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Author Topic:   The Kalam cosmological argument
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 151 of 177 (656459)
03-18-2012 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by Dr Adequate
03-17-2012 2:19 PM


Re: Slippery Slope
Dr Adequate writes:

Nevertheless, it doesn't. If there's no logical reason to stay off the slippery slope, then we might as well get on it and slide all the way down shouting "wheeeeeeeeeee!"

Well, obviously the logical reasoning applies as soon as we realize there is probably no end to the slope.

Dr Adequate writes:

Well, if there was an ultimate cause and it was fifty steps back, wouldn't we still want to know about it? But even if, as a matter of personal preference, you wouldn't want to go back that far, it is still the case that it is legitimate to inquire into what caused the cause of the universe, even if for some reason you didn't want to. I'd want to; and what I would need is some valid argument why there is some particular place where I should stop and say: "But this thing doesn't require a cause."

Of course, we would want to know, but that really isn’t the point. There would be no way to know, for example, that there was a meta-multiverse generator outside—or causally prior—our postulated multiverse. Fifty such causes I think would call for a liberal application of Occam’s razor. Wouldn’t you agree?

Dr Adequate writes:

You should have been here for my thread on: "Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing", but it was nearly over when you joined the forum.

I’m sure it was a lively discussion. And yes, I have been absent the forum for quite some time, though I became a member in 2003. Perhaps we can revisit that topic sometime. I’ll browse through it when I get a chance.

Dr Adequate writes:

I can't do sleight of hand. You must be confusing me with Penn Jillette.

You just did Mr. Jillette


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-17-2012 2:19 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-18-2012 10:15 PM Shimbabwe has responded

    
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 152 of 177 (656460)
03-18-2012 10:03 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by Shimbabwe
03-17-2012 1:39 PM


Re: Objections to premiss one
PaulK writes:

Which only makes it even stranger that you should suddenly switch from talking about Craig to Al Ghazali. If there is no relevant difference, why the sudden switch ?

OK. I’ll bite. Honestly, it’s personal preference. I simply like the older version’s usage of EVERY BEING, as opposed to Craig’s WHATEVER, even though I think there is little, if any, semantic difference. The sub point we have been discussing has to do with defining BEGINNING, which I think is easier on Al Ghazali’s version.

Most everyone understands that beginning to ride a bicycle, for example, is not the same as already riding a bicycle. To wit, I jump on my bicycle entering a greenway, and a person already riding her bike is passing by in a different state, as it were, than the state I am in. If one of my feet is still on the ground, a bystander would not conclude that I am riding my bike at that stage, even if my right foot is already on the pedal. The person whizzing by would have begun to ride at some point in the past, but not just now; hence the distinction between riding and beginning to ride. Our universe began to exist, irrespective of whether it began at a singularity (big bang) or at some undefined edge (Hartle, Hawking, Tegmark, Vilenkin etc.). It still began.

PaulK writes:

I don't think so. It was you who suddenly decided to switch to Al Ghazali's argument instead of Craig's simply because it lacked that aspect of the argument. At the least it implies that your intended answer to the objection was to drop that part of Craig's argument altogether.

The other reason I switched is because I felt that the focus on Craig’s version might lead to numerous tangential objections, possibly from a personal bias toward Dr. Craig.

The Kalam need not address this issue except on a causal basis. One need not postulate—with cosmologists—numerous entities without our universe, when a single, causally prior, simultaneous, entity will suffice. Hume was correct in this regard.

PaulK writes:

Of course your opinion on the matter - prejudiced as it is - is completely beside the point. It remains true that you reject cosmologies which depict a time before the universe, so that if you accepted that to answer my objection it would cause problems for you in other aspects of your argument.

On the contrary, numerous cosmological times—one for each universe or multi-verse— would not necessarily be problematic on my view. I reject some versions on philosophical or cosmological grounds, nonetheless. In my view, these hypotheses don’t escape time within their own realm, whether on A theory or B theory.

PaulK writes:

Of course I have not done this even once. The fact remains that you stated that something that had existed for all of time was beginningless and required no cause. And that's what I said, and quoted you as saying.

If you say I implied this, then fine. I will clarify my view. If the universe, multi-verse, or mega-multi-verse—within each of which hypothetical observers would reckon their own perception of time—were to exist for all time within their own continuum, these entities would not necessarily be beginning-less in regard to the whole. Moreover, a timeless entity—if it exists—would not have such constraints.

