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Author Topic:   The Kalam cosmological argument
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1425
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 106 of 177 (655888)
03-14-2012 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by PaulK
03-14-2012 11:09 AM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
Which assumes that it is sensible to say that something that has always existed began to exist. That is far from obvious (in fact Shimbabwe rejected it as absurd and he supports the Kalam argument). Indeed, as I have already pointed out, everything must begin to exist if you allow existing at T=0 to be "beginning to exist".


It would be nonsense to say that something infinitely old (e.g. God) ever "began to exist". But it seems quite reasonable to say that something with a finite age (e.g. the universe) "began to exist."

"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 105 by PaulK, posted 03-14-2012 11:09 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 12:04 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 109 by PaulK, posted 03-14-2012 12:11 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7537
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 107 of 177 (655892)
03-14-2012 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 12:17 AM


a finite thing that always exist
Yes, people have done this for centuries. It became much more difficult after Penzias and Wilson found observational evidence that the universe had a beginning.

The visible universe, maybe. And probably a chunk of the non-visible universe. But there is suggstion that there is a natural world that exists 'prior' to the present spacetime zone we have traditionally called 'the universe'. This could have always existed.

Furthermore, even if we postulate a finite universe - it can still have always existed. It simply needs to have existed for all time. That is to say: 'whenever' there was time, there was universe.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 12:17 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11855
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 108 of 177 (655893)
03-14-2012 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 11:36 AM


Re: Always existing.
But it seems quite reasonable to say that something with a finite age (e.g. the universe) "began to exist."

But then we'd need a point in time for the universe to begin to exist from, that is; a point in time where the universe does not exist. And we ain't got one of those.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 11:36 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 1:37 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13375
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 109 of 177 (655894)
03-14-2012 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 11:36 AM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

It would be nonsense to say that something infinitely old (e.g. God) ever "began to exist".

If past time is finite, as claimed by the Kalam argument it is impossible for anything to be infinitely old. I suppose, in that case your claim is only true in that something that has never existed cannot have "begun to exist"

quote:

But it seems quite reasonable to say that something with a finite age (e.g. the universe) "began to exist."

But only if we ignore the fact that we are speaking of something that has always existed....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 11:36 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1425
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 110 of 177 (655901)
03-14-2012 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by New Cat's Eye
03-14-2012 12:04 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
But then we'd need a point in time for the universe to begin to exist from,

We've got such a point (t=0, a starting point).

quote:
that is; a point in time where the universe does not exist. And we ain't got one of those.

To "begin to exist" implies a t=0. But I don't believe it necessarily implies anything about t<0.

"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 108 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 12:04 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 2:20 PM kbertsche has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11855
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 111 of 177 (655903)
03-14-2012 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 1:37 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
But then we'd need a point in time for the universe to begin to exist from,

We've got such a point (t=0, a starting point).

What you're saying is that the universe was non-existant at T=0 and I'm pretty sure cosmologists would disagree.

quote:
that is; a point in time where the universe does not exist. And we ain't got one of those.

To "begin to exist" implies a t=0. But I don't believe it necessarily implies anything about t<0.

First off, "begin to exist" implies a point of non-existence (regardless of what T equals). If you're saying that point is T=0, then you're saying the universe doesn't exist at that point.

So the universe does not exist at T=0 and then at T=0+ it does exist. Are you saying it just poofed into existence from nothing?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 1:37 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 4:07 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1425
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 112 of 177 (655904)
03-14-2012 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by New Cat's Eye
03-14-2012 2:20 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
What you're saying is that the universe was non-existant at T=0

False. As I've explained to PaulK, I am definitely NOT saying this.

Rather, I claim that the universe "began to exist" at T=0.

quote:
and I'm pretty sure cosmologists would disagree.

I'm pretty sure that cosmologists DO agree that the universe began at the Big Bang. They wouldn't use the phrase "began to exist" because it sounds pedantic and philosophical. But that's exactly what they mean.

quote:

First off, "begin to exist" implies a point of non-existence (regardless of what T equals). If you're saying that point is T=0, then you're saying the universe doesn't exist at that point.

