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FreakBoy
22nd October 2007, 07:29 AM
I am writing an article and am looking for books/articles to reference which refute/rebut the "First Cause" argument for the existence of God. I already have Dawkins from "The God Delusion" but am looking for more than just his rebuttal. Any help would be appreciated.

Upchurch
22nd October 2007, 07:35 AM
I am writing an article and am looking for books/articles to reference which refute/rebut the "First Cause" argument for the existence of God. I already have Dawkins from "The God Delusion" but am looking for more than just his rebuttal. Any help would be appreciated.

Are you looking for purely philosophical approaches or scientific alternatives?

FreakBoy
22nd October 2007, 07:42 AM
My preference is towards scientific rebuttals, though any philosophical ones would be interesting to read as well.

I have grabbed the TalkOrigins response to reference as well.


I apologize if I posted this in the wrong forum, but I thought since dealing with "God" this was the right place.

Upchurch
22nd October 2007, 08:02 AM
I apologize if I posted this in the wrong forum, but I thought since dealing with "God" this was the right place.
I think you're okay since it is a philosophical argument you are debating.

That being said, I think this will be a dead end for you for a couple of reasons.

First, there is no definitive scientific theory that would replace the First Cause argument at this time. There are a number of promising possibilities, but it's probably too soon to say "This is the one and here is the evidence that proves it!"

Second, the First Cause supporters can always fall one step back and say, "Yes, but what set that into motion? GOD!" The problem with trying to mix natural and supernatural arguments is that supernatural arguments never have to obey any rules. Thus, they aren't falsifiable and will never be falsified.

You might be able to disprove a significantly specific version of the First Cause claim, but as long as your debating opponents stay mostly generic, there is nothing you can really do to show they are wrong.

rocketdodger
22nd October 2007, 08:13 AM
That being said, I think this will be a dead end for you for a couple of reasons.


That being said, you can always force a stalemate by simply defining your own juju, that can do everything theirs does, and can explain just as much of our world as theirs does, and then asking them to show why their juju is better than your juju.

Upchurch
22nd October 2007, 08:17 AM
That being said, you can always force a stalemate by simply defining your own juju,
Well, that is taking a philosophical approach, not a scientific one. FreakBoy will probably have better luck with this approach.

Jimbo07
22nd October 2007, 08:36 AM
My preference is towards scientific rebuttals, though any philosophical ones would be interesting to read as well.


Be wary of mixing science and philosophy.

"First Cause" is a philosophical issue...

FreakBoy
22nd October 2007, 08:39 AM
All three of these arguments [Unmoved Mover, Uncaused Cause, Cosmological Argument] rely upon the idea of a regress and invoke God to terminate it. They make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress. Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.

So I guess I am looking more for a philosophical rebuttal. This is my main example, but I don't feel comfortable simply relying on a single reference to Dawkins.

Upchurch
22nd October 2007, 08:46 AM
You could always try this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument#Counterarguments_and_objecti ons) and work through the names and sources named in the article until you find something you like.

Beerina
22nd October 2007, 08:48 AM
Be wary of mixing science and philosophy.

"First Cause" is a philosophical issue...

Well, either it applies to reality, or it does not.

If it does, it's scientific.

If it doesn't, it's meaningless, like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Since the observation, "well, then what caused God?" immediately suggests itself, I propose there must have always been something*, and the rest is just science (for example, God has to operate himself according to some kind of rules, which themselves can be analyzed and themselves are based on their own, possibly radically different, physics.)


* "Must have always been" may get a bit hairy, as Steven Hawking suggests the time dimension might rotate around into a physical dimension as one approaches the big bang, but the principle still applies.

FreakBoy
22nd October 2007, 08:51 AM
You could always try this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument#Counterarguments_and_objecti ons) and work through the names and sources named in the article until you find something you like.


Exactly what I needed! Thank you, you're my personal hero for the day.

Upchurch
22nd October 2007, 08:53 AM
Exactly what I needed! Thank you, you're my personal hero for the day.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that ...I would still be in debt.

Glad I could help.

patnray
22nd October 2007, 12:35 PM
The first cause argument is an infinite regress, but the religiously deluded have lots of doubletalk about why God didn't need a cause. I would question the very premise: "Everything has a cause". What causes an individual atom of a radioactive isotope to decay at a particular time? What causes a virtual particle to appear and disappear again?

Logic is not valid for religious argument (false, or contradictory, premises imply all conclusions). But the religious constantly appeal to reason when they can bend it to fit their preconcieved ideas. Always question their premises, not just their conclusions. Make them prove every part of their argument.

If you give them a free pass to first base, they'll steal second....