Existence exists, always has existed and always will exist?

Posted by Solver 3 years, 5 months ago to Philosophy
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One way this could be is by infinite time theory. But this also would mean that everything has already happened in every way possible beforehand. Yet we all would be totally obvious that it did.

Another opposing theory is one or more God(s), Infinite immortal all powerful all knowing supernatural being(s), created everything.

SO FOR THIS TOPIC, WHICH IS MORE LIKELY AND WHAT IS YOUR REASONING?
Existence exists, always has existed and always will exist?
Or
One or more infinite immortal all powerful all knowing supernatural being(s) created everything?

(Is it also possible that neither is correct.)


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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 5 months ago
    Hello Solver,
    According to Objectivist metaphysics "Primacy of existence" is a fundamental principle.
    "Existence, this principle declares, comes first. Things are what they are independent of consciousness--of anyone's perceptions, images, ideas, feelings. Consciousness, by contrast, is a dependent. Its function is not to create or control existence, but to be a spectator; to look out, to perceive, to grasp that which is." "This is in opposition to primacy-of- consciousness." OTPOAR, pg. 18

    "Supernatural" etymologically, means that which is above or beyond nature. "Nature" in turn, denotes existence viewed from a certain perspective. Nature is existence regarded as a system of interconnected entities governed by law; it is the universe of entities acting and interacting in accordance with their identities. What then is a "super-nature"? It would have to be a form of existence beyond existence; a thing beyond entities;a something beyond identity.
    The Idea of the "supernatural" is an assault on everything man knows about reality. it is a contradiction of every essential of rational metaphysics. It represents a rejection of the basic axioms of philosophy (or, in the case of primitive men. a failure to grasp them).
    This can be illustrated by reference to any version of idealism. But let us confine the discussion here to the popular notion of God.
    Is God the creator of the universe? Not if existence has primacy over consciousness.
    Is God the designer of the universe? Not if A is A. The alternative to "design" is not "chance." It is causality.
    Is God omnipotent? Nothing and no one can alter the metaphysically given.
    Is god infinite? "Infinite" does not mean large; it means larger than any specific quantity without identity, i.e., of no specific quantity. An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity. But A is A. every entity, accordingly, is finite; it is limited in the number of its qualities and in their extent; this applies to the universe as well. As Aristotle was the first to observe, the concept of "infinity" denotes merely a potentiality of indefinite addition or subdivision. for example, one can continually subdivide a line; but however many segments one has reached at a given point, there are only that many and no more. The actual is always finite."

    Every argument commonly offered for the notion of God leads to contradiction of the axiomatic concepts of philosophy. at every point, the notion clashes with the facts of reality and with the preconditions of thought. This is as true of professional theologians' arguments and ideas as of the popular treatments.

    The point is broader than religion. It is inherent in any advocacy of a transcendental dimension. any attempt to defend or define the supernatural must necessarily collapse in fallacies. There is no logic that will lead one from the facts of this world to a realm contradicting them; there is no concept formed by observation of nature that will serve to characterize its antithesis. Inference from the natural can only lead to more of the natural, i.e., limited, finite entities. Such entities do not fulfill the requirements of "God' or even of "poltergeist." As far as reason and logic are concerned, existence exists, and only existence exists.
    OTPOAR, pg.31-32

    Leonard Piekoff sure has some brass ones, but his logic is difficult to counter. I do not know the answer and do not believe we can know the answer as to the mysteries of Faith.

    I can form no authoritative opinion until I die and then it will be to late to tell anyone.
    Respectfully,
    O.A.



