The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm

Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this?
His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:36 pm

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:03 am
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.
I'm a theist and, for me, the argument fails; not because it's wrong, but because it's not even wrong.

Here we must distinguish between “theistic personalism” and “classical theism.” For a theistic personalist like Craig, God is a person like us; he's just far more powerful. For classical theists, God is transpersonal, not a person, nor does he have emotions like humans. God isn’t like us at all. A classical theist would reject a concept of God which views him as the sort of being who would come to our rescue when we’re in danger, for this wouldn’t be a changeless, eternal being. According to the classical theist, that would be sheer anthropomorphism.

A classical theist does not hold that creatorship is an attribute of God. Instead, God is without part so creatorship is the aggregate of his acting nature. To say "God is love" is not to say God loves in the same sense people love one another.

For a classical theist, the second objection is moot. They'd say of course God does not have something known as "Existential Quantification." And I would ask, "Why is an actual infinity impossible?" True, infinity implies an immutable one, but immutability does not imply immobility. The infinite God is will, and to deny the possibility of his volitional self-limitation amounts to a denial of this very concept of his volitional absoluteness.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm
Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this?
His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.
Krauss is a philosophical moron. Why bring him into it?

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:13 pm

Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm
Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this?
His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.
Krauss is a philosophical moron. Why bring him into it?
How is he a 'philosophical moron'? A moron is a moron, and he's hardly a moron.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:56 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:13 pm
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm
Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this?
His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.
Krauss is a philosophical moron. Why bring him into it?
How is he a 'philosophical moron'? A moron is a moron, and he's hardly a moron.
The same way Dawkins is a good biologist and a moronic theologian/philosopher.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:08 pm

Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:56 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:13 pm
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm


Krauss is a philosophical moron. Why bring him into it?
How is he a 'philosophical moron'? A moron is a moron, and he's hardly a moron.
The same way Dawkins is a good biologist and a moronic theologian/philosopher.
Someone is either a rational, intelligent thinker or they are not. Your 'argument' is moronic.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:13 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm
Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this? His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.
The thing is if the premises of his cosmological argument are true, than it logically necessitates a god.

I personally find him to be a pretty reasonable person. He clearly knows a lot about philosophy. I don't necessarily disagree that he is fooling himself through much of what he's saying, but he does manage to win just about every debate he's in. I think he gets a pretty unfair rap from a lot of atheists, typically because they don't actually understand what he's saying.

I wasn't aware about the dinosaur thing though. Are you sure that is WLC?

Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:36 pm
Here we must distinguish between “theistic personalism” and “classical theism.” For a theistic personalist like Craig, God is a person like us; he's just far more powerful. For classical theists, God is transpersonal, not a person, nor does he have emotions like humans. God isn’t like us at all. A classical theist would reject a concept of God which views him as the sort of being who would come to our rescue when we’re in danger, for this wouldn’t be a changeless, eternal being. According to the classical theist, that would be sheer anthropomorphism.
I don't think he's trying to say our consciousness is an exact translation of what his is like, all that's being said is that god has some sort of free will. I think you'd agree with that.
A classical theist does not hold that creatorship is an attribute of God. Instead, God is without part so creatorship is the aggregate of his acting nature. To say "God is love" is not to say God loves in the same sense people love one another.
What you're saying just sounds like a piece of poetry. It sounds pretty immaterial, because it's just the philosophical concept of an attribute, and we're not trying to say that god has a physical part of his body responsible for his free will, or anything like that.
For a classical theist, the second objection is moot. They'd say of course God does not have something known as "Existential Quantification."
It's not God that lacks existential quantification, but a characteristic in him they're positing for an argument they've created. Before you use a concept, you have to have a rough idea of what that concept means. To be clear, mere inconceivability isn't an issue, because we can't concieve of a hall of a million mirrors, yet we know something like that could exist. We know there are more than 2 dimensions, yet that's all we observe in. What those things have, however, are prior and disconjunctional examples by extrapolation. Timelessness, and more specifically spacelessness, doesn't make any sense in our minds as a concept itself.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by uwot » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:31 pm

Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm
I suppose it would be nice if it were that simple.
It is. There are three pillars of physics and cosmology:
1. Observation.
2. Mathematical analysis.
3. Hypothesis.
Different theories jumble those three up, and some dispense with hypotheses all together. But if there is no observation, then whatever you are talking about is metaphysics; literally beyond physics. God, for instance.
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm
If it's "bad science"...
It's bad science because Craig is assuming an ex nihilo creation. There isn't enough data to include that as a premise in an argument you claim to be sound.
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm
...then the whole scientific enterprise is invalidated...
No, because the critical pillars of physics and cosmology are observation and mathematical analysis.
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:26 pm
...and those "several theories" you're talking about presume pre-existing lawful conditions.
The "several theories" are hypotheses, which are not essential to physics anyway. The trick is to create a mathematical model, based on the hypothesis, which is either simpler to use, or more accurate than current models. If it is neither, it's a bit pointless. Better still, develop some experiment that will create a phenomenon that only one hypothesis can account for.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:51 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:13 pm
The thing is if the premises of his cosmological argument are true, than it logically necessitates a god.

What rubbish. It's only his claim that it's the only possible conclusion. Right. So Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins aren't clever enough to understand a great mind like that of Wily Craig. They know a smokescreen when they see one.
And what exactly do you mean by 'winning' a debate? All it means, if there can be a 'winner', is that one person is better at debating. It doesn't alter facts. If he's a 'philosopher' then why is he trying to dress his 'argument' up as science?
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:55 am

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.
I think the first premise certainly is a sound premise, but I think what you're saying is that it's not a valid premise, and for something like this, there honestly may be no real difference. There are a few different reasons why craig believes the first premise holds true.
The first one is, that it is a kind of first principle of metaphysics that something cannot come from nothing; out of nothing nothing comes. Aristotle put it that being only arises from being, it doesn't come from non-being. And I think that this is a metaphysical truth that we do intuit rationally when we think about it.

Now I think that the questioner doesn't understand, perhaps, what philosophers mean when they talk about intuition. It's not like women's intuition, some sort of mysterious feeling or something; rather this would be a way of knowing some sort of a truth that is so basic, it's so primitive, that it is grasped as evidently true without needing to provide some deeper proof of it. Examples would include, for example, the truths of logic: p implies q; p; therefore q. Now how do you know that that logical truth is in fact true? There's no way to prove it because any proof would have to appeal to logic. So the truths of logic are something that one simply knows by a rational intuition when you look at them; it's just clear that they are true. Or modal truths, for example, that I could not have been an alligator. When you think about that I think it's obvious that being a person is something that someone has essentially, so that I could not have been a non-person like an alligator or a chair; that would be a different being than me. How do I know that? Well, you can't prove that but it just seems evident when you think about it, that I could not have been an alligator, for example. Or other sorts of intuitive truths. This table could not have been made of ice. When you think about it that seems intuitively true; it's not that you can prove it but it just seems evident.

And I would say in the same way when you think about the metaphysical principle that something cannot come from nothing, that seems to me to just be evidently true. And I don't think that this is idiosyncratic to me; on the contrary this is one of the oldest principles of metaphysics, Kevin, that has been recognized since the time of ancient Greek philosophy right up through the present day, so that I stand well within the mainstream of philosophical thought in saying this
So when I say that there may well be no real difference between sound and valid in this case, is because craig believes it's true exactly because it seems intuitively true, likening the idea to how the law of thoughts are intuitively true. His other reasons for the premise are:
And what Prior and Edwards pointed out is this: if something can come into being without a cause then why doesn't just anything and everything come into being without a cause? Why doesn't root beer and bicycles and Beethoven pop into being uncaused out of nothing? There can't be anything about nothing that would constrain what pops into being because nothing isn't anything, it has no properties, no potentialities, no being whatsoever. So if something can truly just pop into existence uncaused out of nothing then it's inexplicable why just anything and everything doesn't pop into being out of nothing. Why is it only universes that can pop into existence uncaused out of nothing? What makes nothingness so discriminatory?
And then finally the third line of defense would be as an inductive inference, namely, as we look around the world, as we explore the natural world, we see that things don't just pop into existence uncaused from nothing. Things that begin to exist do have causes. So even the scientific naturalist ought to agree with this premise, and in fact, I think, most of them do.
It's something to note that WLC has an interpretation of quantum mechanics that the particles created by the quantum field comes from elsewhere.
unwot wrote: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.
It honestly doesn't matter to the argument if there was; He think it's impossible for something to be eternal in the traditional sense of having an infinite past, and that only a being could cause in timelessness. I explained why in my first post. If there was something before the big bang, the same thing is just posited for that.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Reflex » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:03 am

