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Author Topic:   The Kalam cosmological argument
Percy
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Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 64 of 177 (654728)
03-03-2012 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Shimbabwe
03-03-2012 10:37 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Shimbabwe writes:

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence.

This is falsified by the existence of virtual particles that flit in and out of existence with no cause whatsoever.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-03-2012 10:37 AM Shimbabwe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by kbertsche, posted 03-03-2012 2:04 PM Percy has responded
 Message 69 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-03-2012 9:14 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 66 of 177 (654741)
03-03-2012 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by kbertsche
03-03-2012 2:04 PM


Re: Reply to PAulK
kbertsche writes:

Couldn't we say that the "cause" of these virtual particles is the nature of the vacuum and the nature of quantum mechanics? If so, they DO have a cause.

Sure, we could say that. And we could say that the cause of the universe is the nature of nothingness. It's just another way of saying you don't know the cause.

Causation means one event causes another event. One billiard ball striking another billiard ball causes it to move. Phenomena like the Casimir effect, virtual particles and radioactive decay have no cause. Some things have a cause, some things don't.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by kbertsche, posted 03-03-2012 2:04 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by kbertsche, posted 03-04-2012 11:13 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 70 of 177 (654762)
03-03-2012 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Shimbabwe
03-03-2012 9:14 PM


Re: Reply to PAulK
But everything has a cause, right? What causes virtual particles to flit into existence?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-03-2012 9:14 PM Shimbabwe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-03-2012 10:54 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 75 of 177 (654779)
03-04-2012 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Shimbabwe
03-03-2012 10:54 PM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Shimbabwe writes:

Everything that BEGINS to exist has a cause according to Kalam...

Yes, that's fine.

As to what causes virtual particles to flit into existence? I have virtually no idea.

Then isn't it possible that there is no cause to their existence, contradicting the first principle of the Kalam argument?

--Percy


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 Message 72 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-03-2012 10:54 PM Shimbabwe has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 77 of 177 (654792)
03-04-2012 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by kbertsche
03-04-2012 11:13 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
kbertshe writes:

Perhaps, but we need to be careful how we define both "causation" and "event". If you define "event" broadly enough to include a "state of being", I would agree.

I'm not using any specialized terminology or trying to draw fine distinctions. I hope I'm just using the everyday meaning of words.

Using the wording from the opening post, Premise 2 of Syllogism 2, the Kalam Cosmological Argument assumes that "Everything that happens/starts has a cause." This isn't the only way to state this premise. Wikipedia gives both a classical formulation ("Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence") and a contemporary ("Whatever begins to exist must have an external cause").

People intuit this premise from observation, for example, of a pea plant or a volcano or a house being created. But all these observations are only of existing matter being reshaped and reorganized. No matter is actually being brought into existence. It's just existing matter being reconfigured. Nothing is actually being poofed into existence.

To elaborate, no one says, or at least no biologist says, that a pea plant is created because of the nature of seeds, earth and water. Biologists know to a fairly good level of detail the chain of cause and effect events that give rise to a pea pod.

And no one says, or at least no geologist says, that a volcano arises because of the nature of planets. Geologists know to a fairly good level of detail the chain of cause and effect events that give rise to a volcano.

And no one says, or at least no homebuilder says, that a house arises because of the nature of lumber and nails. Homebuilders know to an excellent level of detail the precise chain of cause and effect events that give rise to a house.

You cannot begin with examples of creation that come about through the mere movement of matter around into different shapes and combinations to extrapolate to the creation of matter itself in the form of atomic particles. There is no proximal cause of atomic decay that we know of. Saying that it is the nature of some atomic nuclei to decay is just another way of saying you don't know why a particular atomic nuclei decayed when it did. The Contemporary form of the Kalam argument uses the term "external cause", and there is certainly no "external cause" for atomic decay.

The same is true of virtual particles. Saying they are caused by the nature of space/time is a non-answer, and there is certainly no "external cause."

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by kbertsche, posted 03-04-2012 11:13 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-04-2012 11:44 PM Percy has responded
 Message 80 by kbertsche, posted 03-05-2012 12:06 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 82 of 177 (654870)
03-05-2012 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Shimbabwe
03-04-2012 11:44 PM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Shimbabwe writes:

Even if one grants that virtual particles move about indeterminately without a cause, or that radioactive decay occurs without a cause—I’m not saying they do—neither of these “facts” constitutes a defeater of the first premiss of Kalam.

Isn't the first premise of Kalam, "Whatever begins to exist must have an external cause?" So wouldn't virtual particles or radioactive decay having no cause contradict the first premise of Kalam?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Shimbabwe, posted 03-04-2012 11:44 PM Shimbabwe has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 83 of 177 (654871)
03-05-2012 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by kbertsche
03-05-2012 12:06 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Hi KBertsche,

You seem to be assigning the label "cause" indiscriminately. Instability is now a cause? The vacuum is a cause? Nothingness is a cause?

Anyway, if nothingness can be a cause of the universe, then I'm fine with the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by kbertsche, posted 03-05-2012 12:06 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Theodoric, posted 03-05-2012 9:36 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 85 by kbertsche, posted 03-05-2012 9:58 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 86 of 177 (654883)
03-05-2012 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by kbertsche
03-05-2012 9:58 AM


Re: Reply to PAulK
Hi KBertsche,

What you say makes sense, and Kalam is fine by me as a philosophical claim. I only have a problem with claims that it tells us something scientifically true about the origin of the universe.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by kbertsche, posted 03-05-2012 9:58 AM kbertsche has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20270
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 89 of 177 (654982)
03-06-2012 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by AdminModulous
03-05-2012 12:38 PM


Re: Good subtitles please
The thread's originator is the one who kept titling his messages "Reply to So-and-so", and my recollection is that when it was explained that the board does this for you he responded that he did this at other boards and was going to continue doing it. He's gone now, so if we start using normal message titles it shouldn't be a problem anymore.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by AdminModulous, posted 03-05-2012 12:38 PM AdminModulous has acknowledged this reply

  
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