The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
MadCornishBiker
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument For God's Existence Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,725 times Debate No: 35369
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Argument

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
P2: The universe began to exist.
C: Therefore, the universe has a cause.


Rules/ Stipulations


The burden will be on Pro to demonstrate that the KCA is a sound argument. My burden is to undermine the argument, and/ or the support for it. The first round will not be for acceptance, as my opponent will make his opening argument in the first round. However, in round 4, Pro must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

PS. My opponent also has to show that the hypothetical cause must be personal, otherwise the argument is not really an argument for God. Also, I would respectfully ask that nobody who has been a debate on the KCA with me recently accept this debate. I want to keep it fresh.
MadCornishBiker

Pro

My contributions to this debate, whilst few of them will be scriptural, will still be based around the thought contained at Romans 1:19-22

19 because what may be known about God is manifest among them, for God made it manifest to them. 20 For his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world"s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable; 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened. 22 Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish.

My only hope is that my opponent will stick by his own role, unrestricted part for two simply a conclusion of his previous arguments, as I shall.

Unless otherwise stated, the evidence I shall present will come from "The Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute" volume 9. ISBN 0-89870-809-5.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

So far, Pro has not presented a single shred of support for any of the premises of the Kalam Cosmological Argument when he was supposed to use that last round for an opening argument. As it stands; the resolution has not been affirmed.
MadCornishBiker

Pro

as my opponent rightly says, I have not yet provided any arguments, nor did I intend to. The first round was simply one for setting out my stall.

Come to that. I don't see any devastating, undermining, even damaging argumentation in your second post either.

However, if, as the original formulator of this resolution states, proposition one is found to be true, then according to proposition be conclusion C is the only possible outcome.

If proposition 2 is found to be false then according to proposition 2, conclusion C has a negative outcome.

Therefore technically, as any psychologist would tell you, the argument is valid. because the conclusion is controlled by the combination of the two propositions, and that is technically the definition of a valid argument of that type.

I covered just such arguments in one of my Open University modules.

As for proposition 1,that can only be true, as science has many times demonstrated. This has been demonstrated by things such as the big bang theory.

How can one demonstrate this.

What do you have a dinner? Where did it come from?

Let us assume for the sake of argument that you had chicken.

Did the chicken have a beginning?

What was to chicken before it was a chicken?

The obvious answer is an egg. Was the egg a chicken?

The obvious answer to that is that unless the egg fertilised, it could not be and would not be a chicken at any point before it eventually dissipated back to its original elements.

An egg, therefore, is the beginning of the chicken provided it is fertilised. Otherwise, it remains an egg.

Therefore, the chicken has a beginning. the cause of the beginning of that chicken was the fertilisation of the egg.

Thus, it is forever thing that has ever existed. It all had a beginning. The only question is what was the beginning and where did it come from?

Even if the big bang theory of the formation of everything is true, where did what every exploded because that big bang come from?

Is that the beginning of everything?

If you study the universe as it is, one thing we will find absolutely remarkable is the precision that is found in the way the universe operates.

It is so precise that they can plot accurately where every star every planet will be in the future.

It is so precise that if NASA want to send a rocket to Mars, or Venus, they can work out exactly when is the best time to send out rocket to ensure that it reaches its destination does not miss it.

Where else do you find that sort of precision? Even the Swiss watch of the finest make cannot match that precision. And yet, to believe that accurate the Swiss watch has to have a designer.

Is it not, therefore, very logical to assume that the universe had a designer?

Whatever way you look at it, the argument detailed in my opponents first round, is the sound and valid argument, which backs up what Paul said in the Scripture, I quoted in my first argument.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I specifically stated that Pro's first round was for presenting his opening argument, so I am baffled as to why my opponent did not follow the rules. Either way, I guess we will get this debate on the go.

Argument

Now, to defend the first premise my opponent says that this shown by science (like The Big Bang), and it is self-evident because we can see this in our everyday life using examples. However, as Quentin Smith notes:

"Let's consider the premiss of the argument. The premiss is that whatever has a beginning to its existence must have a cause. What reason is there to believe this causal principle is true? It's not self-evident; something is self-evident if and only if everyone who understands it automatically believes it. But many people, including leading theists such as Richard Swinburne, understand this principle very well but think it's false. Many philosophers, scientists, and indeed the majority of graduate and undergraduate students I've had in my classes think this principle is false. This principle is not self-evident, nor can this principle be deduced from any self-evident proposition."- Quentin Smith, University Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University[1]

Pro did not mention how The Big Bang actually supported the fist premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. He just said it did. This is not a very good argument from Pro without external reasoning. Also, he mentions how things within space-time at the macroscopic scale have beginnings and causes, but that doesn't mean everything that begins to exist has a cause. This is a non-sequitur. Also, the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics shows that things do begin to exist uncaused at the sub-atomic scale:

"Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random time." - Taner Edis. Department of Physics Truman State University Kirksville[2]

"Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless spacetime can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature" - Victor Stenger. American Particle Physicist[3]


Pro has not really supported the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument sufficiently.