1. Observation.
2. Mathematical analysis.
3. Hypothesis.
So you’re a proponent of scientism/positivism/objectivism? Funny. I always thought it takes all place in the subjective mind. If it was as simple as you say it is, consensus would be much easier

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:15 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:51 am
What rubbish. It's only his claim that it's the only possible conclusion.
Well he uses deductive reasoning to show why it is. If you're trying to say that there could always be another conclusion to an argument, I think we'd need to go on a case-by-case basis.
Right. So Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins aren't clever enough to understand a great mind like that of Wily Craig. They know a smokescreen when they see one.
And why exactly do you mean by 'winning' a debate? All it means, if there can be a 'winner', is that one person is better at debating. It doesn't alter facts.
Well, I actually agree with reflex that Dawkin is not at all a very competent philosopher who knows the field. I much prefer Sam harris as far as philosophical discussion does. I don't see why it has to be, "either someone is intelligent thinker, or they are not". People just specialize in different fields. Dawkins is a biologist first and foremost, so I wouldn't expect him to know the ins and outs of argumentation.

I think he 'wins', because I think that he logically reprehends almost every person who he debates, and they don't usually know how to respond in a relevant way. That's not to say his reasoning is typically correct, it's just to say he tends to use better reasoning than his opponents.
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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by thedoc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:17 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:13 pm
Reflex wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm
Craig is a professional liar. People who feel the need to speak in gibberish are only doing it because they have something to hide. Many professions do this. He claims to 'know' there are no dinosaurs. Has he searched every inch of the planet? How does he know this?
His argument: There is a universe. It must have started somewhere. Therefore some kind of supernatural thingy must have made it in the first place. Wow. That really blows Lawrence Krauss' 'A universe from nothing' lecture out of the water.
Krauss is a philosophical moron. Why bring him into it?
How is he a 'philosophical moron'? A moron is a moron, and he's hardly a moron.
Reflex doesn't understand the argument, so his "reflex" is to call him a moron.

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:12 am

Sir-Sister-of-Suck wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:15 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:51 am
What rubbish. It's only his claim that it's the only possible conclusion.
Well he uses deductive reasoning to show why it is. If you're trying to say that there could always be another conclusion to an argument, I think we'd need to go on a case-by-case basis.
Right. So Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins aren't clever enough to understand a great mind like that of Wily Craig. They know a smokescreen when they see one.
And why exactly do you mean by 'winning' a debate? All it means, if there can be a 'winner', is that one person is better at debating. It doesn't alter facts.
Well, I actually agree with reflex that Dawkin is not at all a very competent philosopher who knows the field. I much prefer Sam harris as far as philosophical discussion does. I don't see why it has to be, "either someone is intelligent thinker, or they are not". People just specialize in different fields. Dawkins is a biologist first and foremost, so I wouldn't expect him to know the ins and outs of argumentation.

I think he 'wins', because I think that he logically reprehends almost every person who he debates, and they don't usually know how to respond in a relevant way. That's not to say his reasoning is typically correct, it's just to say he tends to use better reasoning than his opponents.
Not sure what you mean by 'reprehends'. Could you give some examples of where he has 'won' and how? If he 'won', does this mean he has proven 'god's' existence? Why do you think he's called a 'christian' apologist?

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Re: The Kalam cosmological argument - any objections ?

Post by Sir-Sister-of-Suck » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:18 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:12 am
Not sure what you mean by 'reprehends'.
I think he's just really good at tearing apart someone's objection. It sort goes back to what I was saying, people often do just misunderstand his points. If you want some good examples for that, you don't need to look any further than within this thread. On the defensive aspect, I think he's a very good debater who knows how to point that out.
If he 'won', does this mean he has proven 'god's' existence? Why do you think he's called a 'christian' apologist?
No. You know I'm an atheist, why would you ask that? I told you that's not what it means. I just mean he does a better job at presenting his case than his opponent does at tearing it apart, or making their own case.

Though almost none of his main arguments are exclusively applicable to christianity, I do realize he's a heavily biased figure with his mind well made up.

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