Friday, September 03, 2010

In the Beginning



The existence of the universe proves the existence of God.

The reason why is because everything which happens is caused by something else. However this cannot continue infinitely. At some point there must have been an uncaused cause. This was God. God is eternal. He has no physical form and His nature is entirely beyond our comprehension.

God, Himself unexplainable, explains how everything else can exist.

54 comments:

ksil said...

so, what/who created god? you will say he is "infinite"? we cant understand him" BAD ANSWER.

maybe the "universe" is infinite and we cant understand it.!??!

and further, to go from that step, to this god giving a book to some nomads in the desert - is HUGE leap, to say the least!

Anonymous said...

This is explained thoroughly at the beginning of Mishneh Torah (Rambam) and is given parable in Avodah Zara 12a. In that gemorah, Onkelos' explanation immediately converts the people sent to bring him back to Rome. "Matzui Rishon" has always been the backbone of explaining what G-d is.

However, it is not quite a proof of G-d, as Hawking gives a plausible alternative, effectively closing the gaps in which this argument has always lived. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100902/lf_nm_life/us_britain_hawking

I do not think that Hawking has effectively disproven G-d, but if his excerpts are supported in his book due out next week, he has disproven this post.

jewish philosopher said...

"maybe the "universe" is infinite and we cant understand it.!??!"

The Big Bang kind of messed that idea up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

"to go from that step, to this god giving a book to some nomads in the desert - is HUGE leap"

It's a step in that direction.

"he has disproven this post."

I think that would be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Is this like the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.

jewish philosopher said...

I think so, yes.

I would boil it down to: what we comprehend can only have been caused by the Incomprehensible.

ksil said...

yes or no question.

do you believe it is wrong/immoral for an adult to have a sexual relationship with a child?

jewish philosopher said...

Not necessarily.

TheTalmud Tractate Kiddushin 41a states “It is prohibited for a father to betroth his daughter in marriage until she matures and declares that she wishes to marry the groom.”

Tosafos however does qualify that by saying that in a situation of extreme poverty and economic uncertainty, as was the case for Jews in medieval France, a man may marry off his small daughter if he is afraid that later he will not have the financial means to do so and she will therefore remain a lifelong spinster.

Anonymous said...

This argument only follows if you define god as "those conditions and properties that existed prior to the big bang". It implies no other idea of god, such as intelligent, omnipotent or anything else.

The big bang itself followed the laws of physics and required no intervention.

Mahla said...

Ksil, I don't know if this was the appropriate place to ask your yes-or-no question, even though I think I understand why you did it. But if you search, JP has a post up dedicated to nothing but that very topic.

JP, with the whole Steven Hawking kerfuffle and the interview I recently saw with a terminally ill Christopher Hutchins, I was thinking about your blog, so it's ironic you put this up.

Even though I love reading these types of posts and the spirited debates they invariably generate, I'm always left feeling that .... I don't know. :^O

That calling on science in support of holy writ is as useless as calling on holy writ in support of science.

Yes, I know that is not a very original thought, LOL. ;^D

jewish philosopher said...

It seems to me that the First Cause must have some sort of intelligence, otherwise how did it decide to cause something?

Anonymous said...

The exquisite fine tuning of the universe to allow life certainly seems to indicate intelligence.

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that the First Cause must have some sort of intelligence, otherwise how did it decide to cause something?"

Does every cause have to have intelligence? Does the water causing erosion on the riverbed have to be intelligent? Or the cloud causing the rain?

Anonymous said...

Prof. Hawking says that with his new theory we don't need G-d to explain the origin of the Universe. But before he came up with this theory, we did need G-d. The laws of nature were not enough. Yet, the atheists still said they don't need G-d. Go figure.

NoLiveGod said...

Hawking's comments that no gods were/are necessary for the creation of the universe mean that you better do a better job of explaining the empirical data behind your position.

I'm not saying Hawking is right or wrong. But he has empirical data on his side. On your side is...?

Oh, yes. On your side are the "unexplainable" boogeymen, the frightening terror of entities with a nature "entirely beyond our comprehension." [cue dramatic music]

Bye, judaism. Bye, religion. Your lies poisoned people for far too long.