"Even if the big bang theory of the formation of everything is true, where did what every exploded because that big bang come from?" - Pro

My opponent argues that everything came into being at The Big Bang. This means, the universe couldn't have had a cause! This is because, a "cause" would be part of the set of "everything".

This makes my opponent's case self-contradictory. Also, the universe does not begin to exist if the B-Theory of time is true. As William Lane Craig notes:

"From start to finish, the Kalam Cosmological Argument is predicated upon the A-Theory of time. On a B-Theory of time, the universe does not in fact come into being or become actual at the Big Bang; it just exists tenselessly as a four-dimensional space-time block that is finitely extended in the earlier than direction. If time is tenseless, then the universe never really comes into being, and, therefore, the quest for a cause of its coming into being is misconceived." - William Lane Craig[4]

The reason why the KCA depends on A-Theory is because temporal becoming is a necessary condition for anything to come into being. If B-Theory is true though, then there is no temporal becoming.

Since Pro has not defended A-Theory, and the KCA rests on A-Theory; the resolution has not been established.

Sources

[1] http://www.infidels.org...
[2] http://atheism.about.com...
[3] http://www.infidels.org...
[4] The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, pp. 183-184
MadCornishBiker

Pro

my opponent in this debate comes up with some very interesting and completely unprovable statements which are not demonstrable in any sense.

However, it is very easy to demonstrate that everything does have a beginning, and a cause.

B theory, which I confess I had never before heard of, does not truly have any rational basis in it. However, even were it to be true, it still had a beginning.

Why?

Quite simply, and completely logically, something caused this proto-universe, for want of a better term, to change its state into what we see around us today. That moment to change is still a beginning, and is even more in need of a cause than the a theory. After all, if you have something in a completely stable state, then it's change point is a beginning. If only that change once the change has started. It no longer is what it was.

Another factor is that the only way B theory could apply is if it existed in its static form before time existed. Therefore, it's beginning coincided with the beginning of time.

Thus I find it impossible for the proposition not not to be both true and valid.

My previous illustration of the chicken and the egg indicates that everything does indeed have a beginning.

There are so many other things that illustrate the idea of things having a beginning.

The beginning the television.

The beginning of radio.

The beginning of each new day.

All have a beginning. And all have a cause.

For all things to have both the beginning, and a cause, there has to be a force, a controlled force, behind their beginning.

The absolute precision, and interconnectedness, of everything in this universe dictates that that cause is not only sentience, but highly intelligent.

We choose to call that cause God, He chose to call himself Jehovah.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

"My opponent in this debate comes up with some very interesting and completely unprovable statements which are not demonstrable in any sense." - Pro

My opponent claimed that nothing I said was demonstrable. This is ironic, as my opponent did not demonstrate that his assertion here is true. It just remains a bare-assertion.

"However, it is very easy to demonstrate that everything does have a beginning, and a cause." - Pro

I await the reasoning to support the above.

"B theory, which I confess I had never before heard of, does not truly have any rational basis in it."

B-Theory does have a rational basis. If it did not, then why are most philosophers who have an opinion on the metaphysics of time B-Theorists? Are they all irrational? A survey was done on 932 philosophers, and most the ones who had an opinion about the philosophy of time adhere to B-Theory[1]. Even A-Theorists themselves, like Dean Zimmerman, admit the fact that A-Theory has little support in the philosophical community:

"The A-theory is almost certainly a minority view among contemporary philosophers with an opinion about the metaphysics of time.” - Dean Zimmerman

Most physicists are B-Theorists as well, because of Special Relativity. Einstein's theory has been tested time and time again, and has passed flying colors. The most scientifically feasible interpretation of this theory is the Minkowski space-time view[3]. This is due to its success with making testable predictions that have been verified (time dilation and length contraction[4]), and it has more explanatory rigor with regards to time dilation and length contraction than other interpretations. This interpretation proves B-Theory but spells death for A-Theory, because A-Theory entails a universal "now" moment. The Minkowski space-time view entails that there is no universal "now" moment, and is the most scientifically sound interpretation.

“[T]he theory of relativity conceives of events as simply being and sustained relations of earlier and later, but not as 'coming into being' - Adolph Grunbaum

Nothing comes into being under B-Theory. This means, that the universe could not begin to exist if this theory is true, because the universe is something.

