The Instigator
Hyperion1
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Microsuck
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Kalam Cosmological Argument, take 2

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Hyperion1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,078 times Debate No: 23921
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

Hyperion1

Pro

I've already debated this recently with an atheist, but I would like to improve my performance, as well as expose myself to as many defenses as possible. :)


1) Whatever began to exist has a cause for its existence.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence.


Premise 1 is true by experience: we don't observe everyday objects coming into existence out of nothing, or we'd live in a very chaotic world. It's also true by metaphysical intuition: we can't conceive of a possible world where things come into existence uncaused.

Premise 2 is true for two reasons. First, we have scientific evidence that the universe came into existence in a Big Bang singularity, which was the first moment in time for the universe. Second, we know that the universe can't exist forever, because if there was an infinite past then we would never get to the present, and no matter how long we wait there will never be an infinite number of future moments between now and an infinite point in the future.

Thus the argument proves the existence for a cause of the universe.


Craig, W. L. and Sinclair, J. D. (2009) The Kalam Cosmological Argument, in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (eds W. L. Craig and J. P. Moreland), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
Microsuck

Con

THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT.

1) Whatever began to exist has a cause for its existence.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence.

Observaion 1: Divine attributes are not known


My partner's Burden of Proof is to show that there is a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and has the basic attributes of the Judeo-Christian God. The prolem with this argument is that it cannot meet the Burden of Proof. Why think that this cause is God? Moreover, why think that it is your God? God can be the cause, but be evil. Consequently, my opponent hasn't met his BoP.

Attack on p1 - Everything that has a beginning has a cause

Unless we know that this premise is correct, then the whole argument fails. Do we?Not really. Scientists have found that particles of energy may come into existence, completely uncaused, in empty space. [1]

Attack on p2 - The universe began to exist

My partner's whole case rests on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I disagree that the universe began to exist. Why? Because there is no such thing as 'nothingness':

"In modern physics, there is no such thing as "nothing." Even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. Though they cannot be directly observed, the effects they create are quite real. The assumption that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiment to a high degree of accuracy. (Morris 1990: 25) " [2]

So, there is really no such thing as a perfect vacuum. What does this mean? It means that there has always been something that has existed in the form of energy. It is possible that the Universe as we know it began as a quantum flucuation around 10-15 billion years ago. [3]

You see, the term 'nothing' is not used in physics like our everyday understanding of the absence of anything. The contentions that the 'nothing' of physics is not nothingness. Space is never truly empty -- but we don't need to be exegetical dispute here, since t is quite true that Tryon-type models, the universe-producing quantum fluctuations occur in preexisting spacetime which always exited.

Why the KCA is wrong - The 'B' Theory

The B-theory states that both past, present, and future all exist in a rd or n+1d block, and the present is the current image seen o the progression throughout this lock, no more real than those before or after. [4] This makes sense to say taht the universe has had a past space-time boundary, it doesn't make sense to say it 'began to exist' as our bock was always there.

The KCA rest on the A-Theory of time [5] which unfortunately for my opponent, and Dr. Craig, most phsycists are B-theorists. [6]



1. Vuletic, Mark I. "Creation Ex Nihilo - without God." The Secular Web: Atheism, Agnosticism, and Freethought. The Secular Web, 2011. Web. 28 May 2012. <http://www.infidels.org......;.

Quantum fluctuations are completely random. One can argue that they are not really creation ex nihlo because they require the pre-existence of the universe. However, that completely misses the point. Moreover, we must still recognize that many events are not necessitated by an earlier state. "In the everyday world, energy is always unalterably fixed; the law of energy conservation is a cornerstone of classical physics. But in the quantum microworld, energy can appear and disappear out of nowhere in a spontaneous and unpredictable fashion. (Davies 1983: 162) Quoted in the URL above.

2.Morris, Richard. 1990. The Edges of Science. New York: Prentice Hall. Quoted in the article, "Creation Ex Nihlo - without God." URL provided in reference 1.

3. This idea isn't far fetched as the understanding of modern physics do allow for this possibility.

4. For more, see http://plato.stanford.edu...;

5. The A-Theory is just the opposite. It states that only the present exists and the future will come into existence later on. See the url above.

6. I'd like to thank Thrasymachus for first posting on the A-B theory of time in his debate with Mr.Infidel on the same topic athttp://www.debate.org....... I did my own research to better understand the idea of the Theory of Time, which can become quite interesting and highy involved.

Debate Round No. 1
Hyperion1

Pro

Divine Attributes

I am not arguing in this debate that the cause of the universe was any sort of god, still less "the" God. I am arguing only that the universe was caused to exist. So this point is moot.


