The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
derogatory
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument Is Sound

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 591 times Debate No: 41768
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Rational_Thinker9119

Con

For those of you who know me, this debate will not be a surprise. This is, hands down, my favorite argument to debate. My opponent must show that this argument is sound:

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause

P2: The universe began to exist

C: Therefore, the universe has a cause

*If the universe has a cause, that cause is God.

Not only must my opponent show that the universe had a cause, but that the cause is God. My job is simply to undermine the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and show it doesn't succeed.

The first round will be for my opponent's first argument. To ensure we get the same amount of debating rounds however (because I just wasted this round), my opponent, in my last round, must simply put:

"No argument will be posted here as agreed"

Failure to abide by the rules will result in an automatic 7 point forfeit.
derogatory

Pro

Firstly, I would like to make note of the fact that it is unjust you feel the need to have the final round of the argument essentially to counter all my points and allow the potential reader to sway in your favor, nevertheless I will proceed to explain.

The necessity for something to begin to exist is paramount for its own existence otherwise you assume it has been present for an infinite amount of time which would not agree with scientific principle, which is clearly shown from the big bang theory. Non the less the proof of the universe spontaneously existing has actually been proven by the plethora of helium in the universe (from fusion) and other reasons. Now to convince you the Universe has a cause, you can logically infer this point from proving the universe exists otherwise logic itself would collapse and the whole need to structure anything in some sort of coherent manner would be pointless. An entity (no matter what form) had to have initiated or created the universe otherwise the universe was created out of nothing, although the universe itself does not conform to the laws of physics and mathematics, we do thus meaning a creator who potentially programmed us with these set of laws like a computer, spending endless hours defining parameters and as he gains more experience the universe expands until eventually the amount of power required is so vast everything comes collapsing on itself. Furthermore the ability for us to be able to produce computers and robotics also suggests the possibility of a creator and possibly of higher intellect since this entity has designed us to learn develop emotions and think for ourselves which is the ultimate obstacle for us to creating synthetic humans.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

It is not unfair that I get to argue last, as the Kalam Cosmological Argument is the theist's argument. In order for an argument to be rebutted in a debate, it only makes sense for the argument to be presented first. My opponent throwing the last round is only fair so we have the same amount of rounds; I threw the first round. Also, it seems rather rude to accept a debate, and then complain about the rules after. Either way, lets get to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Did The Universe Have A Beginning?

Pro states:

"The necessity for something to begin to exist is paramount for its own existence otherwise you assume it has been present for an infinite amount of time which would not agree with scientific principle, which is clearly shown from the big bang theory" - Pro

The problem with this argument is that the singularity predicted by The Big Bang theory is easily resolvable assuming a quantum theory of gravity. Take the paper Singularity Resolution in Loop Quantum Cosmology: A Brief Overview” by Abhay Ashtekar[1], this explains how this is easily achieved. Actually, the common view in cosmology is that the singularity will be resolved. As Physicist John Barrow notes:

"It is widely expected that this new improved theory [involving Quantum Gravity] will not contain the singular histories that characterised Einstein’s theory." - John Barrow[2]

This means that eternal inflation (into the past) is possible; which completely avoids a beginning. Many scientists take this very seriously. For instance, Anthony Aguirre and his team evaded the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem by postulating a reversal of time at the crucial point[3]. Their could have been an infinite string of contractions and expansions of the universe before this one. Nothing in science rules that out, and people involved with figuring a theory of quantum gravity take it very seriously.

"Non the less the proof of the universe spontaneously existing has actually been proven by the plethora of helium in the universe (from fusion) and other reasons." - Pro

That does nothing to undermine an infinite string of contractions and expansions, where everything "resets" at each expansion. Also, even if our universe won't collapse, that says nothing about the universe prior to the expansion (and the collapses and expansions before that).

Did The Universe Have A Cause?

My opponent didn't argue very well for a beginning of the universe, because most physicists believe that the singularity predicted by The Big Bang will be resolved with a quantum theory of gravity. This means that the universe could have been expanding and contracting forever before the expansion of the universe we see today. But, lets assume for the sake of argument that the universe did have a beginning, why assume it must have had a cause? Pro states:

"Now to convince you the Universe has a cause, you can logically infer this point from proving the universe exists otherwise logic itself would collapse and the whole need to structure anything in some sort of coherent manner would be pointless. "

This seems like a non-sequitur fallacy. Why would everything be pointless and illogical if the universe didn't have a cause? We know that everything within the universe has some sort of cause, but to say the universe as a whole did based on that would be a fallacy of composition. The idea of the universe not having a cause violates none of the deductive or inductive rules of logic. It's hard to see how an uncaused beginning would be so illogical.