PaulK writes:

For a start you are NOT agreeing with me, I am simply accepting the point for the sake of argument and to show the problems it creates for the Kalam argument. And I don't see how anything wrong with pointing out that you explicitly agreed with me that a thing that has existed for all time it did not require a cause.

Alright then, we disagree. You continually use the word time in a different sense than I. Perhaps this is because my view is not clearly articulated, or maybe, your view is not. You have rejected timelessness, so we can’t possibly agree on that point. If I reject timeless entities, my argument for the KCA evaporates. Please note: For all TIME does not equal BEGINNING-LESS on my view.

PaulK writes:

I have not yet argued that the universe CANNOT have a cause, merely that it does not REQUIRE one. My point is to refute the Kalam argument, not construct an atheological argument from it's premises.

Very well, then. I disagree that the universe does not require a cause.

I’m not asking you to construct an argument; nevertheless, it would be helpful to know more on your view.

PaulK writes:

BUt this is part of my point against the argument. Bringing the beginning of time into things DOES confuse the issues, DOES call doubt on to the claims of the Kalam argument. But not doing so also brings problems to the Kalam argument. And this problem is exactly why I see your confidence in the Kalam argument as unfounded. You do not have a clear grasp of the issues.

Many philosophical and scientific matters are difficult to grasp. This issue does not stop one from embracing a particular viewpoint. There are a great number of things we don’t understand fully. I suspect there are several in your discipline.

PaulK writes:

I would maintain that you accepted it as words, but without adequate comprehension. One who does not accept it as words, will wish to understand it before accepting it, and see the problems.

Words are arguably the best way to communicating knowledge from person to person. Some concepts—and I would consider philosophical, mathematical, and psychological, theories in this—are simply not easy to articulate. That does not mean these concepts are not understood.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-17-2012 1:39 PM Shimbabwe has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by PaulK, posted 03-19-2012 2:53 AM Shimbabwe has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15474
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 153 of 177 (656462)
03-18-2012 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 151 by Shimbabwe
03-18-2012 10:00 PM


Re: Slippery Slope
Well, obviously the logical reasoning applies as soon as we realize there is probably no end to the slope.

But there's no reason why there shouldn't be an endless slope and a beginningless succession of causes --- or if there is, you have not yet articulated it. You say we shouldn't get on that slippery slope, I say, why not?

Of course, we would want to know, but that really isn’t the point. There would be no way to know, for example, that there was a meta-multiverse generator outside—or causally prior—our postulated multiverse. Fifty such causes I think would call for a liberal application of Occam’s razor. Wouldn’t you agree?

Well, now try applying that reasoning to a god outside our observed universe.

In any case, my point still remains. Going one step back from God doesn't commit us to going an infinite number of steps back.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-18-2012 10:00 PM Shimbabwe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-22-2012 11:46 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12442
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 154 of 177 (656472)
03-19-2012 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 152 by Shimbabwe
03-18-2012 10:03 PM


Re: Objections to premiss one
quote:

OK. I’ll bite. Honestly, it’s personal preference. I simply like the older version’s usage of EVERY BEING, as opposed to Craig’s WHATEVER, even though I think there is little, if any, semantic difference. The sub point we have been discussing has to do with defining BEGINNING, which I think is easier on Al Ghazali’s version.

Which really suggests that you should have been talking about Al Ghazali since the beginning instead of consistently referring to Craig instead... So no, it doesn't explain the switch.

quote:

Most everyone understands that beginning to ride a bicycle, for example, is not the same as already riding a bicycle.

But isn't the difference the transition between NOT riding a bicycle and riding a bicycle ? If the universe already exists from the very start there is no transition between not-existing and existing.

quote:

The other reason I switched is because I felt that the focus on Craig’s version might lead to numerous tangential objections, possibly from a personal bias toward Dr. Craig.

I don't see why. I certainly haven't focussed on Craig as a person.

quote:

The Kalam need not address this issue except on a causal basis. One need not postulate—with cosmologists—numerous entities without our universe, when a single, causally prior, simultaneous, entity will suffice. Hume was correct in this regard.