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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      Good stuff.
      If her logic is true then it demonstrates that if God = true then the basic axioms of logic = false
      No wonder the world is philosophically confused.
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      • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
        With all due respect, Solver, I don`t understand how whether "God is true" has any reflection on how the basic axioms of logic would be false. If "God is true," then that is merely new data to be processed by the engine of rational, objective thinking. The reason for rationally rejecting the premise of God is not because there can be no such thing as a God--but because it is entirely irrelevant to how one should live one`s life, especially considering that there is no logical evidence to back up the existence of God (except through the creative liberty of defining what "God" means, in which case, if you define God as something that is indisputably real, then there is no argument from a rational person, but merely, perhaps, a sense of semantical redundancy.)
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        • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
          I'll use what Rand wrote (as copied from above),
          “I'll give you a hint. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”

          Premise: God(s) exist.
          Premise: God(s) are one or more infinite immortal all powerful all knowing supernatural being(s) which created and designed everything.
          The description above fit some of the characteristics of many Gods worshiped today. yet if they exist, there is CONTRADICTION.

          Instead of admitting one or more premises is wrong, I got things like, “You limit the parameters to what you can comprehend. God, in His fullness, is beyond human comprehension.”

          At that point the rules of logic won't convince a believer. And if this infinite contradictory God is real, known logic is pretty much meaningless.

          I do not reject the notion of a limited God being real, as in the statement, "Money is her God."
          I do not live my life for any God.

          There is also Rand saying,
          "Is God the creator of the universe? Not if existence has primacy over consciousness.
          Is God the designer of the universe? Not if A is A. The alternative to "design" is not "chance." It is causality.
          Is God omnipotent? Nothing and no one can alter the metaphysically given.
          Is god infinite? "Infinite" does not mean large; it means larger than any specific quantity without identity... But A is A. every entity, accordingly, is finite."
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          • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
            Solver, I agree with the above quote from Ayn Rand. So...I wonder why we are investigating premises that neither one of us seems to accept as fact. Perhaps we are investigating whether or not these statements could even possibly be true?

            If God exists, there is no reason to suspect that anything would occur any differently or more mystically than the way things already exist. I reject the notion that "some things are beyond human comprehension." Some things are obviously beyond calculation, but that is due to a lack of tools (brain calculation function) or available data with which to assimilate the issue.

            Once someone claims that something is "beyond human comprehension," that one is confessing a limit to one`s own unflagging determination to engage in and pursue reason, and furthermore admitting a lack of comprehension for how logic itself is infallible. (The process of rational thinking or comprehension may be flawed, but logic, itself, which is, by definition "merely" the "language of truth," can never be flawed.)

            If existence has primacy over consciousness, then "creation" could, theoretically, refer to an organization of already existing elements into what we perceive to be reality today--rather than an abiogenetic emergence of life. Theoretically, design and causality could be poetically viewed as the same instigator. "God" could well be a semantical personification of "the way things are/unfold."
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            • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
              I was investigating these premises to show that they were false.
              I would just like to just say, logic is true, infinitely all knowing all powerful supernatural God(s) can't exist.

              Rand stated, in her way, that existence has primacy over consciousness and A is A, so God can't be the infinite omnipotent creator and designer.
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 5 months ago
      I do not buy the Aristotelian argument that infinites do not exist. Conservation of matter and energy and Time imply that existence has always existed. How is that not infinite?
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      • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 5 months ago
        Good evening khalling,
        A most perplexing paradox indeed. A is A. The exception that proves the rule? I have considered the notion that matter, energy and time are not infinite, but a finite sum that recycles. One collapse, then expansion, a big bang if you will, and then another cycle and then another, but always the same quantity just is rotated like a skipping record over and over in the same groove. It is a paradox as then the cycles become infinite until/unless they don't. Alternatively it could be that these things are finite, but of such a massive scale and quantity that our inability to quantify them also prevents us from perceiving their origin or end. If only I had all of the answers... I would have no need to study philosophy, or anything else for that matter. :)
        Infinity is a concept that is by its very nature something we can not quantify or fully define. Is it not? Where is Steven Hawking when I need him?
        I would love to hear your thoughts.
        Regards.
        O.A.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
        That one boggled me. If you see an infinite never ending line shooting out in one direction then turn around 180 degrees and see the end of the line in the other direction, is it an infinite line? The line=time passed.
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      • Posted by  $  IndianaGary 3 years, 5 months ago
        Hi KH... The "infinite" does not truly exist. What we call infinite, is merely a way of saying "it's some big number I can't currently specify." As soon as you can specify it, it becomes finite.

