The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Dachshund
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The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Dachshund » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:54 pm

I think that William Craig's work on the Kalam cosmological argument provides the most compelling case for the probable existence of "God" that we have to date.

So far I have not read any objections that seriously undercut or defeat any of the core components of Craig's argument.

If any one has any philosophical or scientific objection/s that they think erode or destroy the credibility of Craig's Kalam argument for "God", I would be interested to hear what they are ?

Regards

John

DPMartin
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by DPMartin » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:29 pm

Dachshund wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:54 pm
I think that William Craig's work on the Kalam cosmological argument provides the most compelling case for the probable existence of "God" that we have to date.

So far I have not read any objections that seriously undercut or defeat any of the core components of Craig's argument.

If any one has any philosophical or scientific objection/s that they think erode or destroy the credibility of Craig's Kalam argument for "God", I would be interested to hear what they are ?

Regards

John
well the "Big Bang" theory kind of falls into that line of thinking doesn't it?

I have noticed that many theists argue against big bang thinking, but it supports that something started it. before the big bang was accepted in the intellectual community "science", it was generally thought in the intellectual community "science", that the universe was a eternal thing, as in always was.


but I'm not familiar with whether or not this guy Craig, actually proves that the universe has a beginning. and his thinking was published in 1979 at least 9 years after Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and George F. R. Ellis published papers in 1968 and 1970. so within the science community it was being accepted and worked on, that the universe had a beginning. and simply using a already accepted line of thinking philosophically that, nothing is without a cause. but that could back fire because many go on about whether or not God has a cause. and there's no proof philosophy wise, that God exists, or the argument would be over.

if there be any hope of proof of God, the Creator and Judge, it would be in the undeniable existence of life, which is totally separate from the elements of the universe such as time energy space and matter. hence then the cause, if you will, is to accommodate the presence of life, and living.

maybe one could say it comes down to a chicken or the egg like argument.

uwot
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by uwot » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

Dachshund wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:54 pm
I think that William Craig's work on the Kalam cosmological argument provides the most compelling case for the probable existence of "God" that we have to date.

So far I have not read any objections that seriously undercut or defeat any of the core components of Craig's argument.

If any one has any philosophical or scientific objection/s that they think erode or destroy the credibility of Craig's Kalam argument for "God", I would be interested to hear what they are ?

Regards

John
Well, if I can paraphrase WC (Ha! Maybe there is a god.), his argument is that:
Everything that has a beginning, has a cause.
The universe had a beginning.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

If something like the above is how you understand WC's take on the cosmological argument, it falls at the first hurdle. There is no logically necessary connection between 'beginning' and 'cause'. You can state it as a scientific hypothesis, and believe it all you will, but it is not a sound logical premise.
The second premise is selective opportunism. He is assuming that the the Big Bang occurred ex nihilo, and that therefore there was nothing 'physical' before the 'creation'. There are several theories about the conditions prior to the Big Bang; the fact is we simply don't know.
So there you go; one of each. The first premise is unsound because of rotten philosophy; the second because of even worse science.

DPMartin
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by DPMartin » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:49 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm
Dachshund wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:54 pm
I think that William Craig's work on the Kalam cosmological argument provides the most compelling case for the probable existence of "God" that we have to date.

So far I have not read any objections that seriously undercut or defeat any of the core components of Craig's argument.

If any one has any philosophical or scientific objection/s that they think erode or destroy the credibility of Craig's Kalam argument for "God", I would be interested to hear what they are ?

Regards

John
Well, if I can paraphrase WC (Ha! Maybe there is a god.), his argument is that:
Everything that has a beginning, has a cause.
The universe had a beginning.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

If something like the above is how you understand WC's take on the cosmological argument, it falls at the first hurdle. There is no logically necessary connection between 'beginning' and 'cause'. You can state it as a scientific hypothesis, and believe it all you will, but it is not a sound logical premise.
The second premise is selective opportunism. He is assuming that the the Big Bang occurred ex nihilo, and that therefore there was nothing 'physical' before the 'creation'. There are several theories about the conditions prior to the Big Bang; the fact is we simply don't know.
So there you go; one of each. The first premise is unsound because of rotten philosophy; the second because of even worse science.
I'd say you're correct, in respect to proof that there is a God, its a crash and burn which is probably why it doesn't get much in the way of attention.

osgart
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by osgart » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:09 pm

Infinite regression, cyclical universe, branes in higher dimensions, or uncaused cause. Those seem to be the only options. The thing about an uncaused cause is that it entails agency, and an eternal reality that seems to answer people's questions about fine tuning, and the logical functional organization of living bodies, and the existence of intelligence. So it satisfies to accept it, but there are many things that go against it's grain, such as the brute indifference to life that the universe is. And randomness, and chaos exist in the universe, not just order. So one might scale down the creator (s), to be a novice fiddler, and far less than an perfect God.

To me something like the Akashic field must exist. And life has always been apart of existence, desperately trying to make itself a home but existing on the fringes of reality.
Perhaps life will evolve and advance, but perhaps not.

Reflex
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:13 pm

osgart wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:09 pm
Infinite regression, cyclical universe, branes in higher dimensions, or uncaused cause. Those seem to be the only options. The thing about an uncaused cause is that it entails agency, and an eternal reality that seems to answer people's questions about fine tuning, and the logical functional organization of living bodies, and the existence of intelligence. So it satisfies to accept it, but there are many things that go against it's grain, such as the brute indifference to life that the universe is. And randomness, and chaos exist in the universe, not just order. So one might scale down the creator (s), to be a novice fiddler, and far less than an perfect God.

