Is the Kalam Cosmological Argument a reasonable case for God's existence?
(1) Everything that begins to exist, has a cause
(2) The universe began to exist
(3) The universe has a cause
(4) The cause was personal, because he chose to create it
Now this may sound reasonable on the surface, I mean if a child begins to exist then it's clear that conception was the cause of the child's existence. However, premise (4) can easily be dismissed because there are many cases where two people will engage in intercourse without the personal intent or choice of creating the child, rendering the "chose to create it" notion not necessarily the case .
What about the first 3 assertions of the argument? Well, in science you have to count the misses not just the hits when reviewing a hypothesis, and if the misses outweigh a hit by an overwhelming amount then it's clear that the lucky hit loses it's value by an enormous amount when trying to discuss a repeatable process.
Basically, I'm going to fight fire with fire in this part of the debate and give the Kalam Cosmological Argument a taste of it's own medicine by regurgitating it's format but in a more classy, scientifically updated, and ironically, a more logical manner.
(1) The Big Bang singularity is the earliest state of the universe
(2) The earliest state of the universe is inanimate
(3) No law governs the big bang singularity, so consequently there is no guarantee that it will emit a configuration of particles that will evolve into an animate universe.
(4) God would ensure the singularity contained properties which would guarantee that it involved into an animate universe
(5) God did not create the singularity.
The above is the simplified version of the Atheistic Cosmological Argument made famous by Quentin Smith in 1992. The main point of it is to illustrate that the singularity didn't possess any qualities that would ensure life would be permitted as The Big Bang model clearly outlines. This indicates that a God who had the power to make sure it contained properties which would guarantee that life would be permitted, wouldn't have created this universe.
Now I'm going to attempt to dismantle the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause"
This is not true.
Virtual Particles begin to exist uncaused all the time at the sub-atomic level. Here is an interesting quote regarding the subject:
"Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random time. Even the quantum vacuum is not an inert void, but is boiling with quantum fluctuations. In our macroscopic world, we are used to energy conservation, but in the quantum realm this holds only on average. Energy fluctuations out of nothing create short-lived particle-antiparticle pairs, which is why the vacuum is not emptiness but a sea of transient particles. An uncaused beginning, even out of nothing, for spacetime is no great leap of the imagination."
Either way there is one important point the theist is missing if we are going to apply the same standard regarding an argument:
"Everything that exists, has a beginning"
So if the theory is God had no beginning, then I can say he does not exist based on the same simple logical standard the theist uses to try to push their argument in the first place. The irony is that first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument plants the seeds of its own refutation.
So lets review the points I have made so far in this first round:
. The premise that the cause of the universe is personal because the cause chose to create it is not necessarily the case, because some child conceptions are a good example of a cause that was not personal (Many parents never expected or chose to have children)
. The singularity of The Big Bang didn't possess any qualities that would ensure life would be permitted as the model of the theory clearly shows. This indicates that a God who had the power and will to make sure it contained properties which would guarantee that life would be permitted, wouldn't have created the universe.
. The first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is "Everything that begins to exist has a cause". This isn't true because Quantum Physics allows things to begin uncaused all the time. Lets assume Quantum Physics doesn't exist for the sake of debate, either way I can easily make the claim that "everything that exists, has a beginning" by the Kalam's logical standard. So, if the theory is that God doesn't have a beginning, then he does not exist by the Kalam's own standards.
It is much more logical, scientific and rational to dismiss the Kalam Cosmological Argument as a reasonable case for the existence of God.
His attack upon the First condition of KCA is based upon Quantum events, stating that because there are spontaneous irregularities in the Universe at a sub-atomic level, you must assume that the Universe lacks cause. One, there is no causal link presented to supported this rather presumptuous inductive reasoning. Yes, I can assume that because there is a droplet of water here there must be a waterfall, but if that droplet of water spontaneously combusts, does that mean that all water has no beginning? Such reasoning is foolish and based upon isolated events. Furthermore the logic is flawed. Yes, sub-atomic particles can be created from "nothing", however to nothing they return. Is the Universe then just a temporary spark in this sea of nothingness? Even if this is true, it cannot apply because the two have completely different modes of existence and continuation. Applying Quantum events (which can disobey rather than follow universal rules) to discredit a Creator is paltry evidence.