Did time itself "begin to exist" at the Big Bang? I would answer "yes". But you and PaulK are forced to answer "no". To both of you, a "yes" answer would imply the logical impossibility that there was a time before time existed.

I think you are inferring much too much from the phrase "began to exist".

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 111 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 2:20 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 4:24 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 114 by PaulK, posted 03-14-2012 6:04 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11855
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 113 of 177 (655905)
03-14-2012 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 4:07 PM


Re: Always existing.
False. As I've explained to PaulK, I am definitely NOT saying this.

But you are, whether you realize it or not. Its the implication of what you're typing. Something cannot begin to exist if it wasn't non-existant at some point.

Rather, I claim that the universe "began to exist" at T=0.

Well that's different... that implies a a T<0. Before, you were saying that the universe began to exist from T=0; which implies it didn't exist at T=0. It can't simultaneously begin to exist both from and at T=0. That's just not what beginning means.

I'm pretty sure that cosmologists DO agree that the universe began at the Big Bang. They wouldn't use the phrase "began to exist" because it sounds pedantic and philosophical. But that's exactly what they mean.

But its not what they mean. Cosmology has the universe existing at all points in time, that is, there are no points in time, including T=0, where the universe does not exist. The universe always exists at all points in time. Now here comes the tricky part: there's a finite past. Its not at all intuitive, but so be it.

Did time itself "begin to exist" at the Big Bang? I would answer "yes". But you and PaulK are forced to answer "no". To both of you, a "yes" answer would imply the logical impossibility that there was a time before time existed.

At T=0, "begging to exist" looses all meaning as there's nowhen to begin from. Spacetime curves back on itself like the northpole of the surface of the Earth. You can only go north so far, but it doesn't makes sense to say that the northness of the surface "begins to exist" at that point: you're still just at a point on the surface, itself. There's nowhere for the northness of the surface to begin from. The only thing close would be the point in outerspace just above the surface of the earth, but then you're no longer on the surface anymore so technically you're "nowhere". That would be northness comming from nowhere, like the universe comming from nothing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 4:07 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 8:27 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13375
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 114 of 177 (655907)
03-14-2012 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 4:07 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

Did time itself "begin to exist" at the Big Bang? I would answer "yes". But you and PaulK are forced to answer "no". To both of you, a "yes" answer would imply the logical impossibility that there was a time before time existed.

Why do I have to answer "no" ? I'm not making any definite claim on the matter. If anything, you have to answer "no" because otherwise you contradict your own claim that God is infinitely old.

quote:

I think you are inferring much too much from the phrase "began to exist".

Actually I think that the problem is that YOU are inferring too much, or rather the Kalam argument is. According to the Kalam argument something that begins to exist must have a cause.

So, what you need to explain is what you mean by "begin to exist", tell us if you claim that anything which "begin to exist" in the sense you employ needs a cause - and if it does require a cause explain why it requires a cause.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 4:07 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15987
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 115 of 177 (655915)
03-14-2012 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 10:56 AM


Re: Always existing.
False. I have repeated my words twice. Please go back and re-read them.

You and PaulK are arguing at cross-purposes. When Paul says that the universe has always existed, he doesn't mean that the universe has existed for an infinite period of time, but that it has existed for all time, i.e. there was never a time when the universe didn't exist. Now this is in fact implied by a cosmological model model in which the universe starts at T=0 and there is no time before T=0. Your statements therefore do imply that the universe has always existed in the sense in which PaulK is using that phrase.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 10:56 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 7:57 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1425
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 116 of 177 (655916)
03-14-2012 7:57 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by Dr Adequate
03-14-2012 7:39 PM


Re: Always existing.
Dr A writes:

You and PaulK are arguing at cross-purposes. When Paul says that the universe has always existed, he doesn't mean that the universe has existed for an infinite period of time, but that it has existed for all time, i.e. there was never a time when the universe didn't exist. Now this is in fact implied by a cosmological model model in which the universe starts at T=0 and there is no time before T=0. Your statements therefore do imply that the universe has always existed in the sense in which PaulK is using that phrase.