Garnel Ironheart said...

The question isn't whether or not the First Cause has intelligence or free will. The question is: did He continue to interact with the universe after He created it? Religious folks say that he did. Deists say he didn't. Atheists deny He exists but can't offer a suitable alternative to where the Big Bang came from.

jewish philosopher said...

"Does every cause have to have intelligence?"

Only the first.

"I'm not saying Hawking is right or wrong"

What did he say?

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on Hawking;s theory because I don't know what it is. The reports aren't going into any detail except saying something about gravity. I guess we will have to wait for the book. I suspect that it has something to do with the false vacuum virtual particles, etc. I don't know what the empirical evidence for his theory is. The empirical evidence does point to a creation even that very closely parallels Bereshis. The scientist are trying to explain how this could happen without resorting to G-d. Until now, they haven't been doing a very good job.

As far as Judaism poisoning people, would that be things like chesed, tzedoka, etc, etc?

And I guess all the mass murders commited by atheists like Stalin and Mao, would be considered healthy. But like all atheists, I guess you'll say that as long as all those mass murders were not committed in the name of atheism it is okay.

jewish philosopher said...

Apparently Hawking is merely rehashing some very weak theories with the atheistic bias typical of post-Darwinian scientists.

http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Design-Stephen-Hawking/dp/0553805371

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090302118.html

Shalmo said...

JP at best this could prove deism to be correct, but you haven't even gone that far

How do we know God was not destroyed in the Big Bang?

And do you juxtapose YHWH here? I could just as easily say this proves the hindus correct that the universe is in an endless loop of destruction and recreation

jewish philosopher said...

I would say this post supports the first verse of the Bible "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Joseph said...

Hawking's no-boundary condition only works for finite universes. There is reason to believe the universe may be infinite.

NC said...

Skepics and believers can argue in circles forever about who is being biased or blind to the evidence. That is why these arguments go nowhere.

But-

Believers rely on the epistomology and methodology of 200 years ago, before the era of modern science. They employ philosophical arguments, analogies, and occasionally selectively borrow facts from modern science to support their position. (that is exactly what this post does). These were the best available methods of acquiring knowledge until 200 years ago.

In contrast, the skeptic, as a matter of methodology, relies on the methods of modern science, which employ inductive reasoning, statistics, hypothesis testing, and direct and indirect measurement to arrive at its conclusions. It is this method (not this or that individual fact) that permitted all of the progress that we have seen.

The paradox is that the believer claims to be using science, but is in fact not using the scientific method of reasoning. He is just borrowing "facts" from the very science which he rejects.

The upshot-- the argument in this post fails as a scientific claim.

jewish philosopher said...

Would you care to use inductive reasoning, statistics, hypothesis testing, and direct and indirect measurement to arrive at the conclusions that God does not exist and evolution created us?

The fact is that those methods are used to observe the present, while this blog primarily deals with what happened in the past: Did monkeys turn into people? Did God reveal Himself at Mt Sinai?

Anonymous said...

NC:

The scientific method has shown that there was a creation event that closely parallels Bereshis. It shows that the Universe is exquisitely fine tuned to allow life to exist. The scientific method has not produced a viable explanation for the origin of life. The human mind is still an enigma to people who use the scientific method. And evolution relies primarily on circumstantial evidence and suppositions. It also relies on the assumption that if something could have happened, then it did happen. Evolution also relies very heavily on theistic arguments along the lines of "G-d wouldn't do things that way."

And when I taught science I found a different definition for the Scientific Method in each textbook I used. So the there is no consensus among scientists for the for the Scientific Method.

NC said...

"The fact is that those methods are used to observe the present, while this blog primarily deals with what happened in the past"

This is a significant point. You are correct that science can observe only the present. However induction and extrapolation allows science to say something about the past and future, too. When there will be an eclipse, or when it occurred in the past. Or how many generations ago a certain mutation occurred. Or how long ago a person died, given the physical state of his body. These same tools extrapolate to evolution. OK, I understand you reject that. Just recognize that by doing so you are rejecting not only a specific theory, but also negating the whole methodology.

