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In explaining the presence of the universe, you can assume the laws of the universe brought it into existence, which leaves the question: how can these laws, and the stuff they describe, have brought themselves into existence? Aren't they too stupid for that?

You can say in response that the laws and the stuff of the universe are eternal, but this leaves a gnawling. From where comes this eternal stuff with its laws?

The solution: intelligent gods. The are eternal and have the intelligence that the laws and stuff lack to bring themselves into eternal existence.

Should we go one step further again? Which means, asking what caused the gods? If they are eternal, why should we ask? We did this for an eternal universe, but we did that because the universe is not intelligent enough. Eternal intelligence need not be explained.

Any thoughts are welcome.

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    Why would you assume gods are the sorts of things that need to be created? Apr 10 at 17:28
  • @DavidGudeman I read in an answer: Whoever argues that a first cause is needed and that this first cause is god, has to answer the question: What is the cause of the creator god?
    – Pathfinder
    Apr 10 at 17:33
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    All you are doing is reiterating the assumption. What is the justification for that assumption? The material world calls for an explanation of how it began because we see that it is the sort of thing where every event has a beginning. Why would you assume that the gods have this characteristic? Apr 10 at 17:43
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    @Felicia Of course they should, see the answer you are quoting above :-) In my opinion questions like these show the limit of our present thinking. We are lacking any concepts and ideas to tackle such questions in a rational way. I do not even know whether "begin of the universe" is a senseful concept.
    – Jo Wehler
    Apr 10 at 17:43
  • What does it mean for the universe to be brought into existence? Is the universe embedded in some other universe on which existence is defined?
    – Sandejo
    Apr 11 at 0:15

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Ontological arguments are prone to circularity. Be wary of arguments that verify their own premise; they are usually meaningless.

The argument from noncontingent intelligent first cause runs:

Suppose intelligence does not need to be contingent. 
Suppose all contingent things must have noncontingent causes. 
Suppose the universe is contingent. 
The universe exists.
Then the existence of the universe is evidence of non-contingent intelligence. 

But this argument is identical in form to

Suppose cake does not need to be contingent. 
Suppose all contingent things must have noncontingent causes. 
Suppose the universe is contingent. 
The universe exists. 
Then the existence of the universe is evidence of noncontingent cake. 

The argument just returns the premise, no matter what you put into the premise. It can be reduced to:

Suppose A
Therefore A

Sometimes this is referred to as begging the question: the argument that purports to prove A reduces to the claim that A is true.

Here, since all intelligences seen in nature are contingent and all cakes seen in nature are contingent, neither claim has a knowable prior probability.

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  • So the creation of the universe because of natural laws begs the question of where the laws came from?
    – Pathfinder
    Apr 10 at 22:26
  • @Felicia not in the same sense. It is certainly an interesting question and one for which we have no answers, only guesses, but "the universe evolves according to certain laws" is an observation, not an argument - it can be mistaken, and it can prompt questions, but it can't be fallacious.
    – g s
    Apr 10 at 22:46
  • Indeed, the laws cannot be fallacious in describing. But can they be used to explain their own origin?
    – Pathfinder
    Apr 10 at 23:05
  • That is not how the argument from non-contingent first cause runs. For one thing, there is no "suppose" in the argument. For another thing, you are leaving out any premise to the effect that intelligence can create things. If you add that, then your rewriting with "cake" doesn't go through. Apr 11 at 4:18

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