I believe that the problem is that CS and PaulK are trying to infer more from the phrase "began to exist" than is meant (more than is meant either by me or by WLC in his presentation of the Kalaam argument).

"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 115 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-14-2012 7:39 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by PaulK, posted 03-15-2012 2:22 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 692 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 117 of 177 (655917)
03-14-2012 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by New Cat's Eye
03-14-2012 9:48 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Catholic Scientist writes:

So?

That's beside the point that there are gods that can be postulated that didn't begin to exist.

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 9:48 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 10:19 AM Evlreala has responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1425
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 118 of 177 (655920)
03-14-2012 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by New Cat's Eye
03-14-2012 4:24 PM


Re: Always existing.
CS writes:


Something cannot begin to exist if it wasn't non-existant at some point.


Perhaps this is a matter of perspective, but I don't accept that this is a necessary implication of "begin to exist". I view the phrase "begin to exist" as essentially synonymous with "have a beginning" or "have a finite age".

What do cosmologists mean that the universe "began" at the Big Bang? What did it "begin" to do? Obviously, it "began to exist".

The universe "began" or "began to exist" about 13.7 billion years ago. Was the universe "nonexistent" 20 billion years ago? I suppose you could say "yes", but the answer is a bit meaningless since that time itself did not exist.

CS writes:


KBertsche writes:

Rather, I claim that the universe "began to exist" at T=0.


Well that's different... that implies a a T<0. Before, you were saying that the universe began to exist from T=0; which implies it didn't exist at T=0. It can't simultaneously begin to exist both from and at T=0. That's just not what beginning means.

Nothing is "different". I never used the phrase "from t=0"; it was always "at t=0".

Why must negative times exist? We could say that our measurements of latitude "begin" or "begin to exist" at the earth's North Pole. But this does NOT imply that there must be something north of the North Pole. Likewise, mention of t=0 does NOT necessarily imply that t<0 exists.


"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 113 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-14-2012 4:24 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by PaulK, posted 03-15-2012 2:32 AM kbertsche has responded
 Message 121 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 10:16 AM kbertsche has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13375
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 119 of 177 (655940)
03-15-2012 2:22 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 7:57 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

I believe that the problem is that CS and PaulK are trying to infer more from the phrase "began to exist" than is meant (more than is meant either by me or by WLC in his presentation of the Kalaam argument).

In my case it is now clear that YOU want to infer more from the phrase than I believe is valid. YOU wish to infer a requirement for a cause (assuming that you are being honest about it). But you aren't prepared to offer any reason why something that has always existed requires a cause.

But then again maybe you aren't being honest, and the only point of the phrase is an attempt to obscure the fact that we are speaking of something that - according to the Kalam argument - has always existed. Certainly you are offering nothing more at this stage.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 7:57 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13375
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 120 of 177 (655942)
03-15-2012 2:32 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 8:27 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

Perhaps this is a matter of perspective, but I don't accept that this is a necessary implication of "begin to exist". I view the phrase "begin to exist" as essentially synonymous with "have a beginning" or "have a finite age".

Since "have a finite age" is the only one of the two to have a clear meaning at this stage I will use that.

Now, according to the Kalam argument past time is finite, so everything has a finite age. This means that everything that exists has "begun to exist" by your meaning - and therefore that according to the Kalam argument everything that exists must have a cause. But clearly this isn't your position, Therefore either you are opposed to the Kalam argument or this is NOT what you mean by "begins to exist".

So yet again, we see that supporters of the Kalam argument cannot let themselves understand the issues.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by kbertsche, posted 03-14-2012 8:27 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by kbertsche, posted 03-15-2012 10:51 PM PaulK has responded

    
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