And again, my opponent has limited the timeframe. Surely if we are looking to the creation of these particles, we can only assign them a nature of spontaneity. However, even in random creation, there is a cause, because no action or effect can come to be without an agent, otherwise it is nothing. So either you must say that these particles are nothing (which leaves them with no impact) or you concede to their random cause, which qualifies KCA. Yes, just because "nothing" became "something" without obeying certain laws does not mean it is devoid of a cause. That simply means its cause lies outside the realms of order.
At the attack to the second condition, I can only look away at the lack of topicality. He writes "if the theory is God had no beginning, then…he does not exist" Oh, but this falls! Had he taken a moment to return to the issue, which is the existence of the Universe and not the creation of God, he would have realized that such an argument is inconsequential. But he has not done so. Surely, under KCA, if all things that exist are created, then yes God was created, and I will concede to such a point if it pleases him. However, such claims do not hold impact concerning the creation of the Universe. Furthermore, I attack such an argument with theology. You state the Universe was created by the Big Bang? Then yes, under KCA, because the Universe began, and does not simply exist, it has a cause. Theists state that God exists, without beginning or end, so he has no cause under KCA, since only things which begin to exist need a cause. Of course, to discredit this argument still does no favors to the Con-side who lacks offensive ground
His tale about a misconceived child fails to respond appropriately to the issue. Yes, the child began to exist, and thus was caused. And there was some act done to produce the child. Whether the consequences of the act match the nature of the act matters not. Even if it did, surely, you cannot attack arguments with an example of accidental intercourse. Do you suppose God tripped over a bucket and thus caused the Universe? This example is lacking in relevance
He goes on to write that "The Big Bang didn't possess any qualities that would ensure life would be permitted". But I ask him then, does or does not life exist? And is it or is it not because of the events that transpired during and after the Big Bang? Whether there was a chance of delay or failure cannot negate the truth of the matter. He cannot state to me that life did not have an origin and because he cannot then he must know there was a cause. To trace his logic we would stop at the Big Bang; if you apply KCA you go further to eventually arrive at a Cause, in other words a Creator. That Creator needn't be held to the convention of various worldy denominations, he simply needs be called the cause of the Big Bang. And since the Big Bang had a cause, as all effects and actions derive from some cause, I assign to that cause the name "God". This logic completely turns his (3), (4), and (5) statements conveniently to Pro-favor because he uses the same archaic logic for each.
Instead, let us look to the premise of KCA. It states one prerogative and then uses deductive reasoning (not the backwards inductive reasoning of my opponent) to list three conclusions. The condition that stands for this round is that all things which begin have cause. No rational mind can refute this. If a child is born, it must have been due to conception; if a world is created, surely it must be because astrological remnants condensed into a single mass. The same is true for the Universe. Con-side states that "The Big Bang singularity is the earliest state of the universe". Thus, the Universe began to exist, and has a cause, satisfying the first two conclusions of KCA. Finally, because of the linear flow of cause and effect, every cause is linked to an effect which began that cause. For example, the child was born through conception, which was caused by sexual intercourse, caused by a meeting, etc. The same is true then for the Universe and the Big Bang. The cause (Big Bang) must have been an effect of another cause. And that causal agent could not have been restricted to the laws of nature because no nature yet existed. Thus, this causal agent must have created the rules, arbitrary or personal, when it caused the Big Bang. So, from this we arrive at the final conclusion that a causal agent (which I term as "God") created the Universe fit with laws and order. Depicting God as a perpetually existing entity is merely for convenience. He needs not be, but I do so to save the work of defining his own beginning, if there is one, because such abstract concepts detract from the framework. KCA simply deduces the Creator of the Big Bang (which theists call God) by using a logical maxim of cause and effect.