And, of course nobody can ever prove that something doesn't exist, certainly not god.

Anon- "The scientific method has shown that there was a creation event that closely parallels Bereshis."

What "science" are you talking about? The big bang? And how do we know about that? We know it only by indirect observation, extrapolation, and induction. Do you know what induction is? You seem to have no problem accepting the "suppositions" and "circumstantial evidence" when it supports your creationist beliefs. (even though in reality it does not, but thats for another comment) But, when those same methods support evolutionary biology, you find them objectionable.

95% of what we know in science today is from "circumstantial evidence" and induction-- in medicine, physics, geology-- everything.

I don't know what kind of science you taught or read about. But in any scientific field the most basic tools are induction, hypothesis testing, assumptions and measurements. The fact that there is some disagreement on finer points does not refute the whole method! That's fallacious reasoning.

NoLiveGod said...

"Apparently Hawking is merely rehashing some very weak theories...."

Apparently. Riiiight.

In other words, you have nothing.

jewish philosopher said...

If science is so certain that evolution happened in the past then why are they so certain that it will not happen in the future and therefore unanimously oppose climate change and global warming?

Clearly evolution is merely the atheist creation myth, no more scientific than Hindu or Aztec myths.

jewish philosopher said...

In other words, you have nothing."

That's what the reviews are saying.

Nc said...

"why are they so certain that it will not happen in the future and therefore unanimously oppose climate change and global warming?"

I don't follow.

jewish philosopher said...

Climate change has caused mass extinctions which allegedly then accelerated evolution:

http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0329-extinction.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event#Evolutionary_importance

Anonymous said...

NC:

The reason I'm okay with the Big Bang is because the evidence is compelling. The red shift of the galaxies, the cosmic background radiation, etc. The evidence for evolution is much spottier, and the problem are huge. Like I said, much if the evidence is based on theological reasoning.

Though, come to think of it the problems with the Big Bang are pretty big, too. There's the horizon problem, the flatness problem, the structure problem. Guth said that the infationary scenario solved all these. But Hawking doesn't like inflation because the haven't found a particle that can quantum tunnel the right way. Oh well, maybe I have to reject the Big Bang as well.

Anonymous said...

Below is a list of the different interpretations of the scientific method I found in the different textbooks. I don't see much inductive reasoning/


"Living Enviroment" by Ratzh and Colvert doesn't mention the Scientific method, but it does discuss scientific inquiry, It says scientific inquiry includes questions, observations and inference, experimentation, collecting and organizing data, repeating experiments, and peer review.

"Biology, The Study of Life" by Sachraer and Stolzte says that the Scientific method consists of defining the problem, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, observing and measuring, analyzing and drawing conclusions, and reporting observations.

"Biology" by Mills and Levine lalks about science and how scientists work.
Science involves evidence based on observation, interpreting the evidence, and explaining the evidence..Scientists work by studying the evidence, forming a hypothesis, setting up a controlled experiment, recoding and analyzing the results, drawing conclusions, publishing and repeating the investigation, If a controlled experiment isn't possible, then they substitute field work.

"Evironmental Science" by Karen Arms says that there are scientific methods.
That is, there is more then one method. These can include observing, hypothesizing and predicting, experimenting, organizing and interpreting information, using graphs and sharing information, and communicatiing results.

"Modern Earth Science" by Sager, Rancey, Phillips and Watenpaugh also discusses different scientific methods. They include stating the problem, gathering information, forming a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis by experiment, and stating a conclusion.

"Earth Science" by Spaulding and Namowitz talks about scientific thinking. This includes observations, gathering evidence, formulating a hypothesis, skeptical questioning, analyzing what is known, and using math and technology. The scientific methods of inquiry involve collecting data, analyzing the data, testing the hypothesis, and peer review in scientific journals.

"Holt Science and Technology: Earth Science" says that scientific methods do not have a set procedure, but they can include some or all of the following, asking a question, forming a hypothesis, testing by controlled experiment, making observations, keeping records, analyzing results, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.

NC said...

