The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
tahir.imanov
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument Is Sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 968 times Debate No: 39238
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is as follows:


P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause

P2: The universe began to exist

C: The universe has a cause


Pro must also show that the cause must be God. The first round is for Pro's opening arguments. To ensure we have the same amount of rounds, in round 4, Pro must simply put:


"No argument will be posted here as agreed."
tahir.imanov

Pro

First of all I would like to talk (or write) about Kalam C.A.. It is named after Ilm-i Kalam. Basically Ilm-i Kalam is religious-philosophical theory which discusses issues about knowledge, faith and belief related to Islam. Some Muslim scholars was against Ilm-i Kalam, and some was pro. If you (anyone who read this) want more information read books of Imam Ghazali, also Muhyiddin Arabi, also books of Mutazila scholars.

Now let's return to topic. Argument is valid, and question is about soundness of argument.

The second premise is true, scientifically and philosophically. Everyone heard about Big Bang (except FoxNews watchers).


But some people have major problem with major premise. Reasons for that is, P1 is work under the LAWS OF UNIVERSE, and at t=0 (!Time and space are equal to 0) there was no universe, so applying the law which works in universe to out of universe is not necessarily true also is not necessarily false, it may be true or false. But we cannot never be sure (from scientific perspective), because science is observation and we can only observe t>0.


But, Science is not only method of proving things. The core of Science is Mathematics, and Mathematics is based on axioms, principles which accepted to be true whit out any proof. You cannot proof axiom using scientific method, because by using scientific method you are already assuming the axioms are true, because science is based on that axioms via Mathematics.

You can use logical reasoning, the process of elimination, and etc.

There are five possible explanations for origin of universe:
1. It came from nothing.
2. It created itself.
3. It was created by collision of two (or may be more) universes, or by division of single universe. (!Multiverse Theory)
4. The caused Cause caused the universe into existence.
5. The uncaused Cause cause(d) the universe into existence.

By analyzing each statement, and eliminating the false statement you will left with the true statement. (If there is sixth possible explanation, I would like to know it.)

Before you analyze the statements, you should consider few things, out of nothing nothing comes, an object cannot exist and not-exist at the same time, and absurdity of infinity.

This my opening argument. The Next round I will talk about major premise (P1) and why it is true.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for this debate, and for his opening arguments. However, I will show why his arguments ultimately fail when put under critical scrutiny.

Premise 1. Everything That Begins To Exist Has A Cause

Pro does not really defend this premise, he just attacks an argument some Atheists make. He argues that there are underlying axioms in mathematics, which may be true but he does not really tie this in with the first premise. Why should anyone believe that everything that begins to exist has a cause is an axiom, or even true? It is not even a scientific principle, as many esteemed physics reject such a notion:

"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[1]

"Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless spacetime can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature" - Victor Stenger. American Particle Physics[2]

Philosophers of physics reject that notion as well:

"There is observational evidence, albeit indirect, that this uncaused emergence of energy or particles (notably virtual particles) frequently occurs." - Quentin Smith. Philosopher of physics[3]

Pro simply hasn't given us a reason to assume that the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is actually
true. Thus, he hasn't established the burden of proof he holds in this debate.

Premise 2: The Universe Began To Exist

Pro cites The Big Bang, but he never really argues how The Big Bang actually supports the second premise of the argument. Even if the universe has a finite past, that is not enough to establish the universe began to exist. This is because "began to exist" is synonymous with "came into being". Here is Dr. William Lane Craig's definition:

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact[4]

However, this is an insufficient definition, because it leaves out an important requirement. It seems intuitively reasonable to assume that if something came into being, it must have been out of being. Basically, it did not exist, then it existed. (i) shows a universe with a finite past that comes into being, and (ii) shows a universe with a finite past that does not come into being:

As you can see, a coming into being of the universe is only possible if prior to the first moment a thing exists, that thing does not exist. Thus, a proper definition would be:

e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) prior to t, e is out of being (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact

We can replace Dr. William Lane Craig's (iii) with my (iii), because his (iii) is only there so God doesn't have to come into being. Well, my (iii) already takes care of that, and includes the additional requirement. For these reasons, my (iii) should be preferred over Dr. Craig's.

