Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 114 (8789 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 09-19-2017 3:00 PM
351 online now:
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Porkncheese
Happy Birthday: AdminPhat
Post Volume:
Total: 819,103 Year: 23,709/21,208 Month: 1,674/2,468 Week: 183/822 Day: 58/69 Hour: 0/2

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
...
78
9
101112Next
Author Topic:   The Kalam cosmological argument
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11700
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 121 of 177 (655996)
03-15-2012 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by kbertsche
03-14-2012 8:27 PM


Re: Always existing.
Thanks for the discussion, kb.

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".

Why? Is there anything other than it ruining the argument?

What do cosmologists mean that the universe "began" at the Big Bang?

They mean: "I'm trying to explain this complicated phenomenon as consisely as possible so I'll just use this word that everybody knows even though it doesn't adequately describe what's going on."

What did it "begin" to do? Obviously, it "began to exist".

It began to exist as we know it, but it wasn't non-existant before that.

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

In Message 110, you wrote:

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).

That's a "from".

Why must negative times exist?

Negative time must exist if your postulating the beginning of the existence of the universe being at T=0 because you have to have a point in time from which it begins from, that is; a point in time where the universe does not exist. And any point in time before zero must be negative.

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.

When its analogous to the singularity at the initial conditions of the universe, that's exactly what it means.

Likewise, mention of t=0 does NOT necessarily imply that t<0 exists.

Sure, the mention of it doesn't. Its the applying of a beginning in time at that point that does.


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 127 by kbertsche, posted 03-15-2012 11:10 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11700
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 122 of 177 (655997)
03-15-2012 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Evlreala
03-14-2012 7:58 PM


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

Are you sure? I thought the Kalam Get-Outta-First-Cause-Free card was the eternal-ness of the god? That it being eternal meant that it, itself, didn't need a cause.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Evlreala, posted 03-14-2012 7:58 PM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by Evlreala, posted 03-15-2012 5:02 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Evlreala
Member (Idle past 603 days)
Posts: 88
From: Portland, OR United States of America
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 123 of 177 (656023)
03-15-2012 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by New Cat's Eye
03-15-2012 10:19 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Are you sure? I thought the Kalam Get-Outta-First-Cause-Free card was the eternal-ness of the god? That it being eternal meant that it, itself, didn't need a cause.

I am sure, just because I claimed my comment was pertinent to the Kalam cosmological argument, doesn't mean it was necessarily in favor of it.

Even if there is an eternally existing god, if the universe is eternally existing as well, the Kalam cosmological argument still falls apart.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 10:19 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 5:21 PM Evlreala has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11700
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 124 of 177 (656026)
03-15-2012 5:21 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Evlreala
03-15-2012 5:02 PM


I am sure,

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

just because I claimed my comment was pertinent to the Kalam cosmological argument, doesn't mean it was necessarily in favor of it.

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

Even if there is an eternally existing god, if the universe is eternally existing as well, the Kalam cosmological argument still falls apart.

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

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 I'm not seeing the relevance of your point nor how mine is irrelevant. And I don't see how my rebuttal of any god also requiring a cause has been dealt with within the Kalam argument.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by Evlreala, posted 03-15-2012 5:02 PM Evlreala has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-15-2012 6:00 PM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply
 Message 155 by Evlreala, posted 03-19-2012 11:55 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 6.7


Message 125 of 177 (656028)
03-15-2012 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by New Cat's Eye
03-15-2012 5:21 PM


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

No, it's fair enough to attack an argument on the grounds that its premises are untrue or unproven. Indeed, this is the most usual thing that's wrong with arguments. Subtle logical fallacies are actually fairly rare as opposed to the more common problem that the premises were extracted from their proponent's nether orifice.


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 acknowledged this reply

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1372
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 126 of 177 (656036)
03-15-2012 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by PaulK
03-15-2012 2:32 AM


Re: Always existing.
PaulK writes:

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


This sounds accurate to me. As I read William Lane Craig's presentation of the Kalaam argument, when he says the universe "began to exist" he pretty much means that it does not have an infinite past, but has a finite age.

PaulK writes:

Now, according to the Kalam argument past time is finite, so everything has a finite age.


Everything that began with the universe or later has a finite age.

But not everything necessarily began at all, or has a finite age. For example, God. Or perhaps logical and mathematical truths, such as 2+2=4.

PaulK writes:

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".

God did not "begin to exist", of course. He has always existed.

PaulK writes:

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


I don't understand your complaint.

"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 120 by PaulK, posted 03-15-2012 2:32 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by PaulK, posted 03-16-2012 2:42 AM kbertsche has responded

    
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1372
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 127 of 177 (656037)
03-15-2012 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by New Cat's Eye
03-15-2012 10:16 AM


Re: Always existing.
CS writes:


KBertsche writes:


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".


Why? Is there anything other than it ruining the argument?

