Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who Made God and the Kalam Cosmological Argument

The argument doesn't say everything has a cause. What it says is whatever begins to exist must have a cause of its existence. Scientific evidence says that the universe began to exist, and so it needs a cause of its existence. God by definition did not begin to exist, therefore, he needs no cause of his existence.

166 comments:

BeingItself said...

Our observable universe seems to have had a beginning. "Science" currently says nothing about the totality of physical reality.

Did the totality of physical reality have a beginning? Who knows?

But suppose I just declare that the totality of physical reality by definition did not begin to exist.

I hope you would realize that is idiotic.

And so with with your "definition" of god.

Crude said...

But suppose I just declare that the totality of physical reality by definition did not begin to exist.

Are you going to argue that our universe is not the totality of physical reality? Shall you be doing so with science, by chance? ;)

I hope you would realize that is idiotic.

Here's what's idiotic. Victor is explaining that the kalam cosmological argument does not argue that 'everything has a cause' - it's that what begins to exist has a cause. Kalam seeks to prove, philosophically, that the universe began to exist, and what could possible cause it. Scientific evidence currently bolsters the view that the universe began to exist.

What could suffice as a cause of the universe is provided in yet more arguments if Kalam is established - what sort of thing this would be, what properties (for lack of a better word) etc. It's argued that this thing, ultimately, is what would be called God regardless.

Someday, maybe you'll actually read what you criticize. Nah - that's throw your record. ;)

rank sophist said...

But suppose I just declare that the totality of physical reality by definition did not begin to exist.

I hope you would realize that is idiotic.

And so with with your "definition" of god.


Considering that physical things change, I would indeed say that it's idiotic to believe that they had no beginning whatsoever. Again, as the Kalam argument demonstrates, if something physical (changing) were infinitely old, then countless paradoxes would arise. The same does not, of course, apply to non-physical things. You wouldn't know this, since you've probably never actually read the Kalam argument in your life.

Do you ever get tired of making atheism look bad? Is this some kind of elaborate stunt? Are you really a Christian who tries to strawman the atheist position, so that it can be knocked down time and time again?

BeingItself said...

I don't think there is a consensus among physicists as to whether our observable universe is the totality of physical reality.

Of course dishonest jackasses like WLC smuggle in this assumption.

rank sophist said...

I don't think there is a consensus among physicists as to whether our observable universe is the totality of physical reality.

Of course dishonest jackasses like WLC smuggle in this assumption.


Hey, BI. Hey. Guess what. WLC has considered the physical theories that deal with unobservable things outside of our universe. It's almost unbelievable that you didn't know this.

Thanks for giving me more evidence that you're an evangelical in disguise.

cl said...

Vic,

It's sad that you even have to post something so elementary, but, it's true... so many "rational" atheists simply can't grasp the argument.

Crude / rank,

C'mon you guys. The proper response to BI is to *IGNORE* BI. Responding to BI is beneath both of you. Look how successful the Paps challenge was. The less you pay attention to the attention hungry, the less they tend to come around.

Crude said...

cl,

I mostly agree, and you're probably right. Though Paps has stopped coming around for a different reason: it was because I outed him, for a second time, copy-pasting from a website and passing the thoughts off as his own in an attempt to look smart.

He didn't run off because people ignored him. It was because of embarrassment. I believe he hides over at Cowboy Hat's domain now, where he can bluff and mangle knowledge all day, and everyone will agree with him since hey, fellow atheist. ;)

cl said...

"Though Paps has stopped coming around for a different reason: it was because I outed him, for a second time, copy-pasting from a website and passing the thoughts off as his own in an attempt to look smart."

Truth be told, neither of us know why he stopped coming around. I suspect it's a combination. I suspect the Paps challenge was the first blow, then being outed the second. So stop trying to take all the credit Crude!

;)

Papalinton said...

Question: "Who Made God and the Kalam Cosmological Argument?"

Buzzzz!
Answer: Homo sapiens to both parts.

Question: "God by definition did not begin to exist, therefore, he needs no cause of his existence."

Buzzzz!
Answer: Correct. God never got off first base beyond the definitional stage. That which needs no cause for existence does not exist. It was scientists that confirmed that the Big Bang caused this universe to come into existence. Anybody who tells you they know what or who caused that Big Bang is simply talking through their arse.

Nota Bene: It was scientists, not theologians, that had the wherewithall to confirm the beginning of this universe. And neither was it christians or christian theologians that originally postulated the creation of the universe, by a long chalk. They were comparative johnny-come-latelies to the world of mythology, to which they added just another version to the panoply of super-heroes. And no scientist is so stupid, arrogant, haughty, conceited, self-important, egotistic, full of oneself, superior; overbearing, pompous, bumptious, presumptuous, imperious, overweening and immodest [sorry for the list; there was no one suitable word I could find that best captured the psychotypal behaviour underpinning the religiose mindset] to suggest they know what happened and what the prevailing conditions were at the moment of and immediately preceding the Big Bang. Only theists fill that gap with crap.

Discourse on gods, spirits and supernaturalism is best left to literary and mythology circles.



Steven Carr said...

'What it says is whatever begins to exist must have a cause of its existence'

As those stupid atheists claim they know about everything, they must know that everything that begins to exist must have a cause of its existence.

If you deny that is an absolute certainty, basically you are denying you know about absolutely everything that has ever existed.

And who wants to admit to that?

Steven Carr said...

God , by definition, cannot create anything, as Craig's god was dreamed up by human beings.

Craig's god is an idol and can no more create a universe than it can turn water into wine.

Crude said...

Oh boy, you just had to mention his name, cl. ;)

Hey Linton. How's the shameless plagiarism going? Are you back because now you're semi convinced you know how to cover your tracks when you lie and try to pass off others' thoughts as your own, on the grounds that you're too ignorant to comprehend most of what you quote?

Hint: You're not very bright, so you shouldn't trust your own judgment on this. Hence stuff like this:

That which needs no cause for existence does not exist.

Therefore, any atheist who declares the universe needs no cause for existence, is saying the universe does not exist.

Linton says, "DERP!" ;)

Crude said...

Oh boy.

And for an added bonus Carr zooms in to insist that hey, maybe some things DO begin to exist without a cause. Also, maybe 2 + 2 = 5 sometimes. You just haven't tried counting enough times! Look at you, Mister Egomaniac, thinking that just because you know a little math you can definitively declare that 2 + 2 never adds up to 5 in Base 10.

Papalinton said...

"Therefore, any atheist who declares the universe needs no cause for existence, is saying the universe does not exist."

Here we go again; the theistic merry-go-round; round and round on a two thousand year old treadmill.
What an idiotic statement! The thinking behind the formulation of the italicized statement above, word for word, is simply the product of a reality deficit pillock. Anybody that claims to know what or who[?] (an even more stupid a claim made by practicing ignoramuses that do not have the intellect, the training, self-discipline and strength of character to rein in rampant teleology or can recognize agency detection gone feral) caused the universe to exist is pulling his tonsils through his ass.

Professor Victor Stenger, eminent scientist and slayer of christian superstition best illustrates the nonsense-filled core of the above statement:

"Bible Crazy: Where did the universe come from?
Atheist: Why did it have to come from anything?
Bible Crazy: Everything has to come from something.
Atheist: Then, you tell me. Where did the universe came from?
Bible Crazy: The universe came from God.
Atheist: Where did God come from?
Bible Crazy: God did not have to come from anything. He always was.
Atheist: Then everything does not have to come from something after all. Perhaps the universe always was."

Who made god? Humans did.
Who made the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Humans did.

There is no other reasoned or lucid rejoinder.

Crude said...

Here we go again; the theistic merry-go-round; round and round on a two thousand year old treadmill.

Linton, you don't get it.

You're a liar. You're a caught-red-handed multiple-times plagiarist. And worse, your plagiarism was related to *trying to prove you knew what you were talking about, when you clearly didn't*. Trying to troll when you've been exposed for plagiarism and (let's be honest) stupidity, doesn't work. Not even when you decide to get more foul-mouthed in the process.

I appreciate that you ended your weeks-long hiatus the moment you were laughed at - but cl's right. You're really not worth anyone's time anymore.

Onlookers, read the thread I linked to. Linton is, once and for all, done. He's been exposed, and there is literally nothing to him but insults, stupidity, and anger at life itself. Pity him, but responding to him? Think twice before dong it. You've got better uses of your time. ;)

B. Prokop said...

" It was scientists that confirmed that the Big Bang caused this universe to come into existence.

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this!!!

It was the Jesuit-educated Belgian Catholic priest George Lemaitre who is universally acknowledged to be the "father" of the Standard Cosmological Model (a.k.a., the "Big Bang"). Were you also aware that the phrase "Big Bang" was coined as a term of derision by atheist cosmologist Fred Hoyle, who fought for years against the theory, fearing it would undercut any chance of atheism being true?

Papalinton said...

C'mon Crude. Respond to the claims. How does a purveyor of superstitious nonsense with a god-shaped vacuum in his head contribute in any meaningful way to a changing and challenging world going forward? You know as well as I do the societal trends demonstrating the 'enough is enough, already!' stance that the community is taking against the mythos that has plagued Western human civilization for two millennia. No longer is religious claptrap given a free-ride in the marketplace of ideas. Theology, once touted as the principal explanatory tool for all that was described as 'reality' simply pales into insignificance by the sheer force of the explanatory capacity of the sciences, a power that simply dwarfs the parochial, limited, limiting and unfounded claims of the christian worldview. The baton change for the mantle of leadership as the preeminent expository regimen for the advancement of human knowledge and an improving understanding of the human condition, has rightfully been signed over to the singularly greatest achievement of human ingenuity and enterprise in recent history, the paradigm shift to cogent, systematized, empirical and methodological investigation heralding the rise and rise of the sciences over primitive superstition and supernatural woo.

The religion virus is increasingly being recognised by ever larger swathes of the population as the contagion it is and is being attenuated by reason and logic grounded in fact, proofs and evidence ever subjected to concomitant tests of verifiability, validity and falsification.

By all means continue with the embarrassingly credulous and primitive shamanic rituals of the eucharist and the pentecost. But please, do it in the privacy of your own home.

B. Prokop said...

Note how Papalinton totally ignored the epic slapdown of the utter nonsense he was purveying about the origins of the Big Bang theory...

Like all gnus, "if the evidence don't fit, then just pretend it don't exist and make stuff up!"

ozero91 said...

Oh look, what is this?

http://prosblogion.ektopos.com/archives/2012/10/god-and-the-mul.html

Papalinton said...