        Your term "has always existed" DEPENDS upon the existence of time. Two definitions of time:

        "Time keeps everything from happening all at once."

        "Time: it's just one damn thing after another."

        I don't recall the sources :-)
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
      Thanks, OA. As always, well presented. I will counter by saying that this only is true if we limit our understanding to what we can comprehend. See the cartoon that Hiraghm posted elsewhere in this thread. The problem with trying to prove/disprove God, is that He doesn't exist in human comprehensible terms. Like those cavemen, we cannot fathom that which is beyond our understanding. It is the arrogance of humanity to try to do so, or to believe that we can do so.

      As you say, soon enough we will all know.
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      • Posted by conscious1978 3 years, 5 months ago
        In fairness, "comprehension" is a prerequisite for "understanding". So, "understanding" is necessarily limited by "comprehension".

        To claim "understanding" or knowledge of something outside of the realm of human comprehension is a contradiction from which no one making the claim can escape. In other words, it is logically impossible to know that anything exists outside of our ability to comprehend it. It is impossible for us to Know things beyond our understanding. It is something other than rational to Assert that something "doesn't exist in human comprehensible terms" (all the while it is being explained in those terms).

        You are correct that "we cannot fathom that which is beyond our understanding." No one can. Asserting that one has knowledge gained beyond human understanding could be viewed as the arrogance of irrationality.

        I respect someone's right to believe what they want, but let's be honest when it comes to acquiring or claiming knowledge of existence beyond human comprehension...because human comprehension is all we have.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
          Not going to get into another long debate on this again. The last one was too tiring. Suffice it to say that God has made Himself known to humankind several times, most notably by taking human form and interacting directly with us. Those things that transcend to human comprehension we do understand and know.
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          • Posted by  $  IndianaGary 3 years, 5 months ago
            Let's be clear. The philosophy of Objectivism is incompatible with religion for reasons well presented above and elsewhere. Faith-based "knowledge" is not knowledge at all; it is acceptance of something without evidence. What you call "evidence" DEPENDS on faith. So we go round and round.

            To "debate" something two people must have a common basis for understanding. This is clearly missing, so a "debate" is not possible on this subject.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
              You are incorrect. The evidence that exists leads me to Faith, not the other way around.

              Also, have you seen me argue that the philosophy of O must permit my perspective? I don't consider myself an O.
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          • Posted by conscious1978 3 years, 5 months ago
            Unfortunately, you're not debating; I would prefer if you did. So far, you've just asserted claims to knowledge of things that contradict your only means of knowing anything.

            You doubled down on that contradiction with the claim you can arrive at that 'knowledge' via a means that is Only based on human comprehension and understanding - that means being Evidence.

            Human comprehension and understanding are all that is available to us. In any attempt to say Otherwise, one uses those abilities to try and explain something that negates those abilities.

            You have to work out your "beliefs"; I'm just making a point regarding all of human knowledge.

            ; )
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      • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 5 months ago
        Hello Robbie53024,
        I watched the cartoon. Of course I am familiar with Plato's allegory of the cave, having read Plato's Republic. This of course is one of the primary differences between Aristotle and his teacher. Aristotle believed we do not live in a cave, can observe reality and that there is nothing more. The empiricist understood we may have false perceptions, but could not make the leap in logic. He believed only in what he could observe, that A is A and that our inability to understand or accept something is not sufficient for conclusions that require speculation without empirical evidence. What Plato does prove in his allegory is not the existence of what cannot be proven, only the fallibility of human perception. The Objectivist position on this issue is of course in alignment with Aristotle and permits no conclusions without evidence. This does not prove things yet without evidence do not exist, only that it is not objectivist doctrine to postulate that which has no empirical evidence or sound theory extrapolated from empirical evidence.