So, most philosophers who have an opinion on the metaphysics of time seem to be B-Theorists, but more importantly, B-Theory is more supported by A-Theory scientifically. This shows not only that B-Theory have a rational basis; it is probably correct based on everything we know scientifically! Thus, my opponent's claim that B-Theory has no rational basis is nothing more than a bare-assertion, and embarrassing hand-waving to the furthest extent.

"However, even were it to be true, it still had a beginning" - Pro

Yes, the universe would still have a beginning of B-Theory is true. However, it wouldn't begin to exist, or come into being. The universe having a beginning, is not the same as the universe beginning to exist.

"From start to finish, the Kalam Cosmological Argument is predicated upon the A-Theory of time. On a B-Theory of time, the universe does not in fact come into being or become actual at the Big Bang; it just exists tenselessly as a four-dimensional space-time block that is finitely extended in the earlier than direction. If time is tenseless, then the universe never really comes into being, and, therefore, the quest for a cause of its coming into being is misconceived." - William Lane Craig[5]

If B-Theory is true, it would be metaphysically impossible for the universe to come into existence, as it would exist tenselessly as a 4d or n + 1d space-time block. The Big Bang would just be at the beginning of the block, but the block would never come into being. Imagine an eternal ruler. It has a first inch (a beginning), but the ruler doesn't begin to exist, or come into being as it is eternal.

"Quite simply, and completely logically, something caused this proto-universe, for want of a better term, to change its state into what we see around us today."

If B-Theory is true, then there is no change. Change requires temporal becoming, but temporal becoming is just an illusion if time is actually tenseless. Thus, my opponent's objection here holds no weight; change wouldn't be ontologically real if B-Theory is true. "Change" at best would mean that one point on the block is earlier than, or later than another point on the block with reference to some point. However, reality would be ontologically immutable.

"Another factor is that the only way B theory could apply is if it existed in its static form before time existed. Therefore, it's beginning coincided with the beginning of time." - Pro

B-Theory posits that time is static, and non-dynamic. Also, the idea of a "before time existed" is logically contradictory. "Before" means "a time prior", there cannot be a time prior to the existence of time. Since my opponent's objection above violates the logical law of non-contradiction; it can be dismissed.

"Thus I find it impossible for the proposition not not to be both true and valid." - Pro

Not only is it possible, it is probably true as I have demonstrated using Special Relativity. This means, that the second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is probably false necessarily.

"My previous illustration of the chicken and the egg indicates that everything does indeed have a beginning." - Pro

The above made me chuckle outloud. My opponent's conclusion that everything has a beginning does not follow from any chicken and egg illustration. This is a non-sequitur. It is also a self-refuting position as God belongs to the set of "everything". However, God by definition does not have a beginning in any sense.

"There are so many other things that illustrate the idea of things having a beginning." - Pro

Just because things have beginnings, that doesn't mean that everything has a beginning. This is a non-sequitur.

Conclusion

The second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument rests on A-Theory being true. Pro did not show that A-Theory was true. Therefore, Pro has not met his burden of proof. I went above and beyond my burden of proof, and actually showed that B-Theory is most likely true based on what we know regarding science. This means the second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is probably false. The resolution has been negated; entirely.

Sources
[1] http://philpapers.org...
[2] http://fas-philosophy.rutgers.edu...
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
[5] The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, pp. 183-184

PS. Just a reminder to my opponent, that in his next round me just simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed."

My opponent failed to follow the rules by not posting his first argument in Round 1. Hopefully he respects the rules I laid out and does not respond with an argument in Round 4.

I thank my opponent for this debate.
MadCornishBiker

Pro

the reasoning is very simple.

I have to admit I, as a very simple human being, albeit with an analytical turn of mind, I found the vast majority of my opponents evidence to the nothing more than ego massage on the part of its authors. Who simply wanted, or appeared to want, to seem more clever than anybody else.

However, I still feel the simplest reason reasoning to prove that everything has a beginning is to go back to the chicken / egg situation.

Every egg has a beginning, it begins when it is formed inside the chicken. However, it is only an egg, nothing more. When it is fertilised it has a complete change of state, and slowly develops into a cheque. That change of state has a beginning, the moment of fertilisation, it also has a cause, the mating of the Cockrell and the hen.

A piece of music, whether it be classical or contemporary music of any variety has a beginning. That beginning is when the composer plays, or, writes down the first note of the composition. the cause of that composition being made is the desire of the composer to hear the end result.

The journey in a car has a beginning, that beginning is when you get into the car start the engine engaged here and drove off. The cause of the journey is the need to go to the destination.