Look, I know that you're prejudiced against those other cosmologies and you can't be bothered to understand the reasons for proposing them, so can you please stop wasting time on the subject ? Let's just take it as read that you aren't going to be proposing a time before our universe existed and keep on track.

quote:

On the contrary, numerous cosmological times—one for each universe or multi-verse— would not necessarily be problematic on my view. I reject some versions on philosophical or cosmological grounds, nonetheless. In my view, these hypotheses don’t escape time within their own realm, whether on A theory or B theory.

By my understanding all of them postulate a time outside of our universe, and this is a big problem for Craig's version of the Kalam argument. Craig wishes the cause of our universe to be timeless and he can only get that by denying the existence of any time where that cause could operate.

quote:

If you say I implied this

I don't. I say that you EXPLICITLY stated it, and I have quoted you to prove it.

quote:

Alright then, we disagree. You continually use the word time in a different sense than I. Perhaps this is because my view is not clearly articulated, or maybe, your view is not. You have rejected timelessness, so we can’t possibly agree on that point. If I reject timeless entities, my argument for the KCA evaporates. Please note: For all TIME does not equal BEGINNING-LESS on my view.

I see no evidence that we are using "time" in a different sense. I haven't rejected the possibility of timeless entities (although I dare say that I have though about them a good deal more than you have). And this has nothing to do with the point you were supposedly responding to. Communicating with you is very difficult when you can't remember what you said, have difficulty following context and come up with bizarre misreadings like the above.

And your "note" explicitly contradicts your own earlier statement. Why say something that you disagree with ?

quote:

Very well, then. I disagree that the universe does not require a cause.

And yet you agreed with the point when it was stated without explicitly mentioning the universe. And you have given no reason to think otherwise... If something has existed for all of time, why would it require a cause of its existence ?

quote:

Many philosophical and scientific matters are difficult to grasp. This issue does not stop one from embracing a particular viewpoint. There are a great number of things we don’t understand fully. I suspect there are several in your discipline.

If we do not understand the concept of "beginning to exist" well enough to describe it - and given your own confusion about it - how can we trust the Kalam argument, which rests on that understanding ? And how can I know that my understanding of the argument is the same as yours ? But really I think the biggest problem is not the difficulty of the subject but finding a definition which allows the Kalam argument to work. Yet another sign of the argument's problems.

quote:

Words are arguably the best way to communicating knowledge from person to person. Some concepts—and I would consider philosophical, mathematical, and psychological, theories in this—are simply not easy to articulate. That does not mean these concepts are not understood.

However, in this case, words are not the issue....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 152 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-18-2012 10:03 PM Shimbabwe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-22-2012 11:52 PM PaulK has responded

    
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


(1)
Message 155 of 177 (656555)
03-19-2012 11:55 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by New Cat's Eye
03-15-2012 5:21 PM


I meant: Are you sure my point was irrelevant...

Yes, I am sure your point was irrelevant. That "there are gods that can be postulated that didn't begin to exist" is beside the point. Unless you can demonstrate how/why this "god" you are postulating is necessarily "without cause", your argument is unsound and is thus irrelevant.

I didn't read it as in favor of it, but as being, itself, irrelevant.

Would you mind explaining how it was irrelevant?

Sure, but that's just denying one of the premises of the argument.

Rejecting the premise, actually. Not denying.

Which is fine, you can reject it on that bases... but if we're discussing the argument, itself, then we should stick to the premises. And one of those is the universe not being eternal.

So, by your account, I'm not discussing the premises by addressing the argument's soundness? Did I misunderstand that? Didn't you just point out that I was rejecting the premise? How is that not addresses the premises?

This lead to the claim that any god postulated would also need a cause, which I rebut with the postulation of an eternal god (which wouldn't require a cause).

Though it would require an explanation lest it can be dismissed as easily as it was concieved.

For example;
If the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net has made a post on EVCforum.net then the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net is a man-sized cartoon chicken.

The person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net has made posts on EVCforum.net.

Therefore, the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net is a man-sized cartoon chicken.

This is is a valid argument.

This lead to the claim that any god postulated would also need a cause, which I rebut with the postulation of an eternal god (which wouldn't require a cause). Then you come in with Occams razor and an eternal universe and say that my point is off topic

Oh? Could you quote me where I accused you of being off topic? I would greatly appreciate it.

I'm not seeing the relevance of your point nor how mine is irrelevant.

Apparantly.

And I don't see how my rebuttal of any god also requiring a cause has been dealt with within the Kalam argument.

