Hello again kingdomseeker, seems like we are arguing in circles again :-)
The universe is a finite contingent substance. Is this reasonable, if not why?
This is not reasonable. No one knows whether the universe had a beginning or a cause. As I have mentioned, it is unreasonable to suggest that the set of whole numbers has a cause. I think the universe is similar - if one single thing exists, then the universe exists (as it is the set of all things that exist).
Whether a belief is negative or positive it needs to be sustained. Again your suggestion that in order to be known something must measure up to naturalism is the limiting factor of the argument. Can you measure mind? Can you measure memories? They can only be “known” through personal experience. I would posit that they are as real as any physical entity yet they do not fit within the box so they must be explained away or discarded. This limitation produces inconsistency not knowledge.
I don't think there is anything to sustain. As you have agreed here, the supernatural can only be "known" through personal experience. Assuming for a minute that this personal experience is a form of knowledge, then all who have not had it should have no reason to believe in its existence. I spent 20 years believing in the Biblical God and have zero personal experience of the supernatural to show for it. It is completely reasonable (and consistent) that I believe the supernatural to be improbable. Please note that I am not discarding it because it doesn't fit within the box of naturalism in as much as I am discarding it based on a lack of the personal experience through which I am supposed to know of it.
Hello again kingdomseeker. It is good to hear from you and I hope you are doing well.
[ I have spent my lifetime here on earth and have zero personal experience of over 99 percent of what has gone on these last 13.7 billion years. It is completely reasonable (and consistent) that I believe it all to be improbable…….or is it?] How could anyone make a claim that something is improbable just because they haven’t “experienced” it? As I have pointed out you and I have only experienced a miniscule piece of history.
I would never suggest that natural phenomena are improbable simply because I have no personal experience of them. As I believe you agreed earlier, natural phenomena can be understood through several means (personal experience being one of the weakest of these). I can accept the existence of things such as the Indian Ocean without ever directly percieving it because there is a convergence of credible evidence of its existence (and no one ever suggested that the Indian Ocean is omnipresent). The same can not be said of any supernatural phenomena. Keep in mind that the adherents of supernatural phenomena claim that it is as pervasive as natural phenomena (if not more pervasive). If gods are omnipresent, why is it that I have had no experience with them?
I must ask again: How can the physicalistic aspect of the box explain things such as mind, memories, etc? After all if one thing is shown to exist outside the box then the lid is opened and all is possible!
I don't pretend to understand the human mind, but I am aware that people who study the brain have identified unique brain states that strongly correlate to specific emotions, memories, etc. Perhaps we will never understand the natural connections between brain states and these things, but it does appear that such connections are natural and observable. Again, I concede that the supernatural may exist, yet I have no reason to believe it is probable.
On the other hand subjective states of experience exist. For example my experience of what it is like to be me, my thoughts, my memories all exists, and I have a first person subjective knowledge of them. Our minds are not limited to experiential data but also intentionality. I have a thought about a friend, I dream of a quiet snowfall, I hope for a cure to cancer, etc. This aboutness or ofness is not a property of anything physical and can not be measured. Does the naturalist disregard these subjective experiences and intentionality as unreasonable because they can not be measured by materialistic means?
As I understand it, brain states that correlate with various emotions or feelings are observable (at least in a laboratory setting). Perhaps we will never understand completely, but nothing suggests that we cannot understand it.
Yes, what has been observed suggests that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate, which suggests a singularity in the past. However, I fail to see how this makes certain that the universe began to exist.
Again you are comparing apples with oranges. Whole numbers are arbitrary while the universe is real. As elucidated before I can place an actual infinite number of whole numbers between two points however I cannot place an infinite number of real objects between those same two points. This points to the absurdness of the actual infinite within reality which argues against an infinite universe.
I'm sorry, but I didn't understand you earlier. Why can you place an infinite number of whole numbers between two points, but not an infinite number of real objects within the two points?
There is a difference b/w theoretical and real. If I space my hands six inches apart, I could divide that space in half and then that space in half and so on infinitely. However, if I were to start putting real objects in that space, say pieces of paper, there is only a certain amount of paper that will fit b/w my hands b/c the real space is not infinite.
Wonder what's happened with KS?