Bob
Lemaitre was a secular preist. He did not subscribe to nor belong to any religious institute or holy orders. Secular clergy do not take vows. Lemaitre was a product of catholic enculturation as was the norm in his day. It was not of his choosing or volition. It was all he knew from birth, a 'right of passage' so to speak. His love of science was not a product of his religious upbringing. It was the love of science, pure and simple.

Lemaitre did not confirm the Big Bang. He 'proposed' it as a possibility.

A quote from Wiki: "In 1951, when Pope Pius XII tried to use his theory as a justification for Creationism, Lemaitre resented. While a devoted Roman Catholic, he was against mixing science with religion.[16]"

On another occasion, "During Vatican II he was asked to serve on the first special commission to examine the question of contraception. However, as he could not travel to Rome because of his health (he had suffered a heart attack in December 1964), Lemaître demurred, expressing his surprise that he was even chosen, at the time telling a Dominican colleague, P. Henri de Riedmatten, that he thought it was dangerous for a mathematician to venture outside of his speciality.'

So while Lemaitre had a personal predilection towards catholic woo, his clergyship I suspect was rather more an expression of social convention of the time rather than pious commitment. He seemed much more comfortable in the company of scientists than among theologians.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"Note how Papalinton totally ignored the epic slapdown of the utter nonsense he was purveying about the origins of the Big Bang theory..."

Epic slapdown? Where?

B. Prokop said...

Hoo, boy!

(Sorry, guys, for breaking the "Papa Challenge", but I'm stuck indoors due to Hurricane Sandy passing overhead just now, and I've got little else to do - other than cooking up a pot of kick-ass spaghetti sauce which is filling the house with deliciousness. Now if only the power will stay on long enough for me to finish it.)

Where to begin, where to begin?

So you think that only members of religious orders are "true" Catholics, and the rest of us don't count. I think I'll pass on that hilarious nonsense without comment. But thank you for providing me with yet another good belly laugh.

I am also amused by the fact you found it necessary to rush to Wikipedia before responding. You are improving, however. I note that you did not quote info from that source as your own. Good for you!

But I'll have to assume that you had likely never even heard of Lemaitre prior to my posting. Papalinton,, your scientific ignorance is only exceeded by your proclivity to pass yourself off as someone actually knowing something about it.

(By the way, folks, if I stop posting today, just assume I'm sitting in the dark, reading by candlelight!)

Syllabus said...

"How does a purveyor of superstitious nonsense with a god-shaped vacuum in his head contribute in any meaningful way to a changing and challenging world going forward?"

I don't usually answer the sophistry this guy usually bandies about, but I can't help it here:

How did Sir John Polkinghorne, the world renowned physicist and Anglican priest, contribute towards the standard quark model? How did Allan Sandage, arguably the greatest cosmologist of the past century and a mid-life convert, contribute to the understanding of the physical universe? How did James Clark Maxwell, the formulator of classical electromagnetism, contribute towards the understanding of fundamental forces? How did Stanley Jaki, the Catholic priest, contribute towards our applications of Godel's theorems to other branches of mathematics? How did Owen Gingerich, famed astronomer, Harvard professor and theist, contribute towards our knowledge of the cosmos? And how did Francis bloody Collins, very probably the greatest living geneticist and the guy who managed the HGP to completion, and an evangelical Christian, contribute towards an understanding of our genetic code?

Not at all, I guess.

And I don't dogmatists to acknowledge it, either.

Syllabus said...

that should read "expect dogmatists"

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Gillson said...

Then a brusque summary of the Kalam is: Everything has a cause, except for God, who exists, but didn't require a cause, because. . . mumble mumble. . .

I've never been a fan of the cosmological argument anyways.

B. Prokop said...

And let's not forget Nicholas Copernicus, the man who gave us the sun-centered solar system (who I guess "just happened" to be a Catholic Bishop). Or Gregor Mendel, discoverer of genetics, despite being a Catholic monk. Or Buzz Aldrin (like nearly every other astronaut, a devoted Christian), whose first act upon landing on the moon was to take communion.

But you're probably right... these people couldn't possibly have meaningfully contributed to a "changing and challenging world".

Please keep it up, Papalinton. This is where you most consistently prove yourself to be a complete ignoramus.

Syllabus said...

Everything has a cause

No, actually, that's a misrepresentation of the argument.

B. Prokop said...

And the most common misrepresentation at that. As well as being the one that indicates the person has not understood anything about the argument.

Dan Gillson said...

Please explain to me what the difference is between "everything has a cause" and "whatever begins to exist has a cause", then.

Dan Gillson said...

The difference seems to me to be a matter of splitting hairs.

BenYachov said...

Paps, BI and Carr,

You guys defend Atheism like old people screw. With great tedium and rather clumsily.

Would it really kill any of you fundie morons to learn any philosophy?

Syllabus said...

Please explain to me what the difference is between "everything has a cause" and "whatever begins to exist has a cause", then.

The difference is rather obvious. The first assertion would apply across the board, to things timeless are well as time-bound (assuming that this distinction is arguable, of course). The second very clearly makes the distinction between the two, and states that the causality in question applies only to the latter category.

Syllabus said...

Would it really kill any of you fundie morons to learn any philosophy?

Yes.

Dan Gillson said...

In other words, the difference is only obvious if you interpret "everything" as broadly as possible, to highlight a manufactured contrast between "everything" and "whatever exists." Tricksy philosophees, precious . . .

Syllabus said...

In other words, the difference is only obvious if you interpret "everything" as broadly as possible, to highlight a manufactured contrast between "everything" and "whatever exists." Tricksy philosophees, precious . . .

Perhaps we could batter open the gates of Moria with your thick head, Tookish one. But if we're done with calumnies, perhaps you could pay more attention to what I wrote. The difference is not between "everything" and "whatever exists" but "whatever exists" and "whatever begins to exist". It's the temporal distinction that is important.

BenYachov said...


@Gilson
>The difference seems to me to be a matter of splitting hairs.

Seriously? It's as plain as a Bulgarian Pin up!

>"everything has a cause"

Thus there is no thing that exists that doesn't have a cause. The problem of course is that there is no way to explain the origin of an initial act of actuality. Like trying to explain a Caboose being pulled by in infinite series of un-powered box cars & no locomotive.

>"whatever begins to exist has a cause",

Therefore what does not exist has no cause or what has always existed might not have a cause.

Thought in the case of the later it is possible to have an infinite series of accidental causes in succession without a formal beginning but metaphysically you would still need an outside essential cause keeping it going from and for eternity.

Back to the box car analogy you can imagine a series of infinite locomotives on a track without beginning or end moving along. But not un-powered boxcars.

additional:
>n other words, the difference is only obvious if you interpret "everything" as broadly as possible,

Hey it's you Gnu Fundies who do that not us rational Philosophical Theists or Atheists.

After all it is your kind who uses the retort "Well then who created God?".

>to highlight a manufactured contrast between "everything" and "whatever exists." Tricksy philosophees, precious . . .

It's whatever begins to exist not "whatever exists".

When will you Gnus learn basic reading comprehension much less philosophy.

more later or not I have to keep my house from flooding. Stupid Sandy!

B. Prokop said...

"Stupid Sandy"

Next to the word awesome in my dictionary is a picture of what I can see out of my window right now: torrential rain and gale-force winds - and the main storm hasn't even made landfall yet!

As far as this evening, when we're supposed to get 80+ mph winds, I wish I had an inner room to retreat to, but my house doesn't have one. It's gonna be interesting!

BenYachov said...

Stay afloat Bob!

May God be with you.

im-skeptical said...

Dan makes a very good point. It is hair-splitting. The awkward wording of this argument is carefully crafted to precisely split the hair. It could be worded like this: "Everything but God must have a cause of its existence..."

But that just wouldn't sound like a valid argument. Tricksy.

grodrigues said...

@im-skeptical:

"It could be worded like this: "Everything but God must have a cause of its existence...""

John Lennon's song may be one of the most awful songs ever made, but allow me to borrow from it: imagine how much better the world would be if ignoramuses like the one quoted above would just shut their yappers about things they demonstrably know nothing about.

ozero91 said...

Come one guys, you can do better than this. There are a couple valid avenues of objections to the Kalam, but this is ridiculous. You set up a straw-man (Everything but God has a cause for its existence) and then say that the original is wrong because it "splits hairs." I could just say that the Kalam proponents are being precise in there premises.

William said...

BI:

Does a "totality of physical reality" exist? How could we define its edges?

Dan Gillson said...

I'm still not sure if there is a material difference between 'everything', 'whatever exists', and 'whatever begins to exist'. It seems like you're merely insisting that the language be sufficiently technical. Perhaps you can explain to me why the temporal distinction is important.

im-skeptical said...

"I could just say that the Kalam proponents are being precise in there premises."

So how does the premise differ from my statement of it? Sure it's predicated on having a beginning. But the result is the same. You pin things down such the it covers everything but God.

BenYachov said...

ozero91 is right as is grodrigues.

Let me help you Atheist guys out.

Aquinas rejects part of the premise of the Kalam(i.e. that it is not possible for there to be eternal past time). Go look it up!

Wes Morrison who is a Theist in the Paul Tillichian sense (which makes him a Classic Theist who uses a lot of modernist Philosophical language) and sometimes critic of Craig also argues along those line.

Go look them up and offer us better.

BenYachov said...

Hurry too while my city is still here.

B. Prokop said...

"Aquinas rejects part of the premise of the Kalam(i.e. that it is not possible for there to be eternal past time)."

That is one point on which I am so bold as to disagree with Aquinas. And, in fact, to confidently disagree with him.

But as I have already spilled oceans of (virtual) ink on this subject already in previous threads on this website, I will not repeat myself here.

(By the way, it's gone from awesome to downright frightening outside right now. And the height of the storm is still three hours off.)

Martin said...

im-skeptical,

There are a lot of philosophers who are Platonists about abstract objects. Especially philosophers of mathematics. They believe things like numbers have a real existence apart from our minds. If so, these would be examples of things that do not begin to exist, and thus need no cause.

They could be wrong too, but either way, the first premise is not question begging because it simply asks us to consider that IF something begins to exist, THEN it needs a cause. It doesn't say, imply, or entail that "everything but God needs a cause."

Syllabus said...

To quote myself:

The difference is rather obvious. The first assertion would apply across the board, to things timeless are well as time-bound (assuming that this distinction is arguable, of course). The second very clearly makes the distinction between the two, and states that the causality in question applies only to the latter category.

So there very clearly is a material difference between the two. "Everything that exists" could extend to such things as eternal platonic forms, the classical notion of God, etc., along with things like matter and energy. "Everything that begins to exist" by definition applies only to things constrained in time. We do not know, ahead of time, whether there exists anything that is atemporal - that is the conclusion of the argument. If you reject one of the premisses simply on the grounds that you think the conclusion false - not that it is demonstrably false, as you haven't demonstrated anything of the kind -, then I have to wonder about what kind of logic you're using.