Just as I can't see where I made the claim that it did. Strawmen aren't anybody's friends.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 5:21 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-20-2012 10:31 AM Evlreala has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11176
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 156 of 177 (656584)
03-20-2012 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 155 by Evlreala
03-19-2012 11:55 PM


Well this is getting silly... but I ain't gonna not reply.

Yes, I am sure your point was irrelevant.

Odd that one of the proponents of the KA made my exact same point in Message 126...

That "there are gods that can be postulated that didn't begin to exist" is beside the point. Unless you can demonstrate how/why this "god" you are postulating is necessarily "without cause", your argument is unsound and is thus irrelevant.

But I'm staying within the premises. Ya know, assuming them true for the sake of arguing? Everything that begins to exist has a cause, and an eternal god wouldn't begin to exist, so we don't have a reason for supposing its cause. You don't have to assume the premesis are true, but if I am for the sake of arguing, then its beside the point for you to start talking about the premises not being true.

Would you mind explaining how it was irrelevant?

Sure, lets use the example you provided:

quote:
If the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net has made a post on EVCforum.net then the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net is a man-sized cartoon chicken.

The person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net has made posts on EVCforum.net.

Therefore, the person known as "Catholic Scientist" on EVCforum.net is a man-sized cartoon chicken.

This is is a valid argument.


I can assume your premesis are true and discuss the validity of the argument or come to the conclusion that I am a man-sized cartoon chicken. For you to come in and start rejecting the premises would be irrlevelant to the arguments that assume the premises are true.

So, by your account, I'm not discussing the premises by addressing the argument's soundness? Did I misunderstand that? Didn't you just point out that I was rejecting the premise? How is that not addresses the premises?

Huh? I'm saying that rejecting an argument because the premises aren't true is perfectly fine, but if someone is assuming the premesis are true for the sake of argument, then its beside the point to argue that the premesis aren't actually true. Its just a different argument.

In Message 93, the author was exploring one of the premesis:

quote:
quote:
1. Every being which begins to exist has a cause for its existence
Therefore, any god postulated must also have a cause for it's existence, another greater god, maybe? In the end its turtles, all the way down. Unless you want to employ special pleading.

They've assumed the premise as true and are following it through to a conclusion.

I chime in with this:

quote:
You could postulate a god that always existed and therefore did not begin to exist. Just sayin'.

I'm still assuming the premise is true, but showing that the conclusion that the author made doesn't necessarily follow.

Then you reply with:

quote:
You could apply Occam's razer, postulate a universe that always existed and therefore did not begin to exist or require a creator to create it, as well.

Which doesn't have anything to do with whether or not there could be a god that didn't have a cause for its existence. As I said: its beside the point. Its irrelevant.

And that's when you starting getting into whether or not what I was saying was relevant to the topic:

quote:
True, but your point is irrelivant, as it does pertain to the Kalam cosmological argument (the topic of this thread).

And you still haven't addressed my point:

Within the KA, how would an eternal god require a cause?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by Evlreala, posted 03-19-2012 11:55 PM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Evlreala, posted 03-29-2012 3:42 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 157 of 177 (656901)
03-22-2012 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Dr Adequate
03-18-2012 10:15 PM


Re: Slippery Slope
Dr Adequate writes:

But there's no reason why there shouldn't be an endless slope and a beginningless succession of causes --- or if there is, you have not yet articulated it. You say we shouldn't get on that slippery slope, I say, why not?

You’re tellin’ me! At this rate we’ll never get there. Honestly, we haven’t gotten to premiss two quite yet, although it has been touched on. There, I hope we can discuss actual and potential infinites.

Dr Adequate writes:

Well, now try applying that reasoning to a god outside our observed universe.
In any case, my point still remains. Going one step back from God doesn't commit us to going an infinite number of steps back.

No, it doesn’t. Except, on my view, any proposed entity that is causally prior to the ultimate, would itself be the ultimate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-18-2012 10:15 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-23-2012 1:20 AM Shimbabwe has not yet responded

    
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 158 of 177 (656902)
03-22-2012 11:52 PM
Reply to: Message 154 by PaulK
03-19-2012 2:53 AM


Some elucidation, I hope
PaulK writes:

Which really suggests that you should have been talking about Al Ghazali since the beginning instead of consistently referring to Craig instead... So no, it doesn't explain the switch.

