The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
medic0506
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument (3)

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,359 times Debate No: 16016
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (2)

 

Illegalcombatant

Con

4 Rounds
8,000 Character limit
72 Hours to respond
3 Month voting period

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BURDEN OF PROOF

Both sides of this debate have a burden to carry

I as the CON will argue that the kalam cosmological argument should be rejected.

My opponent as the PRO will argue that the kalam cosmological argument should be accepted.
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PROBLEMS ?

If you have any problem with the debate please post in the comments section first so we can try to come to an agreement before starting.
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EXPECTATIONS

It is expected that both parties act in good faith, eg no semantics, no cheap shots.
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Round 4

Round 4 is the last round, no new arguments are to be made in round 4. Only rebuttals, counter arguments of the previous arguments, and summaries.
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Background/introduction of the debate topic

"A second type of cosmological argument, contending for a first or beginning cause of the universe, has a venerable history, especially in the Islamic tradition. Although it had numerous defenders through the centuries, it received new life in the recent voluminous writings of William Lane Craig. Craig formulates the kal��m cosmological argument this way (in Craig and Smith 1993, chap. 1):

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2) The universe began to exist.
3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
4) Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent)

This argument has been the subject of much recent debate, some of which we will summarize here" [1]

Countering that the universe/time began to exist

--- What does it mean too say that something began to exist ? ---

In order for something to "begin" to exist, there must be a past in which the thing did not exist. Why is this the case ? Cause if something exists, yet going back into the past there was no point in which it did not exist, that would make it eternal, and as such did not "begin" to exist.

For instance you began to exist, cause going back into the past there was a time when you did not exist.

--- The universe including time began to exist ? ---

If the universe began to exist, this means that time began to exist. But time beginning to exist is self refuting. In order for time to begin to exist, there must be a past where time did not exist. But you can't have a "past" unless time exists in the first place.

Seeing that time existing before time exists is impossible, that means there has never been a past where time did not exist. This means time has always existed and as such has not began to exist.

Consider this argument.......

1) For something to begin to exist, there must be a point in the past where it did not exist
2) IF time began to exist, there was a point in the past where time did not exist
2b) Time would have to not exist in the past. Not existing in the past can only happen where time exists.

Premise 2) is self refuting, there fore time did not begin to exist.

3) Time is part of the universe
4) Therefore part of the universe did not begin to exist
5) Therefore the claim that the universe began to exist is false

I look forward to Pros response.

Sources

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
medic0506

Pro

I look forward to this challenge but this is my first debate so please be gentle with me.

KCA 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
This should be a given. Something can not be made by nothing.

KCA 2) The universe began to exist.
This seems to be your argument, that it did not "begin". Although there are exceptions, based on the known facts, most scientists agree that the universe is expanding. They also agree that it is expanding at an ever increasing rate, and that this fact points to the universe having both a beginning and an end. If the universe is expanding, logic dictates that it had a beginning. If you reverse the expansion, and follow the contraction back in time, at some point it would become so small that it would cease to exist. The age of the universe is estimated to be 6-20 billion years. If something has an age, that can be estimated, it must have had a beginning.

If the universe had no beginning, then it must be infinite. Again, science is against that idea. Actual infinities do not exist in the physical world, to my knowledge. They can only be theorized, thus are only potential infinities. Imagine drawing a circle. Once complete, it would appear to be infinite. However, once you put pencil to paper is the point where the circle began. As it had a beginning, the circle is not an actual infinite.

Much of your argument centers around time, so I'll address that issue.

Con: "If the universe began to exist, this means that time began to exist. But time beginning to exist is self refuting. In order for time to begin to exist, there must be a past where time did not exist. But you can't have a "past" unless time exists in the first place."
1) For something to begin to exist, there must be a point in the past where it did not exist
2) IF time began to exist, there was a point in the past where time did not exist
2b) Time would have to not exist in the past. Not existing in the past can only happen where time exist

Time did, indeed, begin to exist, and there is a past in which time did not exist. Although there are many definitions of time, for the purposes of our debate, it is nothing more than a way to measure change/movement, list events chronologically, or describe an era(past, present, future).