Seriously, this is not the route to take when critiquing the kalam. If you want a good criticism of it, read some Quentin Smith, who has done what is probably the best riposte against the kalam.

rank sophist said...

I liked the part where Paps didn't know what a secular priest was. To him, apparently, "secular priest" really means "atheist priest". Too funny. (Also, I noticed that quite a bit of his posted was paraphrased from the Wikipedia article on secular clergy.)

Dan makes a very good point. It is hair-splitting. The awkward wording of this argument is carefully crafted to precisely split the hair.

I object to all science because it's hairsplitting. What's the difference between a Higgs boson and a top quark? Viruses and bacteria? Who cares! Way too technical. I just like to say that there are "tiny balls on sticks" all over the place and leave it at that.

By the way, your argument is a pretty blatant instance of the ad hominem fallacy. Good job.

Papalinton said...

Syllabus
"How did Sir John Polkinghorne, the world renowned physicist and Anglican priest, contribute towards the standard quark model? How did Allan Sandage, arguably the greatest cosmologist of the past century and a mid-life convert, contribute to the understanding of the physical universe? How did James Clark Maxwell, the formulator of classical electromagnetism, contribute towards the understanding of fundamental forces? How did Stanley Jaki, the Catholic priest, contribute towards our applications of Godel's theorems to other branches of mathematics? How did Owen Gingerich, famed astronomer, Harvard professor and theist, contribute towards our knowledge of the cosmos? And how did Francis bloody Collins, very probably the greatest living geneticist and the guy who managed the HGP to completion, and an evangelical Christian, contribute towards an understanding of our genetic code?"

What this so clearly demonstrates is that religious woo is utterly superfluous and inconsequential to the practice of good science. I understand even Wikkens can do good science and there are innumerable world class scientists that also happen to be Hindus and Muslims and even Zen Buddhists.

What this simply shows is that good science is unaffected by personal proclivities towards superstitious woo, which substantiates the claim that the bible is properly left at the door of the lab. James Randi has a $1m invitation to any religiose person that can substantiate any supernatural finger in the natural world pie. When these scientists offer their research for peer review, not one word, not even a smell of god figures in their reasoning and conclusions. They would be laughed out of town, just as Behe was at the Dover Trial. And just as Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute bailed from giving testimony at that same trial for fear of making an utter fool of himself.

Polkinghorne and others trotted out in this chorus line substantiates the ubiquity of the fact that even good scientists can be woo-meisters. Their being god botherers does not advance the cause of the christian mythos one jot nor does it elevate religious woo to any level comparable to that of scientific knowledge and understanding. Religious knowledge is a significantly lower level order of knowledge inextricably wedded to superstition, subjectivism, and fundamentally linked to primitive instinct, basal intuition, teleological premonition and presentiment. Religion was humanity's first attempt at explaining the world and the human condition. It has been superseded by an explanatory regimen that is orders of magnitude more sophisticated than the folklore and oral history of village theism. Practitioners of woo, be they Wikkans or catholics are simply in denial.

Here is something you will enjoy:

"Gavin (1930– ) and Yvonne Frost (1931– ) formed the first Wiccan Church in 1968 and in 1972 gained federal recognition of witchcraft as a religion. In 1985, they convinced a federal appeals court that Wicca was a religion equal to any other.

Today's practitioners of Wicca are scientists, engineers, radio personalities, law enforcement officers, television stars, politicians, and the complete spectrum of active and productive men and women."


Let me repeat that; They convinced a federal appeals court that Wikka was a religion equal to any other. This can be found HERE

Who made god? Humans did
Who made the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Humans did.

Close your eyes and cover your ears boys and loudly recite LA la la la la la! You just might drown out reality sufficient to live out this life in blissful ignorance.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"And let's not forget Nicholas Copernicus, the man who gave us the sun-centered solar system (who I guess "just happened" to be a Catholic Bishop)."

Now that is really funny. You are absolutely correct. Copernicus just happened to be a catholic bishop.

Syllabus said...

How does a purveyor of superstitious nonsense with a god-shaped vacuum in his head contribute in any meaningful way to a changing and challenging world going forward?

What this simply shows is that good science is unaffected by personal proclivities towards superstitious woo

Why yes, I shall graciously accept your concession of defeat, and continue ignoring you from now on.

Papalinton said...

"I liked the part where Paps didn't know what a secular priest was. To him, apparently, "secular priest" really means "atheist priest"."

Words stuffed in my mouth. You're an idiot RS. Everyone knows secular does not mean atheism. And everyone knows that Lemaitre did not want to buy into the science/religion debate. In fact he was adamant that they be kept separate. He knew religion could never inform scientific inquiry.

You are the kind of fool that claims Einstein as one of your own, or subscribes to Darwin making a death-bed conversion. You are the kind of fool that avers a cracker and wine that actually transmogrifies into a slab of steak and blood is a 'fact'.

Who made god? Rank Sophist did.

Grundy said...

It seems like your arguments, by definition, are not flawed. The only problem is that you are making the definitions.

rank sophist said...

Words stuffed in my mouth. You're an idiot RS. Everyone knows secular does not mean atheism. And everyone knows that Lemaitre did not want to buy into the science/religion debate. In fact he was adamant that they be kept separate. He knew religion could never inform scientific inquiry.

You are the kind of fool that claims Einstein as one of your own, or subscribes to Darwin making a death-bed conversion. You are the kind of fool that avers a cracker and wine that actually transmogrifies into a slab of steak and blood is a 'fact'.

Who made god? Rank Sophist did.


Hit a nerve, huh?

grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

"That is one point on which I am so bold as to disagree with Aquinas. And, in fact, to confidently disagree with him."

With some qualifications added, I agree with you; Aquinas conceded too much to his opponents.

Papalinton said...

Syllabus
" ... and continue ignoring you from now on."

Good for you. retreat like the coward you are knowing full well that religion is unable to make any further contribution to the debate going forward, now that it must pass the test of scrutiny for every claim it makes outside apologetics. Clearly, John Loftus's OTF is functionally operating as we speak.

Religious claptrap is now no longer worthy of the unquestioned and abject deference it once basked in and enjoyed, in the public square. With religious nutters of the ilk of Mourdock and Akin, Pat Robertson, the former Archbishop of Boston Bernard F. Law and priest John Geoghan, and countless others, performing such a wonderful public service in drawing a clear line in the sand through their actions, behaviour and thoughts, publicly and shamelessly illustrating how blind religious faith is singularly unable and incapable of modeling acceptable behaviour in the modern community.

The catholic debacle in Ireland resulted in the plummeting of religious stocks in that country. Nobody over there wants to buy into an organisation so morally and ethically bankrupt by such great forfeiture of community trust.

Like it or not, we are experiencing the transition to a post-Christian society. Just as the Enlightenment ushered in the arrival of science as the premier explanatory methodology, so too are the modern sciences, both hard and soft, shepherding in the post-Christian era. ['Shepherding'; has a nice ring to it. I think I'll leave it in.]

Papalinton said...

"Hit a nerve, huh?"

No. Just stating the obvious.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

I don't think RS is "retreating like a coward"... I think he is yawning like the bored person he is after reading your bunkum.

Meanwhile I am retreating to the basement. Wind gusts at 80 mph outside my window. See you all (God willing) tomorrow.

Papalinton said...

Syllabus
"Why yes, I shall graciously accept your concession of defeat", smiling as he is stretchered out of the ring of public discourse with a few teeth missing and a splayed and bloodied nose. [Figuratively, of course, Syllabus. It's hard to tell whether bible crazies can indeed distinguish fact from metaphor given their long immersion in the Apologetic pool.]

Papalinton said...

"Meanwhile I am retreating to the basement. Wind gusts at 80 mph outside my window."

Cheers Bob. Be safe.

Papalinton said...

Oh, incidentally, Bob, I didn't mention anything about RS being a coward.

Words in my mouth.

Dan Gillson said...

Syllabus,

You're not elucidating much of a difference, nor are you explaining why such a difference is important; by insisting on 'whatever begins to exist', you've only excluded the catalog of atemporal items, an exclusion which the statement 'whatever exists' could reasonably imply.

I've not thought that I've been directly critiquing the Kalam.* I've been critiquing the idea that much is lost in the translation from 'whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence' to 'everything has a cause of its existence'. The statements, in my view, mean roughly the same thing.

Dan Gillson said...

I should've ended my first paragraph with: "If there is a material difference between 'whatever exists' and 'whatever begins to exist', it isn't inherent in the statements themselves. The perceived difference is purely notional."

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Corrigendum:

"Let me repeat that; They convinced a federal appeals court that Wikka was a religion equal to any other. This can be found HERE."

Should be:

Let me repeat that; They convinced a federal appeals court that Wikka was a religion equal to any other. This can be found HERE.

Syllabus said...

You're not elucidating much of a difference, nor are you explaining why such a difference is important;

All temporal beings are contingent, since time is itself contingent. Atemporal beings, may be contingent, but necessary beings must, by definition, be atemporal - since they would exist independently of anything contingent, including time. Thus, the distinction between "whatever exists" and "whatever begins to exist" is important because while the former could potentially contain necessary beings, the latter cannot by definition. Is the importance of the distinction clearer now?

I should've ended my first paragraph with: "If there is a material difference between 'whatever exists' and 'whatever begins to exist', it isn't inherent in the statements themselves. The perceived difference is purely notional.

It would seem to be implied by the categories, since they may contain some of the same elements, but not all of them.

BenYachov said...

Well my house seems Ok. Though my city is in ruins.

God save NYC!

>That is one point on which I am so bold as to disagree with Aquinas. And, in fact, to confidently disagree with him.

Myself I tend to be indifferent.

I know Oderberg has defended the KCA. I also know Mortimer Adler said as a piece of tactical advice most Atheists assume if you could argue for a past eternal Universe you wouldn't need God. Aquinas' Cosmological argument lets the air out of that tire. Also Adler felt most Atheist of some philosophical learning might be well versed in arguing against a KCA so an ACA would throw them for a loop.

Paps wrote:
>And everyone knows that Lemaitre did not want to buy into the science/religion debate. In fact he was adamant that they be kept separate. He knew religion could never inform scientific inquiry.

Not really true.

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8847


He believed naturally God is a philosophical question not a Scientific One but it was his Biblical belief in the beginning that motivated him to remove the "Fudge Factor" from Einstein's Theories that Albert inserted ad hoc so he could keep the Static model of the Universe.

QUOTE"Lemaître wanted his scientific theories to be judged exclusively on their physical merit, keeping metaphysical implications completely separate."

After all there where still those people who dismissed his Theories because of His religious beliefs even Einstein thought he was being concordenalistic.

