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Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument: Is it Accurate?

Opening Argument

DavidDebatesDavidDebates 30 Pts
edited June 25 in Philosophy
Hello, this is my first post on this site, so I apologize if I make any mistakes.

Anyway, here's the main point of my post: should we accept Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument as truth? For those unfamiliar, this is the argument in full form.
1) All beings (including the universe) are either contingent or necessary.
2) Not all beings can be contingent (because of cause and effect, a physical law found in the physical universe).
3) Thus, there must be some necessary being or thing that all of its contingencies depend upon.
4) This necessary being or thing is what is known as God.

So, what do you guys think? Does the law of cause and effect in the physical universe necessitate a root cause (God) that is free of the physical universe? Or could something exist as a necessary being without it existing a contingency in the physical universe as well?
comey_testifymelefjoecavalry
  1. Is he right?

    15 votes
    1. Totally.
      26.67%
    2. Nah dude.
      73.33%
«1

Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • Yes, This lines up with current theories or a variety of some theories.
  • Eh, it's actually kind of true based on the standard big-bang theory except for the part where it's assumed the necessity or root cause is God.

    As Stephen Hawking has said: "It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down. This means that the state of the universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern the universe will break down in the Big Bang." The linkage of space and time in space-time means that cause and effect do not work without the universe as we know it - for instance when the universe is collapsed down into a singularity.

    Whether you go with science or religion as your reason, there is an original prime cause that does not - cannot - itself have a cause. 


    ErfisflatPowerPikachu21Hank
  • Eh, it's actually kind of true based on the standard big-bang theory except for the part where it's assumed the necessity or root cause is God.

    As Stephen Hawking has said: "It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down. This means that the state of the universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern the universe will break down in the Big Bang." The linkage of space and time in space-time means that cause and effect do not work without the universe as we know it - for instance when the universe is collapsed down into a singularity.

    Whether you go with science or religion as your reason, there is an original prime cause that does not - cannot - itself have a cause. 


    If the big bang is physical, wouldn't have just rearranged pre-existing matter? Or did it create matter? I don't know a lot about the theory, so if you could inform me, that would be much appreciated. I've always thought it was just a extremely densely packed particle full of matter that, through an explosion, spread matter across the universe, not an explosion that created matter and then proceeded to spread it.
  • @DavidDebates

    E=MC^2

    Energy and matter are convertible. Matter as we normally encounter it didn't exist at the time of the big bang. Following the big bang there were basic particles like protons, but atoms as we know it formed later (although later can be a very relative term) and even then the conditions it created only caused hydrogen, helim and a few other elements to be created. The rest of the elements came into being much later as a result of the nuclear fusion that takes place within stars.

    But that is besides the point. The specifics of how the Bing Bang worked don't matter so much as the fact the universe was one a kind of super-dense singularity. In that state general relativity and cause and effect break down.


  • @DavidDebates

    E=MC^2

    Energy and matter are convertible. Matter as we normally encounter it didn't exist at the time of the big bang. Following the big bang there were basic particles like protons, but atoms as we know it formed later (although later can be a very relative term) and even then the conditions it created only caused hydrogen, helim and a few other elements to be created. The rest of the elements came into being much later as a result of the nuclear fusion that takes place within stars.

    But that is besides the point. The specifics of how the Bing Bang worked don't matter so much as the fact the universe was one a kind of super-dense singularity. In that state general relativity and cause and effect break down.


    So if I understand you correctly, stars spawn elements through nuclear fission? And matter existed as an unknown thing?

    Also, you're saying that the equation E=MC^2 can be flipped so Energy (E) can by divided by the speed of light squared (C^2) to create mass? In other words, is this true?

    M=E/C^2

    If so, that energy existed as the big bang, or the big bang occurred because of initial energy that did not have a cause? I'm sorry, but I don't really understand. If I'm not making sense, then just tell me. I should probably just look it up.

    Also, is there any difference between mass and matter?

    The reason why I'm asking all of these questions is because I want to figure out if the Big Bang is truly a necessary thing and not a contingency at all. We should do this test with everything, including any supposed "gods," such as Scientology's Xenu.
  • @DavidDebates

    I'd suggest wikiing all the questions you just asked because a) they're scientific questions with clear cut answers where there's not really any room for debate, b) you can read to your hearts content and c) they're not really pertinent to the point that I'm making.

