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The First Cause


WalkerW

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I started a similar thread a good while back. What does Mormon theology say regarding the Aristotelian concept of a first cause? Is there room for it or not? Is God the "first cause" in the Mormon view? Can He be as a physical being?

Thoughts?

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Well, we've already adopted the doctrine that matter has always existed. Let me suggest that both matter and light, or intelligence, have both always existed and one can't exist without the other. I believe all beings like us have an origin, but they become Eternal, so they end up having no beginning and no end, despite having an origin. Philosophically, in order for something to exist, it must have an opposite. We find this in our scriptures as well as in philosophy. Matter is acted upon. Intelligence acts upon. They are complementary and inseparable, I suspect.

The light or intelligence that would constitute the first cause of organized matter might simply be a property of existence and is relatively simple, not unlike Darwinian processes.

As far as the Father creating the universe, that introduces some paradoxes for me. Then again, since God is outside of time, and I don't understand that state of existence, paradoxes may not be something I should insist to be a proof He wasn't the first cause in some way.

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Philosophically, in order for something to exist, it must have an opposite. We find this in our scriptures as well as in philosophy.

I don't know where you got that idea from and what your justification for it is but philosophy isn't a doctrine or sets of doctrines but a category. What you just said is a misuse of what philosophy is.

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I don't know where you got that idea from and what your justification for it is but philosophy isn't a doctrine or sets of doctrines but a category...
I said, "You find it in philosophy." That does not mean that philosophy necessarily determines this. I just mean that among philosophers, it has come up and had some acceptance. Your reading comprehension isn't good enough to be as nitpicky as you are. You find what you imagine are faults, which just wastes people's time.
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I started a similar thread a good while back. What does Mormon theology say regarding the Aristotelian concept of a first cause? Is there room for it or not? Is God the "first cause" in the Mormon view? Can He be as a physical being?

Thoughts?

This fundamental questioning of Mormon theology is why I no longer attempt to worship Joseph Smith's "God the Father". I cut to the chase and seek contact with the Cause of such a being, i.e. to worship the same "God" that "God the Father" worships. I want no lesser gods between myself and the ultimate Cause of Existence in the First Place....

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There is no first cause- the notion doesn't make sense.

Hume proved that long ago.

Nothing can be proven to be the cause of anything else, in a "logically necessary" sense.

All one has is event 1 followed with event 2- you cannot prove that 2 was "caused" by 1.

What was your cause? Your father? Your mother? Your sixth great grandfather? The first organism to crawl from the primordial ooze? The Big Bang? The Big Crunch? How many previous Big Bangs or Big Crunches did it take to make you?

They were all contributing causes to you being here, yet none were "logically necessary".

The whole idea just plain doesn't work

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I started a similar thread a good while back. What does Mormon theology say regarding the Aristotelian concept of a first cause? Is there room for it or not? Is God the "first cause" in the Mormon view? Can He be as a physical being?

Thoughts?

In my opinion we have no need for a "First Cause" in Mormon theology. Our God chooses to be immanent, subjects himself to natural laws and remain interactive with his children.

That is not the Neoplatonic/Aristotelian God of Scholastic philosophy. Our God is capable of change and "eternal progression"

If you want some Greek philosophy in your theology, I would go to Heraclitus more than to Pythagoras Parmenides Plato and Aristotle.

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I said, "You find it in philosophy." That does not mean that philosophy necessarily determines this. I just mean that among philosophers, it has come up and had some acceptance. Your reading comprehension isn't good enough to be as nitpicky as you are. You find what you imagine are faults, which just wastes people's time.

I was responding to this part of your post: "Philosophically, in order for something to exist, it must have an opposite." This is a misuse of what philosophy is. It isn't a doctrine nor sets of doctrines but a category.

Now, do you not realize the aggressiveness of this proposition? ("aggressiveness" in proposing something as direct fact, not with regards to violence of any type) You are speaking of necessity here. Why?

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Hume proved that long ago...
He did no such thing. Ask Antony Flew.

I was responding to this part of your post: "Philosophically, in order for something to exist, it must have an opposite." This is a misuse of what philosophy is. It isn't a doctrine nor sets of doctrines but a category.