Paps stop making crap up.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Lovell said...

Dan Gillson,

The difference between the two claims is pretty much self-evident. In the pre-Big Bang era a common atheistic move was to say that the universe was past-eternal. They said that for the excellent reason that saying it had a beginning seemed to require the existence of a cause of that beginning which must then be "beyond" the universe.

Now the relevant premise of the KCA doesn't say that things which are past-eternal don't have causes, but it does allow that possibility.

You seem to want defenders of the KCA to commit themselves to saying "Even if the universe is past-eternal it must still have a cause".
In other words, you want them to defend a stronger claim than the one they are making. That stronger claim, "Everything has a cause" is much less intuitively obvious, and seems to have the consequence of an infinite regress of causes, a consequence that the "weaker" claim about things which begin to exist doesn't have. So there are several good reasons to prefer the weaker version: a lack of bad entailments and that being weaker (claiming less) it's easier to defend.

Regardless of the above, the KCA is a valid argument. So even if you think the two statements "Whatever begins to exist has a cause" and "Everything has a cause" are equivalent, anyone who wants to deny the argument's conclusion still needs to deny one of the premises.

(1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause of it's existence.
(2) The physical universe began to exist.
(3) Therefore, the physical universe was caused to exist (by something beyond the universe).

Which premise are you denying?

rank sophist said...

Glad to hear you're okay, Ben. Hopefully Bob's fine, too.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"Paps stop making crap up."

concordenalistic


Must be a word from a catholicized dictionary. I even tried to Google it only to be provided with this response:


"Your search - concordenalistic - did not match any documents.


Suggestions:

Make sure all words are spelled correctly.

Try different keywords.

Try more general keywords."




There is little need to act like an ignoramus, Ben. You exhibit a natural talent for it. 

Your little reference from the 'catholicculture.org' site simply belies the extraordinary lengths catholic revisionism goes to, to airbrush Lemaitre as some form of Aristotelian pagan-loving, magisterium junkie Aquinas equivalent. The only crap being made up here is the christian mythos.



Einstein and Lemaitre were friends. Lemaitre never evangelized. Science for him was sacrosanct [pardon the alluding imagery] and as you rightly quoted he was at pains never to sully science with religious woo.



"Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) is one of the great names of modern cosmology. Being a friend of Einstein, he was the first in 1927 to explain the red shift of the spectrum of galaxies observed by Edwin Hubble as resulting from the expansion of the Universe. etc etc. "

The rest can be read HERE.

But I do concede that the UCL [Université catholique de Louvain] did a pretty good job in recounting Lemaitre's scientific journey. But even then, the catholic writers could not help themselves weaving some little irrelevant and inconsequential woo stuff into the piece:

: "He was a priest strongly attached to his faith and to the Church (he was a member of a sacerdotal fraternity "The Friends of Jesus" where priests took their vows of religious life and were engaged to radically live their vocation)." [The rather delectable irony here however are the sentences immediately succeeding this quote. They reveal a man very uncomfortable about the manner in which the church sought to exploit science for theological purposes. He was singularly resolute in separaing religious belief and the great love of his life, science. He even personally interceded on one occasion.

: "It allows to depict, as precisely as possible, the scientist and the priest and trace back Lemaître's evolution of life and thoughts." [Another little gratuitous add-on]

: "Lemaître's archives show a large variety of scientific documents related to cosmology, mechanics, algebra and numerical calculus, courses and various manuscripts, scientific books (about 450), religious philosophic documents and sacerdotal objects." [And a further inconsequential and gratuitous add-on.]

I would suggest this man was first and foremost a scientist.





.

BenYachov said...

@Paps

>Must be a word from a catholicized dictionary. I even tried to Google it only to be provided with this response:


Try reading the article.

QUOTE"Concordism is the belief that the Bible contains scientific information not known by people at the time of the writing of the sacred texts. Even Professor Einstein confronted Lemaître on this issue."

I was clearly refering to Concordism but I spelled it wrong. Had you read the link I provided instead of skimming it you would have picked that up. It should have read "Concordistic". But hey I don't even pretend to be a good speller I am not going to start now. Plus I was more worried my basement would flood.
BTW you are still making crap up.

>Your little reference from the 'catholicculture.org' site simply belies the extraordinary lengths catholic revisionism goes to, to airbrush Lemaitre as some form of Aristotelian pagan-loving, magisterium junkie Aquinas equivalent. The only crap being made up here is the christian mythos

So what you are telling us Paps is you a gym teacher from Kangaroo Land knows more about the life of a great Priest and great Scientist better then his formal biographers?

What you are also telling us is anything in the link I provided you that contradicts the "shit you made up" must be wrong because you say so and as we all know you have a brillant track record of being right?

That must be some serious shit your are smoking down under! Where can I score some?

>Aristotelian pagan-loving,

Here we see the remnants of your former Fundamentalist Protestant woo.

>Einstein and Lemaitre were friends. Lemaitre never evangelized.

How could you know that (meaning the evangelism part)? Did you follow Lemaitre around 24/7? Do you have a time machine? Again your are just making crap up.

Hey St Francis said preach Gospel always & when you really need to use words. The good Father wasn't a fundie like you. He was Catholic. Catholics can be friends with people they don't convert. St Francis never convinced the Sultan to convert but they parted as friends.

>he was at pains never to sully science with religious woo.

I'm afraid Lemaitre couldn't have held to your Positivism nonsense nor did he hold Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlapping separate magisterial views. You are just reading those later philosophical concepts back into the narrative of Lemaitre's life.

He certainly knew his Aristotle and Aquinas & held their philosophy of nature. That was taught to all priests back in the day.

He certainly didn't believe in making the category mistakes with science or philosophy or Theology (like your average Gnu) but he clearly thought they where connected.

>They reveal a man very uncomfortable about the manner in which the church sought to exploit science for theological purposes. He was singularly resolute in separaing religious belief and the great love of his life, science. He even personally interceded on one occasion.

Rather he expressed his concerns in regards to a statement made by Pius XII which of course had nothing to do with the Church "exploiting science".

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/be_careful_using_big_bang_argument

http://www.jimmyakin.org/2009/04/remember-this-post-10-years-from-now.html

After all there is no reason to believe Big Bang constitutes the initial act of creation & there is no reason why a philosophical materialist couldn't except Big Bang. But of course BB does put to death the ancient anachronistic belief our would was always here.
Sadly too many Atheists of His day held fast to that view just as you hold too your anti-philosophy woo.

>I would suggest this man was first and foremost a scientist.

A scientist who like Heisenberg and even to a limited extent Enstein knew basic philosophy unlike many scientists today.

Which is their problem & yours even if we take God out of the equation(pun intended).

Dan Gillson said...

Steve,

1. I don't think the difference between 'whatever exists' and 'whatever begins to exists' is self-evident. When referring to 'whatever exists', why would I be referencing anything that has no practical bearing on reality, i.e., any object from the 'catalog of atemporal items'. Putatively, the concept of existence is applied to a world that's at hand, not to a theoretical world that's out of reach. Most of the time, i.e., the times when 'existence' isn't being discussed philosophically, the concept implies the sorts of temporal distinctions you and syllabus want to make. The difference between 'whatever exists' and 'whatever begins to exist' exists for the sake of argument only--for the sake of philosophy--not because there is something inherently different between the two claims.

2. I shouldn't seem to be wanting the defenders of the KCA to commit themselves to anything. I should seem to be critiquing the idea that 'everything has a cause of its existence' and 'whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence' mean something drastically different. I realize that I'm edging up on a critique of the Kalam itself, but I'm really not. (Cross my heart, hope to die.)

3. The KCA may be a valid argument, in the sense that it is a logically solid apodictic proof. However, it amounts to little more than handwaving, in the sense that the argument is purely speculative. Something beyond the universe may have caused the universe to begin; the universe could be the result of the Christian God as much as it could be the result of a cosmic fart. To say that we can know one way or the other, based on the KCA, is silly.

Martin said...

Dan,

Abstract objects, such as numbers, would be candidates for things that do not begin to exist. Most philosophers of mathematics believe numbers really exist, as immaterial entities.

So "whatever begins to exist has a cause" most certainly does NOT mean "everything has a cause".

>However, it amounts to little more than handwaving, in the sense that the argument is purely speculative

The argument is deductive, not inductive. You seem to suggest that it is one explanation out of many, but it is not. It concludes, deductively: the universe has a cause.

>the universe could be the result of the Christian God as much as it could be the result of a cosmic fart.

The argument does not try to conclude that the Christian God caused the universe to begin to exist. It merely says that the universe has a cause, but from that fact, it entails that it can't BE the universe itself. So not space, not time, not matter, not natural laws. So it was something spaceless, timeless, non-physical, and supernatural.

Craig gives supplementary arguments for why the cause must be personal.

So the most the KCA gives you is a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, supernatural, personal being.

Dan Gillson said...

Martin,

1. I've already conceded the point that when we are talking about existence for the sake of argument--philosophically--there is a difference between 'everything' and 'whatever begins to exist'. However, you (and others) have yet to concede that the philosophical distinction between the two claims is purely notional, not inherent. Talking about philosophers of mathematics and what they believe only buttresses my point.

2. Yes, I know the argument is deductive. That's why I said it was a "logically sound apodictic proof."

3. You've only restated the point I was making: the KCA doesn't give us anything. The result (that a timeless, spaceless, non-physical something somehow caused the universe) is irrelevant, in the sense that it's uninteresting. It's the supplementary stuff, i.e., the "what happened between 'now' and 'in the very, very distant past'", that's the stuff of argument. That's the stuff that the KCA is being pressed into service for.

BenYachov said...

>However, you (and others) have yet to concede that the philosophical distinction between the two claims is purely notional, not inherent. Talking about philosophers of mathematics and what they believe only buttresses my point.

Except the premise "Everything has a Cause" has never been a positive part of any historic Cosmological Argument. Not one. Rather it is a known straw man used by Atheists to avoid doing hard philosophy.

If anything some Cosmological arguments I've seen argue as a negative premise "It is impossible for everything to have a cause thus at least one thing must be un-caused etc".

Clearly one does not have to believe in God just have a basic command of reason to know they are inherently different views.

I find it hard to believe you are really this obtuse Gilson.

How can anybody who was college educated ever claim they are alike?

It's silly.

Show me logically how they can be alike because I don't think any rational argument can be made for that in any conceivable universe.

Dan Gillson said...

James,

Being obtuse is spelling my last name wrong when it's printed plainly in front of you. Two l's, buddy, not one.

Love,
Dan Gillson

BenYachov said...

@Gilson

>Being obtuse is spelling my last name wrong when it's printed plainly in front of you. Two l's, buddy, not one.