    You could literally answer anything to any of those questions and it wouldn't matter in regards to what I'm trying to say. They are all events which would be considered contingent.

    What matters is the universe as it existed as a singularity before the big bang. As I quoted Hawking explaining earlier, in the state the universe was in causality would not occur due to general relativity breaking down.


  • @AlwaysCorrect

    Understandable. If I understand you correctly, your argument is that the universe existed outside of its own laws until the big bang because it was so densely packed it became nothing but itself. Do I have that correct?

    If so, why'd it explode? Wasn't it perfectly happy being only itself, outside of the laws of itself? Because if it need not adhere to the laws of itself, why would it spontaneously explode for no reason? Did it cause itself without needing to? Or did something else cause it to want to cause itself?

    As you can see, I'm having a difficulty wrapping my head around the idea that it was itself in singularity, as you state. From my research on the subject (I did look it up, I promise. I'll put the links at the bottom of this post), it seems the majority of the scientific community has found that the big bang was not the creation of, well, anything. It's called a model for the history of the universe, I'll give you that, but nowhere could I find matter being created a part of this theory. All of the matter would have to exist beforehand. 

    If somehow the physical universe did exist without any matter, how could something physical have no physical properties? If it existed with matter, where did it come from? I've heard a theory about black holes, but I didn't want to dive too deep here.

    Here are the links by the way.
    https://www.space.com/31192-what-triggered-the-big-bang.html
    http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/102-the-universe/cosmology-and-the-big-bang/the-big-bang/1062-what-caused-the-big-bang-and-created-the-universe (This website just said science doesn't know and never will know. Is that correct?)
    https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-powered-the-big-bang (Interesting theory I found. A "Big Crunch" where the universe does the opposite of the big bang, and squashes itself together.)
    Evidence
  • @DavidDebates

    @AlwaysCorrect

    If so, why'd it explode? Wasn't it perfectly happy being only itself, outside of the laws of itself? Because if it need not adhere to the laws of itself, why would it spontaneously explode for no reason? Did it cause itself without needing to? Or did something else cause it to want to cause itself?

    There was no 'Why'. Like I've stated, with backing from Stephen Hawking, it existed outside of causality.
    melef
  • melefmelef 49 Pts
    The whole idea exists in a different or simalar thinkimatic.
  • Which idea? The Big Bang?
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 751 Pts
    And evidence for any of this is "Stephen Hawking said so." Rofl @pseudoscience
    NonCredentiHank
    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • No, Stephen Hawking is summarising the conclusion that is reached by looking at the evidence. 

    If someone wants to they can look at the physics behind why Hawking made this statement.
    Hank
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 751 Pts
    How many ALS sufferers have lived past seven years? 1, Stephen Hawking.

    How many people can communicate complex mathematical theoretical equations with a single cheek muscle? 1, Stephen Hawking.



    EvidenceHank
    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • Impressive be you can fit so much wrong in so few words.

    Other ALS sufferers have survived longer than 7 years, including people before there was modern medical care.

    Also this seems to be a weird conspiracy theory youre hinting at that somehow because he has survived a long time with this disease he is therefore untrustworthy. That's of course absurd and not backed up by any evidence.
    ErfisflatEvidenceHank
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 751 Pts
    edited June 30
    @AlwaysCorrect

    "That's of course absurd and not backed up by any evidence."

    Two pieces of evidence you conveniently ignore, and other evidence which is yet to be presented  (there is plenty, a simple Google search provides such evidence, but you would never research criticism against your belief system) and probably never will be here, due the sensitivity of the matter. So, you'll likely forever bask and gloat in your ignorance. 
    Evidence
    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • @Erfisflat

    What evidence? Do you count a random internet stranger's unsupported claims (e.g. your claims) as evidence? 

    It's not my job to research your arguments for you. If you post clams devoid of evidence and refuse to back them up, that's on you.
    ErfisflatEvidence
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 751 Pts
    @Erfisflat

    What evidence? Do you count a random internet stranger's unsupported claims (e.g. your claims) as evidence? 

    It's not my job to research your arguments for you. If you post clams devoid of evidence and refuse to back them up, that's on you.
    I'll avoid any criticism against Mr. Hawking specifically, to avoid any flags from butthurt atheists, but I'll instead talk about his profession in general. 