Time is a concept and measurement invented by humans, it did not come built in to the universe. Many humans lived before "time" existed. Once we invented time, we decided to call everything prior to now, the past. Since it happened prior to the present, the beginning of the universe would be included in "the past". Just prior to the beginning of the universe is also part of "the past", and as such, was there before time. I don't believe that this argument refutes the KCA because it simply makes a comparison of 2 words, that measure 2 different things. Time is how we measure movement or change, the past is an era or period, and has no beginning point unless we assign it one. For instance, I believe that God created the universe, so obviously I believe that there was a point when the universe did not exist. If the universe didn't exist then the physical actions that time measures couldn't exist. Even though time didn't exist, that period is still part of the past because it happened prior to the present.

Con:
3) Time is part of the universe
4) Therefore part of the universe did not begin to exist
5) Therefore the claim that the universe began to exist is false

I will agree with #3, to the extent, that time is as much a part of the universe as feet and pounds are. Time is simply a way to measure, and as such, is not a physical property of the universe. The universe can, and did exist without our system of measures. Since time, itself, is not necessary for the universe to exist, I believe 4 and 5 fail to refute the KCA.

KCA 3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
I believe that premise 1, along with my reasons under premise 2, support this statement.

KCA 4) Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent)
No scientific, or natural, explanation can be found. In addition, most hypothesized causal accounts violate the universal physical laws, that we know to hold true. When no natural cause exists, we must conclude that the cause is supernatural.

I look forward to hearing from con in round 2.

http://plato.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

There is a minimum size needed for something to exist ?

Pro says " If you reverse the expansion, and follow the contraction back in time, at some point it would become so small that it would cease to exist"

Is their a limit on how small something can be until it ceases to exist ? On what basis do you make this claim ?

Potential infinites vs Actual infinites

Pro says "If the universe had no beginning, then it must be infinite. Again, science is against that idea. Actual infinities do not exist in the physical world, to my knowledge. They can only be theorized, thus are only potential infinities"

Why can't the universe be a potential infinite ?

Is time actually real or just a concept in our heads ?

Pro seeks to refute my argument on the basis that their is no fundamental actual existence of time but rather that time is just a product of the mind and is just as real as the flying spaghetti monster is, as Pro says "Time is a concept and measurement invented by humans""

But even if this is the case, this refutes Pros own arguments. If there is no real time, then there is no real past, and if there is no real past then there was never a point in the real past where the universe did not exist.

Either time is.....

1) Actually real - And there has never been a time/past where time did not begin to exist, thus the universe did not begin to exist.

2) Time is not actually real and is just a made up concept - And the universe did not really begin to exist.

I look forward to Pros reply.
medic0506

Pro

"Is their a limit on how small something can be until it ceases to exist ?"

If it has a size then it exists.

"On what basis do you make this claim ?"

The "big crunch" theory, in which gravitational forces stop the expansion of the universe, then reverse it into a contraction, until the universe eventually collapses in on itself. Though speculative, it's one of the many theories that attempt to predict the outcome of the universe.

"Why can't the universe be a potential infinite ?"

It can, indeed, be a potential infinite, provided that it continues to exist, another of the theoretical outcomes. It can't be an actual infinite, though, one that has no beginning, and no end, because the scientific community has concluded that it had a beginning.

"Pro seeks to refute my argument on the basis that their is no fundamental actual existence of time but rather that time is just a product of the mind and is just as real as the flying spaghetti monster is, as Pro says "Time is a concept and measurement invented by humans"

I think con may be misunderstanding my meaning, perhaps I should have left out the word "concept". I'm not implying that time is a figment of our imagination, as is the flying spaghetti monster. Time is, indeed, real and does exist, as a system of measure. It is just as real as our systems of measuring length, weight, etc. Just as those systems of measure were worked out by humans, so was the system of time and, as such, did not always exist. We could take all measurement of time, and all words that relate to our measurement of time, out of our language, and the universe would continue to exist. For that reason, I don't think we can make the logical jump, from the measurement of time not existing, to that causing the universe not to exist, as con implies.

"But even if this is the case, this refutes Pros own arguments. If there is no real time, then there is no real past, and if there is no real past then there was never a point in the real past where the universe did not exist."

This isn't my argument. My attempt to refute your argument is, more accurately, framed this way.