To me something like the Akashic field must exist. And life has always been apart of existence, desperately trying to make itself a home but existing on the fringes of reality.
Perhaps life will evolve and advance, but perhaps not.
Here’s a good book on that: Science and the Akashic Field

osgart
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by osgart » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:59 am

I actually bought one of Laszlo's books on it. Thanks!

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bahman
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by bahman » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:39 am

Everything that has a beginning just has a beginning.

uwot
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by uwot » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:51 am

DPMartin wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:49 pm
I'd say you're correct...
Me too.

RustyBert
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by RustyBert » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:33 pm

The thing about any of these arguments is that in the end they prove nothing of use to those doing the "proofs". But the provers think they are actually proving something. Even if an argument worked, it would say nothing about what is actually meant by the word "god". It could be an advanced being, it could even be immortal, all the omni's, etc. and that would not in any way imply that this god was the one christians are refering to, or muslims, jews, etc. And even IF somehow it was proven to be the christian god, that god could easily have set things up whereby the so called sacred books are nothing but human inventions. It may have even allowed the humans to write in their books that the books were His and Only His words and yet not be. There's just no leg to stand on in any of these games.

surreptitious57
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by surreptitious57 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:58 pm

The second premise of the Kalam is an assumption. There is no evidence that the Universe had a beginning. Local cosmic expansion had
a beginning but this is not necessarily the Universe. Even if it was it has to be demonstrated for the second premise to be sound. And so
less it can then the Kalam cannot be accepted as true. There is also no scientific reason why the Universe cannot be temporally infinite


surreptitious57
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:46 am

I have not come across that channel before but I will definitely be watching more of his
videos from now on as he is obviously very knowledgeable about science and philosophy

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Sir-Sister-of-Suck
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:03 am

I agree that it is one of the most compelling cases for God. A lot of the people who object to it don't really have an actual grasp of what the argument is based on or why you should agree with its premises, including a few people in this thread. I recently gave my piece on the argument, but Infidels actually does a really good job at explaining the causeless proponent of the argument to atheists. Typically I refer people to this quote, since more or less it's the part of the argument people trip on.
Craig argues that the conclusion to his kalam argument suggests two possibilities: either the conditions that produced the universe are present from eternity (in which case the universe is also eternal) or the conditions produced their effect in time, in which case the universe had a beginning in time (1979, 150). If the universe's cause was mechanical (naturalistic) then either the universe has existed from eternity or it could not have existed at all. This is because any effect must immediately follow a mechanical cause (1979, 150-1). The wind that causes a leaf to detach from its branch cannot determine its own course of action. As soon as the set of necessary conditions within nature is present, the wind must blow. Similarly, if a mechanical set of conditions had produced the cause of the universe's existence, then the universe must have immediately begun to exist. A mechanical cause is unintelligent and cannot distinguish one particular moment in time from another. Therefore, a first mechanical cause could not have produced the universe in time.

A personal Creator, however, may choose to produce an effect at any time the Creator wishes, just as I may choose to eat an apple now or wait until later to do so. Since the universe began to exist-rather than existing from eternity-it is reasonable to conclude that the cause of the universe was a sentient being who willed from eternity to create a temporal universe. Since an actual infinite is impossible, the universe began to exist and could not have come into existence through a mechanical cause. The fact that the universe began to exist requires a particularizer who ex nihilo created the universe. Thus, Craig concludes that "if the universe began to exist, and if the universe is caused, then the cause of the universe must be a personal being who freely chooses to create the world"
It's not to say I agree with the argument, because obviously I don't as I'm an atheist. It's just apparent to me that many have misunderstandings about it, which is natural given the way it makes you think about the concept of an infinite past in such a different way. I have a few different objection that I've taken to the argument over the years, though admittedly I haven't discussed them all that much in recent memory.

My first objection is with the specifics of how timelessness would have to work in order to accommodate the argument. If it's just vertical change, I don't see how actions between an abstract object and a conscious being can then be differentiated, even considering Craigs idea, because they would both go by automatic transition. We could replace 'vertical change' with some other form of progression, but then we would just have 'time'.

Secondly, attributes like timelessness and spacelessness do not have something known as Existential Quantification. They don't have prior examples of occurring, and as far as I'm concerned they don't even have conceivable examples. I don't have as much of an issue with timelessness, assuming it works as the way explained above, and it's mostly the concept of spacelessness that I take an issue with. Typically, a description of an absence of something isn't something that really needs a prior example of existing, but on the concept of spacelessness I believe it absolutely is, because it also lacks logical disjunctions and concievability. As far as we know, it's necessarily true that something needs to take up space in order to affect space, barring rules and laws like gravity and the quantum field, which isn't what I'm talking about. I can go on to explain a bit more with my position on that, if you'd like.

I did have a third objection about how it does not explain why there is something rather than nothing, but more or less, it's ultimately beside the point and I think I already received an answer that I found pretty satisfactory to it.

Reflex
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm

uwot wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

Well, if I can paraphrase WC (Ha! Maybe there is a god.), his argument is that:
Everything that has a beginning, has a cause.
The universe had a beginning.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

If something like the above is how you understand WC's take on the cosmological argument, it falls at the first hurdle. There is no logically necessary connection between 'beginning' and 'cause'. You can state it as a scientific hypothesis, and believe it all you will, but it is not a sound logical premise.
The second premise is selective opportunism. He is assuming that the the Big Bang occurred ex nihilo, and that therefore there was nothing 'physical' before the 'creation'. There are several theories about the conditions prior to the Big Bang; the fact is we simply don't know.
So there you go; one of each. The first premise is unsound because of rotten philosophy; the second because of even worse science.
I suppose it would be nice if it were that simple. If it's "bad science," then the whole scientific enterprise is invalidated, and those "several theories" you're talking about presume pre-existing lawful conditions.

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