Unless Pro can show that there was a "prior" to The Big Bang, in which there was no universe; premise 2 has not been established even if we do assume The Big Bang, and the notion that the universe has a finite past.

Atheistic Explanations For The Coming Into Being Of The Universe

Lets assume that the universe came into being and needs an explanation (I don't concede this, but this will be the context of this section). One way it could have happened was through a spontaneous quantum tunnelling process. Space, time, and energy could have emerged from a timeless and spaceless background governed by the laws of nature [5]. This idea has been put forward by well respected physicist Alexander Vilenkin, who describes the universe emerging from a quantum tunneling event (without a sufficient cause) with a finite size (a = H-1) and with a zero rate of expansion or contraction (da/dt = 0). It is plausible that the universe emerged in a symmetric vacuum state without an initial cause, which then decayed with the inflationary era beginning; and after this era ended, the universe evolved according to the standard Big Bang model. Space-time and energy would emerge out of a void with no space or time. This means that there is no infinite regress implied by the model, and no initial cause is needed:

"As a result of the tunnelling event, a finite-sized universe, filled with a false vacuum, pops out of nowhere ("nucleates") and immediately starts to inflate...If there was nothing before the universe popped out, then what could have caused the tunnelling? Remarkably, the answer is that no cause is required." - Professor of Physics, Alexander Vilenkin[6]
By "cause", Vilenkin simply means a sufficient condition. The timeless and spaceless background would of course serve as an unstable necessary condition. If one simply views necessary conditions as a cause, then the universe would still be caused under this scenario.

Conclusion

Con did not support premise 1 or premise 2 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument sufficiently. Additionally, it's not clear what he means by "cause", "universe", or "begins to exist" for that matter. Either way, I showed than an Atheistic explanation for the universe is possible due to quantum mechanics. Thus, the idea that God must be the explanation for the universe coming into being (assuming the universe did come into being) is false.

The resolution has not been established by Pro.

Sources
[4] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
[5] http://mukto-mona.net...
[6] Alexander Vilenkin: "Many worlds in one: The search for other universes" (P. 181)
tahir.imanov

Pro

Thank you for very nicely prepared argument. First of all, I do not have to quote W.L. Craig, most of his arguments are not his (and some of actually Islamic) and I am not Craig. Secondly my intention was not to show the proof for P1 in intro argument, I am going to do it, in this round, sorry for misunderstanding.

Now, let's begin with quantum fluctuations and nothingness. Questions is where does that particles come from? And what causes it? And their lifespan is too short to observe, and so we cannot observe the cause also, and scientists squiz the "uncaused" into fluctuations. If you say the quantum fluctuations is uncaused, that means you are making the claim, and I expect you to bring the evidence for your claim. If we do not know and you cannot observe the cause (yet) it does not mean it is uncaused.

The Vacuum is not nothing, it is a physical object, which has energy and pressure and volume (of course) (!Alex Vilenkin) and it works under the law of universe. The virtual particles do not come into being from nothing, they appear in vacuum, so they are caused by vacuum. So, saying that, particles pop out from nothing, is fallacious argument.

"Spontaneous quantum tunnelling process" is an assumption, and I do not believe in assumption, it is a leap of faith. I believe in what I KNOW to be true, after I know it is true. Also the laws of nature exists in the nature you cannot export them out of nature.

Now, let's return to P1.
"Everything that begins to exist has a cause" is a self-evident proposition (call it axiom, if you want), and it is the universal truth. Because the opposite of this proposition is illogical and irrational. Let's assume something can come into being without a cause, it implies that, something come into being from nothing. Question - Can something come from nothing?! Nothing is the absence of everything, everything that exists - particles, energy, mass, volume, everything that can be attributed to any object.