This indicates even worse reading comprehension than I thought. Philosophically implies that I have no evidence. People who know what philosophy is know that philosophical assertions are merely philosophy. To begin a sentence in that way is essentially saying, "You can make a coherent argument for this, but there is no proof and there may be counter arguments." Again, you're far too nitpicky for someone whose reading comprehension is sub par.
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There is no first cause- the notion doesn't make sense.

Hume proved that long ago.

Did you say causation doesn't make sense or first cause doesn't make sense? Popper has some good arguments why that doesn't matter for science, though. Since theories are never taken to be true we never take as true that something caused something else.

ETA: Also, in its more formal sense, theories don't even need causation. F=ma makes no reference to causation but relations, for example.

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This indicates even worse reading comprehension than I thought. Philosophically implies that I have no evidence. People who know what philosophy is know that philosophical assertions are merely philosophy.

Inside the category of topics that make up philosophy, arguments ("good reasons") are counted as evidence or support for a position. Same with science. You clearly don't know what philosophy is or entails so I'll leave this here. Grab more books.

To begin a sentence in that way is essentially saying, "You can make a coherent argument for this, but there is no proof and there may be counter arguments."

What you said is analogous to saying "scientifically, the earth must be flat." You can make a "coherent" argument for it but it will be terribly unconvincing. I'm not saying what you said can't make sense but it is a clear misunderstanding of what philosophy is. BTW, "proofs" are for mathematics and logic, not for science and philosophy.

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Some interesting posts on Hume from Catholic philosopher Edward Feser:

Hume, Cosmological Arguments, and the Fallacy of Composition

Hume, Science, and Religion

I'm gong to check them out.

Even if God the Father is not equated with the Uncaused Cause, is one still necessary?

Since I don't see how there can be change and cause without time, I don't see why one is necessary or even possible.

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Some interesting posts on Hume from Catholic philosopher Edward Feser:

Hume, Cosmological Arguments, and the Fallacy of Composition

Hume, Science, and Religion

Even if God the Father is not equated with the Uncaused Cause, is one still necessary?

Why do you even need a "cause" for anything to start with? I think Feser is begging the question. I think Hume was right. I can imagine the universe as well uncaused as I can "caused".

What is the idea of "First Cause" good for?

What does it give us that we don't have without a cause?

It is totally an apologetic response for ex nihilo creation.

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I believe all beings like us have an origin, but they become Eternal, so they end up having no beginning and no end, despite having an origin.

But didn't Joseph Smith say that anything that has a beginning has to have an end?

If that's true, and all beings like us have an origin, how can we end up having no end (let alone no beginning)?

Also doesn't the BOA say that God "found Himself among other intelligences" (plural)?

If that's true, wouldn't it mean we already existed as co-eternal individuals, before we became His spirit children?

If we already existed, wouldn't that mean He didn't really create us?

And what about agency?

Did He give it to us, or did we already have it?

Did we agree to become His spirit children?

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Why do you even need a "cause" for anything to start with?

To provide what some say is the best answer to a question. What else could it be?

I think Feser is begging the question. I think Hume was right. I can imagine the universe as well uncaused as I can "caused".

You still need to address the argument directly.

What is the idea of "First Cause" good for?

To provide the best answer to a question.

What does it give us that we don't have without a cause?

First cause only gives us one uncaused cause while a "without a cause" approach leaves us with an infinite number of uncaused events. Since accepting "cause" is more intuitive than accepting "non-cause" then I think it isn't hard to see the appeal of the First Cause.

It is totally an apologetic response for ex nihilo creation.

"This is totally an apologetic mormon response." You see how useless this answer is?

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You still need to address the argument directly.

Why? I don't see it as an important discussion. I don't address arguments about flying spaghetti monsters either.

I see no need to postulate a first cause for me to believe in God. Let others believe what they want- it has nothing to do with me! I think it ultimately is linguistic confusion, Mr. Chomsky!

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Why? I don't see it as an important discussion. I don't address arguments about flying spaghetti monsters either.

I see no need to postulate a first cause for me to believe in God. Let others believe what they want- it has nothing to do with me! I think it ultimately is linguistic confusion, Mr. Chomsky!

