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Author Topic: The "First Cause" article--Objectivist Newsletter-Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19  (Read 9001 times)
DennisLeeWilson
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« on: 2009-January-02 07:25:47 PM »

The "First Cause" article
Objectivist Newsletter-Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19

Links to this page:
bit.ly/First-Cause
http://tinyurl.com/First-Cause-article
http://atlasshruggedcelebrationday.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=13.msg18#msg18     http://tinyurl.com/7pdwbaa
http://tinyurl.com/The-First-Cause

From: DennisLeeWilson-Ariz-Wyo  (Original Message) Sent: 4/25/2001 3:49 PM

The Objectivist Newsletter,

Edited and published by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden,

Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19

Intellectual Ammunition Department

Since everything in the universe requires a cause, must not the universe itself have a cause, which is God?

There are two basic fallacies in this argument. The first is the assumption that, if the universe required a causal explanation, the positing of a "God" would provide it. To posit God as the creator of the universe is only to push the problem back one step farther: Who then created God? Was there a still earlier God who created the God in question? We are thus led to an infinite regress--the very dilemma that the positing of a "God" was intended to solve. But if it is argued that no one created God, that God does not require a cause, that God has existed eternally--then on what grounds is it denied that the universe has existed eternally?

It is true that there cannot be an infinite series of antecedent causes. But recognition of this fact should lead one to reappraise the validity of the initial question, not to attempt to answer it by stepping outside the universe into some gratuitously invented supernatural dimension.

This leads to the second and more fundamental fallacy in this argument: the assumption that the universe as a whole requires a causal explanation. It does not. The universe is the total of that which exists. Within the universe, the emergence of new entities can be explained in terms of the actions of entities that already exist: the cause of a tree is the seed of the parent tree; the cause of a machine is the purposeful reshaping of matter by men. All actions presuppose the existence of entities--and all emergences of new entities presuppose the existence of entities that caused their emergence. All causality presupposes the existence of something that acts as a cause. To demand a cause for all of existence is to demand a contradiction: if the cause exists, it is part of existence; if it does not exist, it cannot be a cause. Nothing cannot be the cause of something. Nothing does not exist. Causality presupposes existence, existence does not presuppose causality: there can be no cause "outside" of existence or "anterior" to it. The forms of existence may change and evolve, but the fact of existence is the irreducible primary at the base of all causal chains. Existence--not "God"--is the First Cause.

Just as the concept of causality applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole--so the concept of time applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole. The universe did not "begin"--it did not, at some point in time, "spring into being." Time is a measurement of motion. Motion presupposes entities that move. If nothing existed, there could be no time. Time is "in" the universe; the universe is not "in" time.

The man who asks: "Where did existence come from?" or: "What caused it?"--is the man who has never grasped that existence exists. This is the mentality of a savage or a mystic who regards existence as some sort of incomprehensible miracle--and seeks to "explain" it by reference to non-existence.

Existence is all that exists, the non-existent does not exist; there is nothing for existence to have come out of--and nothing means nothing. If you are tempted to ask: "What's outside the universe?"--recognize that you are asking: "What's outside of existence?" and that the idea of "something outside of existence" is a contradiction in terms; nothing is outside of existence, and "nothing" is not just another kind of "something"--it is nothing. Existence exists; you cannot go outside it, you cannot get under it, on top of it or behind it. Existence exists--and only existence exists: there is nowhere else to go.

NATHANIEL BRANDEN



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A photographic image of the original article (with underlines that I made at the time).



« Last Edit: 2017-January-20 01:06:29 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 2012-April-19 10:45:12 AM »

For a change of pace, you might enjoy George Carlin's "take" on TIME.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=zaR3sVpTB98
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« Reply #2 on: 2014-February-11 02:38:31 PM »

And here is the ONION's take on God...I am NOT an "evangelical" atheist, but I just could NOT resist....Dennis
http://atlasshruggedcelebrationday.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=13.msg672#msg672

http://www.theonion.com/articles/humanity-forced-to-put-down-aging-god,35230/?ref=auto


Humanity Forced To Put Down Aging God
News • death • religion • God • News • ISSUE 50•06 • Feb 10, 2014


An ailing God Almighty, Our Heavenly Lord and Father, was finally put to sleep this week by the human race

THE HEAVENS—Citing an inability to adequately care for the aging all-powerful deity, members of the human race told reporters Monday that they were forced to put down God, the omniscient creator worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years.

“This is something we’ve been putting off for a long time, but at the end of the day, it’s what’s best for Him,” said human Daniel Whiting of Appleton, WI, acknowledging that the “difficult decision” comes after years of dealing with The Divine Creator’s sapped energy, urinary tract infections, recurring blindness in His left eye, and noticeable lack of strength and enthusiasm. “At some point, you just have to think about what will make God suffer less: letting Him live in pain for a thousand more years or just letting Him go peacefully in His sleep now?”

“Sure, it was a difficult decision, but it was inevitable,” concurred Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Vatican City. “After all, He was already 13 billion years old.”

According to sources, at approximately 1:34 p.m. Monday afternoon the elderly Almighty Father was injected with a high dosage of pentobarbital, allowing Him to slowly drift to sleep before experiencing painless cardiac arrest followed immediately by death.

In the hours since the passing of The Maker of Heaven and Earth, the human race told reporters that, while they certainly missed having Him around, they preferred to enjoy their fond memories of a younger and more energetic God.

“The excitability and joy for life He used to radiate was infectious,” said Maria Castellanos of Guadalajara, Mexico, referring to the days when the Divine Being would friskily follow the human race wherever they went and “get Himself into all kinds of trouble.” “But for the last millennia or so, He spent most of His time just moping around—rarely ever using His omnipotence and barely even capable of rendering miracles and answering prayers. He hardly even acknowledged [humanity] as we went about our day, really.”

“He was just sort of there,” Castellanos added. “And as much as we enjoyed having Him around, He just didn’t have it in Him to do the things He used to love to do.”

The world’s 7.14 billion people went on to admit that there were numerous instances when they considered putting God to sleep but ultimately relented.

“There was a time around the third century B.C. when God was just so aggressive and uncontrollable we thought we’d definitely have to put Him down,” Harvard theologian Peter Gomes said this week. “And there were some other close calls, like the time He was hit by a car in 1983. But He always bounced back. This time, though, we finally had to acknowledge that it was time to say goodbye.”

Despite reporting a distinct feeling of sadness and loss, the human race confirmed today that they were also reminiscing on many memories of the Supreme Lord and Savior’s life, from His very first creation of the heavens and earth, to the time He rambunctiously flooded the earth for 150 days, to His allowance of the Holocaust from 1938 to 1945, to the sweet sunset he conjured on the evening of July 12, 1998.

“The thing that makes me feel better is knowing that He had a great life, even when things got a little rough at the very end,” Beijing-area human Huai Cheng said. “It’ll be hard letting go, but when it’s the right time, we’ll talk about getting another God.”

“Maybe even two of them,” Huai added.
« Last Edit: 2014-February-11 07:42:31 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

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DennisLeeWilson
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Posts: 503


Existence exists & Man's mind can know it.


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« Reply #3 on: 2014-March-07 02:55:44 AM »

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