If indeed something can come from nothing, the why we do not observe such happenings in the universe. The science is observation. And if scientists holds the view which he cannot observe (or prove), then he has a problem with reality.

With Big Bang it is not only the universe (matter and energy) begin to exist, but also time and space. So anything before time has to be eternal, so what ever caused the universe has to be eternal. Let's assume it is not eternal but, temporal that means it is subjected to time, but it contradicts the proposition "time beginning with Big Bang."

Sources:
http://arstechnica.com...
http://www.scientificamerican.com...
videolink-
http://www.newscientist.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I thank my opponent for this last response. However, his arguments still fail on many counts.

Appeal To Ignorance About Virtual Particles Being Uncaused

Pro accuses me of appealing to ignorance by claiming that just because we have no idea what a cause could be, that doesn't mean that there is no cause. Well, any cause would have to be a hidden variable, or else we would detect a cause like everything else. However, local hidden variables were rules out by Bell's Inequalities[1]. The question that remains pertains to whether or not there could be non-local hidden variables. Tests of Leggett's inequalities by Zeilinger in 2007 falsified non-local hidden variables, and all Leggett models that entail "realism" (and thus non-local hidden variables) have been ruled out [2].

The above shows that it is not just that we don't know of a causes; causes have been ruled out by scientific experiment. There used to be loopholes around these types of conclusions, but since 2005 we have learned a lot more about quantum mechanics than ever before, and I just showed why deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics should be dead ideas.

The Vacuum Is Not Nothing

Pro claims that the vacuum is not nothing, well even though Alexander Vilenkin uses the term "nothing", he doesn't mean absolute nothingness:

"[T]he state of 'nothing' cannot be identified with absolute nothingness. The tunneling is described by the laws of quantum mechanics, and thus 'nothing' should be subject to these laws. The laws of physics must have existed, even though there was no universe." - Alexander Vilenkin[3]

Pro's mistake is thinking that if something is uncaused, that means it must have come from absolutely nothing. However, most people intuitively take a cause to be a sufficient condition, and not just a necessary condition. For example, if a ball flies in the air and someone asks what caused it, the answer would be someone throwing it. The act of throwing is sufficient for the ball to be in the air. However, if someone said that cause was the atmosphere, that would be rather bizarre. Even though that action couldn't take place without the atmosphere, it is just a necessary condition. Similarly, the quantum vacuum is an unstable necessary condition which has an inherent function which allows for the spontaneous creation of virtual particles. Even though the virtual particles do not come from nothing, they are still uncaused as there is only an unstable necessary condition in the equation, with no sufficient causation. A summary of Philosopher Wes Morriston's view is as follows:

"How could it be that necessary, but not sufficient, conditions can cause something to come into existence? Causation requires both."[4]

Pro must show why we should go with his view of causality, over the more intuitive one (Pro must show that God exists based off the the Kalam Cosmological Argument, I only have to undermine his arguments, not falsify them).

Quantum Tunnelling

Pro claims that quantum tunnelling is an assumption. Even if it is, he has the burden of proof, so he has to show this position false. Either way, it is not a leap of faith or an assumption but a well tested fact [5]. The only leap of faith here is God, and Pro has given no reasons to believe God exists.

The Laws Of Nature Existing Outside Of Nature

I agree that the laws of nature existing outside of nature is incoherent. However, in Vilenkin's model, the universe isn't all of nature. Spacetime and energy would only be part of nature, and be contingent upon a timeless and spaceless background governed by laws of nature. The The Wheeler–De Witt equation tells us that at its core, time is not needed for quantum laws. Also Quantum Eraser experiments (as recent as 2013) show that certain quantum events don’t depend on space-time:

“In a certain sense, quantum events are independent from space and time.” - Physicist Anton Zeilinger[6]

Additionally, there are physics papers which discuss quantum mechanics without a background space-time:

“Quantum mechanics without spacetime IV : a noncommutative Hamilton-Jacobi equation” [7]

The idea that the tunnelling event needs a background space-time is simply unconvincing, and I’m not aware of any physicist that hold that position because it doesn’t seem to be true at all. Thus, Vilenkin's model is more than plausible.