Perhaps my view is in agreement with both. I don’t think this should present a problem, as there is no trickery involved. I’ll happily defend either. If one fails, the other fails, in my opinion.

PaulK writes:

But isn't the difference the transition between NOT riding a bicycle and riding a bicycle ? If the universe already exists from the very start there is no transition between not-existing and existing.

Yes. The difference is exactly as you conclude; and, I maintain—I am restating this for the sake of everyone else, not you—that the universe has not always existed, but began a finite time ago. This, I think, is consonant with both versions of KCA under examination. I do agree, for argument’s sake, that the universe has existed for all TIME—its own cosmological time—but I don’t think it is actually beginning-less. Incidentally, this is Craig’s position on the matter, as I have heard him elucidate it on a number of occasions. I agree with him in this regard.

PaulK writes:

By my understanding all of them postulate a time outside of our universe, and this is a big problem for Craig's version of the Kalam argument. Craig wishes the cause of our universe to be timeless and he can only get that by denying the existence of any time where that cause could operate.

Time outside the universe is not really problematic on Craig’s view, or on mine. Nevertheless, he posits an immaterial, timeless, and enormously powerful—if not omnipotent—causally prior, personal entity, which has the ability to create the universe (or multi-verse) ex nihilo. This entity apprehends all propositional knowledge in a single intuition, and therefore its cognitive faculties don’t necessitate a passage of time sans the universe. The being’s very intuition, in fact, brings about causal change(s). Hence, the ultimate cause of the universe is simultaneous with its effect, in this sense. The personal agent may have refrained from creating the universe at all, if it so desired. The only sticky part is that its effect(s), even if potentially infinite in the later than direction, is ostensibly temporal. In light of this fact, Craig reasons that the entity becomes in some way temporal, alongside the universe.

Now, as Craig argues, there is no passage of time nor are there related events—even cognitive ones—in the logically prior realm, sans the universe. To him, the very question as to why the ultimate agent cause didn’t create the universe before it did, simply introduces a non sequitur. There is no before on his view. In one lecture he mentions a state of timelessness but stops short of elucidating the proposal. His model may not be comprehensible on a naturalistic analysis, but it works philosophically in my opinion. The question is then, does it work metaphysically? I think it very well may, though I am not as confident here.

The entity, according to Craig, does undergo some extrinsic change upon the creation of the universe, in that it stands in a (causal) relationship to the temporal realm. It does not, however, undergo a change in substance or essence. The personal agent remains changeless but not necessarily immutable (incapable of change). The latter fact permits the entity to apprehend propositional knowledge as the facts actually change in time. E.g. the entity knows that George Washington is not the president at this very moment; though the propositional statement is true in 1790.

PaulK writes:

And yet you agreed with the point when it was stated without explicitly mentioning the universe. And you have given no reason to think otherwise... If something has existed for all of time, why would it require a cause of its existence ?

Something that has existed eternally would not require a cause. But my contention is that no being could have existed forever, with respect to time, because an infinite regress—in the earlier than direction—would necessarily be introduced; consequently, the thing could never be. So, even if an actually infinite is possible—it is not on KCA—it would have to be realized instantaneously. Any proposed material being would be subject to some physical laws e.g. aging, decaying etc. Therefore, an immaterial and timeless being is arguably the best plausible solution for coping with this dilemma.

Time itself is relational on my view and may not exist where no events transpire. Whatever brought the universe into existence must exist without time and space in order to transcend all reality. If not, the entity would simply be another material constituent of whatever whole, whether it existed outside our known universe or not. Premiss two of KCA, if plausible, eliminates any material being as the ultimate cause. There remain few alternative causes that do not take up space, and are not subject to physical laws of some sort. The unembodied mind hypothesis allows one to deal with this predicament. Other candidates, abstract objects or numbers—or anything else one can imagine—don’t stand in causal relationships so far as we know, Tegmark and Vilenkin proposals notwithstanding. Theists have nearly always implicitly or explicitly posited such an ultimate; so, this is not a novel concept for whatever that is worth. e.g. God is a Spirit… (John 4:24)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by PaulK, posted 03-19-2012 2:53 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by PaulK, posted 03-23-2012 3:01 AM Shimbabwe has not yet responded
 Message 161 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-23-2012 9:57 AM Shimbabwe has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15474
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 159 of 177 (656909)
03-23-2012 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by Shimbabwe
03-22-2012 11:46 PM


Re: Slippery Slope
You’re tellin’ me! At this rate we’ll never get there. Honestly, we haven’t gotten to premiss two quite yet, although it has been touched on.