        Your counter argument cannot be dis-proven or proven. Such is the nature of faith. The stories in the Bible cannot be verified. The authors cannot be cross examined. We do not witness unassailable miracles in our time. Many brilliant philosophers and men have wrestled with this problem and there remains no consensus.
        "God does not play dice" Einstein
        I am not as brilliant as Einstein or Aristotle. Many believe. Many wish to hedge their bets. :)
        I cannot draw comfortable conclusion.
        Life is short. I feel soon enough, may be sooner than desirable.
        Regards,
        O.A.
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        • Posted by preimert1 3 years, 5 months ago
          "God does not play dice" Einstein. I could never figure out what he meant by that statement. Nature abounds with process, the results of which are stochastic arrays. Like when U235 is split, a bi-modal array of elements is produced. The modes are Sr and Xe (plus a couple of neutrons), but almost all other elements (except Fe) are possible. Maybe I'm missing his context?
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          • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 5 months ago
            Hello preimert1,
            Yes. There are multiple possible interpretations. I like to think he meant that there are laws of physics which even God (if you believe in him) did not leave up to chance, that behind everything there are rules that govern. Of course, like Einstein, we do not understand them all yet. :)
            Regards,
            O.A.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 5 months ago
    Here's another possibility that satisfies BOTH: Existence always has existed, but time has not. If something exists outside of the dimension of time, it is by very definition "eternal" is it not? If something existed that was not subject to the fourth dimension, it would have no "beginning" or "end" as far as time is concerned because it would not be subject to it. I refer to probably one of the seminal pieces of mathematical philosophy: "Flatland". If it were possible to transcend dimensions in that manner, it opens up a whole realm of possibilities. That is one of the limitations of human reasoning: we can not imagine or comprehend something that has no beginning or end - we are geared with both of those in mind.

    That said, "creation" as it is used in Hebrew is never the act of something from nothing. It is the organization of the existing. In Genesis, when it reads that "God created the heavens and the earth", the more proper translation is organized: nebulae => galaxies, solar systems, etc. Such as with man - we always existed, but not in this form. The spirit or "soul" of man as it were is the core of existence and has no beginning or end, but the form of that existence may change like an element subject to heat may melt or vaporize. The physical body of man was "organized" and the spirit or soul then inhabited said body.

    Any more than that and you are getting into the very basis for religion, which while I am happy to go into, I'll wait for the invitation.
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  • Posted by  $  JCLanier 3 years, 5 months ago

    "Our universe" is all we can perceive but does not preclude the existence
    of multiple universes. The subject is in itself infinite by default. As humans we can posture theories, but that is what they remain- a theory. This discussion has encompassed an extremely vast range of theories and philosophies. However, there is no absolute, no proof of any one theory. Personally, I want to believe that the "spirit", the "anima", does not die with the death of our physical body but continues infinitely in whatever universes, whatever time structure that there might be in the cosmos.

    I also entertain the idea that it is highly likely that the human race was "jump started" by visiting aliens at some time in the past... The human DNA is only a fraction of a fraction different than that of a chimpanzee and yet we are where we are today and they remain where they are in the line of evolution. This is a phenomenal difference. In respect to the constant yet slow course of evolution we, humans, have made leaps and bounds above all other animals. It is not unfathomable that we have DNA from an alien race. This does not preclude that a "universal creator" could be behind it all. Why should a "god" create only one mankind? Or, why would not different substances in different quantities in different surroundings not make for a different species?

    To remain open to all possible theories and choose not one could be construed as prevaricating but I think not. We seek order and rationale to what is essentially chaotic and instinctive.
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    • Posted by preimert1 3 years, 5 months ago
      I would hypothesize that given enough time, both man and chimps may evolve further. Why should homo sapien be the last iteration? (Unless we succeed in obliterating ourselves, of course)
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
        My guess is because any aberrant mutation would be eliminated. We will essentially prohibit our future evolution, if it happens.
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        • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
          I`m not sure about that. We live in a society where attempts to save and prolong the life of every child born (hell, even conceived!) is applauded no matter the cost to taxpayers or the questionable quality of life for the infant.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 years, 5 months ago
    I can only relate to that which I can embrace with my senses and use reason to reach a conclusion. It is not necessary that I, as an individual can explain everything to everyone, only that I satisfy my own needs to enjoy my life. I need to have an ethical basis by which I can live a productive life that does not depend on others or makes them subservient to me. I am convinced that this is the only existence I will ever know and I want it to be worthy of my efforts. I do not believe that anything that I do has any bearing on anything other than my own life on earth and my opinion of myself. My opinion of myself is totally related to trading value for value. I believe that great evil can only be perpetrated by those that have no values or those that believe that life on earth is only to please some mythical being that will reward you in death.
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  • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
    I created this new topic because other topics on current politics were being flooded by non-political discussion from both the faithful and non-faithful.
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  • Posted by JBW 3 years, 5 months ago
    Existence Exists4