OK. Then please answer the following:

On the morning of March 23, 1064, did the sun rise in Rome?

If you answer yes, you are using induction. What is the evidence? Nothing direct. No witnesses, no photographs, no documents. Nada. Only "cirumstantial" and "spotty" evidence.

So how do you know it rose? By inductive reasoning and inference. We observe (or infer) the earth's 24 hr rotation. We assume (based on astronomy) that it has been doing so for billions of years. The sun rises every day, and we extrapolate backwards.

Evolutionary biology uses the same method. We observe data points, and infer. In the case of evolution (whether continuous or punctuated), the data points are fossils, zoology, and DNA biology. We always have to "fill in the blanks". That is induction and inference, the basis of hyposthesis. There are no "theistic" arguments.

Without induction most science that we know would be impossible. Do you realize that even "direct" measurement is based on induction? Using any instrument to observe makes assumptions that certain patterns of interactions hold true, consistently. So by rejecting evolution based on "circumstantial" evidence, you basically deny the whole basis of the scientific method.

The creationist view REQUIRES that you reject this method, since all of the data points pointing to evolution were deceptively planted by god, and thus extrapolation becomes impossible. We can never infer from patterns, because with God's interference, anything can happen and nothing is predictable or consistent.

Hypothesis testing is predicated on patterns and consistency. Without it you pull the carpet from underneath science.

In your creationist view, what "data points" do you rely on? The bible? Witnesses? Tradition? Is that better than scientific inference?

jewish philosopher said...

"In the case of evolution (whether continuous or punctuated), the data points are fossils, zoology, and DNA biology."

Which is all just as impressive as all the proofs of Christianity.

http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

"In your creationist view, what "data points" do you rely on?"

What "data points" do you rely on to tell you that your cell phone was designed by an engineer rather being the result of an earthquake hitting a radio factory?

Anonymous said...

Many evolutionary arguements are along hte lines of "G-d wouldn't do it that way." That's theology.

Now for the data points. And the fossils only show that different species lived at different times, not that one species evolved into another. And antibiotic resistance only proves that bacteria can develope antibiotic resistance, not that they can evolve into a new species.

Organisms certainly look like they were designed. They display a purposeful integration of diverse parts at many different levels. That's a creationist data point.

NC said...

"Many evolutionary arguements are along hte lines of "G-d wouldn't do it that way." That's theology. "

Such an argument is not part of or necessary for evolutionary theory.

"Now for the data points.And the fossils only show that different species lived at different times, not that one species evolved into another"

And DNA morphology and anatomy show that the different species have common ancestry.

"Organisms certainly look like they were designed. They display a purposeful integration of diverse parts at many different levels."

And that designer's mechanism was evolution.

"What "data points" do you rely on to tell you that your cell phone was designed by an engineer"

All other cellphones were designed. And it has a tag that says, Made By XXXX.

Do you know of other life forms as data points that you know were designed by god? If you do, you would have a point.

HC said...

The "first cause" argument is the singular worst argument ever put forward for the existence of a deity EVER! The "reasoning" is mind-numbingly stupid.

(1) Everything requires a cause.
(2) Therefore there was a first cause, an "uncaused cause."

Such an argument is a non-sequitur because point one refutes point two. It is an inherently self-defeating argument! If everything requires a cause, then there could be no "first cause" thus necessitating an infinite regression. If there IS a first cause, then it is NOT the case that everything requires a cause.

Furthermore, we are not absolutely sure the universe had a beginning. We only have strong reason to think it did. (Funny you write off evolution as bunk, but uncritically accept the Big Bang. While the Big Bang Theory is the best explanation for the origin of the universe, there is a HELL of a lot more evidence for evolution.)

But even if we assume that the universe had a beginning and was caused by something external, that "cause" could be anything. A cosmic fart! At least your argument from design implies an intelligent entity, hence "Intelligent Design." But if your design argument is so strong, why even bother with such an easily refutable argument from causality? After all, to fall back on a cosmological argument reduces god to a "cosmic fart" that predates the known universe. What's wrong? Having a mental breakdown there?