True. But the fact is that premise one is contentious, for reasons that perhaps we have discussed sufficiently by now.

No, it doesn’t. Except, on my view, any proposed entity that is causally prior to the ultimate, would itself be the ultimate.

Or there's something behind that ... in any case, the creator of the universe does not have to be an ultimate explanation for everything, just for the universe. We may at least in principle have a demiurge on our hands.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-22-2012 11:46 PM Shimbabwe has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12442
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 160 of 177 (656914)
03-23-2012 3:01 AM
Reply to: Message 158 by Shimbabwe
03-22-2012 11:52 PM


Re: Some elucidation, I hope
quote:

Perhaps my view is in agreement with both. I don’t think this should present a problem, as there is no trickery involved. I’ll happily defend either. If one fails, the other fails, in my opinion.

OK, you don't want to explain why you suddenly went from talking only about Craig to insisting that you preferred Al Ghazali.

quote:

Yes. The difference is exactly as you conclude

And that difference is why your alleged analogy fails.

quote:

and, I maintain—I am restating this for the sake of everyone else, not you—that the universe has not always existed, but began a finite time ago.

In fact that's not true. You hold that the universe has always existed AND began a long time ago.

quote:

This, I think, is consonant with both versions of KCA under examination. I do agree, for argument’s sake, that the universe has existed for all TIME—its own cosmological time—but I don’t think it is actually beginning-less. Incidentally, this is Craig’s position on the matter, as I have heard him elucidate it on a number of occasions. I agree with him in this regard.

You're still contradicting your own statement unless the reference to "its own cosmological time" means that you are bringing in some other time - but that WOULD contradict Craig.

quote:

Time outside the universe is not really problematic on Craig’s view, or on mine.

It's problematic for Craig's argument for reasons that I have already given. Now you claim that Craig ASSUMES timelessness, but this is not the same thing as arguing for it at all. And in fact looking further down we see that what you say is completely untrue.

quote:

Something that has existed eternally would not require a cause. But my contention is that no being could have existed forever, with respect to time, because an infinite regress—in the earlier than direction—would necessarily be introduced; consequently, the thing could never be

How so ? Given finite time "existing forever" would seem best interpreted as "always existing" - meaning of course, that there never is a time when it does not exist. I don't see any need of an infinite regress in that case and you don't offer any argument for one,

quote:

Any proposed material being would be subject to some physical laws e.g. aging, decaying etc. Therefore, an immaterial and timeless being is arguably the best plausible solution for coping with this dilemma.

Perhaps you should introduce the dilemma before claiming to have a solution.

quote:

Whatever brought the universe into existence must exist without time and space in order to transcend all reality.

So much for the idea that time outside the universe is not unproblematic for your argument. And really that's the only significant thing in your final argument.

You still haven't got to the point of establishing that our universe requires a cause. In fact, I must remind you that it seemed obvious to you that something that has existed for all of time (as you clearly believe that the universe has) was beginningless and required no cause. Even if you have changed your mind you've offered no reason to think that your original statement was incorrect.

Further, age and decay would only be an issue if it were assumed that the cause of our universe were temporal in our time dimension and that it had to exist for long enough for that to matter. Even if we grant the first, there is no need to grant the second. Also let me note that the "cause" of virtual particles is not material in your sense, so physical causes of that sort are not covered by that part of your argument.

Really I think that it is premature to go on go other problematic areas of the Kalam argument when you can't even provide a serious resolution of your own issues with premise 1.


This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11176
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 161 of 177 (656930)
03-23-2012 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 158 by Shimbabwe
03-22-2012 11:52 PM


bail out already
...the universe has not always existed, but began a finite time ago. {snip}

I do agree, for argument’s sake, that the universe has existed for all TIME—its own cosmological time—but I don’t think it is actually beginning-less.

If it has not always existed, then there should be a point in time where it doesn't exist. If there isn't a point in time where it does not exist, then it has existed for all time.

To get around this contradiction, you're introducing another time, "the universe's own cosmological time", that is presumably some superset to the time we actually know of.

