Here is the post I made to answer it with:
People are still making the mistake of asking "If the universe needs a cause why don't God need a cause?"So let the fun begin. One guy "America" kept saying "you didn't give any reasons." As you can see I gave four reasons. Then after pointing that out about 10 times he kept saying "you have no supporting material." In the course in quote from Hawking, Paul Davies (a major physicist) John Polkinghorne (another major physicist) Sten Odenwald, (a NASA astronomer) (not major but highly qualified as an expert on cosmology). I had no supported material? Typical clowns of the message boards. Let's look at a couple of the better attempts:
the simplest terms: the universe is the kind of thing that needs a cause and God is the final cause of all things so final cause can't need a cause becuase it is the cause of all causes. If the final cause had a cause it would not be the final cause. So if God had a cause he could not be God.
when we say God we are saying "that which does not need a cause."
why do I say the universe is the kind of thing that does need a cause?
(1) It is a connection of contingencies. The universe is not a single monolith it's a collection of things, all of them contingent.
(2)The universe is naturalistic, all naturalistic things seem to have cause based upon 100% observation (yes even of QM particles--they are coming out other QM particles).
(3) It's temporal. it has a beginning. It starts to exist that means there's a "time" or a four coordinate "beyond" even horizon (big bang) at which there is no universe. Not so with God. God is eternal must always be.
this mistake is getting at the basis of the whole fundamentalist concept of God (which the atheist pattern their straw God after) that is as the big man in the sky.
(4) God is being itself, not a big man so as the ground of being God can't have a cause since that cause would have to be part of being and thus would need grounding in the ground of being of which it creates. That makes no sense. that's saying the effect would be responsible for the cause.
Thus is seems only logical to assume that God doesn't need a cause but the universe does. four reasons.
HillyBilly (dig that screen name)
One of the most prominent living Christian philosophers of religion isn't a member of the set "the whole Christian tradition"?By that me means Richard Swinburne who argued against scholastic based concepts of necessity. I said
I've heard that lecture I was not impressed. Now dont' get me wrong, gobs of respect for Swinburne but not in that issue. I thought he totally dodged what the real issue was about and basically made little sense.
Certainly Swinburne will never say God needed a creator. that not in any way what he was saying.
He actually tried to argue that Swinburne said God needs a creator. Of cousre he never said that. I heard the lecture where he argued against necessity and he's using that in a specific specialized context and he certainly never said God needs a creator. Anyone saying that would be blaspheming becuase that would mean God is not God there's a higher God than God. I quoted a book reviewer who explains that he did not mean that.
Originally Posted by HillyBilly
(1) I said at the time I heard it he was wrong.Hilly dodged the issue by just asking "If he's not necessary and not impossible what's left" [but contingent]? As though I had not quoted anything. He also continued this line in a couple of more posts without ever acknowledging my quote. This leads me to believe that he didn't read the quote.
(2) he did not say God needs a cause
(3) I doubt seriously that he would say God is contingent. I you and note atheist just more of what he was saying and not seek to understand the sense in which he spoke.
anyone stating that God needs a cause would be dumped out of a Christian university if he had a theoretical teaching position.
that would be the same as saying that there is a higher God than God. no Christian can say that.
a book reviewer explains your mistake. Swinburne doesn't mean that in the sense of God being created or needing a creator.
"1) There are many coherent ways to envision the future as possible knowledge; 2) A timeless view of God would definitely entail foreknowledge, because all time would be equally present to such a deity. Second, Swinburne’s view of God differs in that he believes God’s existence is contingent, not necessary (he does believe that God is necessary in the sense that his existence does not cease–the necessity/contingence is the difference between modern and Aristotelian contingency–thanks to Tim McGrew and Chris Reese for pointing this out). Again, I disagree, but I find Swinburne’s view coherent."
Now we went in a different direction arguing about the contingency of the universe. God is necessary but the universe is contingent, so the universe needs a cause and God does not.
Originally Posted by Metacrock
But "necessary" does not mean "doesn't need cause". Assume a necessary being B, which necessarily causes the effect E. E is as necessary as B (that's why the concept of "necessary being" is highly dubious), but needed B as a cause.
OTOH, a brute fact is neither necessary nor caused.
The reason he says this is becuase he only recognizes "necessary" in the sense of logical necessity, truth by definition (all husbands are married men). That's just a matter of philosophical ignorance. The notion of a causal form of necessity has long been established and it's used in that context a quite commonly. That's especially true in the cosmological arguemnt. It's seen in John Hick's The Many Faced Argument. I have numerous disputes with HRG where he just referees to recognize that. He was making that same mistake when he first came on CARM 10 years ago and he's still making it after being proved to several thousand times.
That's another thing they they've started doing. When you disprove one of their stupid ideas, they come back and "you are corrected on this before," ignoring your answer. I think the thing is they really don't read answers. New atheism is based upon ignorance and it thrives by a quasi brain wash technqiue that includes not ever considering the ideas of the other side in any light by that of mocking and ridicule.
The rest of it is pretty much the same all the way down.