    In her philosophy of objective reality, Ayn Rand presents these axiomatic concepts: Existence, Consciousness and Identity. She builds her whole Philosophy of Objectivism on these basic concepts. We select only Existence as it relates Existence Exists4

    In her philosophy of objective reality, Ayn Rand presents these axiomatic concepts: Existence, Consciousness and Identity. She builds her whole Philosophy of Objectivism on these basic concepts. We select only Existence as it relates Cosmology and express it as an axiom of Existence Exists, as self-evident. We rule out the possibility of Something from/to Nothing.

    If Existence exists here it must exist everywhere. It stretches everywhere and is therefore Infinite. If Existence exists here now it must have come from a past eternity and presumably will last another eternity. It is Eternal. There can be no juxtaposition, somewhere out there, of Existence with non-Existence, in time or in space. And, if it is here now, after an eternity of burning, there must be some mechanism at work that results in a 100% efficient self-renewal.

    It seems that Existence is, indeed, Infinite and Eternal. It is in such an Existence that our Universe is but a tiny fragment, and toward which our Cosmological studies should aim. And, certainly, there’s no room for an Expanding Universe.

    Jim Wright: 10/6/12
    Cosmology and express it as an axiom of Existence Exists, as self-evident. We rule out the possibility of Something from/to Nothing.

    If Existence exists here it must exist everywhere. It stretches everywhere and is therefore Infinite. If Existence exists here now it must have come from a past eternity and presumably will last another eternity. It is Eternal. There can be no juxtaposition, somewhere out there, of Existence with non-Existence, in time or in space. And, if it is here now, after an eternity of burning, there must be some mechanism at work that results in a 100% efficient self-renewal.

    It seems that Existence is, indeed, Infinite and Eternal. It is in such an Existence that our Universe is but a tiny fragment, and toward which our Cosmological studies should aim. And, certainly, there’s no room for an Expanding Universe.

    Jim Wright: 10/6/12
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  • Posted by  $  RobertFl 3 years, 5 months ago
    Never a beginning, and never an end?
    We recognize our existence (I think, therefore I is). Do we exist if we don't possess that level of thought? Do plants not exist because the can not comprehend their own existence? Maybe a plant does recognize it's existence.
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    • Posted by  $  IndianaGary 3 years, 5 months ago
      Decartes mistake. It should be "I am, therefore, I'll think."

      To be is to be something... I am, therefore, by my nature, I am human. As a human I must think because to think is my only means of survival.
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  • Posted by flanap 3 years, 5 months ago
    God originated logic, not man; therefore, man's belief in God is logical and axiomatic regardless whether he is conscious of it.

    The deal is that you cannot generate a concept of God from man...you have to do it from God's own revelation to man, else, you are just creating man's concept of a god and not God Himself.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 years, 5 months ago
      Your premise and conclusion both assume the existence of God, so they are not evidence of this assertion. And there are multiple religions, contradictory to each other, claiming revelation from God that theirs is the "true" religion. What makes one religion's revelation claims superior to another's?
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      • Posted by flanap 3 years, 4 months ago
        God has to have certain attributes to be God...those attributes cannot be defined by man, but by God revealing what they are he possesses, then showing man they are true via various media and modes of revelation. This has only been achieved by the God of the Bible.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
      Good luck. I've been making that point for a long time. Some just don't seem to be able to grasp that concept.
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      • Posted by flanap 3 years, 4 months ago
        Thanks but not about luck, or anything else, but by the facts that God exists and tells us in His Word in Romans 1:18-30 that those rejecting the notion of God are not true to themselves knowing that He exists and they are in rebellion against Him.