I mean anyone with an IQ over 60 can refute the causal argument. For an alleged Mensa member, that is unimpressive. Speaking of which, I am curious how an Orthodox Jew with no university education gets into Mensa. I would earnestly like to hear your story...

jewish philosopher said...

"And it has a tag that says, Made By XXXX."

And so does the universe:

"for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day" Exodus 20:10

http://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0220.htm#10

HC said...

Out of curiousity, why haven't you posted my comment? Is it because I utterly destroyed your inane argument or is it because I mentioned your (false) claims to be in Mensa?

Which is it you FUCKING FRAUD?

jewish philosopher said...

Here's my ID card

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nZv76VrNZYk/TClem3sh4QI/AAAAAAAAjfs/TGzyFa6adlc/s1600/DSC00726.JPG

HC said...

I see that you finally allowed my first comment in this thread to post, but only after I sent you an abusive comment. On that note, I retract my latter statement, but I find it sad that you respond more to derisions, extortion, insults, mockery, taunts, threats, and other personal abuse than you do civil discourse. That reveals an unfortunate facet of your personality.

But let's start over! Exchanging verbal abuse does not help anyone understand JP the individual. Maybe if we get to know you as a person we will sympathize with you more?

Allow me to reiterate:

I am curious how an Orthodox Jew with no university education gets into Mensa. I would earnestly like to hear your story...

jewish philosopher said...

You apply.

http://www.us.mensa.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=MembershipAppl&Template=/customsource/PE_Application.cfm

HC said...

Cool! And when did you apply?

jewish philosopher said...

I believe it was 1989.

HC said...

So you were in Mensa for what, 20 years, give or take? That was before the World Wide Web! How did you apply back then? Give us the full story!

jewish philosopher said...

Before the web, there were telephones. You could call the national headquarters, I think then in Brooklyn, and make an appointment to take a proctored test. I think it's about the same as today. It not that big a deal. It's just iq plus paying dues.

HC said...

Interesting... So what possessed you to think, "hmmm... I'm gonna join Mensa!" Did somebody from your congregation tell you about them?

jewish philosopher said...

At that time, I was looking for work in computer programming and I felt that it might look on my resume. Maybe it was worth the few bucks. It's hard to say.

jewish philosopher said...

Just incidentally, if I'm not mistaken mensa membership means that you are about as intelligent as the average college professor, but not the average Nobel prize winner.

HC said...

Also interesting!

Btw, I have previously seen your membership ID card and I must admit that it proves nothing. It is not a photo ID and there is no address, birth date, social security number, or any other relevant biographical data on the card. All you have is a card with a name and a number. A membership ID card with a name so common proves nothing. The name Jacob Stein is the Jewish equivalent of Robert Jones.

Incidentally, do you mind explaining why Mensa member # 1123963 has a Manhattan address?

jewish philosopher said...

"why Mensa member # 1123963 has a Manhattan address?"

How do you figure that?

The first five digits by the way were my zip code when I joined.

HC said...

Is that so? It just so happens that 11239 is indeed a Brooklyn zip code, but you lived in Borough Park circa 1989.

The Borough Park zip codes are: 11204, 11218, 11219, and 11230.

The zip code 11239 is within the Canarsie - Flatlands neighborhood area.

I suppose it is possible that Brooklyn zip code areas changed over the past two decades, but that does not explain why the zip code with the address for "your" card is 10001, a Manhattan zip code. Not Wesley Hills, not Monsey, not Brooklyn. How did I figure that? Let's just say I had a chat with a nice lady from Mensa web services. Do you have something to tell us?

Anonymous said...

NC:

Similarities in DNA could very well be explained by the fact that similar genes have similar functions. And if similar DNA is evidence for common descent then different DNA is evidence for a lack of common descent. And there are similarities in morphology, true. But there are also differences.

And the DNA evidence often doesn't match the morphological evidence. This is a problem for evolution. Evolutionists try to explain this away by talking about deep homology, or horizontal gene transfer.

jewish philosopher said...

10001 is GHI's zip. Maybe 11239 was the zip of my local Mensa chapter, the closest one to Boro Park? You seem to know more than I do.