1) Time exists as a system of measure.
2) That system of measure was invented by humans and, as such, could not have always existed.
3) "The past" is a descriptive term, assigned retroactively, that we use to describe anything prior to the present.
4) The only constraint, on the word "past", is that it be prior to the present. It has no beginning point unless we assign it one in our conversation, i.e. the past 500 years. This makes "the past" potentially infinite in how far back it can go.
5) The physical actions that time measures could not have been present until the universe began, thus time could not have existed prior to the beginning of the universe.
6) Not having a set beginning point, and being merely a descriptive term, "the past" can include the instant just prior to the beginning of the universe.
7) Therefore, the attempt to refute the KCA, based on the time/past comparison, fails in it's logic because there can be a past where the universe, thus time, didn't exist.

I hope this clarifies some issues. I look forward to round 3.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

You can't get something from nothing...........or can you ?

Pro says "KCA 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
This should be a given. Something can not be made by nothing."

KCA plays by two different rules, rules that apply within the universe "physics" and rules that apply outside of the universe "metaphysics".

Now, I won't challenge that you can't get something from nothing within the universe, but why should we accept that as a rule that applies outside of the universe ? After all they have different rules outside of the universe that allow for things to exist that can't possibility happen or exist in the universe such as .....

1) Something existing without a cause (God)
2) Creating energy where there is no pre existent energy (Creation ex nihilo)
3) A mind without a brain (God)
4) Not subject to physical laws (God)

So, if KCA can have different rules outside of the universe that allow for things too happen that can't happen in the universe so can we. Outside of the universe it is possible to get something from nothing.

If Pro thinks outside of the universe its not possible to get something from nothing then maybe Pro can tell us why.

The shrinking Universe means the universe began to exist ?

Pro made the argument that the more you go back in time the smaller the universe becomes. Maybe I wasn't clear enough before, but I was asking why Pro regards a shrinking universe means that the universe began to exist.

As pro says "If it has a size then it exists."

Half of something is always something, if the universe is always shrinking then there was no point where it did not exist.

The shrinking universe argument.......

1) The more back in time you go, the smaller universe was (Claimed by Pro)
2) An ever decreasing universe is still an existent universe
3) Therefore the Universe did not begin to exist

Potential infinities vs Actual infinities

Although pro rejects a beginning-less actual infinite universe, Why can't the universe be a beginning-less potential infinite universe ?

Is time actually real or just a concept in our heads ?

Pro says "Time is, indeed, real and does exist, as a system of measure. It is just as real as our systems of measuring length, weight, etc. Just as those systems of measure were worked out by humans, so was the system of time and, as such, did not always exist."

Time as a system of measure is just a bunch of concepts WE made up. If we created them, then we can uncreate them. This explanation of time is not consistent with time being objectively real.

Pro says "We could take all measurement of time, and all words that relate to our measurement of time, out of our language, and the universe would continue to exist. For that reason, I don't think we can make the logical jump, from the measurement of time not existing, to that causing the universe not to exist, as con implies."

Funny, I don't think we can assert that the universe began to exist just because we created the concept of time.

What does it mean too say that something began to exist ?

Pro once again denies the objective reality of time. If time is not objectively real, then temporal events are not objectively real, and the claim that the universe began to exist is a temporal event.

As such the universe did not begin to exist (not in the real objective sense anway)

I look forward to Pros reply.

medic0506

Pro

I thank con for his response. He raises some very interesting questions which I will attempt to address.

--"KCA plays by two different rules, rules that apply within the universe "physics" and rules that apply outside of the universe "metaphysics"."--

I will stipulate that the KCA asserts that God exists and created the universe. In other words, it states that something must exist, that can act outside the universe, and it‘s laws. Outside that assertion, it doesn‘t "play" with, try to establish, argue against, or use any metaphysical rules. For instance, it doesn't try to argue how, when, or why He created it, using metaphysical principles as justification. Furthermore, even if taken as accurate, I don't think this statement refutes the KCA, in any way. That would require some evidence, or at least some convincing logic, as to why something can't be both.

--"Now, I won't challenge that you can't get something from nothing within the universe, but why should we accept that as a rule that applies outside of the universe ? "--

First of all, the "something from nothing" comment was mine. The KCA does not argue HOW the universe was created, or even that there was absolutely nothing. It simply states that our present universe began. That said, con makes a fair point here. I can't show why it must apply, so we can't assume that, because the "something from nothing" rule applies inside the universe, that it MUST also apply outside. By the same token though, I've seen nothing to show that it CAN'T apply. In addition, following that logic, since we can't show that the other rules, that apply within the universe, MUST also apply outside the universe, why then must we deem the possibility of God, to be illogical??
One other observation, in this round, con asks why the laws that exist, within the universe, have to apply outside the universe. In arguing FOR the existence of something, outside the universe, it seems that would increase the possibility of a being, such as God.
In addition, if there IS an "outside the universe", wouldn't that contradict the argument of an infinite and eternal universe??

