Is there anything beside the Universe that is considered to potentially not have a cause? Almost everything in the collective experiance of man has been shown to have had a precedent cause. Some of these causes we can not identify but that is mearly temporary ignorance.
I don't think our failure to identify causes is mere ignorance. Our current understanding is that types of events have no explanation.
What causes a particular Bismuth-212 atom to emit an alpha particle and a different Bismuth-212 to emit a beta particle?
What causes one particular photon to take a particular path through a diffraction grating such that large numbers of such paths generate a characteristic diffraction pattern?
I don't believe such questions have an answer that we simply have not yet discovered. Our universe is not mechanistic in the sense that perfect knowledge of its current state can allow us to predict exactly its next state.
If events are "caused" simply by matter and energy being in a given state but that state does not "cause" things in any thing like a deterministic fashion, then what does that imply about possible "causes" for the universe. Are those things causes in the convention sense, or in any sense that provides scientific evidence for a creator of the universe?
Instead of facing the question of the relationship between logical causation and temporality and presenting reasoned arguments for it, your argument simply assumes the relationship that you want. Whether you call this "begging the question", "stacking the deck", or "affirming the consequent", it is disingenuous.
If this accusation is true, it applies to you equally as well. When you argue that everything we know of has a cause, wouldn't it be fair to require you to be more specific? Can't we actually say that every caused event that we know of has a cause that is prior in time to the event?
But by dropping that bit of pleading from our premises, our initial premise takes in more ground than our experience justifies, and makes it appear to be reasonable to extend our deductive reasoning to apply to the universe.
The Kalaam argument is nonsense IMO. It is designed to 'convince' the already convinced.
The Big Bang is creation of all matter at once, while Steady State is gradual and consistent creation of matter throughout all time.
The steady state model is not incompatible with an Old Testament creator God.
The steady state model deals with gradual creation for some definition of the word gradual. Steady state could still accommodate, for example, creation of galaxies in a billion years time frame. That might not be compatible with a YEC interpretation of the Old Testament, but not much of reality is.
I'm still chewing on your quantum mechanics example. Don't see anything wrong with it, so you've made your point for now. I don't believe that instantaneous action at a distance is the only interpretation for the phenomena you describe, but I'm not prepared to discuss it without doing some homework.
But the whole cause/effect thing contains an assumption that we can label everything as an effect. By definition all effects must have causes. I'm not going to just accept the Big Bang as an effect and tautologically say that there must be a cause. That would be begging the question. I don't agree that every event or condition has a cause.
As for effects having causes outside of time, surely that idea is well beyond any possible deductive reasoning. We don't know of any events who have causes outside of the time. Even your polarization example does not go that far.
Besides, the very fact that ideas do have influence over clearly physical aspects of reality should be enough to prove that ideas are physical things.
Ideas have influence over reality only because people who hold those ideas in their heads act on those ideas. People are motivated to act based on lots of things such as fear, anger, love, and faith, none of which are physical.
In fact people are motivated to act by things that do not even exist. I cannot imagine any thing less physical than something completely imaginary.
Do you accept that thought has a physical basis? Aren't ideas a form of thought?
I accept that thoughts have a physical basis. But ideas do not and they are not a form of thought. Four is an idea. You are capable of thinking about the number four and of communicating the idea to others. But four itself is an immaterial concept.
You are suggesting that ideas do not exist separate from a material basis. In fact you are suggesting that ideas are noting more thoughts.
I disagree, and it might just be that we are defining ideas differently. What I believe ideas to be are abstract concepts that are separate from the thoughts, writings, and objects that express them. For example, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears is independent from any medium or thought that contains that story.
If indeed our difference is one of definition, then it either we need to agree on a definition or I need to use different examples. But I don't believe the equivocating we are engaged in is helpful. Yes I will agree that concepts must be embodied before they have a physical effect.
This is one of the standard myths I showed was false in my earlier thread.
For one thing, what you state does not even conflict with what Son Goku has said. Given that the BB model says nothing about the universe as a singularity, there is no conflict between what you are claiming to disprove and what Son Goku has described.
Secondly, you didn't prove anything was false. At best you asserted and presented an argument for your position. But you really didn't even do that. You simply told us that you didn't believe that a singularity could exist for more than a microsecond. But your personal incredulity is not proof or even evidence. At best it is an argument scarcely worth the trouble to address.
I understand that you aren't a physicist like Goku, but surely you can read what was actually posted before firing off that scattergun of yours.
But let's say, for the sake of argument, the singularity was real and the laws of physics were suspended. What triggered the change? Why would the universe, stable for aeons, suddenly expand in a flash of light and heat generating the cosmic microwave background radiation we see today? Did the laws of physics just get tired? Did gravity finally just give in to the push to expand?
What you call the laws of physics are our description of what happens. They are not some magic that makes the universe work. We express those laws in mathematics. So it is impossible for the math to break down and for the laws of physics as we understand them, not to not break down. We don't have any clue how particles behave in situations that aren't even at the point of singularity.
Secondly, the point remains that you are criticizing a point of view that no poster who knows what he is talking about endorses. You seem to have a rational mind, but you don't seem to know much about cosmology. I suspect if you learn some cosmology, you'll be able to create better attacks on the arguments presented to you.
You also have a Buzsaw like tendency to jump on things that seem to agree with your position. One thing that might arm you against that is knowing just a little more about the physics and people you are citing.
I don't see how (A) "began to exist" implies prior time
"Began to exist" has the connotation of requiring a process that changed a state from non-existence to existence for the universe. Process are changes that occur over time. There is also the problem that existence and non-existence would logically appear to be discrete states and not a continuum of states.
Perhaps that is not the intended meaning, but if not, the discussion here always seems to introduce that unintended meaning. As long as we recognize that such arguments are just equivocation, I'm fine with using the expression.
On the other hand, the concept of having a finite age does not come with the same baggage. The latter term does not suggest prior time unless your personal mindset is to require such a thing. Finite age merely leaves open a possibility of a prior time.