    Science has basically backed itself into a corner, and yet we still allow theoretical physicists to speculate on things like black holes which can be compared to doublethink, along with black energy, dark rift, quantum loops, gravity waves and all the other pseudoscience peddled, basicallyfor research funds.

    Theoretical physicists are way passed the trouble area by creating an imaginary world based on mathematics that doesn't conform to reality. Things like string theory and multi dimensions cannot be tested. Yet we still allow these things to be in the category of science? Why?

    Has everyone forgotten what the scientific method is? It all looks very nice on paper, but that doesn't mean it's reality. We've allowed theories that cannot be tested or observed to be labeled science, and the individual dreaming that stuff up is then called a genius. Remember no one has even observed an atom.

    So is this the new science? Where an individual can just dream up some fantastical theory that is unobservable and unfalsifiable and they be labeled the smartest man on the plane, and his theory be labeled infallible fact? 

    Natural science, that which is derived from the scientific method, which is defined as:

    sci·en·tif·ic meth·od
    noun
    1. a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

      Is, as it should be, the core of science. What theoretical physicists are doing, is incorporating pseudoscience into the education system. Pseudoscience is defined as 

      pseu·do·sci·ence
      ˌso͞odōˈsīəns/
      noun
      1. a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

        As you admitted with:

        "If someone wants to they can look at the physics behind why Hawking made this statement."

        You have no idea why you believe in big bangism, you likely have no clue how many axioms are false or assumed that went into his statement. I don't expect you to research that "physics behind why Hawking made this statement.", because you don't care. You assume he is a valid scientist, when he couldn't have possibly performed even the simplest of scientific experiments in 50 years.

        @AlwaysCorrect
    Evidence
    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • AlwaysCorrectAlwaysCorrect 235 Pts
    edited June 30
    @Erfisflat

    That is probably one of your most cogent posts and probably the first you've made that I could agree with large aspects of. It isn't nuanced enough for my liking, the need to meet Popperian standards of falsifiability is important.

    The problem is that it has nothing to do with the topic under discussion.

    Black holes (and singularities) are accounted for in the steady and firm body of general relativity. Their existence is testable and provable. Scientists have made predictions about how black holes should work, tested them and confirmed their existence and properties match what is expected. That is the basis of the scientific theory. They have met the standard of Popperian falsifiability. The issue of how quantum physics and relativistic physics are united isn't a concern here and is a distraction from the issue at hand.

    Feel free to rant about string theory all you like, but string theory isn't under discussion and trying to draw an equivalence between the two is a gross false equivalency. 
    NonCredentiHank
  • ErfisflatErfisflat 751 Pts

    “That is probably one of your most cogent posts and probably the first you've made that I could agree with large aspects of. It isn't nuanced enough for my liking, the need to meet Popperian standards of falsifiability is important.”

    “The problem is that it has nothing to do with the topic under discussion.”

    “Black holes (and singularities) are accounted for in the steady and firm body of general relativity.”


    Firm bodies, totally there with ya. Oh, that wasn't a joke? Here's the problem. You're validating an unverifiable theory with an unverifiable theory, that is based on a few assumptions, conjecture, at best.  They show you a cartoon:


    and you believe the unverifiable. Let me guess, Brazilian’s of Light Years away, right?



    You give me some scalable, measurable, repeatable by any person experiments that I can perform, to prove that any of that pseudoscience, including, but not limited to: gravity, gravitational waves, black holes, an expanding vacuum, black matter, black light, multi-verses, and basically all of modern “astronomy”.


    Your first false axiom, an assumption, is round earth. I know you haven't seen the earth is a ball, so you're already starting with second hand knowledge.


    The second false axiom, another assumption, a heliocentric earth. The reason Einstein had to come up with SE is because there were some actual experiments going on with actual scientists involved, one's who were set out specifically to prove heliocentrism, and they failed.


     Einstein (or more likely, his Serbian wife) had to sweep up after them, because if the earth isn't moving, and everything revolves around us, that means that someone put us here. Look them up:

    Michelson Morley, which failed to detect any motion of the earth around the sun. This was unnaceptable, so Fitzgerald-Lorentz shortening of the apparatus was proposed, and eventually the paradoxical Relativity Theory was invented by Einstein to overcome this problem. 