--""Pro made the argument that the more you go back in time the smaller the universe becomes. Maybe I wasn't clear enough before, but I was asking why Pro regards a shrinking universe means that the universe began to exist.
Half of something is always something, if the universe is always shrinking then there was no point where it did not exist.""--

I did bring that up us a possibility, it wasn't my theory though, it‘s called the "Big Crunch Theory". It doesn't involve an infinitely shrinking universe. At some point, through whatever mechanism, it will collapse and no longer exist.

--"Although pro rejects a beginning-less actual infinite universe, Why can't the universe be a beginning-less potential infinite universe ?"--

To make a logical argument for that, one has to abandon known scientific principles, use wordplay, and go against minds like Hawking and Sagan (atheists), who believe that God doesn't exist, but that the universe had a beginning. The vast majority of the scientific community operate with that as an accepted fact. If non-theists have to use the same principles that theists use, in their argument against God, does it really refute anything??
*My source is a video link so, per rules, I won't post it, but it's on you tube. It's called "God, the Universe, and Everything Else." Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Arthur C. Clark

--"Time as a system of measure is just a bunch of concepts WE made up. If we created them, then we can uncreate them. This explanation of time is not consistent with time being objectively real."--

When our alarm goes off in the morning, we start our day based on what time the clock says it is. Would your boss accept "Time isn't objectively real", as an excuse for being late?? The first humans didn't have alarm clocks, but they still woke up, and went about their day. This is because the physical actions that time measures, movement and change, were still present.

--"Funny, I don't think we can assert that the universe began to exist just because we created the concept of time."--

I don't believe that to be part of my argument.

I apologize for taking so long to respond, I'm having some computer problems.
I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply

The shrinking Universe means the universe began to exist ?

Previously I argued that half of something is always something, Pro did not argue against this claim. Pro merely pointed out to some "theories". This isn't a refutation of my claim that half of something is always something, thus refuting Pros claim that the shrinking universe = the universe did not exist at some point.

Although pro rejects a beginning-less actual infinite universe, Why can't the universe be a beginning-less potential infinite universe ?

Pro says "To make a logical argument for that, one has to abandon known scientific principles, use wordplay, and go against minds like Hawking and Sagan (atheists)"

Where is the "word play" in this argument ?

Why does known scientific principles have to be abandon too consider such a proposition ?

Since where did going against the minds of Hawking and Sagan automatically mean you are wrong be default ? Did these two people get equated with the word of God and I didn't get the email ? Is this the same Hawking that says God is not necessary for the universe to exist ?

What does it mean too say that something began to exist ?

Once again Pro rejects that time is objectively real. Their illustration about the boss being angry at you being late to work doesn't help their case.

I remind Pro of my previous argument.......

"Pro once again denies the objective reality of time. If time is not objectively real, then temporal events are not objectively real, and the claim that the universe began to exist is a temporal event.

As such the universe did not begin to exist (not in the real objective sense anyway)"

KCA plays by two different rules, rules that apply within the universe "physics" and rules that apply outside of the universe "metaphysics".

Pro dismisses this claim. Previously I listed 4 things that the KCA argues can happen "outside" of the universe but can't happen "inside" the universe. Those 4 things are....

1) Something existing without a cause (God)
2) Creating energy where there is no pre existent energy (Creation ex nihilo)
3) A mind without a brain (God)
4) Not subject to physical laws (God)

Pro does not dis agree with this distinction, Pro just dismisses. Trouble is just dismissing it doesn't make it go away, as such this contention remains.

You can't get something from nothing...........or can you ?

Pro says "First of all, the "something from nothing" comment was mine. The KCA does not argue HOW the universe was created, or even that there was absolutely nothing."

Now Pro seems to be implying that it is possible to get something from nothing. This refute premise 1 of KCA that says "1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence."

I look forward to Pros reply.

medic0506

Pro

I thank con for his comments.

