Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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The alternative between existence and non-existence of a creator god cannot be decided by the argument of the first cause. 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?


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The most compelling argument I've heard in this vein is that the existence of God just adds an extra step. As Jo Wehler has pointed out, claiming God is the first cause raises the question: "What is the cause of the creator god?" The most common response I've heard is that God requires no first cause; that's part of what makes God God. However, this ...


109

God here I defined as prime cause. If you simply define god as the prime cause, then that is simply word-play. You obviously understand that the vast majority of people do not use the word 'god' simply as the definition of the first cause. They attach much more meaning to the word. The vast majority of people who believe in 'a god' believe in some being, ...


90

We must draw a distinction between atheism and agnosticism. Atheism is not believing in the existence of a God (or Gods), regardless of whether conclusive evidence is available, while agnosticism is the view that conclusive evidence for whether a God or Gods exists cannot exist1. There can be an agnostic atheist, a gnostic atheist, an agnostic theist, or a ...


85

What is "nothing"? This is Argument From First Cause. This exists in several variants... Kalām Plato/Aristotle Thomas Aquinas The short rebuttal to this is: what is "nothing"? We do not know what was "before" or "outside" the Big Bang. We do not even know if the concepts of "before" and "outside" are valid in this context, since the concepts of "before" ...


68

No, atheism is not a faith based position. This has been debunked time and time again and there are numerous resources on the internet that cover this error in logic. If theism claims the existance of a god, an atheist is one who is not convinced of that claim and rejects it. An atheist has no responsibility to disprove the claim that god does exist because ...


42

dimension of comparison = something you can compare things about. i.e., consider two dogs: a toy poodle and a doberman pinscher. You can compare them in terms of size in which case size is the dimension of comparison. You can compare then in terms of weight in which case weight is the dimension of comparison. This is not a term of art in philosophy. This ...


42

There are a few different ways to show that this argument doesn't necessarily lead to the idea of a god. Special pleading: You get to claim that everything must have a cause...except a god. But, a) how do you know that?, and b) why do gods get this property but the universe--following the model of an eternal series of Big Bang and Big Crunches--cannot have ...


34

The only requirement of meeting the definition of "atheist" is that you do not have belief in any god(s). Computers, rocks, and newborn babies are all, by definition, atheists; because they do not believe in any god(s), notwithstanding that they do not understand what is meant by "god", nor that they have never even thought about the question, nor that they ...


32

Dawkins is using the concept of smelliness for laughs, but the serious point that he's making is that we are capable of judging smelliness without a supremum of smelliness. The same goes for elevation: we do not need an "Absolute Up", like some sort of absolute zero, to make height comparisons. Humans are perfectly capable of making relative judgements of ...


31

If I correctly understand your question, you ask: Why do people, who are not satisfied with introducing a creator god as first cause, demand a cause of this creator god? IMO that's obvious: If someone terminates the chain of cause - effect relations by postulating a creator god as first cause, then the question seems legitime: Why not terminating the chain ...


29

No, Hawking did not just prove God's existence. Here's why: Even if your argument is true (it's not), it would only imply the existence of something that is capable of causing universes. This "universe-causer" need not even be sentient, and certainly wouldn't have to be a God. The problem with invoking God as the cause through arguing that "nothing is ...


28

No There are several problems with your assumption How did God come into existence if things do not come into existence? You would need to alter the first statement to "Created things do not come into existence uncaused" This argument can be expanded indefinetely and is known as Turtles all the way down. The Cosmological argument exaplains other ...


27

Off the top of my head, I think it's better to look at the criteria you've proffered for identifying "God". Working backwards, Omniscience. It's an untenable idea, especially since David Wolpert's proof against Laplace's Demon. We can see this easily, as we can break down omniscience over the universe as these four possibilities: a. God is omniscient and ...


26

Both positions, the theist and the atheist made a claim: The theist claimed the existence of god, the atheist claimed the non-existence of god. History shows: Neither of them could prove his claim. Having learned the lesson, today’s atheists make a weaker claim: The traditional god-concept - god being omnipotent, omniscient, all-good - is inconsistent. The ...