    Then, Michelson-Gale detected the aether passing the surface of the earth with an accuracy of 2% of the proposed speed of the daily rotation of the earth.


    So Mich-Morley proved that the earth was not in motion around the sun, yet Mich - Gale proved the earth’s spin, (or the motion of the aether over the surface of the earth).


    Then, Aireys Failure, this demonstrated that it was the stars moving relative to a stationary earth and not the fast orbiting earth moving relative to the comparatively stationary stars.


    Then, the Sagnac experiment proved that there IS an aether that the light has to pass through and this completely destroys Einstein’s theory of Relativity that says there is no aether.


    Tesla famously argued against Einstein's magical theories and believed the Aether.

    From The New York Sun (July 10, 1935):
    He found time while surveying his own past to express his sharp disagreement with the theories of Prof. Albert Einstein. He announced that the theory of relativity is "a mass of error and deceptive ideas and opposed to common sense," and that "not a single one of the relativity propositions has been proved."

    From The New York Times (July 11, 1935):
    He described relativity as "a beggar, wrapped in purple, whom ignorant people took for a king." In support of his statement he cited a number of experiments he had conducted, he said, as far back as 1896 on the cosmic ray. He has measured cosmic ray velocities from Antarus, he said, which he found to be fifty times greater than the speed of light, thus demolishing, he contended, one of the basic pillars of the structure of relativity, according to which there can be no speed greater than that of light.”


    “I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view”




    “Their existence is testable and provable.Scientists have made predictions about how black holes should work, tested them and confirmed their existence and properties match what is expected.”


    Please share this method of confirming the existence so that we may verify the results, empirically. I’ve provided 4, simple experiments, that anyone with a few hundred dollars can perform, that contradict this theory that is entirely theoretical pseudoscience, all to prop up the Copernican Principle, that we are not special.



    joecavalryEvidence
    Pseudoscience: noun; a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

    Scientific method: noun; a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

  • @Erfisflat

    Are you illiterate or being deliberately obtuse?

    The article I linked to contained the name of the study: "Constraining the Orbit of the Supermassive Black Hole Binary 0402+379" the name of the first author and the journal where it was published. If you had bothered to actually look at the evidence you would have known this. As you don't, it can only be surmised you didn't actually look at the evidence - which shows you are arguing in bad faith and are by no means logical or scientific. YOu have begun with a conclusion and then try to find evidence to back it up, rather than looking at the evidence and finding the conclusion which is correct.

    If you'd used some read the source instead of going off on a random rant, full of inaccuracies. Michelson Morley failed to detect the existance of the aether, an early scientific theory to account for the speed and travel of light, not motion of the earth around the sun. The Mich-Morley further reinforced relativity as it showed that relativity was the only theory capable of explaining both results. By the 'Aireys failure' I assume you mean the the experiment conducted by George B Airy "On the Supposed Alteration in the Amount of Astronomical Aberration of Light, Produced by the Passage of the Light through a Considerable Thickness of Refracting Medium" where he found negative results for the existence of the aether, a concept you seem to believe. Mistakenly quoting experiments which in fact show I am right and you are wrong seems to be a habit for you! The sagnac effect is actually accounted for in relativity, as even a basic google should show you if you had actually bothered to look for evidence rather than agreeing with the conclusions that random conspiracy theorists have told you.

    Lastly Tesla did not actually produce any evidence and while very smart in his own specialist area, was also very prone to make wild claims and was mentally disturbed, shunning humanity and falling in love with a pigeon for several years prior to this the date of the claim. A classic argument from authority logical fallacy on your part.
    EvidenceHank
  • joecavalryjoecavalry 237 Pts
    @Erfisflat , you made very good pits as part of your full argument and so did @AlwaysCorrect . I agree with both arguments or portions of it. The theory does shed light on many things.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • Hello, this is my first post on this site, so I apologize if I make any mistakes.

    Anyway, here's the main point of my post: should we accept Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument as truth? For those unfamiliar, this is the argument in full form.
    1) All beings (including the universe) are either contingent or necessary.
    2) Not all beings can be contingent (because of cause and effect, a physical law found in the physical universe).
    3) Thus, there must be some necessary being or thing that all of its contingencies depend upon.
    4) This necessary being or thing is what is known as God.

