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Old 08-22-2020, 05:36 AM   #1
Mightyboosh
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Something from nothing

I've experienced a spike recently in the number of theists I encounter who are claiming that atheists believe that 'nothing created something' or 'nothing caused something'. Some might, but I don't.

But ok, let's agree then that something cannot come from nothing.

P1) Nothing comes from nothing
P2) There is something
..C1) Therefore there has never been nothing

So, there's always been something, and it might be energy that changes form over time. Now we don't need a creator god to explain how the universe exists, it's simply always existed.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:05 AM   #2
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Re: Something from nothing

And what exactly is nothing anyway? I think it goes the way of the unicorn when really looked for: a word that describes something that never manifests in reality and if it did that would really be something, wouldn't it?
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Old 08-22-2020, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Something from nothing

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And what exactly is nothing anyway? I think it goes the way of the unicorn when really looked for: a word that describes something that never manifests in reality and if it did that would really be something, wouldn't it?
Just another reason then why there's always been something. And since there's always been something, we have no need of something else to create that something.

I'm waiting for a theist to ask me 'yeah but what caused the something???'.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: Something from nothing

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
But ok, let's agree then that something cannot come from nothing.

P1) Nothing comes from nothing
P2) There is something
..C1) Therefore there has never been nothing
This is pretty uninteresting because you have more or less assumed the conclusion. You've also got some work to do in the definition of "nothing." Your argument doesn't exactly negate anything theistic because a creator God is a something.

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So, there's always been something, and it might be energy that changes form over time. Now we don't need a creator god to explain how the universe exists, it's simply always existed.
All you've done is replace the notion of a creator God with "it might be energy that changes form over time." In terms of your own standards for hypotheses, it neither explains nor predicts, this isn't a useful assertion, nor is it measurable, or falsifiable, or any of that.

It's far from obvious what you've accomplished. Maybe you can say more about your goal and the standards by which you measure accomplishment?
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Old 08-22-2020, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Something from nothing

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Your argument doesn't exactly negate anything theistic
Theism negates itself, if you are honest at least. Try again.
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Old 08-22-2020, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: Something from nothing

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Your argument doesn't exactly negate anything theistic
Theism negates itself, if you are honest at least. Try again.
Lol.

Last edited by Aaron W.; 08-22-2020 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Irrefutable logic, there.
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:01 PM   #7
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Re: Something from nothing

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Lol.
Translation: "I 100% agree." Thanks Aaaaaaaaron, you've shown (for the first time in your life) that you are capable of understanding basic logic.
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Old 08-23-2020, 04:48 AM   #8
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Re: Something from nothing

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This is pretty uninteresting because you have more or less assumed the conclusion. You've also got some work to do in the definition of "nothing." Your argument doesn't exactly negate anything theistic because a creator God is a something.
I don't have to do any work at all since the claim that 'something can't come from nothing' is a theistic claim and not mine. Theists seek to explain the existence of the universe by arguing that it must have been created so there must be a (uncaused) cause for it, since something can't come from nothing.

Well, the universe didn't come from nothing, it's always existed, as proven by the theistic claim. The uncaused cause is the universe itself. Just take all the arguments you use to justify a god being the uncaused cause and apply them to this.

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All you've done is replace the notion of a creator god with "it might be energy that changes form over time." In terms of your own standards for hypotheses, it neither explains nor predicts, this isn't a useful assertion, nor is it measurable, or falsifiable, or any of that.
Irony is spinning in its grave. All you're really saying here is that I have two unsatisfactory explanations for the existence of the universe, neither of which meet scientific criteria such that we could place any confidence in them, they might as well both be just wishful thinking. This is one, the other is the creator god hypothesis. Sure, ok, not a problem since I wasn't settled on a particular explanation, but what about you?