        We cannot have it both ways....to believe that logical processes exists without acknowledging where the ability to logically processes our world and how we relate to it came from...evolution cannot explain it, so it had to come from somewhere.
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  • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
    I don`t see how existence can ever "not exist." That makes no sense. By its very term, existence implies infinity. What defines this "existence" may change--but existence itself is irrefutable. Also... there can logically be no such thing as "nothing" except as a comparison to "something." (i.e. "I have a pen in one hand, nothing in the other.")

    Also...why does existence presuppose that a divine entity must have created it? Couldn`t there be a "Grand Original Design" infused into the very causality of existence? Perhaps, if there is a divinity to be celebrated/worshiped, it is the very intricacy of "Truth" itself, and its language by which we can comprehend the unfolding of said existence--logic.

    *I thought I published a similar post to this already--but I couldn`t find it on this thread, so I tried to recapitulate. Apologies if I indeed repeated myself.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 3 years, 5 months ago
    I choose existence exists, always has existed and always will exist. Existence precedes everything, it is the starting point and the ending point. From there, man has infinite choices on how to interpret or ignore various theories, but that can only happen after existence.
    I have a slightly different take on religion. I do not see an either-or complete conflict. I think it is a matter of, post existence, how we interpret God. I see God as a guide, supporter, but not all controlling. I do not think he grants what we pray for, rather is a source of strength when we must ultimately cope with the toughness of existence as it is. We do not change existence, merely how we respond to it, which may be an infinite number of ways. Our choices determine how we fit in our existence. We can make it rough for ourselves, or we can deal with the issues of existence as they come along, and find a more peaceful fit in existence. In the end, we always have choices in our existence, but we have to function within the existence that exists. One philosophy professor friend told me of a woman, who took to her bed, waiting for God to help her. The man told her to get out of bed, that God helped those who helped themselves. He was putting her into the setting of seeing that existence exists, and she had better deal with it.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 5 months ago
    This has been a stimulating discussion the last couple of days, but I need to lighten things up for just a moment.

    Time keeps on slippin', slippin, slippin into the future.

    I want to fly like an eagle ....

    OK. I have had my Steve Miller rock 'n roll break, and am ready to discuss again.
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  • Posted by salta 3 years, 5 months ago in reply to this comment.
    I have read your thread (though some of it appears to be blocked), and I think the word "infinite" is causing a problem. You cannot do math or assess improbability once you bring infinity into the reasoning. The human mind does not conceive it very well.

    Instead, imagine the primordial soup without life, and it contains molecules of varying complexity. The probability of the required set of molecules coming together in the right conditions to make the first self-replicating molecule could be huge, lets say billion times less likely than winning the lottery jackpot by buying one ticket.

    But over time, there were billions upon billions of instances of those raw materials coming together. So the lottery analogy is more like buying a million tickets every second for millions of years. In which case, NOT winning the jackpot sometime becomes practically impossible.
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  • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
    I don`t see how the term "existence" does not cover absolutely everything that could potentially be defined. Logically, there can be no such thing as "nothing" except as a comparison to something. (i.e. "I have a pen in one hand; nothing in the other.") Therefore, the primacy of existence is irrefutable.

    Why does the "eternity of existence" presuppose any divinity whatsoever? Unless you mean to define (your) consciousness, itself, as the divine miracle. That, too, can be reduced to another primacy...at least as far as *your* subjective experience can relay to you.