Is The First Premise Self-Evident?

The first premises is clearly not an axiom, or self-evident. It if was, then so many physicists wouldn't reject it (I quoted many physicists who rejected the first premise in my first round). Philosophers reject it as well, take Quentin Smith:

"Let's consider the first premise of the argument, 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 is 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 Persifor Smith. American contemporary philosopher, scholar and professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.[8]

Too many prominent and respected people in their field deny this for it to be self-evident. Thus, Pro's claim that this premise is self-evident is not even close to convincing. Pro hasn't argued why something has to come from nothing, in order to be uncaused. Even if he does accomplish this, he hasn't even shown why it is irrational to assume that something can come from nothing. I cam not saying something can come from nothing, but I'm not sure Pro has completely ruled it out.

If Something Can Come From Nothing, Why Don't We See It Everywhere In The Universe?

Pro has not argued in favor of the position that if something could come from nothing, that we would expect to see it in the universe. Thus, this line of questioning appears rather trivial.

The Universe Beginning To Exist With Time And Space

Pro claims:

"With Big Bang it is not only the universe (matter and energy) begin to exist, but also time and space." - Pro

This is the bare-assertion fallacy. Pro hasn't actually supported the assertion that the Big Bang implies the universe came into being. In my first round, I argued that Pro would have to show that there was a "prior" to the first moment of the universe at which the universe did not exist in order to prove his case; he has not done this.

The Eternal Cause

Pro has not even established his case for a cause of the universe, but even if he has, why must the cause be God? Just because the cause must be atemporally eternal, that doesn't mean it has to be God. If one reads the debate outline, they can clearly see that the burden of proof lies on Pro to show that God exists by used the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It is safe to say that this hasn't been accomplished.

Conclusion

Pro has the burden of proof to show that God exists from the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Not only has Pro not supported Premise 1 properly, but my argument undermining Premise 2 went completely untouched; thus he essentially concedes it.

The resolution has not been established, and I have undermined the Kalam Cosmological Argument sufficiently.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_theorem#Bell_inequalities
[2] http://www.quantumphil.org...
[3] Many Worlds in One (2006), Page 181
[4] http://commonsenseatheism.com...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://phys.org...
[7] http://arxiv.org...
[8] Big Bang Cosmology and Atheism: Why the Big Bang is No Help to Theists by Quentin Smith (from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 2.)
tahir.imanov

Pro

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

The conclusion is universe has a CAUSE. And question is what is this CAUSE?
1. This Cause is eternal, because it exists out of time and space.
2. This Cause is transcendental, because it exists out of time and space, it transcends time and space.
3. This Cause is uncaused* therefore it is one.
4. This Cause has a will, because this eternal and transcendental Cause bring into existence temporal and finite events, therefore chose to do so, and choice indicates will.

*If you say what caused this cause, then what caused this cause that caused that cause that caused universe, and I can repeat it for infinity. And if chain of causes go for infinity, that indicates the universe does not exist. The best and simplest explanation is the explanation. Because if you make this cause more than one, many unanswerable question will arise.

So, Eternal, Transcendental, One, and Will - you can call this Cause anything you want, but rational people call this Cause (The) GOD.

I read all your sources and your arguments of course but it does not defeat or refute the P1. First of there many models of universe and ideas about Big Bang itself, and I cannot argue all of them, I mean even scientists does not agree within themselves which is true. Just Alex V. said something does not make it true. And all models cannot be true,at the same time. And vilenkin's model is just model, which is not proved to be the true model (factual and evidentual).
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Rebutting Pro's Arguments

"P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

P2: The universe began to exist.
C: The universe has a cause."

