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November 09, 2013


I don't see how this constitutes an actual argument. Craig seems to simply be asserting that a free agent is the only thing that could timelessly cause an event which is not timeless. But why think this? There doesn't seem to be anything special about free agents with respect to timeless causation (even if you grant the coherence of libertarian freedom, which is not obvious).

Craig gives the example of a man who has been sitting for all eternity, and suddenly stands up. Well, let's ignore the fact that this is not timeless causation at all, and furthermore let's ignore that Craig doesn't believe time can extend eternally into the past in this way. Well, why couldn't an impersonal object also, say, begin to move forward after an eternity of standing still? Perhaps he is put off by the fact that this seems to entail an event being uncaused. But the man's decision to stand up would also qualify as an uncaused event, given libertarian freedom. And in any case, Craig does not make that argument. Indeed, he just asserts that it is true, and leaves it at that.

An "eternal cause", eh?

Since a cause is, to a first approximation, a state of the universe at time B entailed by the state of the universe at time A plus the transformation laws, in what sense is an "eternal cause" (personal or impersonal) not an obvious contradiction in terms?

At which time A could one have looked at the state of the universe, armed with the laws of nature, and inferred the state of the universe at time B, given that (ex hypothesi) there was no time prior to time B?

A-Theory.... B-Theory...Time & Eternity.... fun stuff.... both more plausible than Hawking's big sphere & imaginary time, though it's nice to see his awareness of a need to exit Time and Material as we know it. Infinite regresses are solved by such necessary moves, leaving materialism incoherent and Ben's immaterialism as mere materialism at bottom as his regress to thought content leaves such content as but the slave of some other precursor .....leaving us again inside of regressions never ending....

A & B Theories can make the brain spin if not dissected slowly.... though big spheres & imaginary time merely induce an unsatisfying headache.....

I like Pop Tarts - caused or not caused?

Man is caused, clearly. Power's Will, necessary, sufficient, and free to traverse that pesky ocean, or not. Even free to grant freedom, or not. Definitions are constrained by ontology. Some like rape. Love's void. Vacuums being themselves contingent. Love pours into such. Freely.

Maybe rewrite that a bit:

Man is caused, clearly. Power’s Will, that immutable Necessary, that timeless Sufficient, free to traverse, or not traverse, that pesky ocean, that infinite regress. Free to grant, or not grant, freedom. Definitions constrained within ontology. Some souls like rape. Such is Love’s void. Loveless. Vacuums themselves contingent. Love pours into such. Freely.

I see an argument here. Now, I'm pretty new to this philosophy stuff, so if I make a mistake, will someone let me know? ...Gently?

An argument is basically an assertion (conclusion) backed up by reasons (premises), right? So Dr. Craig starts with his assertion "the cause of the universe must be personal...this is the only way in which to explain how you could have the origin of a temporal effect, with a beginning, from a cause which exists timelessly, and hence, eternally."

Then he gives his reasons. If a cause is impersonal and eternal, its effect should be eternal. If a cause is eternal yet personal, it is free to spontaneously create what would be a temporal effect. For instance, a man can cause his stance to change whenever he likes, without outside help either to create or prevent that change of stance. I'm counting at least two premises and an analogy here. I'm not sure if that's a third premise to back up his argument or another kind of argument by itself.

Whether or not you agree with his conclusion (I do), with the premises, or with the assumptions the argument is founded on (the cause must be eternal and uncaused), this looks like an actual argument to me.

I'm kind of curious, can someone give an example of an impersonal object that can, say, begin to move after an eternity of standing still without help from an outside cause?

"armed with the laws of nature"???
So, nature has arms but no head?

If only I could get some of those uncaused Pop-Tarts.
Mmm-mmm! They must be good!

They remind me of the golden goose I used to have.

Oh yeah!
Beauty, math and physics by chance, music from the wind, life from non-life, and consciousness from matter.
All are FREE in Never-Never Land.

A: GOD is.
B: He created.
He still is, as He ever shall be.
The laws of nature do not create, but only govern His created universe.


We find no material stuff behaving in that manner. Hence the need to exit Time and Material as we know them. Hawking makes that leap, with faith in his immeasurable something. The weight of these vectors bring our thinking closer to His Immutable and Timeless E Pluribus Unum. Love's end of ad infinitum.

Inside of Love's necessarily triune E Pluribus Unum, that Immutable and Timeless Self-Other-Us that just is the singularity of Unity, we discover no nuance of thirst, for a kind of Living Water is timelessly poured out in Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, just as, thereby, Love's Beloved Other is forever filled up, that Dying Self therein found perpetually Alive Again, as these Two Perfect Distincts by embrace necessarily beget Love's Third Distinct, the Singular-Us that just is E Pluribus Unum. In all vectors, in all material landscapes, in all immaterial landscapes, in all moral landscapes, in all clearly contextually triune landscapes of Knowing and Perceiving amid and among all that is Self, Other, Unity, in all that is our singular Whole we find here no need for blind axiom, no need to cut any chain of ontology before its bitter end in circularity’s varied deaths, and thereby we come upon perfect plausibility through Love's Prescriptive-Descriptive wholly tying up all ends of all threads which we find in our brutally repeatable experiences here inside of this clearly contingent and contextually triune observational matrix.