    Again, could it not possibly be a fundamental that "Grand Original Design" dictates causality, the unfolding of "existence" according to the irrevocably logical principles that underlie existence itself? If A is A, then existence plays out, perhaps, in the only way that it can (and must) according to the causality of events, from Big Bang to "now." If there is any "irrefutable divinity" to be identified, should it not be (the intricacies of) "Truth" itself, whose language is Logic?
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  • Posted by  $  MarjoriePeters 3 years, 5 months ago
    The axiom is," Existence exists" It does not say that it always has and always will. Neither Aristotle not Ayn Rand said this. All these arguments about time and infinity are specious. Time is a measure of motion, and only exists in the universe, where things move. Man created time. To quote Nathaniel Branden's lecture, "Time is in the universe. The universe is not in time."
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
      But what came before, or will remain after? And if the concept of before and after are rational, then mustn't time be rational and exist independent of "existence?"
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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      Agreed, “Existence Exists” is an axiom.
      My extension was placed as a question, not an axiom.
      Is it possible that existence exists, always has and (hopefully) always will?

      As far as time goes,
      Do things in existence continue to change if no life exists to notice these changes? In my opinion the answer is, yes. Time itself would literally not matter until or if life was created anew.

      This is compared to the infinite immortal all powerful all knowing supernatural being(s) that created everything theory, where my own personal opinion is, no.
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  • Posted by H6163741 3 years, 5 months ago
    One if the few things that I disagree with Ayn Rand about is the existence of a 'creator.' The theory of evolution is completely ridiculous by scientific standards, and it boggles my mind that it is being taught to our children as fact.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 5 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Thanks, conscious. Regarding the non-contradictory Christian, he/she can be non-contradictory if he/she readily a) actually lives his/her life on behalf of another (Jesus) and b) admits to part a). The acceptance of lordship is a burden, not an impossible one but nonetheless a burden. Any Christian who accepts salvation and doesn't acknowledge Jesus' claim to lordship is in contradiction. Revelations 3:16 is relevant in this case. "Because you are neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Hence, I have no respect for lukewarm Christians.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
      In this context, what does it mean to "live one's life on behalf of another?" I don't think it translates well.

      Normally it would mean that I have been enslaved (or have enslaved myself) in order to give to another of my mind or my labor. But God does not ask that of us. He asks us to love one another as we do ourselves. That is the essence of morality. Even the most prescriptive of the Commandments does not enslave (Keep holy the Sabbath and honor thy mother and father are not enslaving). The remainder are prohibitions on actions. I give not my mind or labor specifically, but rather my heart/soul. And do so of my own free-will.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 5 months ago
        The John Galt oath was very carefully worded. By my reading of what AR wrote, I don't see how a Christian can be non-contradictory and take both halves of the oath.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 5 months ago
        Some in the Gulch will conclude that you have enslaved yourself. It is a burden, but I wouldn't call it slavery. And moreover, it is a burden that is an exchange of value (one's mind and labor) in exchange for a (undeliverable? false?) promise of a wonderful future.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
          I guess I don't see living morally and justly as a burden. And anything beyond that I do willingly and knowingly as a consequence of living a moral and just life.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 5 months ago
        The Christian is expected to do what God the Father and Jesus ask willingly. One does have free will to choose. I agree with what you say, Robbie. What I am referring to is part of John Galt's oath. I know that Fred Speckmann and I have agreed to disagree on Christians taking both halves of the oath.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
          But what is asked is nothing more than to act morally and justly. Do unto others is just that - moral and just action - not a call to give to my fellow man that which I earned by my mind or labor.

          Yes, there are some religions that demand that (tighthing for example), but not a reading of the New Testament. Even Matthew 19:21 which says: "Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me," identifies that this is perfection but God does not demand perfection, for no human (except for Jesus) can be perfect.

          That's my interpretation of scripture, not necessarily doctrine of any denomination.
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          • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
            “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

            Always wondered, does that mean that if I would have people give stuff to me if I'm poor but take half my money if I'm not, that justifies me doing the same unto others?
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            • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
              I can see that this concept is as hard for some to objectively think about as the “Virtue of selfishness”

              I'll give another more understandable example,
              If I would like to have people let me live my own life if I'm good but punish me if I'm not, that justifies me doing the same unto others?
              Does that follow the golden rule?
              What is good? How would, say Obama, define good. What about not being good?
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 5 months ago
              Do you really believe that's what that means? That's a dishonest assertion and is not worth more of a response.

