Technical Ben wrote:I thought one of the names of a God was "I am that I am". Or other translations are similar to "He Causes to Become". Is that not asking for just one assumption (a first cause, or observed cause)? The rest would be open to the evidence.
That's not just one assumption, that's quite a lot of assumptions: 1. There is a first cause, 2. This first cause cares about me, 3-n. This first cause has all of the other n-2 attributes that are associated with the Christian (or whatever) God.
And these are huge assumptions that we can't test or verify in any way. They make no particular predictions, so there's no way we can ever tell if they're wrong. We try to limit our assumptions to things that are not controversial, unless those controversial assumptions imply definite, testable predictions that are not also implied by other, non-controversial assumptions, that we can then measure. (See special relativity for a good example, or magnetism for that matter.) If you can't provide any evidence that this assumption is true, then you are simply assuming what you are trying to prove.
If people make complex things, why is it so irrational to say "complex things can be made by either people, or something else"? (note there is no transport helicopter in this line of thought, no Princess of Madagascar, or St. Patrick's day present. Have I made one of those irrational claims?)
It's not irrational to say that complex things can be made by either people or something else. We say that all the time. But the 'something else' we invoke is the laws of physics, and great amounts of time, both of which we have independent evidence for. We have lots of reasons to believe these things exist, but no reason to believe that this 'something else' is the God of Abraham (or whoever, your argument could apply just as easily to Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster). So asserting that God did anything is much less reasonable that invoking transport helicopters, princesses, and St. Patrick's day presents, all of which are known to exist.
So, do I need to describe a state "no universe then universe" or "universe then universe"? I'd have trouble with the second, because it does not describe an active universe. This universe has action in it, right? Would it be reasonable to accept a first cause on this?
A time-infinite, dynamic universe is no less logical a possibility than one that begins at some point. In other words, "universe then universe ... does not describe an active universe," is not necessarily true. Anyway, it is reasonable to posit a possible first cause, but accepting it as true is no more than assumption at this point.