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It's far from obvious what you've accomplished. Maybe you can say more about your goal and the standards by which you measure accomplishment?
I think it's very obvious what this argument accomplishes. It takes a theistic claim and shows that if the claim is true, then we don't need a creator God to explain the existence of the universe. I'm sure you don't need the implications of that to be explained to you.
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Old 08-23-2020, 04:49 AM   #9
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Re: Something from nothing

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Translation: "I 100% agree." Thanks Aaaaaaaaron, you've shown (for the first time in your life) that you are capable of understanding basic logic.
Aaron is perfectly capable of understanding logic and if that's not clear to you then perhaps it's you that has a problem understanding logic.

I'm curious about your claim that "Theism negates itself", can you elaborate?
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:19 AM   #10
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Re: Something from nothing

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Aaron is perfectly capable of understanding logic and if that's not clear to you then perhaps it's you that has a problem understanding logic.
His posts disagree with you.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
I'm curious about your claim that "Theism negates itself", can you elaborate?
Theism is anecdotes only. No testable evidence in any form. One might as well claim that the universe was created by Slartibartfast.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:35 AM   #11
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Re: Something from nothing

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His posts disagree with you.
His posts don't show that he doesn't understand logic. However, if you understand what logic is, you shouldn't have a problem proving me wrong about that, so.... let me have your proof. I'll indulge this off-topic conversation because it's my thread and I'm curious.

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Theism is anecdotes only. No testable evidence in any form. One might as well claim that the universe was created by Slartibartfast.
You can't know they're just anecdotes, there is testable evidence (regardless of whether or not you find it convincing, something that Aaron, ironically, convinced me of) and one might as well not claim that the universe was created by Slartibartfast because that would be embarrassingly awful.

You remind me of someone, oh yeah, it's me, when I first started posting here.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:41 AM   #12
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Re: Something from nothing

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His posts don't show that he doesn't understand logic. However, if you understand what logic is, you shouldn't have a problem proving me wrong about that, so.... let me have your proof. I'll indulge this off-topic conversation because it's my thread and I'm curious.
Look at you....from ignoring him for a long time to defending him. He manipulated you pretty good.

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You can't know they're just anecdotes, there is testable evidence (regardless of whether or not you find it convincing, something that Aaron, ironically, convinced me of)
You remind me of someone, oh yeah, it's me, when I first started posting here.
Ah, becoming an apologist now. Wow. What kind of testable evidence do you have to offer?

Inb4 "You don't want to show why Aaron does not understand logic therefore I won't show you the testable evidence for the existence of supernatural beings"


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and one might as well not claim that the universe was created by Slartibartfast because that would be embarrassingly awful.
It's the same kind of awful as "A supernatural being was sitting in total darkness then decided to create stuff"
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:06 AM   #13
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Re: Something from nothing

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Look at you....from ignoring him for a long time to defending him. He manipulated you pretty good.
Among other things I've learned from posting here, I've acquired an ability to remain objective, most of the time.., and as long as Aaron isn't being unpleasantly personal, I have no problem swapping posts with him. You can't see it, but he's way above your level of posting.

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Ah, becoming an apologist now. Wow. What kind of testable evidence do you have to offer?
How do you get from me agreeing that there's evidence to me being an apologist? That's an example of your poor logic. The evidence includes the bible, personal testimony and the fact that we're here discussing it in the first place.

I am prepared to spend some time convincing you that it constitutes 'evidence' even if it's evidence that you aren't convinced by. How ironic it would be for Aaron and I to end up on the same side of an argument related to theology. A first. But for all the things that I don't like about him, he deserves some credit, or at least some recognition, for being part of a sustained effort to help me raise my game. Also ironic.

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It's the same kind of awful as "A supernatural being was sitting in total darkness then decided to create stuff"
No, it's not. Your personal incredulity doesn't make you right about anything, nor anyone else wrong about anything. Even your representation of the theistic position is simplistic, a straw man, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the issues.
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:12 AM   #14
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Re: Something from nothing

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Among other things I've learned from posting here, I've acquired an ability to remain objective, most of the time.., and as long as Aaron isn't being unpleasantly personal, I have no problem swapping posts with him. You can't see it, but he's way above your level of posting.
As I said, he manipulated you pretty good. Standard skill of narcissists.