I appreciate Dr. Craig's work with the Kalam Cosmological Argument and he is on the right path with this argument. The relationship between the eternal and the temporal as he describes it needs to be refined, so I would modify the language somewhat. Rather than "free will", which is a muddy term, I would say, "purposeful intent," which draws out the characteristics of will necessary for his argument.

But he also says something odd (starting at 1:42):

"...who is therefore able to create spontaneously a new effect without any antecedent determining conditions."

Typically, the antecedent refers to a positive logical epistemic determinant for the consequent rather than the actual cause. In fact, the antecedent is most often the effect because there are necessary causes for most effects making the observation of the effect sufficient for determining them. So, creation is the sufficient antecedent for a Creator necessary for creating.

Craig's argument goes toward demonstrating the epistemic quality of this logical relationship, but I think there may be some muddled thinking behind it, if it's not too presumptuous of me to point it out.

No determining conditions. As in, it didn't have to be.

Timeless-Eternal Necessary, Sufficient Cause, and yet, not thus with Effects. Machine fades away and Will comes into focus.

[All Possibilities] within [God].

The word in question is: Actual.

Or, the word in question is: Actuality.

He seems more ontologicaly rigid than I.

But: on His Word, i-am.

A Necessary and Sufficient Cause of All-Effects standing amid This-Effect yet not That-Effect speaks of the incoherence of mechanistic determinism. My eyes see no geography which accounts for this, in the real world which my mind perceives, other than a world laced with Intention.

I just don’t see any evidence for Hawking’s imaginary sphere. None. But my eyes do see the real world, and I’m only interested in what my eyes see.

I see all around me repeatable, falsifiable, measurable evidence of sufficient causes and their necessary effects, those necessary effect’s actualizations warped only by Intent. Why in any universe would anyone believe in any other regress other than Cosmic Choice where Time and the Universe is concerned? I see no reason to believe anything else. And I see irrefutable evidence all around me to confirm such a conclusion of Intention at the end of regress. Only a pre-supposition of naturalism would ground the intent to believe in imaginary spheres, for which we find no evidence, rather than the very obvious and objective geography of Necessary and Sufficient Cause-Effect-Intention for which we find objective, measurable evidence all around us.

If we mean to say we are “going on all available evidence” then, clearly, Time and Universe having a beginning, the Necessary and Sufficient Cause of All-Effects being ever present, then we are left with all observations in this world leading us to conclude Cosmic Intent, as we find no evidence, anywhere, of Hawking’s imaginary spheres.

The reason Naturalists (and self stated immaterialists who’s philosophy breaks down to simple materialism as thought content ends as but the slave to some other precursor) do not like this unbroken chain and where it leads is because in the arena of Time and the Universe and the Multi-Verse it leads us, not to Hawking’s imaginary spheres, for which we find no evidence at all, none, but to Effects which must be, but are not, and the only thing our eyes see in repeatable, falsifiable, measurable empirical anthologies which accounts for such geography is Intention, and that Intention accounts for something of non-entity now actualizing and now not actualizing all the while the Necessary and Sufficient Cause is ever-actual. Their eyes see that, but their conclusion goes elsewhere, perhaps to Hawking’s imaginary spheres for which their eyes see no evidence. We see irrefutable evidence all around us to confirm such a conclusion of Intention, and, we must conclude that it can only be a pre-supposition of naturalism that would ground the intent to believe in imaginary spheres, for which we find no evidence, rather than the very obvious, measurable, and objective geography of Necessary and Sufficient Cause-Effect-Intention for which we find objective evidence all around us.

Of course, once Will, or, Intent, or, Mind, is the end of regress, lest we forget, such just is contextually triune, as is all of Perceiving, Knowing, Loving, and Logic, for these just do take place inside of all that is Self in and by relation to all that is Other and these in all that is the singularity of Unity, that singular amalgamation of Self-Other which begets all that is Us therein completing E Pluribus Unum’s necessarily triune landscape. Should we stumble upon a triune accounting of all such things we would be following the evidence and forming, taking on, correct beliefs about the actuality we awake to find ourselves within.

Ben, your statement"... furthermore let's ignore that Craig doesn't believe time can extend eternally into the past in this way." Are you saying that there is an infinite past array of discrete moments thus making time eternal? If so how does one transverse the infinite to arrive at this moment? Also can effect be greater than it's cause? It seems that saying this with the words " extend and eternal".

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