dependent upon the pre existence of objects which could not be experienced?

Maybe without that silent forest, maybe our individual minds wouldn't be here, much like an adult might not be here, if not first being a sperm and egg (without individual experiences or a mind).

The individual mind is self perpetuating. It brings us joy to distinguish other individuals from ourselves, even if we are of a same essence. If we never distinguished ourselves from others, we wouldn't be individual.  Maybe it's meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but we will always care. We must care about that tree in the woods. 

⚠️ Warning:  This post can give one a panic attack.  Read at your own risk or peril!
 

Well, 
 

a) There is absolutely no way of knowing if such a world exists independent of our individual minds, our even my mind.  Forget about other minds, how do I know that I am not the only mind?  Right?  It would be “nice” For my mind to assume that other humans are not cardboard cut outs (that they do have a side that is currently not visible to my eyes), but how would I know this for certain?  I can’t.  (Recall that example you brought up once)...Imagine if all you ever saw of the world and all you ever knew about yourself was nothing but experiences in your brain and that this brain was in a vat.  But, imagine that there might not even be a vat or a brain!  How can you really know this isn’t the case NOW?

b) it is possible that you being an sperm is simply a generated idea.  It is possible that Even that fact of  you being a child with past experiences... These could all be self-generated memories.  

don’t mean to scare you, I hope this doesn’t give you a panic attack.  Some people freak out and get panic attacks thinking about this.  
If this happens know that you don’t have to worry. 
 

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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51 minutes ago, eThErEaL said:

⚠️ Warning:  This post can give one a panic attack.  Read at your own risk or peril!
 

Well, 
 

a) There is absolutely no way of knowing if such a world exists independent of our individual minds, our even my mind.  Forget about other minds, how do I know that I am not the only mind?  Right?  It would be “nice” For my mind to assume that other humans are not cardboard cut outs (that they do have a side that is currently not visible to my eyes), but how would I know this for certain?  I can’t.  (Recall that example you brought up once)...Imagine if all you ever saw of the world and all you ever knew about yourself was nothing but experiences in your brain and that this brain was in a vat.  But, imagine that there might not even be a vat or a brain!  How can you really know this isn’t the case NOW?

b) it is possible that you being an sperm is simply a generated idea.  It is possible that Even that fact of  you being a child with past experiences... These could all be self-generated memories.  

don’t mean to scare you, I hope this doesn’t give you a panic attack.  Some people freak out and get panic attacks thinking about this.  
If this happens know that you don’t have to worry. 
 

 

But if those ideas aren't merely generated....

I believe that the soundless tree is not meaningless, but rather, is meaningfull.

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4 hours ago, iCenozoic said:

But if those ideas aren't merely generated....

I believe that the soundless tree is not meaningless, but rather, is meaningfull.

 

What difference does it make to us if a star in the night exists in reality?  So long as we can observe it and enjoy it and so long as it looks pretty, whether or not it exists is of no benefit.  It is meaningful only inasmuch as we see it and enjoy it.  You don't enjoy it less or find it less meaningful if it doesn't actually exist beyond your visual perception of it.  If you were to get a telegram from an alien informing you that the star you are viewing doesn't actually exist, would that mean that we can no longer enjoy the star or find it meaningful to us?  It is still very meaningful to us.  It still appears!  it still shimmers so beautifully!  

 

The same is with anything else.  All the mind knows of anything is whatever is give to it through the 5 senses and whatever it imagines, feels emotionally, and whatever it conceives or thinks.  whether or not something is beyond this is not going to make a difference. 

Think of it like this:  The "soundless tree" that you find meaningful is perhaps only meaningful inasmuch as you can imagine it, think of it or perceive it.  But the soundless tree, in the actual reality, would be entirely meaningless to you because it would not be the way you perceive it, it would be in the form of quantum particles (which is just part of the physical world - not the juicy and exciting world of perception).  

........................

 

What I am trying to say is that believing in a world that is not mind stuff (the so called "physical world"), is really a WORKING THEORY that suits us for the time being so long as it can somewhat explain why we see things.  Do all physicists believe that Pluto exists if no one is observing it?  All Physicists will say, PLUTO "as we observe it" certainly does NOT exist in the physical world because the physical world looks NOTHING LIKE what we observe it to be!  the Physical world is nothing but a bunch of particles that pop in and out of existence.          

Edited by eThErEaL

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Guest Aqeel

Direct cause of universe is not God, God is the perfect cause or ultimate cause, there are intermediate causes as well

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