Because of limited space, and the need to get my closing in now, so my opponent can respond to anything new, I'm going to put off responding to my opponent's round 4 remarks, until round 5. I apologize but ddo doesn't allow me enough space to do both, in one round.
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
My opponent challenges the "something from nothing" concept. Admittedly, I did say that in my opening. I later looked at it, and realized there's a reason that P1 is worded the way that it is, instead of simply saying "You can't get something from nothing". It would be a grave contradiction to argue in favor of an eternal God, yet also argue that there was a point where there was "nothing". Although I didn't word it the way I am now, I did try to make a correction in round 3. So although similar, P1 doesn't argue that you can't get something from nothing. It simply says that if something begins, something else caused that beginning. My opponent has an opportunity in round 5, to respond to this premise as it is written, but I can't imagine any challenge. If there is a challenge, I would hope that an example of something that began to exist without a cause, would be included.
2) The universe began to exist.
No matter how confident we are, in our beliefs, there is no concrete proof, no knockout blow, that either of us can provide to meet our burden of proof, on this premise. All we can hope to show is that it is more likely that it began, or more likely that it didn't begin. Even if I didn't believe in God, the vast amount of information, available for researching this topic, would have swayed me to conclude that it is more likely that the universe began. That information includes known, and widely accepted, scientific facts like cosmic expansion, that leads the world's greatest scientists to conclude, that the universe did, indeed, have a beginning. I could post numerous links, like the one below, from scientists all over the world, saying that the universe had a beginning. Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Nasa, Seti, and many more, are in agreement on this. We should also consider the fact that most of the scientific community, argues against the existence of God, and they would know that an admission that there was a beginning is a point for creationists. One can imagine that they would not make that admission lightly, without trying to disprove it, but they are obligated to follow the evidence.
There is also a good, logical reason that the past universe can't be infinite. Let's say that all positive numbers are in the future, all negative numbers are in the past, and 0 is the present. You can start today, 0, and count up infinitely into the future. That works because you will never reach the end, and you are traveling in the same direction that time does. You can't do that with the past, though. You can start at 0 and count backwards to an infinite negative number, but when you add time to the mix, you're traveling in the opposite direction that time does, so you have to start counting somewhere in the past, and work upward toward the present, 0. That creates a problem for the infinite past universe, because in order to work, the way that we know the world works, you have to pick a "beginning" point, in the past, to start counting. That's not the only problem though. Once you pick that starting point, and start counting up, you will eventually reach 0, the present. Once you reach the present, the past has ended, which means that you do not have an infinity. Even given an infinite amount of negative numbers, you could never count up through an infinite amount of numbers, to reach 0, so you could never reach the present. All this combined should lead one to conclude that it is much more likely, that the universe had a beginning.
http://www.phy.syr.edu...

3) Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
If you accept premises 1 and 2, this should follow, logically. I can't imagine a challenge to this premise, that doesn't originate from one of the earlier premises. I did run across a challenge, to the KCA, using this particular premise, arguing that the universe caused itself. I really hope we don't have to go there in this debate.
Whether you believe in God, or subscribe to one of the scientific theories, that attempt to explain the origin of the universe, you must admit that if the universe began, then there was a cause of that beginning.
4) Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent
Can you imagine the odds of everything coming together, by chance, in just the right balance and just the right temperature for life?? Not only is life existent, but we came with just the right mix of chemicals to give us breathable air. We have drinkable water, and food sources to sustain us in the future, just by chance. No where else, in the cosmos, can we find a place where any earthly animal can survive, without space suits. We have to take some of our earth with us anytime we leave our atmosphere. Imagine completely disassembling a rolex and putting all those tiny parts in a bag, then shaking it up. Do you think you'll ever get that rolex to reassemble with the right time, just by chance?? That's what you're arguing for, if you argue that the universe is just here, by chance.
I usually don't quote scripture, in this type of discussion, but to me this is relevant. Ecclisiastes 3:11, "…..no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." No man can find out God's works, from the beginning. Though I was raised Christian, I've always had an interest in the sciences. It amazes me how so many people claim a conflict between the two, but we could have an entirely different debate about science, and the Bible. Everyone is biased, in their beliefs about God, but what if you were able to view scientific findings, or as it relates to this debate, the lack of ability to find scientific proof, from an unbiased perspective?? Or try to find a way to make science and religion compatible. If you could, then verses, like the one I quoted from, would make perfect sense. No man can find out God's works from beginning to end. Maybe that's why we can't find that knockout punch, that proves conclusively how, why, or when, the universe did or didn't begin. Maybe that's why we can prove some things, but we can't go any further back, so we can only hypothesize. Maybe that's why we can prove that some things will happen in the future, but can only theorize, past that point. Maybe that's why we can't find a way to test our theories, or have to reject others because they are unfalsifiable. Maybe the Creator has built roadblocks to our ability to know things. What if He knew that, the more knowledge we attained, the more arrogant we would become?? We've certainly proven that to be true. Maybe He put that immovable field in place as a way of making us humble ourselves, and admit that there may be something bigger, wiser, and more important, than ourselves.
I can't "prove" to you that the universe was created by God. If I could, it would invalidate the Bible, as well as Christianity itself. One can provide all kinds of proof, but the hard part is persuading people to accept it. On the other hand, in spite of centuries of trying, no one has been able to disprove God, or the Bible, or prove that He didn't create the universe. In absence of that proof, either way, I hope you conclude that it's more likely that a higher power, with a plan, designed and created the universe, and all it's complexities.
Debate Round No. 4
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