I can't spell & I still don't care.

Mis-spell my name if it makes you feel better. It doesn't bother me.

There is clearly an inherent difference between the two propositions "everything has a cause" vs "Whatever begins to exist has a cause".

Again show me logically how they can be alike because I don't think any rational argument can be made for that in any conceivable universe.

Put up or shut up.

BenYachov said...


So you think you understand the Cosmological Argument?


http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-understand.html

A Must reading for those who don't wish to waste time arguing nonsense.

B. Prokop said...

Ben is 100% correct in what he writes about Lemaitre. As any Catholic priest would tell you, whatever else they might accomplish in this life, they consider themselves to to be first, foremost, and most importantly a Priest of God - all else is gravy.

Papalinton just can't stand the thought that a major figure in modern science could also be a Man of Faith. It rocks his Cloud-cuckoo Land fantasy to the core.

His is the classic reaction of a person who, confronted with undeniable evidence proving something he believes in is wrong, just chooses to not see the evidence.

Dan Gillson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Gillson said...

James,

What do you think that I'm arguing for? State it clearly in a sentence.

BenYachov said...

Dan these are your words.

'whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence' [vs] 'everything has a cause of its existence'.

The statements, in my view, mean roughly the same thing.


I cry bullshit & challenge you to show logically they are taken at face value roughly the same thing.

In no rational universe can they be demonstrated to be so synonymous.

For example.

"Everything can fly" is not roughly the same as saying "Everything with wings & hollow bones can fly".

Taken at face value one is clearly a very broad claim the other is clearly a more specific claim.

Thus they are not roughly the same.

Now your turn.

Explain yourself!

Papalinton said...

Bob
"As any Catholic priest would tell you, whatever else they might accomplish in this life, they consider themselves to to be first, foremost, and most importantly a Priest of God - all else is gravy."

Tell me about Father John Geohan
Tell me about Father Joseph Birmingham
Tell me about the Boston Archdiocese

In fact tell me about all the priests on this LIST.

Give me your best rationale why the existence of THIS organisation is unnecessary, given that " ... they [the priests] consider themselves to be first, foremost, and most importantly a Priest of God"?

Do you believe this organisation is just set up for catholic bashing? Read HERE and see if their requests are unreasonable.

Were not these Priests bound by the exact same oath of allegiance to your god as that which Lemaitre pledged, " .. whatever else they might accomplish in his life." Or did these priests make a different level of commitment and ministering pastoral care?

One could argue that the number of molesting priests is no different statistically than the average for the wider population. But that defensive assertion puts a lie to the oft claimed worth of living by the religious tenets, ethics and catholic morality. It is a grave indictment indeed, on a claim that is demonstrably of little value and a worthless doctrine, one showing absolutely no empirical or statistically positive blip against the background noise of the general population. One must seriously ask, if becoming a "Priest of God" makes no conclusive or definitive difference whatsoever in improving the numbers.

No Bob, making such a claim about Lemaitre simply sullies his fine name.

I would even hazard a guess that had the church prevented or thwarted Lemaitre from continuing to study science while he was preparing for the priesthood, he would have ditched the priesthood. The church is very lucky not to have taken that decision.


Papalinton said...

""Everything can fly" is not roughly the same as saying "Everything with wings & hollow bones can fly".

What a stupid inaccurate example. Your analogical example must keep within the bounds and not introduce additional elements. The appropriate expression of your analogy, as silly and as meaningless as it reads, should be, "Everything can fly" is not roughly the same to saying "Everything that begins to fly can fly".

The introduction of hollow bones and wings are conditions that completely change the analogy used to distinguish the difference between 'exist' and 'begin to exist'.

Therefore
"Everything that exists", as Gillson rightly and correctly notes, is no different to "Everything that begins to exists".

Stenger's scenario is yet to be refuted:

"Bible Crazy: Where did the universe come from?
Atheist: Why did it have to come from anything?
Bible Crazy: Everything has to come from something.
Atheist: Then, you tell me. Where did the universe came from?
Bible Crazy: The universe came from God.
Atheist: Where did God come from?
Bible Crazy: God did not have to come from anything. He always was.
Atheist: Then everything does not have to come from something after all. Perhaps the universe always was."

Sheesh. Everybody knows deep down that 'God' is a literary device, a philosophical contrivance, a primitive placemarker, for things yet to be explored and explained.

HyperEntity111 said...

Summary of Papa's contributions here:

Paps: Christians don't advance human understanding!

Everyone: What about all these Christian scientist?

Paps: Proof that being Christian doesn't stop you advancing human understanding! Lol I pwned u!

Everyone: You just contradicted yourself.

Paps: Erm...Well...They weren't real Christians! Ha!

Everyone: How do you know this?

Paps: Because the priest who basically discovered the Big Bang was a friend of Einstein who did not evangelise. It is well known Christians who do not evangelise and are friends of Einstein cannot be Christians!! Plus he was born in a place with lots of Carholics! People who are born in places with lots of Carholics and become priests aren't real Christians! Plus he subscribed to methodological naturalism in science. It is well known that Christians who subscribe to MN aren't real Christians! Did you know he was one of secular priests who didn't take vows of chastity and poverty? Of course Catholics who aren't poor virgins aren't real Christians!

Everyone: .......

Me: It is evident from his thought process that this man is profoundly mentally challenged. It is also obvious that he is deluded on a systematic and massive scale.* The fact he appears to genuinely believe his ravings should be clear evidence that he is not simply dishonest. He is mentally unstable. Consequently I don't think we should be debating him. We should try to support him by recommending professional help. I suggest you call this number:
02 6205 1065

The Crisis Assesment and Treatment Team are open 24 hours everyday and they are very responsive to high risk individuals.



*He might also be a random troll. Either way we shouldn't really be engaging with him.

B. Prokop said...

HyperEntity111,

You are correct. Normally we do not engage with him, having come to a consensus some time ago that Papalinton was, if not completely unhinged from reality, then at the very least utterly impervious to external input. He lives in a thought-tight self-made mental prison in which the only thoughts he hears are his own. The word he uses for this sorry state of affairs is "rational".

I did win a bet with myself however, and now owe myself a (diet) Coke. I bet that in the very next posting after mine, he would bring up the despicable and unforgivable clerical abuse scandals, in the pitifully mistaken idea that he was by doing so somehow scoring a point. (He's not.) I'm off to collect on my wager. Shutting down for the night.

Dan Gillson said...

James,

Guilty! I said what you say I said. Though if you had been following along, you'd already know the reason that I said what you've said I said. I can say what I've already said again, if you need me to clarify the reason why I said what you say I said, but, given that I've already said what you say I've said, I say saying what you said I said again, merely for the sake of saying it, is redundant. Wouldn't you agree?

Love,
Dan 'with two l's' Gillson

GearHedEd said...

Y'all know, the solution to this line of bullshit is really simple...

"whatever exists has a cause" and whatever begins to exist has a cause ARE two different and semantically non-equivalent statements.

But the REASON that the KCA is worded like it is ("whatever begins to exist has a cause") is a dodge to let God off the hook for needind a cause Himself. It was worded that way on purpose, specifically to give God an escape hatch.

When one says something begins to exist, that statement is inextricably bound up in temporal considerations, temporal considerations that DO NOT APPLY outside of the universe! The universe consists of spacetime and matter/energy, and one CANNOT appeal to temporal sequences ("began to exist") when considering the cause (a temporal consideration) of the universe.

The reason theists complain about wording the first premise "Everything that exists has a cause for its exisrtence" is that it leaves no room for their god. But there's no reason why it SHOULDN'T be worded that way.

GearHedEd said...

In other words, the KCA presupposes a "creator, based on the way it is arbitrarily worded.

GearHedEd said...

Or, in other other words, "God by definition did not begin to exist, therefore, he needs no cause of his existence."

If we define God as 'not beginning to exist', we presuppose that he is excluded from consideration under this argument.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

The motivation (which is false, but allow it for the sake of the argument) is irrelevant to the truth of the premise. "The only reason you believe Socrates is a man is because you don't believe in aliens!"

OK, yeah. But that has no bearing on whether "Socrates is a man" is true or not. It's still either true, or false. If true, then the argument goes through.

But the KCA was NOT designed like that. Not a single cosmological argument has ever argued that "everything has a cause". It's a modern strawman. The best I can find is that it traces to Bertrand Russell, who gave that version in his "Why I Am Not A Christian." Dr Reppert calls this document one of the best Christian apologetics document ever written, because if this is the best the atheists can do (crude strawmen that are not even wrong), then atheism is in serious trouble.

Anyway, it doesn't matter, because IF the everything that begins to exist has a cause, AND the universe began to exist, THEN the universe has a cause. But since the universe includes time itself, then the cause was outside of time and could not have begun to exist and thus needs no cause. It's conceptually impossible to give God a cause even if you wanted to.

B. Prokop said...

Thank you, Martin, for mentioning Russell's "Why I am not a Christian". I hadn't looked at it for about 40 years now, and your posting inspired me to do so once again.

Wow. That essay ought to be required reading for any person suffering from doubts about his faith - he will most certainly come away from it, not only with his faith intact, but stronger and healthier than ever. I agree wholeheartedly with Victor. Russell's essay is the one of the strongest arguments against atheism I've encountered in a long time!

GearHedEd said...

Martin,

You ignored this:

"If we define God as 'not beginning to exist', we presuppose that he is excluded from consideration under this argument."

In other other other words, the human invention the we call "God" has been arranged precisely so that it need not be subject to the same considerations that every other "thing that exists" must fit.

We define God as not beginning to exist, then arrange the cosmological argument such that the question of God is excluded from it, setting up a throne for Him by doing so.

You say, "But the KCA was NOT designed like that. Not a single cosmological argument has ever argued that "everything has a cause""...

Of course not. Doing so would deprive God of the specially pleaded position that the argument sets up.

GearHedEd said...

P.S....

I never read Russell.

BenYachov said...

>Guilty! I said what you say I said. Though if you had been following along, you'd already know the reason that I said what you've said I said.etc....

I am amused.:-)

That response was worthy of moi.:-)

Carry on Gilison.:-)

BenYachov said...

GHE wrote:
>I never read Russell.

Obviously!

Syllabus said...

Of course not. Doing so would deprive God of the specially pleaded position that the argument sets up.

This ignores that up until the early-mid-20th century, every atheist alive defined the universe as never having begun to exist, and therefore being causally immune. So no, it's not even close to special pleading.