Con-side attempts to restrict us at the Big Bang, without referencing the needed past context before it. Without doing so it cannot be logical. Additionally, the examples presented either fail to remain meaningful (thus losing their weight) or are dilute with isolated concepts and anomalies within nature, many of those still being held to the same cause-effect standard of KCA. So if the fragmented and incomplete case of the Con-side only exists because of KCA you must vote Pro.
The Pro-side merely reinforces logical statements by deducing the nature of the Universe as being causal, thus mandating the need for a creator/causal agent. It is to that causal agent that I bestow the name God, without the prejudices of religion or other matters. This sound cause-effect argument cannot be refuted
Time didn't exist before The Big Bang, there can be no time before T=0 so this premise is wrong in every aspect.
"However, to reason that because there was, at one point, no law does not establish that no laws have been, are or will be created"
The Kalam Cosmological Argument is to try to prove that God caused the existence of the singularity, not that he established laws after the singularity expanded. You are arguing points that the Kalam is not making and your assertions actually hurt your case.
"His attack upon the First condition of KCA is based upon Quantum events, stating that because there are spontaneous irregularities in the Universe at a sub-atomic level, you must assume that the Universe lacks cause. "
Wrong. Even though there are theories that the universe could have came from Quantum Fluctuations, I never implied that the universe must be uncaused due to this reason alone. My whole premise was that uncaused events occur, making it reasonable to assume that the claim "everything that begins to exist, has a cause" is scientifically false.
"However, even in random creation, there is a cause, because no action or effect can come to be without an agent, otherwise it is nothing."
This only applies at the Macrolevel. It is quite known that at the sub-atomic level, uncaused events are common. Einsteins relativity doesn't play by the same rules as Quantum Mechanics so unless my opponent wants to re-write Quantum Theory and make the case that something is causing these Vacuum Fluctuations, then there is no foundation for his claims. What reason do scientists have to believe they are uncaused? I'll just name one:
The Bell inequalities. Basically, if you measure properties between two related particles, the measured properties will agree some of the time and disagree some of the time. (The formal term for the degree of agreement is, of course, "correlation.") Bell showed (1964, I believe) that if there is an undiscovered clockwork mechanism of the universe (the usual term is "hidden local variables"), then various inequalities must hold. Experimentally, they don't. Therefore, hidden variables are out.
"Surely, under KCA, if all things that exist are created, then yes God was created, and I will concede to such a point if it pleases him. However, such claims do not hold impact concerning the creation of the Universe."
Well considering that the whole premise of the KCA to make a case for God creating the universe, then it's irrational on your behalf to assume that I cannot make a case against God using the lame logical standard. If I can make the case that God needed a beginning, therefore he does not exist by the KCA standards, then it's clear God didn't create the universe using those standards. This is completely relevant to the discussion of the creation of the universe, so your criticisms are baseless.
"Do you suppose God tripped over a bucket and thus caused the Universe? This example is lacking in relevance"
If the purpose of premise 4 of the KCA is to indicate that the cause was personal, because he chose it, then it's clear my argument is completely relevant. I provided a good example of something that can be created without any motive or will (a child can be created out of sex lust not due to the will or motive to have a child). It's completely reasonable to assume that if God exists, he didn't necessarily create the universe with the intent of having a personal relationship with intelligent life. My opponent seems to fish for anything he can to make his refutations work, and fails miserably.
"He goes on to write that The Big Bang didn't possess any qualities that would ensure life would be permitted. But I ask him then, does or does not life exist?"
This is an absolutely ignorant response if I may say so. Just because life exists doesn't mean the singularity possessed any qualities that would ensure it would exist. My opponent seems to be mistaking something that happened to happen, with something that needed to happen based on existing laws.