But you don't have any other reason to suppose this other kind of time than to save face in light of the Kahlam Argument falling into a contradiction. If you have to go through these sorts of mental gymnastics to maintain the veracity of an argument, don't you think its about time to start considering that the argument isn't really that good?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-22-2012 11:52 PM Shimbabwe has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 12442
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 162 of 177 (656932)
03-23-2012 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by kbertsche
03-17-2012 1:20 PM


Re: Always existing.
Sorry for missing your response.

quote:

Please answer my question, if possible, rather than trying to deflect it.

I did answer it. Your quote from Craig, however is an attempt to divert the issue because it does not address the point that I made.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by kbertsche, posted 03-17-2012 1:20 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by kbertsche, posted 03-23-2012 11:37 AM PaulK has responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1345
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 163 of 177 (656937)
03-23-2012 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 162 by PaulK
03-23-2012 10:59 AM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
I did answer it. Your quote from Craig, however is an attempt to divert the issue because it does not address the point that I made.

If you answered it, I missed it. I have not yet seen you post a reference that we can check.

For the third time, here is my question from message 145:

KBertsche writes:


Where/how does the Kalaam argument insist that time is finite? Please provide a reference. Thank you.

My quote from Craig in message 145 is a counter-reference, clearly showing that he does NOT insist that time is finite in his KCA.

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

“I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.” – Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by PaulK, posted 03-23-2012 10:59 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 164 by PaulK, posted 03-23-2012 2:11 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12442
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 164 of 177 (656951)
03-23-2012 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by kbertsche
03-23-2012 11:37 AM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

If you answered it, I missed it. I have not yet seen you post a reference that we can check.

I said that I gave an answer - and one that should be good enough for those familiar with Craig's argument.

It is a fact that within the Kalam argument, Craig argues for a timeless cause of the universe and a fact that he cannot do so except by denying that there is any time prior to the universe (for the obvious reason that if there were such a time, there could be a temporal cause operating within that time).

As for your reference, it's worthless until I can check it. The quote doesn't give enough context to tell if it is truly relevant or not (at about halfway through the book, I'd guess not, though). In fact, the same words appear in a web article and there the "argument" is the simple assertion that the universe began to exist.

God, Time and Eternity

Edited by PaulK, : Added URL


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by kbertsche, posted 03-23-2012 11:37 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1221 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 165 of 177 (656995)
03-24-2012 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by New Cat's Eye
03-23-2012 9:57 AM


Re: bail out already
Catholic Scientist writes:

bail out already
...the universe has not always existed, but began a finite time ago. {snip}
I do agree, for argument’s sake, that the universe has existed for all TIME—its own cosmological time—but I don’t think it is actually beginning-less.
If it has not always existed, then there should be a point in time where it doesn't exist. If there isn't a point in time where it does not exist, then it has existed for all time.

Hello Catholic Scientist. I will respond to you first, because I didn’t have time to earlier in the thread. You seem to be having difficulty with this concept because you wish to confer physical constraints on an immaterial entity. This methodology is simply not applicable to a timeless, spaceless, beginningless, cause. This entity, on Kalaam, exists causally prior to both space and time. Space and time are necessary components of the universe—given that events have occurred—or else the world does not exist as a physical reality. Some do hold this view. I do not.

Catholic Scientist writes:

To get around this contradiction, you're introducing another time, "the universe's own cosmological time", that is presumably some superset to the time we actually know of.

There is no superset or subset of time; the only time we appreciate is the time within our own universe. I did not introduce this concept, as it is believed by most cosmologists. If a multi-verse is possible, its time would theoretically supersede our time in some way; nevertheless, time cannot go on forever in an earlier than direction, or else this moment would have never arrived, irrespective of any division of time presupposed. So we posit a timeless entity.

Catholic Scientist writes:

But you don't have any other reason to suppose this other kind of time than to save face in light of the Kahlam Argument falling into a contradiction. If you have to go through these sorts of mental gymnastics to maintain the veracity of an argument, don't you think its about time to start considering that the argument isn't really that good?

Certainly not at this point. The argument holds very well if timelessness is plausible. If not, then we are faced with some sort of infinite regress of time and events. Moreover, the reason for positing such an entity, on Kalaam, is exactly because of the difficulties that plague competing models. Theist have had it correct from the beginning in my opinion.

Edited by Shimbabwe, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-23-2012 9:57 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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