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The evidence includes the bible, personal testimony and the fact that we're here discussing it in the first place.
Soooo, anecdotes.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
I am prepared to spend some time convincing you that it constitutes 'evidence' even if it's evidence that you aren't convinced by. How ironic it would be for Aaron and I to end up on the same side of an argument related to theology. A first. But for all the things that I don't like about him, he deserves some credit, or at least some recognition, for being part of a sustained effort to help me raise my game. Also ironic.
There is no evidence, nor proof. Only anecdotes from 2000 years ago. If you consider this evidence, well, I don't know what to tell you.

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No, it's not. Your personal incredulity doesn't make you right about anything, nor anyone else wrong about anything. Even your representation of the theistic position is simplistic, a straw man, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the issues.
Claims about supernatural beings are made, there is no testable evidence. It's that simple. Your desire to make this simple matter more complicated is your and the godbotherers problem.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:37 AM   #15
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Re: Something from nothing

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As I said, he manipulated you pretty good. Standard skill of narcissists.
I'm just really not sure how you think this is benefiting you. Even if it were true, so what.... what would it have to do with the right or wrong of the arguments? You need to learn to focus on what matters.


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Soooo, anecdotes.
The fact that we're here discussing this, isn't anecdotal.

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Originally Posted by UsernameTaken View Post
There is no evidence, nor proof. Only anecdotes from 2000 years ago. If you consider this evidence, well, I don't know what to tell you.
I literally just listed three types of evidence. So, if your response is not to examine exactly what 'evidence' means, which would be the obvious thing to do, and instead simply repeat your disagreement, then we're done with this line of conversation.


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Claims about supernatural beings are made, there is no testable evidence. It's that simple. Your desire to make this simple matter more complicated is your and the godbotherers problem.
It is more complicated than you appear to realise. Only you can change that really, you have to accept that there are things that you don't know or understand, and to be fair to you, I've only really got your posts in this thread to go from, but what you've posted so far is the debating equivalent of a donk bet or a UTG limp, except the analogy fails because it's those things could still be moves made by a sohpisticated player, but your posts are more likely to be what they look like, ignorance.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:47 AM   #16
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Re: Something from nothing

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I'm just really not sure how you think this is benefiting you. Even if it were true, so what.... what would it have to do with the right or wrong of the arguments? You need to learn to focus on what matters.
He manipulated you really good. Or are actually Aaaaaaaron? Would make a lot of sense, you doing a 180 all of a sudden.


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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
The fact that we're here discussing this, isn't anecdotal.
Every claim of supernatural beings is anecdotal. Do you actually have a point?


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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
I literally just listed three types of evidence.
You listed anecdotes.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
So, if your response is not to examine exactly what 'evidence' means, which would be the obvious thing to do, and instead simply repeat your disagreement, then we're done with this line of conversation.
.
Semantic quibbling. You seem to be desperate.


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It is more complicated than you appear to realise
Nope, it is like I said. Claims are made, evidence is missing. Like every apologist, you are desperately trying to make it complicated.
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Old 08-23-2020, 08:55 AM   #17
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Re: Something from nothing

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He manipulated you really good. Or are actually Aaaaaaaron? Would make a lot of sense, you doing a 180 all of a sudden.

Every claim of supernatural beings is anecdotal. Do you actually have a point?

You listed anecdotes.

Semantic quibbling. You seem to be desperate.

Nope, it is like I said. Claims are made, evidence is missing. Like every apologist, you are desperately trying to make it complicated.
Unless you have something new to add I'm going to ask you at this point to stop derailing my thread and post on topic.

The subject is this argument:

P1) Nothing comes from nothing
P2) There is something
..C1) Therefore there has never been nothing

Take the theistic position to examine it maybe, can you see a problem?
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Old 08-23-2020, 09:16 AM   #18
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Re: Something from nothing

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Unless you have something new to add I'm going to ask you at this point to stop derailing my thread and post on topic.