"To trace his logic we would stop at the Big Bang; if you apply KCA you go further to eventually arrive at a Cause, in other words a Creator."
Going further assumes you can go farther. You are invoking an extra agent, "a creator" when there is nothing to indicate such an entity.
Occam's razor, also known as Ockham's razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae (the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness), is a principle that generally recommends that, from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false.
Review these two premise and determine which one is the simplest explanation for our universe:
"The universe exists uncaused"
"The universe exists, caused, by an God who is uncaused'
Of course the universe is uncaused would be the most simple answer. Now which theory involves the fewest assumptions? Well I am assuming the universe is uncaused (one assumption), my opponent is assuming that God exists, and he is uncaused (two assumptions). According to Occam's Razor (the number one measuring stick in science), my answer involves the fewest assumptions is the more simpler explanation, and therefore is most likely correct and plausible.
"..And since the Big Bang had a cause, as all effects and actions derive from some cause"
Once again, vacuum fluctuations are effects that are uncaused according to current Quantum Theory, so if you are going to say things like "all effects and actions derive from a cause" then please make sure it is correct. My opponent's arguments seem to be all assumption based and not based on any form of reality, making his stances moot.
"The Pro-side merely reinforces logical statements by deducing the nature of the Universe as being causal"
My opponent ignorantly assumes that simple logic determines truth, it doesn't, science does. The sun rises in front of you and sets behind you, logic dictates that the sun must go around the earth, this is of course scientifically false. If you called everyone in the world and asked them if the ground they were standing on looked flat as far as the eye could see, all the billions of people would say "yes" so logic dictates that the world must be flat, this is of course scientifically false. Cause and effect is no different, you see an effect and expect a cause logically, but science tells us uncaused events are the norm at the sub-atomic level.
Where second grade logic fails, scientific truth succeeds . It's clear what side of the fence pro is on.
Also, if we are on the subject of causation we must first define a cause. Scientifically, the most rational definition is as follows:
A rearrangement of existing matter than precedes it's effect in time
If a book gets knocked over, the cause must:
a) Be a rearrangement of exiting matter
b) Precede it's effect in time
So if I move my arm, this would be the rearrangement of existing matter and this would have to precede the effect of the book being knocked over.
So to refute the Kalam Cosmological Argument once more using it's logical standard, I present this:
(1) A cause is a rearrangement of existing matter that precedes its effect in time
(2) Matter and time did not exist before the universe
(3) The universe did not have a cause
Unless Pro can:
a) Demonstrate that a cause and effect relationship is possible without the rearrangement of exiting matter that precedes it's effect in time
b) Demonstrate that Quantum events are caused, even though current Quantum Theory works with them being uncaused
...Then he hasn't even began to scratch the surface regarding an argument in favor of the KCA, not by a long shot.
I will point out that the Pro-side argument states that a causal agent (called “God”) created the Universe under KCA. I am not implying any religious or spiritual connotation to God, simply using him as causality. Don’t let Con convince you that this is Religious v. Secular because it isn’t
Con Argument: Time didn’t exist Pre-Big Bang
He cites Vacuum fluctuations but they are explained in Quantum mechanics as well: basically the Universe tries out infinitely many things at the same time, before some of them materialize into solid fact. Sometimes they never do, but the virtual processes may still have real effect; the cause is random, but that is still in the realm of causality. Modern Quantum mechanics agrees with this statement and thus vacuum fluctuations have a cause. It simply is of a spontaneous nature.
Con-Argument: Under KCA, God cannot be created
Occam's Razor (OR):
And later, he states that I am being ignorant by using simple logic, I quote: “My opponent ignorantly assumes that simple logic determines truth, it doesn't”. This argument is a direct contradiction of his OR argument and don’t let him try to use it as both offense and defense. If using logic to deduce that the more simple something is that the more correct is true, then deducing that the Universe is created is far more logical and simplistic than stating that because of vacuum fluctuations (which have cause btw), the Universe had no cause. OR doesn’t fit snuggly in his argument. He presents a fallacy in both arguments so drop his attacks and extend both my cards.
