Responding to one of the other commenters in the combox, Chris stated:
It's not logical to assume that the universe has not been caused.
Since I start with existence, there's no validity to the idea that existence needs to be explained.
I had also pointed out that:
Existence is irreducible.
You're repeating what you previously stated. It is your starting point. You make this statement definitively as if it requires no proof.
Also, an objective starting point by definition does not need to stand on proof. All proof assumes the truth of my starting point. Proof is a process by which we make explicit the logical relationship between something that is not perceptually self-evident to that which is perceptually self-evident. That which is perceptually self-evident does not need to be proven. When you see a tree, you see it, you don't need to prove that it is there. A proof of existence would be superfluous. And to what would its premises refer, if not to things that exist? Blank out.
I say that God is irreducible.
You require proof of me to make this claim.
I require proof of you to make your claim.
Meanwhile I can deny Chris' god, just as I deny the Muslim's Allah and the Lahu's Geusha, while remaining true to my starting point. But Chris cannot affirm his god without begging and borrowing from my starting point.
Don't you have a concept which includes everything, including your god?
Of course not. God is apart from everything.
Here Chris is telling us that he has reasoned from undesirable consequences. Essentially he's saying "I don't want to use a concept that includes both everything in the universe and my god because I don't like what this might imply. My god's bigger than anything, dammit!" It's like a kid on a schoolyard insisting that his GI Joe is bigger than everyone else's, and therefore should be excused from all contests. He exhibits no concern here for conceptual integrity for he slashes himself off from a perfectly good concept and offers none in place of it. Thus he divides existence into two categories, the actual (which is represented by the finite universe of real objects) and the imaginary (which is represented by his god and arbitrarily elevated above the actual, as if the actual found its source in the imaginary).
Including God in the definition of the universe, is to make him subject to it instead the Causer of it.
This is not an argument. Also, if Chris learned about his god from the bible, then he is acknowledging that his god could not be his starting point. He had awareness of the physical material making up his copy of the bible before he had awareness of its content. Ignoring this fact and asserting that the god he imagines came prior to and is responsible for creating the materials which make up his copy of the bible and everything else we find in the universe of real objects, is just an expression of frustration with the actual universe prompting a retreat into a realm of his own imagining where his god rules over all. Meanwhile, he continues to make use of my starting point, but does not explain where he got it. So he stands before us red-handed, his mouth full of cookies and the cookie jar lying broken on the kitchen floor. What does he say for himself? He does what all Christians eventually do: he appeals to the bible and hopes that serves as an adequate surrogate for an explanation to exonerate himself.
The bible says he is without beginning or end, from time indefinite to time indefinite.
This too is not an argument. And to the extent that it is true, it is at most trivial and uninteresting. The name of the Lahu's deity is Geusha. It has numerous meanings, such as "before the before," "the one before all," "the supreme ever," etc. So what?
The name Jehovah means 'causes to become'.
He is the First Cause.But the concept 'cause' does not make sense outside the context of the universe - i.e., outside the context of that which exists. Since Chris refused his god membership in the sum total of existence, he commits the fallacy of the stolen concept by referring to his god as a cause, whether foremost or collateral.
This misconstrues my position. I do not posit a "first cause." I have not identified the universe as a "first cause." Nor is the universe an effect; to call it an effect would commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. Why would one do this, unless he doesn't care about the logical implications of his position?
You prefer to relegate this concept to "the universe" or existence itself. Again, you have no evidence of this so therefore you must have faith that your argument is correct, as I do.
Also, since I have awareness of my starting point by directly perceiving it with my senses, no faith is needed to affirm its true. Everything that exists is evidence of itself, which means: my starting point is ubiquitously attested.
by Dawson Bethrick