Besides, you and Dan have given no reasons, other than apparently your intuition, that the sets "everything which exists" and "everything which begins to exist" contain exactly the same elements. Others here, including myself, have offered reasons to think that these sets do not contain the same elements, and are therefore not equivalent. So, y'know, it might be good to answer the question, "what good reason, other than private intuition, which is obviously not shared by anyone, do you have for thinking that the sets 'whatever exists' and 'whatever begins to exist' are the same?" If you want to keep on asserting that they are the same, then you're going to have to provide good reasons to think that they are. The neutral point is agnosticism in any given matter, not yea or nay.

Syllabus said...

that should read "shared by everyone"

Martin said...

GearHeadEd,

>We define God as not beginning to exist

You are incorrect. It isn't defined that way at all. It follows from the fact that whatever caused the universe to begin to exist would have to be outside of time, because time is part of spacetime, which is part of the universe. WHATEVER the cause of the universe was, it could not in principle have had a cause itself because it could not in principle have begun to exist.

I explained this in my above comment. Did you not read it?

Dan Gillson said...

Syllabus,

That's not exactly the case. I've been asserting that, as they are putatively used, the propositions in question mean roughly the same thing, and that, therefore, it's okay to summarize the Kalam as 'everything has a cause except for God'. You're objecting that 'everything' is too broad, and could be taken to include the catalog of atemporal items. I'm replying that such an understanding of 'everything' is wildly uncommon, save in philosophy, where people make a living quibbling over terms.

Your move.

B. Prokop said...

"until the early-mid-20th century, every atheist alive defined the universe as never having begun to exist"

That is very true. The chief advocate of that idea who was also a competent scientist was British astronomer and fierce atheist Fred Hoyle (a man I greatly admire, by the way). He spent decades in a valiant attempt to shore up his "Steady State" theory of cosmology, because he realized (and said so repeatedly) that acknowledging a beginning to the universe would be fatal to atheism.

The reason I admire Sir Hoyle is that near the end of his career, faced with incontrovertible evidence in favor of the Big Bang Theory (a name that he invented, by the way, as a term of derision), he publicly renounced his support of his own theories in favor of "the opposition".

And true to his word, after recognizing that the universe did indeed have a beginning, he died a theist (and advocate of intelligent design). Sir Hoyle, in addition to coining the term Big Bang, was also originator of the idea that a spontaneous appearance of life was akin to a tornado plowing through a junkyard and rearranging the material into a perfectly functional Boeing 707.

Syllabus said...

I've been asserting that, as they are putatively used, the propositions in question mean roughly the same thing, and that, therefore, it's okay to summarize the Kalam as 'everything has a cause except for God'.

No, the argument qua the argument doesn't get you God. It gets you a cause of the universe which did not begin to exist. What gets you something like "God" the the conceptual analysis of the conclusion of the argument, not the argument nor any of the premisses contained therein.

And no, it's not appropriate to summarize the argument thusly. It would be appropriate to summarize the argument, if successful, as "the universe has a cause of its existence". Discerning what that cause is is not the purpose of the argument.

You're objecting that 'everything' is too broad, and could be taken to include the catalog of atemporal items.

No, what I'm saying is that the categories "whatever exists" and "whatever begins to exist" are not identical. Therefore, you can't substitute the one premiss for the other and therefore try and critique it, as that's just equivocation.

I'm replying that such an understanding of 'everything' is wildly uncommon, save in philosophy, where people make a living quibbling over terms.

.....and the KCA is what kind of argument again? It's stupid to criticize an argument in a certain field for using the methodology appropriate to that field.

And please, if you're going to try and argue against a philosophical position, don't then accuse people who answer using philosophical techniques of "needless hairsplitting". That's just missing the point rather obtusely.

Your move

I already have made it. I'm making a conceptual distinction between different sets, in order to argue against your proposition that these terms mean the same thing. Your objection with regards to how these terms are "commonly used" is irrelevant, since - and I cannot stress this enough - we are not talking about these things using the "common" definition. We are arguing philosophy, and so for you to chide me for using philosophical terminology by saying "that's not how it's commonly used!" is pointless. You can't engage a philosophical argument and expect its defenders to not use philosophy. That's like arguing against evolutionary biology and expecting its defenders to not use scientific methodology to refute you.

GearHedEd said...

Martin,

From the Original post:

"God by definition did not begin to exist, therefore, he needs no cause of his existence."

You were saying...?

GearHedEd said...

Besides, the second premise of the KCA, "The Universe began to exist" is still up for grabs.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

That is not any of the premises of the argument. What some person named "Vic Reppert" said somewhere else about something is not relevant to the point that the KCA does not build that definition in; it drops out automatically from the fact that WHATEVER IT WAS (let it be an unknown principle, if you like) that caused the universe did not in principle begin to exist, because time didn't exist "before" the universe was created.

GearHedEd said...

1. "Everything that begins to exist has a cause."

This is an extraneous qualification. I don't care that it's "always been formulated that way". I said it's always been formulated that way specifically so that it (implicitly) leaves room for a "first cause".

2. "The universe began to exist."

No one knows this to be a fact. Consider the problems:

A: causality presumes temporality, something that you have already admitted doesn't obtain 'before' the universe was 'created' (and saying "created" presumes a creator, no? It's blatantly prejudicial)

B: The best modern physics has nothing to say about the period prior to the Planck Epoch (1X10^-43 seconds AFTER the Big Bang). This might seem like splitting hairs, but until there's concrete evidence of conditions in that epoch, making any definitive statement ("the universe began to exist") is speaking beyond your knowledge.

C: I've had this argument many times , with many others, and they all say the same things you do, which are not convincing. If I continue to press you far enough, you will eventually back up until you are forced to quote Aquinas as an authority. At that point, I'll point out to you that in 1250 AD, Ol' Tom could still wave to his buddy God through His window in the firmament. Aquinas was reasoning from a false conception of reality, and besides, being a Dominican monk, he would have found God no matter where he looked. If he hadn't, he'd have been turned into a pile of ash in 1251.

D: As fond as he is of quoting the BGV paper, WLC is wrong to assert that it "proves that the universe had a beginning".

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

>I said it's always been formulated that way specifically so that it (implicitly) leaves room for a "first cause".

Do you have evidence of this claim?

But more importantly, it doesn't affect my point: that whatever caused the universe to begin to exist could not in principle have begun to exist itself (whether it was God, the FSM, or some unknown impersonal principle) because time itself did not exist.

The rest of your comment concerns the truth or falsity of premise 2, which is off topic. I'm not defending the soundness of the KCA.

GearHedEd said...

E: And let us not forget to point out the shameful habit of Christians who deny that extrapolations of incomplete data (evolution) can be valid out of one side of their faces also accept the exact same kinds of incomplete data extrapolations (scientific descriptions of the conditions surrounding Big Bang) when it suits their purposes.

GearHedEd said...

"Do you have evidence of this claim?"

Read: I don't know how to refute this...

GearHedEd said...

The topic of this post IS the KCA. If it fails in either one of its premises (and I just shot down both of them), then it fails. Period.

Martin said...

So you have no evidence for the claim that "it's always been formulated that way specifically so that it (implicitly) leaves room for a first cause." A claim without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, as Hitchens says.

Secondly, I see you continue to ignore my point (made three times now by me, and ignored as many times by you) that WHATEVER caused the universe to begin to exist could not have begun to exist itself, because "before" the universe there was no time.

Syllabus said...

This is an extraneous qualification. I don't care that it's "always been formulated that way". I said it's always been formulated that way specifically so that it (implicitly) leaves room for a "first cause".

So your complaint is that the premiss consistently leads towards a conclusion? Big deal. The question is whether the premiss is true or not, and whether or not it assumes the consequent. In this case, it doesn't, as it only assumes that a first cause is possible - that is, not logically contradictory and not logically inconsistent.

causality presumes temporality, something that you have already admitted doesn't obtain 'before' the universe was 'created'

False. Cause and effect can be simultaneous.

but until there's concrete evidence of conditions in that epoch, making any definitive statement ("the universe began to exist") is speaking beyond your knowledge.

I'm no physicist, but which conclusion enjoys better evidential support: that the universe began to exist or that it never began to exist?

GearHedEd said...

Martin, you said,

"WHATEVER IT WAS (let it be an unknown principle, if you like) that caused the universe (appeal to premise 2 of the KCA -Ed.) did not in principle begin to exist, because time didn't exist "before" the universe was created."

Syllabus said...

Read: I don't know how to refute this...

Shall that be taken as a "no, I don't:, then?

The topic of this post IS the KCA. If it fails in either one of its premises (and I just shot down both of them), then it fails. Period.

Showing that certain proofs of the premisses fail is not the same thing as showing that they are false. At most, it shows that they are not well-established.

And let us not forget to point out the shameful habit of Christians who deny that extrapolations of incomplete data (evolution) can be valid out of one side of their faces also accept the exact same kinds of incomplete data extrapolations (scientific descriptions of the conditions surrounding Big Bang) when it suits their purposes.

Frankly irrelevant, so stop bitching about "unfairness". No one here has denied evolution at any point during the conversation, and I don't think anyone here denies it in principle. Besides, at most this is an argument about internal consistency, not about the truth of the premisses.

BenYachov said...

>If I continue to press you far enough, you will eventually back up until you are forced to quote Aquinas as an authority.

Aquinas' Cosmological Argument presupposes the Universe is Past eternal. He didn't believe you could prove the Universe had a beginning either scientifically or philosophically.

Wow Ed that is just ignorant!

Here read this before your bore the shit out of the rest of us(especially me) with your uneducated blather.

So you think you understand the Cosmological Argument?

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-understand.html


Another philosophically illiterate "scientist" who doesn't even read Atheist Philosophers trying to argue philosophy with empirical science.

Next up a Young Earth Creationist Metaphysical Naturalist who will argue Galaxies don't exist since he can't observe them under his microscope.

Good grief!

Really would it kill you Gnus to learn even some philosophy? Even Russell?

Fundies without god-belief & about half as smart!

GearHedEd said...

So your complaint is that the premiss consistently leads towards a conclusion? Big deal.

So you're OK with this philosophical "proof" of a 'universe creator' committing the fallacy of petitio principii? I'm happy to agree with that.

The question is whether the premise is true or not, and whether or not it assumes the consequent. In this case, it doesn't, as it only assumes that a first cause is possible - that is, not logically contradictory and not logically inconsistent.

No, the problem I have is that the premise starts with an absolute (everything), and immediately removes part of everything from consideration. Philosophical legerdemain!

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

Yes, that's what I said. I'm not sure what your point is. My point is that you have no evidence for the claim that the premise was formulated only to allow God off the hook, nor have you responded to my point that it doesn't matter because there was no time "before" the universe and so whatever caused it could not in principle have begun to exist.

REMEMBER: I'm allowing the KCA to be unsound for the sake of argument. My two points still stand, nonetheless.

GearHedEd said...

Aquinas was still wrong, regardless.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

>Aquinas was still wrong, regardless.