His biggest blunder is in causation. He provides an inaccurate definition of cause. I present a counter definition:
Do not buy his argument that causality mandates time/existing matter; in fact, the standard definition implies that the action or phenomenon is created (arisen). Con-side last rebuttal thus falls.
You should vote Pro because:
1). He contradicts his first assertion that the Big Bang caused the Universe by turning around and saying that the Universe has no cause.
“(1) The Big Bang singularity is the earliest state of the universe”
"The universe exists uncaused"
If anything this is why you are voting Pro-side, because he has completely changed his argument in the round, first stating that there was a cause to the Universe, then saying that there is none and it just exists. Now that he is arguing that the Universe exists without cause at all, you must reject his case because modern physics supports, at the very least, that the Big Bang caused the Universe.
2). Quantum Mechanics can be explained and given Causality if you apply the uncertainty principle and that the Universe spontaneously creates virtual material, so his vacuum fluctuations have no bearing in this round; and even if it did, he would be assuming quite a lot to say spontaneity denies the Universe of a causal agent.
3). Presents a fallacious rebuttal, attempting to say that my argument must be simple under OR but attacks me for using deductive reasoning which provides the least assumptions. He in fact is both presuming and providing complex arguments with zero coherency
4). Attempts to narrow the time-frame for the second time. Do not let him do this because once we assume that there was no Pre-Big Bang, he closes this debate by making sure God does not exist. There needn’t be Con-“time” in the preceding era, it just exists.
5). Drops my observation on the linear flow of cause-effect, thus mandating that the Big Bang, being the cause of the Universe was preceded by its own cause. That causal agent I call God, thus I win the round under KCA. This will prevent Con-side from picking up the ballot because he has agreed with this premise through lack of refutation and cannot do so later.
My opponent is assuming a pre-time era without any evidence, which means my opponent is being dishonest regarding the presentation of his argument. Where is the evidence of this pre-time era? Everything we do as human beings we do in time, according to The Big Bang model (the same model theists try to use to prove the universe has a beginning in the first place) time did not exist before The Big Bag. The only way to justify a pre-time era on his behalf is to subscribe to scientific theories like "M-Theory" which theorize about a pre-time era, however theories like these do not help his case and are speculative at best, and not based on observable evidence like the fact that space-time originated after the expansion of the singularity.
Basically my opponent is assuming a pre-time era, while completely ignoring the fact that you can't get to a "time" before "time" as the current Big Bang model suggests. If the one subscribing to the KCA rejects the Big Bang, then I can easily dismiss the second premise of the Kalam that the Universe had a beginning based on the same logical standard. Either way the KCA does not succeed on any plane of reality.
"To counter this you simply need to extend that random causation still qualifies KCA"
Virtual Particles are not random causation, under the current Quantum Theory they are uncaused events. If my opponent cannot even make the distinction between random causation and uncaused events then what makes him thinks he can make a coherent argument on the subject? My opponent rejects aspects of theories that go against his points but has no problem reinforcing the theories when they suit him. This indicates an invalid argument.
"What I am saying is that there was in indeed no law which governed the Big Bang because the Big-Bang was preceded by a non-existent Universe."
The above is an argument from ignorance I'm afraid. There was no law governing the singularity, the singularity is hardly a non-existent universe so I wish my opponent would get at least that one right.
"...The law was created by God."
Baseless assertion. Where is your reasoning the law was created by God? Like I previously stated my opponent is basing his entire arguments on assumptions that have nothing to do with scientific fact and isn't making any rational arguments in his favor.