KCA vs Argument from design and Argument from ignorance

Towards the end of their post, Pro makes an argument from design such as "Can you imagine the odds of everything coming together, by chance, in just the right balance and just the right temperature for life?? Not only is life existent, but we came with just the right mix of chemicals to give us breathable air. " I remind Con this debate is on the Kalam Cosmological argument, the KCA makes no arguments based on "design".

Pro says "On the other hand, in spite of centuries of trying, no one has been able to disprove God, or the Bible, or prove that He didn't create the universe. In absence of that proof, either way, I hope you conclude that it's more likely that a higher power, with a plan, designed and created the universe, and all it's complexities."

No one has being able to prove that we are not all brains in vats. Just because something has not be proven false is not the same as it being proven true.........."Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or appeal to ignorance, is an informal logical fallacy. It asserts that a proposition is necessarily true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa)." [1]

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe

Pro poses alot of maybes such as " Maybe the Creator has built roadblocks to our ability to know things." & "maybe He put that immovable field in place as a way of making us humble ourselves, and admit that there may be something bigger, wiser, and more important, than ourselves."

Trouble is for every maybe, there is a maybe not, Maybe God did do all those things.........then again maybe God didn't.

Back to the KCA

The KCA makes claims that can't possibly happen inside of our universe, yet can happen outside of the universe. A double standard is used to allow God to exist and do things which without the double standard would be rejected.

Pro doesn't regard that "getting something from nothing" is logically impossible. This refutes the claim that if something begins to exist it must have a cause. If you can get something from nothing, then its possible that if the universe began to exist then it might not have a cause.

Pro for most of this debate, argued that time is a system of measure invented by us, and is not objectively real, thus something can't begin to exist, in the objectively real sense.

I ask the vote go too the Con

I thank Pro for participating in this debate.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

medic0506

Pro

Here are my counter-arguments to con's round 4. Several of his points have been dealt with in my summary, in round 4, so I won't rehash them.

--"Previously I argued that half of something is always something, Pro did not argue against this claim. Pro merely pointed out to some "theories". This isn't a refutation of my claim that half of something is always something, thus refuting Pros claim that the shrinking universe = the universe did not exist at some point."--

I wasn't using the big crunch theory, as part of my argument. I intended it as an example, to support the statement that I made, about the scientific community accepting, that the universe had a beginning, and will have an end, and I gave the basics of one of those theories. I do not argue that the big crunch theory will happen, nor do I intend it as part of my argument for the KCA. My understanding of the big crunch theory, as I stated last round, is that it involves the universe shrinking to a certain point, then through whatever mechanism, it basically collapses, no longer existing. It does not involve, to my knowledge, infinite shrinking. Regardless, I will attempt to deal with my opponent's theory, of an infinitely shrinking universe. Con's statement, "Half of something is always something", sounds legitimate and logical. However, when we try to apply that theory to something like an infinitely shrinking universe, it raises questions. For instance, if the universe continues to shrink and compress, wouldn't it, at some point, no longer have the same properties that our universe has?? Wouldn't it become unrecognizable, and uninhabitable?? Wouldn't it, at some point in the infinite shrinkage, stop playing by the same rules that govern the universe that we know?? I would think that all of those would happen, and then some, but even if the answer to one of those questions is yes, then our universe has ceased to exist. Granted, the "Half of something is always something" statement would still be true, as there is something left, but that something that's left, is not our universe.

--"Why does known scientific principles have to be abandon too consider such a proposition?"--

You have to ignore the impossibility of an actually infinite number of past events, for one.