The subject is this argument:

P1) Nothing comes from nothing
P2) There is something
..C1) Therefore there has never been nothing

Take the theistic position to examine it maybe, can you see a problem?
Yeah, this was getting boring pretty quick.

I guess I leave you and your best buddy to quibble for 20 pages over the unsolvable problem of infinite regress.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #19
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Re: Something from nothing

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Yeah, this was getting boring pretty quick.
You have no idea. Since I started posting here and was made painfully aware of my own ignorance, and my lack of understanding of logic, I've probably spent more time arguing with atheists than theists. You're just another one, making the same logical errors, with the same unreasonable certainty.


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I guess I leave you and your best buddy to quibble for 20 pages over the unsolvable problem of infinite regress.
Not sure if you mentioned that just to look like you have a clue, but it kinda backfired, because the argument I'm countering, and the argument I'm using to do that, both resolve the infinite regress. That's not the issue here.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:01 PM   #20
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Re: Something from nothing

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I don't have to do any work at all since the claim that 'something can't come from nothing' is a theistic claim and not mine. Theists seek to explain the existence of the universe by arguing that it must have been created so there must be a (uncaused) cause for it, since something can't come from nothing.

Well, the universe didn't come from nothing, it's always existed, as proven by the theistic claim. The uncaused cause is the universe itself. Just take all the arguments you use to justify a god being the uncaused cause and apply them to this.
I noted this already, but you seem to have missed it. You have to first reckon with the concepts of "something" and "nothing" in your use of language.

And I'm not denying you your assertion. I'm just pointing out that it fails to meet your personal standards of what is and is not acceptable as a hypothesis to describe the universe.

Quote:
Irony is spinning in its grave. All you're really saying here is that I have two unsatisfactory explanations for the existence of the universe, neither of which meet scientific criteria such that we could place any confidence in them, they might as well both be just wishful thinking. This is one, the other is the creator god hypothesis. Sure, ok, not a problem since I wasn't settled on a particular explanation, but what about you?
Since I disagree with your concept of "scientific criteria" (we're back to this again, where you think you know something despite both theists, atheists, and people with scientific backgrounds on both sides pointing out at various times that you're wrong), this observation is mostly pointless as far as my beliefs are concerned.

The regression problem is not a new one. I'm fine with accepting a creator God and a temporal start of "the universe."

Quote:
I think it's very obvious what this argument accomplishes. It takes a theistic claim and shows that if the claim is true, then we don't need a creator God to explain the existence of the universe. I'm sure you don't need the implications of that to be explained to you.
I'm not arguing (nor do I believe I've argued) that God "must" exist because the universe exists. You like to call these things "theistic arguments" as if they are somehow necessary for theists to adopt.

But primarily, as I noted, your argument doesn't actually negate anything. The word salad of "it might be energy that changes form over time" doesn't really describe anything in particular that stands as a meaningful counter-claim unless you're saying that "energy that changes form over time" is somehow incompatible with the idea of God. You've just replaced a concept with another set of words that themselves do not hold specific meaning.

(Not noted, but potentially relevant, depending on your concepts, you used the word "time" in the phrase "changes [] over time" and that creates a separate issue with your cosmology.)

You may want to read about Aristotle's concept of the eternal universe as a starting point. Not that it would help your argument here, but because you would benefit from an expansion of your knowledge.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:14 PM   #21
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Re: Something from nothing

Unrelated to your argument, but on the topic of "something from nothing" you may also want to read about spontaneous particle-antiparticle pair creation.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:28 PM   #22
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Re: Something from nothing

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And I'm not denying you your assertion. I'm just pointing out that it fails to meet your personal standards of what is and is not acceptable as a hypothesis to describe the universe.
To elaborate on this point a bit further:

The basic structure of your argument is that you're going to hypothetically accept a claim to be true, and then use that claim to construct an argument. But if the argument itself (given the claim is taken as true) doesn't meet your own standards of argumentation, what exactly do you accomplish?