Premise 1

Con cites the appearance of virtual particle pairs as examples of something coming from nothing. Even if these appearances are random, they don't come from nothing. Quantum vacuum is not nothing; it is a "rolling sea of energy."(1)

These virtual particle pairs are not entities with discrete properties. Their "coming into existence" is a fluctuation event in the quantum foam, an entity's changing of nature from one type to another. It is not a beginning-to-exist event.(1)

Finally, even if the "creation" of virtual particle pairs are random, this does not make them uncaused; they can be said to be caused by the quantum foam.


Premise 2

Con argues that there is there has always been something that has existed, referring to the quantum energy that exists in a perfect vacuum, from which the observable universe sprang. However, whether such energy existed prior (in a causal sense) to the Big Bang begs the question.

This objection also fails to address the point that an infinite regress of moments cannot exist. Starting from now and proceeding into the future, we will never have created an infinite number of moments. Similarly, there cannot be an infinite number of moments in the past; if the universe began infinitely long ago, then an infinite amount of time would have to pass before we reached the present, which means we wouldn't be here.


B Theory

Perhaps anticipating the above point, Con argues that the Kalam argument assumes the "A theory" of time, but most philosophers accept a "B theory" of time which allows for an infinite number of moments. First, however, this is an argument from popularity. Second, the relevant source for this argument(2) used a sample size of only 61 experts in philosophy, which hardly makes for a compelling survey. And third, this tells us nothing about why A theory should be rejected and B theory accepted.


The Kalam argument stands.


(1) http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
(2) http://philpapers.org...
Microsuck

Con

Microsuck forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Hyperion1

Pro

I rest on my previous statement.
Microsuck

Con

First, I would like to apologize for the forfeit in the previous round. Because of recent storms in my area and other debates, I completely missed the previous round. Voters, I ask that you give my opponent the conduct point; however, I have not forfeited the debate.

1) Whatever began to exist has a cause for its existence.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence.


Divine Attributes

The KCA is inherently an argument for God's existence. Therefore, I believe this is valid. Why should I believe that this cause is God? My opponent has not answered this question.

Premise 1

I cited quantum fluctuations as an example against premise 1. My opponent missed the point entirely. Of course they are not "nothing" (as my opponent said they were); rather, I argued that they pop into existence completely randomly and have no cause (or creator) for its existence.

Paul Davis notes:

In the everyday world, energy is always unalterably fixed; the law of energy conservation is a cornerstone of classical physics. But in the quantum microworld, energy can appear and disappear out of nowhere in a spontaneous and unpredictable fashion. (Davies 1983: 162)

Stephen Hawkings notes:

There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty [five] zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero. (Hawking 1988: 129) [2]

So, my opponent doesn't even answer the question at hand.

Premise 2

Once again, my opponent completely misses the point. I argued that there is no such thing as "nothing". Review the quote from the last round:

"In modern physics, there is no such thing as "nothing." Even in a perfect vacuum, pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. Though they cannot be directly observed, the effects they create are quite real. The assumption that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiment to a high degree of accuracy. (Morris 1990: 25) "

The B theory of Time

Once more, my opponent still misses the point for the same reasons listed above. However, he does ask for evidence for the B-theory of time which I will present in this round.


In his debate with Mr.Infidel, Thrasymachus points out:

Some further support for B-theory. What is happening on Pluto when I snap my fingers? Thanks to special relativity, the answer depends on your frame of reference with respect to me. B-theorists can easily accommodate this, but A theorists seem obliged to say there is a ‘correct’ answer as only a given point of time exists across the universe at any instant, and so demand a privileged frame of reference. Yet this requires various contrivances unnecessary on a B-theory view.[3]

Conclusion

Throughout my opponent's "rebuttals", my opponent completely missed the point and failed to answer any of my questions. I argue that the KCA does not prove that God exists nor does it have a cause.

Sources

1. Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Quoted http://www.infidels.org...;

2. Hawking, Steven. 1988. A Brief History of Time. Toronto: Bantam. Quotedi n the URL above.
[3] http://www.debate.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
Sorry for the forfeit. My internet was down via a storm. Would you mind if we restart this?
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
Ah, the KCA is inherently an argument FOR God. So that's what I thought he meant.
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
Lol, Con, not off to a good start. This debate isn't about whether the cause is God, but whether the universe has a cause.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
links do not work. http://www.debate.org...
I copied the argument from a previous debate.
Posted by Apollo.11 4 years ago
Apollo.11
It's not a theist vs. atheist debate unless you assert that the cause is god.
Posted by whyt3nn3rdy 4 years ago
whyt3nn3rdy
You may want to reword parts of your explanation of premise 2. I'll accept later, I suppose.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
Hyperion1MicrosuckTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro for Con's forfeit. Con's arguments were largely irrelevant. The KCA, on its own, does not presuppose God's existence. It only shows, through deductive reasoning, that the universe requires a cause of its existence. In round three, Con admits that quantum fluctuations are not "nothing" which negates his entire argument. The universe came into existence from nothing, literally "non-existence."