--"Pro once again denies the objective reality of time. If time is not objectively real, then temporal events are not objectively real, and the claim that the universe began to exist is a temporal event"--

…and if temporal events do not exist, then the universe does not exist, if the universe does not exist then we are not having this debate. Sounds absurd, doesn't it?? It makes for a good theoretical, or philosophical discussion, but when trying to apply it in the physical world, we run into problems. My illustration about the boss was an attempt to highlight such an absurdity. I have not denied the existence of time. I have maintained, from the beginning of this debate, that time exists as a system of measure, and the actions that time measures have existed since the beginning of the universe. I'm not sure how that statement translates into a denial, of the reality of time.

--"Pro dismisses this claim. Previously I listed 4 things that the KCA argues can happen "outside" of the universe but can't happen "inside" the universe. Those 4 things are....
1) Something existing without a cause (God)
2) Creating energy where there is no pre existent energy (Creation ex nihilo)
3) A mind without a brain (God)
4) Not subject to physical laws (God)
Pro does not dis agree with this distinction, Pro just dismisses. Trouble is just dismissing it doesn't make it go away, as such this contention remains."--
First off, the KCA makes no reference to, or argument for, points 2 and 3. Those are assertions, by my opponent, that are not supported by the wording of the KCA. Secondly, I did deal with this issue in paragraph 5 of round 3. Con states, "Now, I won't challenge that you can't get something from nothing within the universe, but why should we accept that as a rule that applies outside of the universe?" I conceded that point, agreeing that, unless we can show why it must apply, we can't just assume that it must apply. I went on to say that if that logic is applied to that particular rule, that it must also apply to other rules, too. Con did not disagree, nor did he offer anything to show that the other rules must also apply outside the universe. If he can't show that those rules must apply, outside the universe, then by HIS OWN LOGIC, God's existence, or the fact that He is not subject to physical laws, can not be illogical. Also, con did not disagree, so far, with my observations made at the end of that paragraph.

--"Pro says "First of all, the "something from nothing" comment was mine. The KCA does not argue HOW the universe was created, or even that there was absolutely nothing." Now Pro seems to be implying that it is possible to get something from nothing. This refute premise 1 of KCA that says "1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence."--
I fail to see how con deduces that from my statement. The KCA does not say that something was, or wasn't, created from nothing. It does not imply that there was, or wasn't, a singularity. It does not imply that there was, or wasn't, energy or matter, in some form. It simply doesn't speak to the issue, of how, or from what, the universe was created. I made the something for nothing comment, and later realized it was a bad one, and that it's not really what the KCA says. I tried to make that correction in round 3. Where is a refutation?
Round 5
--"I remind Pro this debate is on the Kalam Cosmological argument, the KCA makes no arguments based on "design"."- The KCA is a cosmological argument for the existence of God. In con's opening, he wrote, "explanation is given in terms of a personal agent", so this seems irrelevant, no matter what word is used (God, designer, first cause, prime mover), we know the goal of the argument.
--"Just because something has not be proven false is not the same as it being proven true"-- If you look at the paragraph, in context, it says, "I can't PROVE to you…on the other hand, no one has DISPROVED." I go on to argue for a "higher likelihood", based on my arguments, not based on anything not being disproved. I did not argue that since it isn't disproved, it must be true, therefore, no fallacy exists.
--"The KCA makes claims that can't possibly happen inside of our universe, yet can happen outside of the universe. A double standard is used to allow God to exist and do things which without the double standard would be rejected."--
As we established, back in round 3 with con's own logic, we can't ASSUME that a standard that exists inside the universe MUST also apply outside it, without proof. Con has offered no reasoning why those standards must apply. He has offered nothing to support his claim that the "double standard", can't be allowed. He also hasn't answered, as to his contradiction that I pointed out in round 3. "Outside the universe", is part of his argument but he also argues for an infinite, eternal universe. Those two arguments are contradictory.
--"Pro doesn't regard that "getting something from nothing" is logically impossible."--
As I showed earlier, this is a misunderstanding, or a misrepresentation of my argument.
--"Pro for most of this debate, argued that time is a system of measure invented by us, and is not objectively real, thus something can't begin to exist, in the objectively real sense."--
Again, my comments are on record, "is not objectively real", isn't implied in any of them.
Aside from the time/past comparison, refuted in round 2, con provides no real reason to reject the KCA. Bias aside, based on the arguments in the debate, I ask a vote for pro.
I thank con for hosting this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
IllegalCombatant, congratulations on the win.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
@Illegal, Scientists know relativity really, really well. That's not it.