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I think the simplest and most succinct answer to the OP's question ("Is there any rigorous philosophical basis for Atheism?") is yes, the scientific method is the basis upon which atheism—and in general, religious skepticism—rests. There is no "Atheist Treatise" or codified book that sets the standard for atheism; it is merely the rational acceptance of the ...


24

In addition to the excellent answers given, a physicist would have problems with the following. There ought to be cause(s) to this singularity, and cause(s) to that cause(s). This takes causality as axiomatic. That everything everywhere follows time's arrow, even things before the Big Bang and outside the known Universe. Everything follows causality, ...


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Alvin Plantinga, a Christian philosopher, presents a similar question regarding an extreme form of atheism that he calls "naturalism". Rather than asking whether the atheism of naturalism is faith-based, he asks whether naturalism might be a "religion" (page 311): Now it is not clear that naturalism, as it stands, is a religion; there is enough vagueness ...


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In my opinion this isn't actually a philosophical problem. What Dawkins is attempting to point out is that the fact that any two elements are comparable doesn't mean there are absolute maximums or minimums. A less contentious example is the set of integers. Sure, it is the case that 2 is greater than 1 in the usual metric, but that doesn't magically imply ...


21

Atheist conceptions of the idea of God often rest on a straw man fallacy that portrays a theistic view of God as Russell's teapot or as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both of these conceptions view God as an object which is easy to argue against. These analogies of God as an object floating about in a gravitational field are weak, hence logical fallacies. ...


18

Non-contradiction is significant, but non-contradiction can only apply to that which can actually be known. To be known, as opposed to simply being a concept which is a floating abstract, something must have some grounding in reality. It must exist and it must be provable to exist or at least shown that the basis for belief in the existence has basis in ...


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It seems that you're just asking "Can God make a rock so big he can't move it?" in different terms. And the answer is: The question is flawed. The question assumes the false premise that if God is omnipotent, He can do anything. However, omnipotence is not the ability to do anything; it is the possession of infinite power. (See the definition of omnipotent)...


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First of all, I'm removing the references to evolution as this has been removed from the OP. The rest of this answer should directly address the relationship between the evolution of the brain, social development and the emergence of morals... Morals don't evolve (biologically at least); they are more of an emergent property of social development. If humans ...


18

If the notions of actual or potential infinity are coherent, why is the notion of an infinite series of causes not also coherent ? The series of prime numbers is infinite - why not the series of causes. Also, even if there does need to be a first cause, that blocks the regress (if you must block it) but introduces a notion itself in need of explanation. If ...


17

It's no solution to postulate a primordial source as a remedy against infinite regress. The concept of a primordial source prompts at once the question for its cause. To say it is "causa sui" - the answer of Christian philosophy - does not answer the question but rejects it. My conclusion: We must not overestimate the power of pure reasoning. Instead, we ...


17

How can you lack belief in the existence of god. Simple - "X believes in god" is a statement/predicate about human X. For a non-believer, the state of believing in god is exactly as inconceivable as the state of not believing in god would be for a believer. Both need mind-shattering experiences to truly switch around, there is no way through simple logic ...


17

Whether or not God exists is an objective question with an objective answer, however the argument beginning Is it true that "X" exists in reality only when we are aware of having experienced it, or are aware of our potential of experiencing it is starting with a baseless assumption. It's kind of like assuming the strongest form of the anthropic principle....


16

The traditional theological response to this is to see new divine commandments as still conforming to the deity's plan; these new commandments were simply planned to be introduced at a certain time in man's development. There's therefore no need to view the calculation as a miscalculation, or the introduction of new rules as "forgetting" to have introduced ...


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Most answers are misinterpreting your question. Whether it be space-time itself, the multi-verse, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster you would like to know if something had to first exist for infinity due to the problems with infinite regression. If we assume the Big Bang Theory is correct, then there is no "before" the Big Bang in the usual sense of the word ...


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