Wrong about what, specifically?

GearHedEd said...

Summary:

Martin, your argument is basically the KCA, even if you claim to "allow it to be unsound (hint: it is unsound, whether you allow it or don't):

The universe had a beginning.

The cause of the universe (and let's not mince words; we both know for you, it's God) didn't begin to exist.

Premise 1 fails because of petio principii, and Premise 2 fails because no one has any sure knowledge that the universe "began to exist".

BenYachov said...

>Aquinas was reasoning from a false conception of reality,

Philosophically he was a Moderate Realist. How is that a "false sense of reality"? What are you a Nominalist or a conceptionalist?

Oh wait you don't know any philosophy do you Ed? So what I said just went over your head.

GearHedEd said...

Aquinas' conception of the universe was demonstrably wrong (he would have considered it axiomatic), so any reasoning he did from there however pleasant it sounds, however it seems to have contributed to civilization (those effects are likely incidental in any case; most people never read Aquinas), is based on ignorance of reality.

BenYachov said...

>So you're OK with this philosophical "proof" of a 'universe creator' committing the fallacy of petitio principii? I'm happy to agree with that.

Do you realize the above statement is itself a philosophical statement?

By your own standards how is it also not a example of "Begging the Question"?

Really Ed would it kill ya to learn some philosophy?

GearHedEd said...

Trying to label me, Ben?

I think. That's all.

GearHedEd said...

I think medieval philosophy overreaches itself, Aquinas included.

Oh, and nice ad hom. Attack my argument, not me.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

I'm not arguing the soundness of the KCA, and I'm allowing it to be unsound for the sake of argument. So for the sake of argument, I allow your comments concerning its unsoundness to stand.

You still need to provide evidence for your claim that the premise was formulated to get God off the hook. You still need to respond to my point that if the universe has a cause, that cause could not in principle have begun to exist anyway.

BenYachov said...

>Aquinas' conception of the universe was demonstrably wrong (he would have considered it axiomatic)....

Ed just own up to the fact you don't know philosophy from your own arsehole then we can have a productive conversation.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

>Aquinas' conception of the universe was demonstrably wrong

What conception specifically? His doctrine of act and potency? His theory of universals? What?

Syllabus said...

So you're OK with this philosophical "proof" of a 'universe creator' committing the fallacy of petitio principii? I'm happy to agree with that.

It would beg the question if it were to be shown that that the premiss presupposes the conclusion. The conclusion of the argument is that the universe has a cause. The only thing that the premiss could be said to assume is that the universe possibly has a cause. Has a cause =! possibly has a cause. Therefore, as the premiss does not assume the conclusion. Therefore, the premiss does not beg the question, QED.

No, the problem I have is that the premise starts with an absolute (everything), and immediately removes part of everything from consideration. Philosophical legerdemain!

Oh, for the love of Martha Stewart, 'everything' and 'everything that begins to exist are NOT the same thing. How many more times must I and every other person here say that?

BenYachov said...

$100 bucks says Ed thinks when Aquinas was talking about "motion/Motus" he means literal physical movement and not "change/potency being reduced to actuality".

Any takers for this sucker bet? I need the money and a Gnu Patsy.

GearHedEd said...

@ Ben:

You didn't weigh in until I mentioned Aquinas. Sorry, didn't mean to distract you.

Regardless, I was really talking about the KCA, why it fails, and why you (the general 'you') can not prove a first cause with it. That's all.

I gotta go into town for a bit, gents. Be back later.

BenYachov said...

>Oh, and nice ad hom. Attack my argument, not me.

When you actually make one let me know.

Syllabus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syllabus said...

Besides, premiss 1 could very well be true independently of the conclusion. Everything that comes into being could have a cause and the universe could have not begun to exist. Therefore, the conclusion would not follow, and the first premiss would still be true. Therefore, it is not necessary to assume the conclusion in order to believe the first premiss. In other words, the argument does not beg the question. QED, again.

GearHedEd said...

"Oh, for the love of Martha Stewart, 'everything' and 'everything that begins to exist are NOT the same thing. How many more times must I and every other person here say that?"

Exactly! They are NOT the same thing! This is prima facie evidence of aiming toward a conclusion!

Things either exist or they don't. the things that don't exist are not up for consideration in the KCA because they don't exist. But the first premise breaks the category of things that do exist into two categories without justification. Furthermore, placing the clause "begins to exist" in the first premise presumes causality as a (philosophical) universal. The universe (object) is a single case, and causality doesn't apply TO the universe for the reason I gave: that causality is a temporal phenomenon, and time is only found within the universe: i.e., causality as we know it is only operative within the universe.

Now I really gotta go.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

So, no then. You don't have evidence for your claim. I thought this was anathema to atheists? Belief without evidence? No?

Secondly, you did not show what Aquinas was demonstrably wrong about.

Syllabus said...

But the first premise breaks the category of things that do exist into two categories without justification.

To quote an earlier post:

All temporal beings are contingent, since time is itself contingent. Atemporal beings, may be contingent, but necessary beings must, by definition, be atemporal - since they would exist independently of anything contingent, including time. Thus, the distinction between "whatever exists" and "whatever begins to exist" is important because while the former could potentially contain necessary beings, the latter cannot by definition.

The distinction between necessary and contingent beings is not an artificial one. Unless you have good reasons to think that the concept of necessary being is either logically impossible or logically self-contradictory, it follows that necessary beings possibly exist. It therefore follows that conflating 'whatever exists' with 'whatever begins to exist' precludes the existence of necessary beings with no good justification. If you can give good justification, do so. If not, then it follows that the distinction drawn between the two is not arbitrarily drawn, as both groups have different elements simply on the face of things.

Therefore, yes, there is ample justification for the distinction.

Things either exist or they don't.

Agreed.

The things that don't exist are not up for consideration in the KCA because they don't exist.

Agreed.

But the first premise breaks the category of things that do exist into two categories without justification.

False, for reasons previously stated.

Furthermore, placing the clause "begins to exist" in the first premise presumes causality as a (philosophical) universal.

"Logical" universal. And yes, the laws of logic are necessarily existent.

The universe (object) is a single case, and causality doesn't apply TO the universe for the reason I gave: that causality is a temporal phenomenon, and time is only found within the universe: i.e., causality as we know it is only operative within the universe.

Again, untrue. Causality may be simultaneous. An effect may be simultaneous with its cause. That's pretty well-accepted. The effect of the paper being supported on a table and the cause of the paper coming to rest of the table are simultaneous.

BenYachov said...

>causality is a temporal phenomenon, and time is only found within the universe: i.e., causality as we know it is only operative within the universe.

Says who? Can you prove this either scientifically or philosophically?

Also what type of Causality? Efficient Causes? Formal Causes? Material Cause? Final Causes? The cause of being?

Lame.

GearHedEd said...

"Says who? Can you prove this either scientifically or philosophically?

Also what type of Causality? Efficient Causes? Formal Causes? Material Cause? Final Causes? The cause of being?"


Hand-waving. I said causality as we know it. If you know of an example of causality as we DON'T know it, I'm all ears.

Martin said...

GearHedEd,

What type of causality as we know it, is what BenYachov asked? Efficient? Final? Formal? Material?

Also, do you have evidence for the claim that the 1st premise of Kalam was formulated only to get God off the hook?

Also, what about Aquinas' conception of the universe was he demonstrably wrong about?

Syllabus said...

I said causality as we know it.

Because that pretty much clears it up, doesn't it.

Eric said...

"But the REASON that the KCA is worded like it is ("whatever begins to exist has a cause") is a dodge to let God off the hook for needind a cause Himself. It was worded that way on purpose, specifically to give God an escape hatch."

Let's suppose that this is true. (I don't think for a moment that it's true, but that's not important.)

*So what*?

The *only* relevant question, as far as analyzing the argument is concerned (assuming that the terms are clear), is "is the premise true (or, more probably true than not)?" If the premise is true, then *why* it was formulated is irrelevant. That's why your "objection" is a textbook case of the genetic fallacy.

So, if you want to critique the argument by attacking the first premise, you have to provide some reasons for thinking that it's false, and stop giving reasons as to what might have motivated so and so to formulate it this way as opposed to that way.

"When one says something begins to exist, that statement is inextricably bound up in temporal considerations, temporal considerations that DO NOT APPLY outside of the universe!"

As I've tried to explain to you before, Ed, Craig is clear about what he means by, "begins to exist," viz. "x begins to exist iff X exists at time T and there is no time before T at which X exists." Your objection does no work here, even if we suppose it's legitimate. (Of course, you haven't actually argued for the notion, you've merely asserted it, but hey...)

"The reason theists complain about wording the first premise "Everything that exists has a cause for its existence" is that it leaves no room for their god. But there's no reason why it SHOULDN'T be worded that way."

Of course there is: It's a much stronger claim, and not as obviously tenable. There.

"In other words, the KCA presupposes a "creator, based on the way it is arbitrarily worded."

It does no such thing. The KCA isn't circular, and even if you suspect that it is, you've certainly done nothing to show that it is.

"If we define God as 'not beginning to exist', we presuppose that he is excluded from consideration under this argument."

Theists don't arbitrarily claim that 'not beginning to exist' is part of the definition of 'god'; rather, they adduce *reasons* to conclude that if god exists, he couldn't have begun to exist, given his nature. And, since it's part of the very nature of god, it's not misleading to say that it's part of the definition of god. (Unless you're a nominalist -- a tough position to defend!)

Eric said...

"Besides, the second premise of the KCA, "The Universe began to exist" is still up for grabs."

Whether this is relevant depends on what you mean by "up for grabs." Are you saying that it's not known to be true with certainty? I'll grant that, but -- so what? If the premises in an argument need to be known with certainty if we're to conclude that it's a good argument, then there are no good arguments, not only in philosophy, but in science, history, etc. Craig's standard is that the premise has to be more plausibly true than its negation, and I think that the second premise of the KCA satisfies this requirement, given the philosophical and scientific arguments that Craig adduces to support it. (N.B. Craig has said repeatedly that most of the heavy lifting is done by his philosophical arguments here, and that the scientific arguments confirm the philosophical arguments.)

"If I continue to press you far enough, you will eventually back up until you are forced to quote Aquinas as an authority."

Aquinas never argued that the universe had a beginning.

"As fond as he is of quoting the BGV paper, WLC is wrong to assert that it "proves that the universe had a beginning"."

That's not what Craig says. Rather, he says (accurately) that the BGV theorem proves that "any universe that has, on average, been expanding through it's history" must have a beginning. You keep missing the point, Ed, that every proof rests on certain assumptions, so what you do is point to the assumptions as if that alone refutes the proof. It would if you could show that the assumptions are *false*, but you can't seem to grasp this distinction.

ozero91 said...