"When physicists state uncaused they are referring in the bounds of conventional physics, not that cause is absent"
Baseless assertion. When physicists state they are uncaused, they mean just that. If the Quantum Fluctuations were caused they would need energy for the cause like all causes, since the fluctuations are particle-anti particle pairs annihilating each other, the negative and positive energy cancel out to equal zeo. This means that not only are they uncaused, there isn't even any room for a cause because there is no net energy input. My opponent is basing his entire argument on three things, baseless assertions, assumptions, and lack of scientific knowledge. Unless my opponent can demonstrate why the sub-atomic level has to play by the same rules (causation) as the macro level when this is been proven false, then he has no foundation for his arguments and is basing it all on uneducated blind speculation.
"Does the creator of a watch not have a beginning? And for that matter, does that beginning in anyway prove or disprove the watch?"
The fallacious flaw of this argument is that if God (assuming this entity exists strictly for the sake of argument) had a beginning, then he was created by something higher than himself. If this is the case then that would make the "creator of the creator" the actual God, rendering the "creator" of the universe, not God by theistic standards. Either way there is no basis for making the claim God created the universe in the first place.
"Again, please explain to me how one could "accidently" create the Universe?"
I never said that if there was a creator that he the universe was an accident, so once again, you are arguing against points I never made. I simply said that if there is a creator (which is highly unlikely) there is no evidence he created the universe with the intent of having a personal relationship with intelligent beings.
Since most of the universe is "dead" matter and not intelligent at all, with galaxy collisions on most likely lifeless galaxies happening all the time in processes involving massing amounts of destruction, it's more likely that if the universe was created (which I have already demonstrated, is unlikely) it had nothing to do with a personal relationship with life.
"Surely any Con-side argument can say that everything has a chance of not occurring and prove that there is no assurance; however that is doing absolutely no argumentation and failing to prove anything"
Well since my whole stance is that it had a chance of not happening meaning no assurance, my opponent is asking me to prove something that is not required of me. What pro actually has to do is prove that there was assurance, if there wasn't then this eliminates the notions that:
a) God created the singularity
b) God created the universe with the purpose of having a relationship with intelligent beings
"You are assuming that the Universe was created without a Causal agent (basically, the Big Bang happened just because), which is assuming far more than I am."
Wrong. I am saying there is no evidence that there is any space or time for a cause to exist in. The biggest assumption is the one involving something happening in conditions that don't allow for it. It's clear my opponent isn't even being honest with himself here.
"The theory of relativity is also an example of a complex explanation for a simple concept"
You are confused about the nature of what Occam's Razor indicates is a simple answer. The simple answer is the one with fewest assumptions, if the theory is "complex" to Pro, then he would really be amazed at how complex the theory would be if Einstein included unneeded assumptions. My opponent seems to ignore points of comparison. So what theory explaining the universe requires the least amount of assumptions?
a) The universe was uncaused
b) The universe was caused, by a creator, who was uncaused
My position is only assuming one notion (which is an educated notion, because my opponent has no basis for making the case that causes can exist without matter, space, and time), while my opponent is assuming three notions (The universe had a cause, a God exists, and the God is uncaused)
My answer explains the same thing with two less assumptions then him, which proves his arguments carry more baggage than they can hold.
"If using logic to deduce that the more simple something is that the more correct is true, then deducing that the Universe is created is far more logical"
My opponent is confusing scientific logic, with basic logic (basic logic is the kind that tells you the sun revolves around the Earth, even though it doesn't). Occam's Razor is logic that has been verified to have been the best measuring stick in science. If my opponent even wants to have a chance of making a good argument, he must first make distinctions between his primitive logic and real scientific logic that has been verified to work.
"Pro's definition of cause: A person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition"
Lets assume this is correct, just because you can define something doesn't mean you have defined the properties of that thing. There are no examples of causes that weren't rearrangements of matter preceding the effect in time. So if my opponent wants to make the claim that this new radical kind of causation exists, he is going to have to base his arguments on facts and explain how this is possible without matter and space-time. He does not..
If you want reasons to vote Con, read the above..
Michurro forfeited this round.