If you agree with Hume you have adopted to play the game since his arguments are within the game. If it was only "linguistic confusion" you couldn't agree with Hume because the question would have been wrong in the first place, man.

...anyways. Not the first time, mf... not the first time.

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But didn't Joseph Smith say that anything that has a beginning has to have an end?... If that's true, and all beings like us have an origin, how can we end up having no end (let alone no beginning)?
If you're eternal, you no longer have a beginning or an end. But you may still have an origin.
Also doesn't the BOA say that God "found Himself among other intelligences" (plural)?... If that's true, wouldn't it mean we already existed as co-eternal individuals, before we became His spirit children?
God is outside of time.
And what about agency? Did He give it to us, or did we already have it?
Agency simply means that we have our own ability to judge and aren't forced to think or behave in certain ways. I think that comes with being children of God as a natural result.
Did we agree to become His spirit children?
I would think so. Perhaps after the fact, as God foresaw. Or, since after is linear, perhaps we ought to just say, "Yes, we agree."
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Why? I don't see it as an important discussion. I don't address arguments about flying spaghetti monsters either.

I see no need to postulate a first cause for me to believe in God. Let others believe what they want- it has nothing to do with me! I think it ultimately is linguistic confusion, Mr. Chomsky!

But the Bible does seem to say that God is the ontological cause of everything.

How do Mormons interpret this passage?

O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! for who did know the mind of the Lord? or who did become His counsellor? or who did first give to Him, and it shall be given back to him again? because of Him, and through Him, and to Him [are] the all things; to Him [is] the glory -- to the ages. Amen.(Romans 11:33-36.)

Didn't "heavenly Mother" give Him anything?

Didn't His God (our "hevenly Grandfather")?

Didn't the invidual intelligences who became His children (assuming spirit children existed as individual intelligences before their spirit births, and I'm still not clear on LDS doctrine on that)?

And what about John 1:1-3?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Were "heavenly Mother," and The Word's sprit brothers and sisters, "made"?

If so, how could they have been "made": through Him?

How could a mother be "made" through her son (or one of the children be the intrument of "making" His siblings)?

I don't mean these questions to be offensive, but I don't see how they can be avoided here.

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If you agree with Hume you have adopted to play the game since his arguments are within the game. If it was only "linguistic confusion" you couldn't agree with Hume because the question would have been wrong in the first place, man.

Not at all, "man"

Hume is seen as one of the first "linguistic" philosophers. At the basis of the whole thing you have a linguistic philosopher (Hume) against Thomism in all its Aristotelian glory.

On this view, talk about causal necessity is an expression of a functional change in the human mind, whereby certain events are predicted or anticipated on the basis of prior experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume#Causation

Feser is a Thomist. That should alert you right there that this fight is going to be about language before you hear word 1.

Ok if you challenge me on it, I will read the articles and give you my opinion of Feser's argument. I still don't understand why it is even an issue. I guarantee it is going to be like arguing about how many angels can sit on the head of a pin. That is the nature of Thomist argument.

How's that for a rotten attitude?

But you'd better be ready to defend a Thomist. Good luck on that one, Mr Chomsky!

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But the Bible does seem to say that God is the ontological cause of everything.

The Bible is not a book of philosophy and doesn't ever use the word "ontological" so I think you are reading things into it which aren't there.

My daughter has some clay and "makes" sculptures. She didn't cause the clay to come into existence ex nihilo.

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The Bible is not a book of philosophy and doesn't ever use the word "ontological" so I think you are reading things into it which aren't there.

My daughter has some clay and "makes" sculptures. She didn't cause the clay to come into existence ex nihilo.

You gave her the clay.

Romans 11 askes a rhetorical question concerning who gave God anything, and then goes on to say that all is of, thru, and to Him.

(If that doesn't imply that He's the ontological cause of everthing, I don't know what would.)

John 1 says that everything was made thru "The Word" made flesh.

Where does that leave room for a "heavenly Mother," a "Grandfather" God, or siblings who came into existence without "The Word" having some active part in their making?

How do Mormons interpret these verses?

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