Apr 25, 2011

Exploring Paradoxes: A Refutation of the ‘Cosmological Argument’ for existence of God: Part 1

A Rational View: Unbegining Unending Universe
  •   Objects and Purposes

The objective of this post is to posit and hopefully establish a distinction… that between what I call a ‘cognitive paradox’ and what is popularly understood as a ‘logical paradox’. This I will undertake to do within the larger context of rendering bare some shortcomings of the oft proffered ‘Cosmological argument’ for the existence of god which maintains god as a logical necessity insofar a first cause or a prime mover is a logical necessity in explaining the existence of the universe. Concomitantly, we will consider an alternative view, that of an unbegining unending eternal universe and, most importantly from my standpoint, undertake to tackle in a novel manner some of the apparent paradoxes that arise whilst considering such a view, by considering them as either of the kind Logical or the kind Cognitive.

In the first place, it will be in order to disclose as to why is it that of the myriad philosophical constructions that attempt to rationalize the idea of a god, I chose the Cosmological Argument(henceforth CA) to be the subject of my considered rebuttal. The answer lies in the erotics of Cosmological Argument! It’s sheer simplicity, semblant sufficiency and most of all its psychological self-evidence is what has made CA perhaps the most profound mass-misunderstanding that underpins a belief in god. To the philosophically insensitive the CA, or some plebeian variation of it, is what most ordinarily secures a belief in a god. Even amongst the ones in the habit of thought, there is a considerable faction that lends its credulity to the CA without any significant reservations that I contend are to be unmistakably felt. It has been a part of classical natural theology since at least the ancient Greeks and even Islamic theology has had its discourse on the CA. I should proceed with a brief introduction to the CA. Some of the prominent philosophers who've made the Cosmological Argument in their philosophies are: Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Gottfried Leibniz, Thomas Aquinas, San Bonaventure, Samuel Clarke and many others.

  • The cosmological Argument:  A Primer

As someone describes it fairly well(for our purpose) on Wikipedia:

                                       “…The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause (or instead, an Uncaused cause) to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God.
                                         It is traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, the causal argument or the argument from existence. The basic premise of all of these is that something caused the Universe to exist, and this First Cause must be God..."

To reiterate, the basic reasoning embodied in the CA (at least in the popular imagination) is roughly outlined below.

Ahem… there is a universe > it is ordered by cause-effect relationships > all that is there must have been caused by something before it > there must be a long cycle of causes that run back to the beginning of the universe > there needs to be a prime cause or a first cause that set in motion the subsequent cause-effect chain(s) > Voila … that must be god!!!

Apr 8, 2011

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius to transform Architecture and Society

Michael Pawlyn takes cues from nature to make new, sustainable architectural environments. How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: Radical Resource Efficiency, Closed Loops, and drawing energy from the Sun.