              I've been patient with this discussion, in spite of mockery and insolence. We clearly have differing views. I have shown respect but do not get the same in return. Thus, I'm done.
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              • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
                It is a serious question and may be one reason why people justify stealing from others.

                Think of those rich people who want the government to take their earnings and want the government to take other rich people's earnings and actively support that taking of other rich people's earnings.
                Warren Buffett comes to mind. He is following the golden rule. Maybe there is a loop hole.
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    • Posted by  $  teri-amborn 3 years, 5 months ago
      I like how you think.
      I tend to think of "lukewarm"as being a middle-of-the-roader where you appear one way on the surface but can't or don't think in principles ... leading to a shallow, moment-to-moment existence.
      REAL Christians (meaning "anointed ones") are very few and far between. They are generally loners.
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  • Posted by  $  teri-amborn 3 years, 5 months ago
    Existence exists. Period.
    Time and space, however, are flexible and can change scale.
    The String Theory will eventually be tested and tried and found to be correct...but probably not in my lifetime.
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    • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 5 months ago
      String theory is pretty freaky stuff. I've been toying with the idea of an advanced alien life form which threatens humanity sovereignty (futuristic sci-fi) with a weapon designed to alter our phases resonance. Naturally there is much more but thats the core conflict. :)
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  • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
    I'm starting to think that calling this time has gone on forever theory, “Infinite time” is a misnomer.

    Is a line infinite in length if it goes on forever, but begins right where you are standing?
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  • Posted by desimarie23 3 years, 5 months ago
    Existence exists, it always has and always will.

    I typically don't take anything on faith; logically, I understand the Big Bang theory more than I do the idea of some supreme being that 'always has been and always will Be.'

    Solver- both could be dismissed on the same premise; if one discredits the notion that 'existence exists and always has' because there is a question of time/existence being infinite, how could they argue the existence of an all-powerful, supreme being that has 'always been'...which in itself suggests that he is infinite?

    I may have gone off on a tangent, I apologize if I did.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      A vote for NOTA is definitively allowed here. :)

      Infinite time just means there is no beginning and no end of time itself.
      But why would this also have to mean that there would have to be infinite existence?
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 3 years, 5 months ago
    "Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel." Ambrose Bierce

    My conclusion after 70+ years: Belief: A conclusion drawn without rational thought.

    A belief is neither fact (it could be proven) nor truth (it could not be refuted). So, if a belief is a choice, the question is: why would one choose a belief that initiates force against another or is self destructive? (You psychiatrists can answer that one; I can't)

    Jefferson said "But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

    As to existence, I tend to agree with it! And I think it was Joseph Campbell that said God is a metaphor to answer the unanswerable... or something like that.
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  • Posted by Kittyhawk 3 years, 5 months ago
    This post is titled "Existence exists, always has existed and always will exist?" However, science seems to indicate that existence doesn't always exist, and that by merely observing, we are changing reality.

    Regarding existence: "According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_stat... So existence exists, and then it doesn't, and then it does again?

    And I really don't care for the implications of the double slit experiment. Can we ever know reality, can we ever say A is A, if the act of our perception renders A unknowable? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKncAdl...

    Someone commented above that quantum mechanics is untrustworthy. Is that the consensus? I'd like to know others' thoughts on whether this science can be reconciled with the principles of Objectivism. For me, I think we have to do our best to know reality at any given time, and always try to improve our perception, and also be aware of the potential for error.
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    • Posted by Kova 3 years, 5 months ago
      The beauty about Objectivism, is that it adapts to factual data, to honest perception of the senses. Hence, if science proves that we are really just a quantum dream on some level, the genuinely rational person will adapt to this data and process future conclusions without the need to fall apart due to a "destroyed dogma." What is rejected (as mystical and impertinent) is merely because it has no basis in reality. Where it is impossible to know something, "working assumptions" are made based on what there is to know and what is likely.
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