Would a "God" that began to exist fail St. Anselm's test?

Also, must an effect be "contained" within its cause? It sounds intuitively true, but is it? For example, striking a match should not cause the air around it to condense and freeze. The molecular structure of the match head does not allow for that effect. So, assuming the universe had a cause, must the cause be "bigger" or "stronger" than the sum of all matter and energy (the universe)?

Syllabus said...

Besides, the Bord-Guth-Vilenkin formulas aren't the only route by which Craig attempts to prove a universe with a finite past. And there are other philosophical methods which could be used to demonstrate a past-finite universe than the ones he uses.

Steve Lovell said...

Dan Gillson,

I'm still confused about what you're actually saying. You've conceded that the KCA is a "logically sound argument" argument. Do you mean this? A sound argument (definitionally):

(a) is valid (the truth of the premises would entail the truth of the conclusion), and
(b) has true premises.

In that case, you'd be guilty of flat-out irrationality if you rejected the argument's conclusion.

But perhaps you didn't mean to use the word "sound" in this technical sense, and mean only that the argument is logically valid. In that case, to avoid the conclusion you still need to deny one of the premises. But then you say you aren't critiquing the KCA. In that case, I'm really not sure what you are doing.

What would you say about the following alternative version of the argument?:

(1) If the universe has not always existed, then it was caused to exist
(2) The universe has not always existed.
(3) Therefore the universe was caused to exist.

Premise (1) is based on the same intuition as the causal premise of the more usual form of the KCA (and indeed is entailed by it), but doesn't talk about "everything" in the way you seem to find so difficult.

Papalinton said...

HyperEntity111
"Me: It is evident from his thought process that this man is profoundly mentally challenged."

Pass that by me again, Hyper. Who is it that believes in a 3-day old rotting carcass revivified and levitated physically bodily and floated off into the blue beyond. Who is it that imagines someone walking on water? That a burning bush talks, that snakes talk.

Tell me again. Who is it that is profoundly mentally challenged?

Hey Hyper, tell me pillar of salt story again.
What about the talking donkey?

Tell me again about the all the evidence for about a million people, wandering in the desert for 40 years with all their animals, and food falling from the sky.
Tell me again about how all the animals fitted on the Ark? Where was all the food kept for the animals? Where did all the shit go?
Tell me again where all the mega-trillions of gallons of water came from that covered the earth so that every mountain peak was underwater for forty days and forty nights? Give me your version of the cycle of evaporation and precipitation that instigated this event. And incidentally, where did it all seep to afterwards?
Who took the journey to Australia to pick up the kangaroos and koalas and take them back to the Middle East to be put on the boat? And after the boat landed on Ararat how did they get back there?

And who is it that believes all this actually happened?

Oh that's right. All these are just metaphors. Only the revivification of dead and putrefying carcass actually happened.

And tell me, who is the one that believes all this claptrap? Who is it again that is profoundly mentally challenged?

You and your magic and superstition are an unmitigated embarrassment to rationality and logic. You should be sectioned.

BenYachov said...

Millions? It was likely 20,000 people in the Exodus not Millions.

For an "Atheist" you are such a Fundie Paps.

BenYachov said...

>You and your magic and superstition are an unmitigated embarrassment to rationality and logic. You should be sectioned.

Also I'm guy with the bad spelling and grammar around here. Stop trying to horn in on my act. I'm working this side of the street buddy so on your bike!

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

"Millions? It was likely 20,000 people in the Exodus not Millions."

What an anti-intellectual dick of an ignoramus statement to make? He doesn't even question the veracity of whether the Exodus happened or not. He simply pulls a number out of his Apologetical ass. He hasn't even read his catholic bible otherwise he would have known from direct passages that:

"According to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered "about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children," plus many non-Israelites and livestock.[15] Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,550.[16] The 600,000, plus wives, children, the elderly, and the "mixed multitude" of non-Israelites would have numbered some 2 million people,[17] compared with an entire Egyptian population in 1250 BCE of around 3 to 3.5 million.[18] Marching ten abreast, and without accounting for livestock, they would have formed a line 150 miles long." [Wiki}

Note: Exodus 12:37-38 Note: Numbers 1:46

"The consensus among biblical scholars today is that there was never any exodus of the proportions described in the Bible,[12] and that the story is best seen as theology .... " [Wiki]

"... is best seen as theology" is a euphemism for "made up shit".

Each new day that passes simply explodes the christian myth into embarrassingly stark relief, just as it has done with jewish myths, muslim myths, hindu myths and every other myth trotted out as religious fact, proofs or evidence. The big challenge going forward for the religiose is how apologetics is going respond when [note: not 'if'] scientists identify and validate the requisite physiological, biological and psychological determinants that underlie this seemingly intractable and almost irremediable pathology of religiosity. Just as we now have built an enormous data-base from research though sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, etc. that clearly corroborate the range and types of religions, religious beliefs, gods, and spirits and the like, are but incontrovertible cultural literary constructs, with no hint of extra-natural spiritism, so too is science well on the road to understanding the conditions under which brain synapses and neural links are developed and reinforced by repeated enculturation, indoctrination during the early formative years of child development, and systematized ritualism that establishes and maintains such belief systems, regardless of their veridical nature or otherwise.

As Delos McKown, emeritus professor and former head of the Philosophy Dept at Auburn University, former clergyman and the author of "The Mythmaker's Magic: Behind the illusion of 'Creation Science' "(1993), notes:

"The bible is a mine rich in the ore of cognitive dissonance."

For a reasoned perspective, one cannot but agree with Paul Theiry, French philosopher and encyclopederiste, when he noted, theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.

Who made god? Humans did.
Who made the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Humans did. Does the KCA advance human understanding of how and why the universe exists? Not one scintilla. The KCA, in exactly the same manner of Aquinas' Five-Ways, gives us nothing to work with. It is a no-through road.

Eric said...

"Who made the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Humans did."


Charles Darwin, too, was a human being last time I checked...I'm not sure if anything interesting about evolutionary theory follows from this trist observation, though.

Eric said...

*trite observation

Syllabus said...

Don't feed the gremlins, Eric. It only makes them more shrill.

BenYachov said...

@Paps
>According to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered "about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children,"

You are losing it Paps.

I've said it before the hebrew word "elef" can mean a "thousand" or it can mean "military brigades", "head of cattle", "Chieftains", "Clans" etc...

So 600 military brigades doesn't exclude there being 20,000 people.

Colin J. Humphreys wrote paper and a book on Numbers 1:46.

603,550?

More like 5,550 men in 598 eleft/military units. Then either some later copyist made a mistake and added the 5 eleft to the 598 eleft to get 603 or it could have been deliberate since some have noted 603 by Din of Gametra adds up to the same total as the sum of the letters that make Bene Yirael or something to that effect. My memory is sketchy.

There are other even more intriguing explanations for the numbers when one looks at ancient Canaanite counting schemes.

>The consensus among biblical scholars today is that there was never any exodus of the proportions described in the Bible.

I agree with them but that is not the same as saying no Exodus happened. It merely means Cecile B Demiles' portrayal of the Bible on the Big screen is not accurate.

The Exodus was not in the Millions and the city of Jericho wasn't a gargantuan city the size of Gondor with hugh walls.

You must except it.

Religious Agnostic Archeologists like Rolh believe some large migration took place.

Even Skeptics like Hoffmeier(or maybe it was is partne Whatshisname?) have said it was likely a band of Escaped Slaves in revolt a numbering a few hundred or a few Thousand that followed a Moses figure.

He wouldn't rule it out.

You are such a fundie.

>He hasn't even read his catholic bible otherwise he would have known from direct passages that:

I've read a lot about it in Kenneth Kitchen who is the flip side of Hoffmeier.

He comes up with the same archeological data he does but interprets the results differently.

You are really bad at this Linton.

Go lay down. Have a drink.


BenYachov said...

>Who made god? Humans did.
Who made the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Humans did. Does the KCA advance human understanding of how and why the universe exists? Not one scintilla. The KCA, in exactly the same manner of Aquinas' Five-Ways, gives us nothing to work with. It is a no-through road.

Linton would it kill ya to learn some actual philosophy so you can at least attempt a decent philosophical rebuttal?

I'm in my middle 40's and I am just learning the glories of Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas.

Rabbi Hillel didn't go to Jerusalem to study Torah till he was 40.

What you are too old to pick up some Quintin Smith, Nagel or whatever & learn some good Atheist philosophy?

What are you so butthurt over learning any philosophy?

Why?

Eric said...

"Don't feed the gremlins, Eric. It only makes them more shrill."

True. At least it couldn't possibly make them more obtuse!

Papalinton said...

""Don't feed the gremlins, Eric. It only makes them more shrill."

Same old nonsense. Those not infected by and argue robustly against superstitious nonsense are all branded as gremlins, or heathens, or blasphemers, or heretics, or trolls, the nomenclature depending on which century they are used.

This is the last and only ineffectual defensive stand that woo believers can take nowadays, now that putting the godless to the torch is not longer a god-inspired option and religious duty.

Everyone knows the religiose have surrendered, conceded the battle for trying to place theology into the basket of reason and logic, lost when their last remaining defense is to brand the opposition as gremlins or trolls. Their effort is as useful as THIS DEFENDER

Religion has largely passed its use-by date as people become more knowledgeable and humanity transits into the post-christian era.



BenYachov said...

Paps,

Ya just traded one "salvation in an instant" scheme for another.

You've gone from "I'm instantly saved so my shit don't smell" too "I'm instantly rational for denying God so my shit don't smell".

Where is the improvement?

Huseyn Gurbanov said...

Logically complete cosmological concept. /due to lack of knowledge of the English language was not able to correct the translation Implemented by Google/

In order to present the unlimited space originally:
1. homogeneous - enough to postulate the presence in it of two elements with Simple and Complex /closed systematically/
2. heterogeneous - enough to postulate the presence in it of one more element - the Most High and Almighty God - with open systematically.
It is easy to assume that even at the lowest possible deployment of the intangible component of the essence of God - the Spirit of God - for the level of the original downwardly directed the permanent deployment of the material component of the essence of God, there is a curtailment of Simple and Complex /i.e.. It is their decay due to blocking of origin upwardly directed constantly deploy intangible components of the entity / as much as possible heterogeneous to God's essence minimum possible number of cell uniformity (1H), and God on the basis of the material components of the 1H deploys the minimum possible heterogeneous to its essence as possible numerically elemental homogeneity (2H). Coagulation process will begin in 2H known God start time since the completion of its deployment. curtailment of the Spirit of God to the level of initial deployment again unfolds 1H - God potential for transformation 1H into 2H and 1H into 2H limitless!