When you next season meal, think about the beginning of that meal. That meal began when you, your mother, or your wife decided that you needed something to eat. That led to gathering the ingredients together preparing them and cooking a meal. The cause of that meal being produced was the desire to make sure that you don't starve, or become unhealthy.

I could go on and on and on, and often do. However, we still come back to the fact that however you decide the universe started. Whether from a preformed universe in stasis, which was then activated and began to grow to the universe we know today, or because it started from a small seed of matter which was expanded into the universe.

No matter how you believe it started, it has developed according to a definite pattern, and has turned into an extremely precise mechanism which allows organisations like NASA to launch rockets to any destination, knowing that, because the universe is precise, they have been able to work out precisely when was the most advantageous time to launch the rocket.

Anything which comes from nothing, or from a proto-universe in stasis, has a beginning. And for it to develop in such an organised manner. It also has a cause. Not only that, it must have a super intelligent cause, and superpowerful, in that the one who caused it was able to guide is development along precisely the pattern you wished it to develop along.

Ergo, The Kalam Cosmological Argument For God's Existence Is Sound, since it works in every model to which you apply it.

I thank my opponent for the debate, and also his timely reminder.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
The best debate I ever had on the Kalam Cosmological Argument was the one below:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by MadCornishBiker 4 years ago
MadCornishBiker
at Rational_Thinker9119

You could be right. I tend to be out of my depth on anything which is scriptural. LOL
Posted by Mikal 4 years ago
Mikal
This is for pro, i offered it during my vote but it didn't post accurately. I think it will better help him understand the theory
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 4 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
19 because what may be known about God is manifest among them, for God made it manifest to them.

The Fool: Then we couldn't fail to believe it.

20 For his invisible [qualities] are clearly seen from the world"s creation onward,

The Fool: The invisible qualities are seen.?

because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable;

The Fool: What is Godship? Why does he want to hurt people at all. That is Evil.!!

21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him,

The Fool: You can know something and not belief at the same time.

but they became empty-headed in their reasoning and their unintelligent heart became darkened.

22 Although asserting they were wise, they became foolish.

The Fool: but some assert that they are foolish.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
You were clearly out of your element on this one my friend!
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
It does not matter, you did not sufficiently respond to my objections anyway. You don't understand the ontology of B-Theory; and it shows.
Posted by MadCornishBiker 4 years ago
MadCornishBiker
oh dear, I've just realised that that was the fourth round. My apologies. I completely lost track of where I was in the debate.

Not exactly unusual for me, I'm afraid I get carried away with what I'm thinking about. Again, my apologies.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
The Dean Zimmerman quote in my last round should have a [2] beside it, as it corresponds to the source with a [2] beside it. I also apologize for any typos I may have made as well.
Posted by MikeyMike 4 years ago
MikeyMike
As I wait for DakotaKrafic to accept this debate..
Posted by MadCornishBiker 4 years ago
MadCornishBiker
Shame you backed out, never mind, I have never heard of the "The Kalam Cosmological Argument"
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Mikal 4 years ago
Mikal
Rational_Thinker9119MadCornishBikerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate would have been interesting if Pro had any idea what the theory itself was. I am literally in pure awe that pro used "the chicken and the egg", to demonstrate the origins of the universe. The issue with all of pros assertions is that, yes indeed all of his examples do have an origin point. We however can trace everyone of these examples back to a physical source. Entire debate to con. Better sources, better arguments, way better grammar, and he steamrolled pro due to Pros inability to demonstrate any knowledge of the actual topic. I will assume pro is new as well and I offer this as assistance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeKavDdRVIg
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
Rational_Thinker9119MadCornishBikerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Do i really need to justify this? Pro got thrashed around like a cat caught in the jaws of a crocodile
Vote Placed by MrJosh 4 years ago
MrJosh
Rational_Thinker9119MadCornishBikerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO loses Conduct by not following the rules laid out. PRO also loses Spelling and Grammar due to many errors. CON gets arguments for owning PRO, and sources for simply having better sources.
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 4 years ago
WilliamofOckham
Rational_Thinker9119MadCornishBikerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate had a lot of potential, but pro didn't really live up to his BoP. First, he loses conduct for posting arguments in the first round, and failing to live by con's request for him to not post arguments in the final round, as per is first rule violation. Con also had better spelling and grammar pro had many mistakes, including, but not excluded to capitalization mistakes. Con was the only one who used sources (outside of the Bible), so that's why he gets the source points. Con had many potential points of attack, but he chose to attack premise 2 by arguing for the B-theory. Pro never met his BoP by adequately proving A-theory, which is required for the second premise of the KCA is true. Con made concise arguments that were well-sourced with good evidence. Overall, pro had the BoP, and he never fulfilled it by proving the things he needs to prove.