It must be true. It’s in a hadith!

└ Tags: , ,

Discussion (23)¬

  1. jb says:

    There is nothing wrong with saying “Nobody created God; he was always there”, as long as you are willing to accept “Nobody created the universe, it was always there” as an equally plausible assertion.

  2. Quine Duhem says:

    Is this stone-related form of communication now a hate crime in Scotland? What is the modern world coming to? It is only a matter of time until a ‘Glasgow kiss’ is construed as a form of sexual molestation.

  3. Keg says:

    “… long as you are willing to accept ‘Nobody created the universe, it was always there’ as an equally plausible assertion.”

    That is actually MORE plausible, since the universe is something we observe.

  4. paradoctor says:

    This is an instance of the Paradox of Origin. Namely: what caused the first cause? This has 3 solutions that I know of, all unsatisfactory.

    1. The Line. The sequence of causation goes back forever, so there is no first cause.
    2. The Ray. There is a first cause, itself uncaused.
    3. The Loop. The first cause itself has a cause, which it caused, so causation flows in a loop.

    The first is infinite, and therefore is incomprehensible. The second derives from chaos, and is therefore irrational. The third is paradoxical, and therefore is absurd. If you can figure out a fourth theory lacking these flaws, then please let me and the world know.

    In political terms, the Line is ‘traditionalist’. We’ve always done it this way. Its flaw is weakness in the face of change and dissent. The Ray is ‘monarchist’. Hail the King! Its flaw is unfairness. The Loop is ‘democratic’. We the People rule. Its flaw is self-contradiction.

    I lean towards the Loop, if the Loop contains all of causation, from First Cause to Final Effect, which causes the First Cause.

    P.S.: the Argument from Stoning proves the stone thrower’s military strength and moral weakness.

  5. M27Holts says:

    Any question flummoxes the faith-head, like why does god not want you to eat bacon butties? Or why does god not like young ladies in Ra-Ra skirts?

  6. Rrr says:

    M27, I have difficulty picturing a sun-god Amon Ra who does not. (Except maybe in profile, where appreciation is more apparent.)

  7. Tebirkes says:

    I’ve always been partial to Douglas Adams’ (or was it Terry Jones’?) concept, from The Starship Titanic, of SMEF: Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure. The randomness of SMEF appeals, and it also isn’t much of a conceptual stretch to SMES: Spontaneous Massive Existence Success, to explain the non-causative beginning of the uni/multiverse.
    Don’t really need to invoke Lines, Rays, or Loops. Shit happens, excrement occurs.

  8. paradoctor says:

    SMES, Spontaneous Massive Existence Success, _is_ the Ray. It’s an uncaused first cause. But if SMES is possible, then so is SMEF, Spontaneous Massive Existence Failure; an ineffectual Final Effect. All for nothing! No thank you.

  9. Shaughn says:

    Paradoctor, since ‘causality’ is only a valid explanation for consecutive events in the limited field of Newtonian physics, I’d go for the The Ray. Anywhere else it’s a ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ fallacy that may may be true or false.

    If I take the Big Boom for granted, it originated in a single non-dimensional point, i.e. at a quantum level where there is no causality involved. Only chance and probability.

  10. Shaughn says:

    I’ve been a bit sloppy. ‘It’ in the second sentence refers to ‘causality’ of course.

  11. Phinda says:

    Here’s a loop: God created man, man created god.

  12. paradoctor says:

    Phinda: Here’s another loop: mind created matter, matter created mind.

    The philosopher Spinoza called the first cause “Substantia”, meaning both stuff and understanding. Substantia is what ‘stands under’ appearances. To Spinoza, substantia caused itself, so he’s a loopist. He said that what you see in substantia depends on how you look at it. If you investigate substantia in terms of thought, then it resembles the mind of a god; but if you investigate substantia in terms of extension, then it resembles a physical universe. To this I add: an impersonal mind, and a weird universe.

    I prefer the loop, especially a loop that encompasses all causation, because it’s democratic. No King Cause, instead we’re all in this together.

  13. Alastair James says:

    The question boils down to ‘Why is there something not nothing?’ which is logically unanswerable since whatever answer you give is part of what you sought to explain. Existence is a brute fact. All we can seek to do with science and philosophy is investigate any relationships or structures within it.

  14. M27Holts says:

    Aye. We could be in a computer matrix, which itself is in a computer matrix…and yes it’s computers all the way down…

  15. jb says:

    Alastair James — I’ve posted about this here before, but you might want to check out Max Tegmark’s mathematical universe hypothesis. It contends that all mathematical structures are equally “real” in a physical sense, and that the only thing that distinguishes our universe from simple structures like the integers or permutation groups is that the mathematics that describes our universe is sufficiently complicated that it allows self-aware substructures. There are objections to the hypothesis, but to me it looks like the first proposed answer to “Why is there something rather than nothing?” that even conceivably gets around the objection that “whatever answer you give is part of what you sought to explain”. I think that in itself is a huge step forward!

  16. postdoggerel says:

    M27, that may be true.
    Do-loops stacking, more than a few.
    A slew that swerves beyond the bend,
    You’d think that it must surely end
    Tullamore dew.

  17. M27Holts says:

    The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis is surely just an extension of the standard model, is it not. The problem being any given particles trajectory in Hilbert Space, where is it’s trajectory being evaluated against, whence is it’s origin…

  18. paradoctor says:

    _Is_ there something rather than nothing? The universe is 99.99999999+% cold dark irradiated vacuum, so that’s not much as evidence for ‘yes’.

  19. postdoggerel says:

    paractor, but then if everything but radiation vanishes then what? what remnant of mass can make the symmetry hold?

  20. M27Holts says:

    Is is Empty space at subatomic scale? Or is it a matrix of dark matter particles?

  21. postdoggerel says:

    German Blutwurst or the Spanish morcilla.
    In short, M27, blood sausage.

  22. M27Holts says:

    Bury Black Pudding…best in the world…

  23. M27Holts says:

    But is Haram obviously, made with the blood of virgin pigs…


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.