Yes; because this is pretty much the way William Lane Craig (WLC) uses the phrase "begin to exist" in his formulation of the Kalaam argument:
William Lane Craig, The Kalaam Cosmological Argument (MacMillan, 1979), p. 140 writes:

I have argued that the scientific evidence concerning the expansion of the universe and the thermodynamic properties of closed systems indicates that the universe is finite in duration, beginning to exist about fifteen billion years ago.

CS writes:

In Message 110, you wrote:
...
That's a "from".


Oops--I missed this. You are correct.

CS writes:

Negative time must exist if your postulating the beginning of the existence of the universe being at T=0 because you have to have a point in time from which it begins from, that is; a point in time where the universe does not exist. And any point in time before zero must be negative.


I disagree. Here is a quote used by WLC (emphasis mine):
Gott et al, Scientific American, March 1976, p. 65 writes:


...the universe began from a state of infinite density about one Hubble time ago. Space and time were created in that event and so was all the matter in the universe. It is not meaningful to ask what happened before the big bang; it is somewhat like asking what is north of the North Pole.

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 121 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-15-2012 10:16 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by Omnivorous, posted 03-16-2012 12:08 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply
 Message 130 by New Cat's Eye, posted 03-16-2012 8:39 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 128 of 177 (656039)
03-16-2012 12:08 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by kbertsche
03-15-2012 11:10 PM


Re: Always existing.
kbertsche quoting Gott et al writes:

It is not meaningful to ask what happened before the big bang; it is somewhat like asking what is north of the North Pole.

Please pardon the brief aside...

I find the question of "what is north of the North Pole" in this context an interesting one, and certainly not meaningless.

What we lack are meaningful answers.

Don't blame the question.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by kbertsche, posted 03-15-2012 11:10 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13110
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 129 of 177 (656041)
03-16-2012 2:42 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by kbertsche
03-15-2012 10:51 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

This sounds accurate to me. As I read William Lane Craig's presentation of the Kalaam argument, when he says the universe "began to exist" he pretty much means that it does not have an infinite past, but has a finite age.

I can assure you that you are wrong on this point. Craig comes up with his own definition of "beginning" (which has other problems but not the ones of your preferred definition). Indeed, his own arguments for a finite past would contradict an assumption of infinite age for anything, so obviously he is not using your definition, because he would see the problem.

quote:

Everything that began with the universe or later has a finite age.

Nothing existed before the first moment of time (because there is no "before the first moment of time"), thus with the Kalam argument's assumption of a past finite time EVERYTHING "began to exist" (as you define it) at T=o or later.

quote:

But not everything necessarily began at all, or has a finite age. For example, God. Or perhaps logical and mathematical truths, such as 2+2=4.

Only if you assume an infinite past. Which contradicts the Kalam argument. If past time is finite, nothing can have existed for any longer than that.

quote:

God did not "begin to exist", of course. He has always existed.

Under the assumptions and definitions that we are dealing with the Universe has always existed and God "began to exist"...

I am sorry that you can't let yourself see the contradiction.

quote:

I don't understand your complaint.

Of course not, that's the point, You are blatantly contradicting yourself and you can't let yourself see it. You can't just assume that past time is both finite and infinite depending on whether it is convenient to you - not if you are hoping to make anything like a rational argument. But you still do it, and you can't even see it, staring you in the face.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by kbertsche, posted 03-15-2012 10:51 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by kbertsche, posted 03-16-2012 9:58 AM PaulK has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11700
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 130 of 177 (656047)
03-16-2012 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 127 by kbertsche
03-15-2012 11:10 PM


Re: Always existing.
quote:
Gott et al, Scientific American, March 1976, p. 65 writes:


...the universe began from a state of infinite density...


If it had a state of infinite density, then it already existed. This cannot mean a begining of existence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by kbertsche, posted 03-15-2012 11:10 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

  
kbertsche
Member
Posts: 1372
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 131 of 177 (656050)
03-16-2012 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 129 by PaulK
03-16-2012 2:42 AM


Re: Always existing.
PaulK writes:

Under the assumptions and definitions that we are dealing with the Universe has always existed and God "began to exist"...

I am sorry that you can't let yourself see the contradiction.

...You are blatantly contradicting yourself and you can't let yourself see it. You can't just assume that past time is both finite and infinite depending on whether it is convenient to you - not if you are hoping to make anything like a rational argument. But you still do it, and you can't even see it, staring you in the face.


You're right; I don't see a contradiction in my position. I only see a contradiction for one who denies the possibility of a transcendent God.

The universe began at a point in the past. It has a beginning and a finite age.

The God of the Bible is a transcendent being, with no beginning and with infinite age. He created the universe and time itself. He is not bound by the time of the universe which He created.

I don't see a contradiction in this.