    So, what do you guys think? Does the law of cause and effect in the physical universe necessitate a root cause (God) that is free of the physical universe? Or could something exist as a necessary being without it existing a contingency in the physical universe as well?
    @DavidDebates said: Hello, this is my first post on this site, so I apologize if I make any mistakes.

    Awesome post, especially for the first time.

    DavidDebates - Anyway, here's the main point of my post: should we accept Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument as truth? For those unfamiliar, this is the argument in full form.
    1) All beings (including the universe) are either contingent or necessary.

    Yes. All 'beings', and the universe (meaning the heavens and the Flat Earth) are contingent, or dependent on a Creator to first create and supply the necessary "things", .. elements, and then intelligently design it.

    DavidDebates - 2) Not all beings can be contingent (because of cause and effect, a physical law found in the physical universe).

    Can you explain to me how 'cause and effect' hinder anything, or any 'beings' being contingent? Or maybe I don't understand you correctly?

    DavidDebates - 3) Thus, there must be some necessary being or thing that all of its contingencies depend upon.
    4) This necessary being or thing is what is known as God.

    To me, that sounds like a paradox, meaning: absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition, .. but when investigated or explained, with correction may prove to be well founded or true, so here is the explanation, since this "necessary being" is Not a "being"

    THE uncreated-Creator is not a being, and as Tillich put it: "Where else, besides in scholarly work, should we look for truth? There are many in our period, young and old, primitive and sophisticated, practical and scientific, who accept this answer without hesitation. For them scholarly truth is truth altogether. * Poetry may give beauty, but it certainly does not give truth.
    * Ethics may help us to a good life, but it cannot help us to truth.
    * Religion may produce deep emotions, but it should not claim to have truth.
    Only science gives us truth. It gives us new insights into the way nature works, into the texture of human history, into the hidden things of the human 'mind'. So let's use science!

    DavidDebates - So, what do you guys think? Does the law of cause and effect in the physical universe necessitate a root cause (God) that is free of the physical universe?

    Hmm, .. how could 'cause and effect' necessitate someone or something that is free of the physical universe, like uncreated God, .. since God existed before anything was ever created, you know what I mean!?
    God is not a 'necessary being', that would be only the created one, the Word, who was in the beginning with God. Not Infinite and Eternal Ones beginning of course, for He Is boundless and has no beginning, but the Son Word is actually both the beginning, and the end, since he was Gods first creation, and since God created all things through the Word, he will be there at the end, or the last thing that God creates through him.

    This creation, His Son Word also marked a beginning with God, not Gods beginning, bat a beginning where He started all His creation, starting with His only begotten Son Word.

    DavidDebates - Or could something exist as a necessary being without it existing a contingency in the physical universe as well?

    There is no something, or someone that can exist outside of created existence, which includes all beings, and all things, including the universe.
    God Is not a part of something or someone, .. those things come from His original creation "Word" including your questions.

    Nice to meet you DavidDebates.
  • @DavidDebates

    E=MC^2

    Energy and matter are convertible. Matter as we normally encounter it didn't exist at the time of the big bang. Following the big bang there were basic particles like protons, but atoms as we know it formed later (although later can be a very relative term) and even then the conditions it created only caused hydrogen, helim and a few other elements to be created. The rest of the elements came into being much later as a result of the nuclear fusion that takes place within stars.

    But that is besides the point. The specifics of how the Bing Bang worked don't matter so much as the fact the universe was one a kind of super-dense singularity. In that state general relativity and cause and effect break down.



    You present all this with amazing certainty.
    Whereas in reality, this is all very tentative theory.

    With regards to the opening proposition.
    Cosmologigical, ontological or what ever.
    Confounding the gullible masses with sophisticated eloquence, might have been easy in the thirteenth century.
    Ok. I still think there are a lot of gullible people about today.
    Nonetheless, anyone with an ounce of common sense, will see these arguments for the nonsense they actually are.
    Evidence
  • @Fredsnephew

    He presented the summaries provided by scientists to lay audiences. The actual claims, and the evidence supporting them, are mathematical formulas which neither you nor I have any hope of understanding without years of study. Your inability to grasp something doesn't make it nonsense.
    Evidence
  • @AlwaysCorrect

    The advantage of being a pseudo-scientist mystic is that you can make up whatever crap you want to deny real science in favor of your delusion.
    Evidence
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