God can. of course, do anything. What I've never understood is why He seems to prefer talking most clearly to idiots. Within the realm of science, nothing outside the universe can have an effect -- but that's just a theory too.

Due to wave/particle equivalence, energy is transmitted via particles. Some types, like photons, are massless, but others, like the gauge bosons, have large mass. Vacuum energy is presumed to have mass. If you are in a bar and meet a gauge boson, don't call him massless. He wouldn't like that.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
"Observations show that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate"

Well that is a problem now isn't it. How about a relativity solution, it only looks like its accelerating because we are slowing down. It might just be expanding at the same rate or slower.

"That seems to imply that there is a force at the edges of the known universe that is increasing"

What about a forces just beyond universe that is stretching it out ?........God did it :)

"If the new space being added as the universe has energy in it, then the gravitational pull associated with that energy would be increasing in accord with the observations"

But you need mass to have gravity now don't you. This proposed new energy would have to contain even more mass at the edges of the universe for this to work eh ?

Actually that doesn't work, the denser gravity would just pull every towards it. So the gravity is outside of the universe..........yeah definitely sounds like God to me :)
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
If the theory of vacuum energy is correct, then conservation of energy is dead. That's why scientists are reluctant to accept the vacuum energy theory, but there doesn't seem to be a better explanation. Observations show that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. That seems to imply that there is a force at the edges of the known universe that is increasing. If the new space being added as the universe has energy in it, then the gravitational pull associated with that energy would be increasing in accord with the observations.

To my knowledge negative mass and negative energy have been hypothesized, but never proven. Try searching Wikipedia. Anti-matter is a different story. Anti-matter has positive energy but the charge and other properties of the corresponding particle are reversed.

For some time, scientists wondered why the Big Bang did not create equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. Somebody won a Nobel prize for showing that nature prefers positive matter.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Energy is signed quantity. When you add up all the energy, both positive and negative it adds to zero - always. That is what the law of conversation (all of them mean) - the thing is conserved.

For example if you throw a ball it has a certain momentum. If the ball hits a guy in the head and he falls over then the momentum of the ball and the guy after the hit is equal to the momentum of the ball before the hit, even if the momentum of the ball after the hit is reversed and is now negative.

Same with energy, if you drop a ball it starts to lose one type of energy (potential) but it gains another so the total amount is always the same (in the absence of work and non-conserving forces such as friction, etc.) If these other things are there then the energy of the ball-system can increase because the energy of another system is decreasing.

It is like hotness in a way.

For example at one time Megan Fox was very hot, now there are new hot stars, the only way that this can happen is that Megan Fox has to lose her hotness and become fairly skanky. It is the same principle, there is obviously a quantum number which quantizes hotness and thus produces a conservation law.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
I smell an equivocation. If negative energy is something, then well its something. So even if this new "negative" energy is being created, we now have more energy in total existing than we did have in the past.

Does energy = Positive energy + Negative energy
or
Does energy = Positive energy - Negative energy

I am suspicious of the 2nd option.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"If the total amount = zero, how much is there when this new energy is formed ?"

It is always zero, negative energy exists to balance out the positive energy. If you are interested in this then you really need to watch Krauss's lecture on "Nothing from Nothing". Yes I am a bit biased as it is a physics lecture, but I really think it is simply a beautiful presentation and Krauss presents it very well.
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
New matter and energy is constantly being created at a micro level. Every positive charge spontaneousness created corresponds with a negative charge. The particles normally anihilate one another before they can do much on a macro level. (Apart from creating vaccum energy, and maybe more stuff I don't understand) I don't know how proven any of this is yet, but from what I understand it is the leading hypothesis.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 6 years ago
Illegalcombatant
If the total amount = zero, how much is there when this new energy is formed ?
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"What ever happened to that law that energy is neither created or destroyed ? Doesn't this theory refute the claim that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant ?"

No because the total amount is zero.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Illegalcombatantmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate is a mess. Neither side is familiar with modern cosmological theory or modern physics. I give Con the edge as being less wrong.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Illegalcombatantmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Very weak closing from con who dropped most of the arguments in the previous rebuttal. 1pt to Pro.