"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 129 by PaulK, posted 03-16-2012 2:42 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by PaulK, posted 03-16-2012 1:48 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 133 by Theodoric, posted 03-16-2012 2:02 PM kbertsche has responded
 Message 134 by Dr Adequate, posted 03-16-2012 2:03 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13110
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 132 of 177 (656090)
03-16-2012 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by kbertsche
03-16-2012 9:58 AM


Re: Always existing.
quote:

You're right; I don't see a contradiction in my position. I only see a contradiction for one who denies the possibility of a transcendent God.

Calling God "transcendant" doesn't give you license for self-contradiction.

And the contradiction is really obvious. The age of a thing - any thing - is the amount of time it has existed for. Infinite age is only possible if time is infinite. But the Kalam argument insists that time is finite - in fact it includes a sub-argument that (if it works at all) rules out the possibility of infinite age.

quote:

The universe began at a point in the past. It has a beginning and a finite age.

The God of the Bible is a transcendent being, with no beginning and with infinite age. He created the universe and time itself. He is not bound by the time of the universe which He created.


So you're saying that the Kalam argument is wrong and time is infinite ? Is that your final word ?

quote:

I don't see a contradiction in this.

That's because you left it out. You can't sweep the contradiction under thee carpet just by ignoring it, though. You are defending an argument that expressly and intentionally rules out the possibility of an infinite past (in the sense that it denies it, not that it successfully disproves it). So how is it possible for anything to be infinitely old unless the Kalam argument is wrong on that point ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by kbertsche, posted 03-16-2012 9:58 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by kbertsche, posted 03-17-2012 11:42 AM PaulK has responded

    
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5765
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 133 of 177 (656094)
03-16-2012 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by kbertsche
03-16-2012 9:58 AM


Re: Always existing.
The God of the Bible is a transcendent being, with no beginning and with infinite age. He created the universe and time itself. He is not bound by the time of the universe which He created.

I don't see a contradiction in this

But this means nothing. It is mumbo-jumbo and word salad. The words all have meaning but how you have put them together means nothing?

This leads to another step back if this is correct. Where did this god character come from.

with no beginning and with infinite age.

means nothing. If anything it shows intellectual and philosophical laziness.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by kbertsche, posted 03-16-2012 9:58 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by kbertsche, posted 03-17-2012 11:54 AM Theodoric has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 15950
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 6.7


Message 134 of 177 (656095)
03-16-2012 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by kbertsche
03-16-2012 9:58 AM


Re: Always existing.
The God of the Bible is a transcendent being, with no beginning and with infinite age.

Paul's right. You can't say that God has infinite age unless past time is infinite. Moreover, under this formulation you'd have to say that time itself was not something that God created but something that exists independent of him. Finally, you'd run into the principle of sufficient reason. If God existed for an infinite amount of time and then decided to create the universe, why did he decide to create it then and not five minutes earlier or six trillion years later? If prior to that there had been a changeless god sitting about for an infinite amount of time and not creating the universe, then there would be no motive for him to create it at any given point in time.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by kbertsche, posted 03-16-2012 9:58 AM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

  
Shimbabwe
Member (Idle past 1398 days)
Posts: 47
From: Murfreesboro, TN USA
Joined: 09-11-2003


Message 135 of 177 (656153)
03-16-2012 6:17 PM


Objections to premiss one
We have seen a number of attempts to so define the beginning of the universe on such terms as to imply that the universe has always existed AND that it had an absolute beginning in the finite past. Under close examination this refutation of the causal principle (premiss one of the KCA) may be reduced to a mere tautology, e.g. the universe has existed as long as it has existed—in effect, for all TIME.

One can similarly argue that my own consciousness had a beginning—whether shortly after birth, or at two years of age, or any other arbitrary time along the way—AND that it has always existed, so long as I have been aware. Nevertheless, no one I know—aside from a mystic—would assert that my conscience self has always existed. In the same way the universe can be said to be known finite to observers, and yet have existed for all TIME. The objection is not a very strong one, and presents a false dilemma for the first premiss. (Bear in mind that this example has already considered the objection of fallacy of composition, and is immune because it is merely presented as an analogy.)

The fact that the universe did have a finite beginning X number of years ago belies the aforementioned contention. Moreover, current cosmological models including any multi-verse hypothesis, alongside the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theorem, have only reinforced the first premiss of KCA, in that the universe had an absolute beginning, and that there is a causal entity without the known universe. Therefore, no insuperable difficulties have yet been presented contra the first premiss.

The question that remains before us is: Is the causal principle invalidated by some other means? Neither radioactive decay nor virtual particles have been shown to be plausible defeaters of the first premiss. So far, it appears that the first premiss is on very strong footing.

As to the discussions on time and timelessness—mostly attacking a straw man—I will happily deal with that issue as we reach our conclusion. For now, I hope to strengthen the first premiss, which appears to have warded off all challenges thus far.

Edited by Shimbabwe, : Squigglies.


Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by PaulK, posted 03-16-2012 6:41 PM Shimbabwe has responded

    
Prev1
...
78
9
101112Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017