The conclusion is universe has a CAUSE. And question is what is this CAUSE?"

Pro has not even shown that the premises are true. The question of "what was the cause?" only has meaning if the premises have been established as true. Pro must prove that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and that the universe began to exist. He has not done this.

"1. This Cause is eternal, because it exists out of time and space.
2. This Cause is transcendental, because it exists out of time and space, it transcends time and space.
3. This Cause is uncaused* therefore it is one.
4. This Cause has a will, because this eternal and transcendental Cause bring into existence temporal and finite events, therefore chose to do so, and choice indicates will."

We could only even begin to take this list seriously, if the universe did in fact have a cause. However, essentially all of my arguments against the Kalam Cosmological Argument have been ignored by Pro. Therefore, he essentially concedes the debate. He also hasn't even argued sufficiently for why the cause must have a will. He says that when it comes to the transcendental cause bringing into existence temporal and finite events, a choice follows from this. However, this is a non-sequitur logical fallacy. Even if there was a cause of the universe, it wouldn't follow from this logically that a choice must be involved.

"So, Eternal, Transcendental, One, and Will - you can call this Cause anything you want, but rational people call this Cause (The) GOD."

A cause of the universe hasn't been established true by Pro, let alone what the cause has to be. In his last round he simply lists the Kalam Cosmological Argument, again, without sufficiently defending it. He ignores all my arguments in the last round. Therefore, my arguments stand unscathed.

"I read all your sources and your arguments of course but it does not defeat or refute the P1."

Simply stating that my arguments don't refute the argument is a bare-assertion fallacy. It actually has to be shown that my arguments are false. Pro must show why the esteemed physicists I quoted who reject the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (which suggest the premise is not self-evident) are wrong, as Pro has the burden of proof in the debate.

"First of there many models of universe and ideas about Big Bang itself, and I cannot argue all of them, I mean even scientists does not agree within themselves which is true."

Yes, but the Big Bang had no initial cause in Vilenkin's Model of cosmic origins. Either way, the fact that virtual particles were uncaused has not gone refuted by Pro. I quoted physicists to back my position up.

" Just Alex V. said something does not make it true. "

The plausibility of his model is backed up mathematically in the paper written by him that I sources. So, it his not just his words, we know mathematically and scientifically that his model is plausible. Either way, Pro has to prove the model false without begging the question as he has the burden of proof in this debate, or else God has not been established by the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

"And all models cannot be true,at the same time. And vilenkin's model is just model, which is not proved to be the true model (factual and evidentual)."

God isn't proven either, it is just a posited explanation for the universe; just like Vilenkin's model! I never said Vilekin's model is true, just that it is a plausible explanation. Since this explanation exists, then God has not been proven by the Kalam Cosmological Argument. If it was, then God would be the only explanation. Pro has not proven this to be the case, as he hasn't shown that a choice is required.

Conclusion

Pro has not shown that the premises of the Kalam Cosmological Argument are true, and I quoted many esteemed scientists who disagree with the first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Since Pro has the burden of proof in the debate, Pro had to show that the common view regarding the lack of causality in quantum mechanics is false; he did not do this. Also, in my last round, I explained that even if the universe had a finite past, that doesn't mean it came into being. His arguments for God being able to be the only cause failed as well.

Pro did not establish the resolution. Vote Con

PS: As per the rules, Con is not allowed to argue next around in order to give us the same amount of rounds to argue. He must only put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed"

Thank you for the debate.
tahir.imanov

Pro

"No argument will be posted here as agreed"
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by KuriouserNKuriouser 3 years ago
KuriouserNKuriouser
Rational_Thinker9119tahir.imanovTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provided arguments that contradict the truth values of the premises of the KCA that Pro failed to adequately counter. For instance, he claimed premise 1 to be self-evident and when challenged on this by Pro, failed to provide any real support for this claim.