Do you think constructing an invalid argument somehow stands as a criticism of some other argument?

You seem to believe that I'm somehow shifting my standards of argumentation. The statement I made in my first post ("This is pretty uninteresting because you have more or less assumed the conclusion [by assuming something cannot come from nothing]" is a criticism I'd use against you and against someone trying to use it as an argument for the existence of God. I think the hypothesis is doing all of the work of the argument in both cases.

As an observation of the argument, the criticism stands on its own and is not dependent upon whether I agree or disagree with the conclusion. In other words, I'm maintaining the same standard across both arguments.

Shifting your standards of argumentation, you often lose a lot more than you think, and your argument ends up being much less than what you thought it was.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:40 PM   #23
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Re: Something from nothing

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You have no idea. Since I started posting here and was made painfully aware of my own ignorance, and my lack of understanding of logic, I've probably spent more time arguing with atheists than theists. You're just another one, making the same logical errors, with the same unreasonable certainty.
Ok, for the lulz, enlighten me. Where is the logical error in "Claim of supernatural", "no evidence"?


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Not sure if you mentioned that just to look like you have a clue, but it kinda backfired, because the argument I'm countering, and the argument I'm using to do that, both resolve the infinite regress. That's not the issue here.
Talk about unreasonable certainty...
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Old 08-23-2020, 04:12 PM   #24
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Re: Something from nothing

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I noted this already, but you seem to have missed it. You have to first reckon with the concepts of "something" and "nothing" in your use of language.

And I'm not denying you your assertion. I'm just pointing out that it fails to meet your personal standards of what is and is not acceptable as a hypothesis to describe the universe.


Since I disagree with your concept of "scientific criteria" (we're back to this again, where you think you know something despite both theists, atheists, and people with scientific backgrounds on both sides pointing out at various times that you're wrong), this observation is mostly pointless as far as my beliefs are concerned.

The regression problem is not a new one. I'm fine with accepting a creator God and a temporal start of "the universe."

I'm not arguing (nor do I believe I've argued) that God "must" exist because the universe exists. You like to call these things "theistic arguments" as if they are somehow necessary for theists to adopt.

But primarily, as I noted, your argument doesn't actually negate anything. The word salad of "it might be energy that changes form over time" doesn't really describe anything in particular that stands as a meaningful counter-claim unless you're saying that "energy that changes form over time" is somehow incompatible with the idea of God. You've just replaced a concept with another set of words that themselves do not hold specific meaning.

(Not noted, but potentially relevant, depending on your concepts, you used the word "time" in the phrase "changes [] over time" and that creates a separate issue with your cosmology.)

You may want to read about Aristotle's concept of the eternal universe as a starting point. Not that it would help your argument here, but because you would benefit from an expansion of your knowledge.
Firstly, the OP argument is valid.

I'm sure that you're familiar with the Kalam cosmological argument (I don't care if you personally suscribe to it or not), and the defence of the second premsie that 'The universe began to exist' which is that 'something can't come from nothing', ergo, there must be a creator, the first uncaused cause.

If you want to offer defitions of 'nothing' and 'something' that cause probelms for the OP argument, but don't simulatneously cause problems for the Kalam, please do. That's why I started the thread.

Or you can attack the argument for being guilty of special pleading if you like. I think you know what will happen next if you do.

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Unrelated to your argument, but on the topic of "something from nothing" you may also want to read about spontaneous particle-antiparticle pair creation.
I'm aware that Quantum physics suggests that matter can spontaneously pop into existence, but it's not useful to me for two reasons, firstly that I dont know enough to argue it and neither will most theists I encounter, so its a rabbit hole, and second, I don't need it, I have the OP argument that shows that the universe didn't need to be created, it's always existed.

Last edited by Mightyboosh; 08-23-2020 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:39 PM   #25
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Re: Something from nothing

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ok, for the lulz, enlighten me. Where is the logical error in "Claim of supernatural", "no evidence"?
Crickets...just when you could really destroy me, you go silent. Curious.
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