"An entity (no matter what form) had to have initiated or created the universe otherwise the universe was created out of nothing, although the universe itself does not conform to the laws of physics and mathematics, we do thus meaning a creator who potentially programmed us with these set of laws like a computer, spending endless hours defining parameters and as he gains more experience the universe expands until eventually the amount of power required is so vast everything comes collapsing on itself. - Pro

A creator is not needed though, this is just a violation of Occam's Razor. Also, if the universe was uncaused, that doesn't necessarily mean it came from nothing.

Assume for the sake of argument that all physical reality had an uncaused beginning at The Big Bang. Most theists would seem to think that this infers that the universe came from nothing. I see no justification for this claim. If the universe came from nothing, then:

“At first, absolutely nothing exists, and ‘then’, the first state (or interval of time) of the universe exists and expands.”

This seems to be what perplexes people the most. If there is absolutely nothing, then how can something just randomly appear out of nothingness? This “something from nothing” scenario is one that I don’t find required in the first place. Instead of:

Scenario 1: “At first, absolutely nothing exists, and ‘then’, the first state (or interval of time) of the universe exists and expands.”

One can just assume:

Scenario 2: “At first, the first state (or interval of time) of the universe exists and expands.”

In Scenario 2 we don’t start off with nothing because if we start with nothing; we get nothing (assuming ex nihilo nihil fit). We simply start off with the first state of the universe itself. In this scenario the universe doesn’t “come from” something or “come from” nothing; it simply doesn’t “come from” at all. This holds regardless of the universe and the finitude of its past.

Therefore if the universe had a beginning and was uncaused, the atheist isn’t committed to the notion that something came from nothing.

Now, Pro says:

"Furthermore the ability for us to be able to produce computers and robotics also suggests the possibility of a creator and possibly of higher intellect since this entity has designed us to learn develop emotions and think for ourselves which is the ultimate obstacle for us to creating synthetic humans." - Pro

My opponent cannot just argue possibilities here, my opponent actually has to show that God exists through the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Also, the reason we have emotions and can think for ourselves is due to the survival mechanisms drummed into us by evolution. This is due to natural processes (like natural selection), and have nothing to do with an intelligent designer as far as we can tell.

Conclusion

My opponent has failed to show that the Kalam Cosmological Argument is a sound argument. I showed that no premise of the argument has been established by Pro in this debate.

Sources

[1] http://arxiv.org...
[2] John Barrow & Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1986), page 290
[3] http://arxiv.org...

derogatory

Pro

The structure of the argument presented on this website is to allow for the opponent to get last say presumably because the proponent of the argument has already prepared what he would like to say which is why I think going against the layout of these arguments is unjust, however I did not argue whether it was unjust or not I argued the point you raised as it was interesting and I wanted to see the possible points that would be raised it such an argument

What you essentially want to say is that you agree with the idea of the Big bounce because of its ability to better depict, the rapid expansion of the Universe. So you have assumed point that because the universe is in what essentially an oscillating phase then it would not of needed a creator. I have used the word oscillating for a specific reason, because this motion is similar if not identical to a pendulum, however we all know a pendulum don't start oscillating by themselves.

I really don't understand how the need for a creator is defies Occam's razor, you must expand on this point

Your believe the Universe just exists, why would it just exist in such an oscillating motion and if it was always there then why is it even oscillating, the whole point of this statement was to argue that the Universe came did not just come from nothing but the fact that it is now expanding and contracting would suggest in nothing is now turning into something anyway.

Evolution does not explain the creation of our existence it is merely the path that has taken us from existence to where we our now, our ability to evolve is instinctive but again why are we programmed in such a way? Furthermore, no one is saying the Universe just spontaneously came to existence which is not what I am arguing, I am arguing that God created the Universe.

Let me approach this argument through another technique:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause because of energy conservation we can not simply gain nothing from something as I am sure you agree and vaguely touch on in your argument.

The Universe began to exist because otherwise would suggest it is infinite and infinity is not possible, it is an abstract concept and thus cannot be applied in this situation. there are inconsistencies in infinity as well.

Both these points conclude that the Universe has a creator, God is just an ambiguous name for the creator, whoever or whatever god is he is the creator.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Introduction

I don't think the rules are unjust. I can only rebut a case for an argument, if a case is given. The Kalam Cosmological Argument is the theist's argument, so it is only right that I should go last.

Oscillation And Pendulums

Pendulum swings may have a start; that doesn't mean an oscillating universe does. Therefore, even if a pendulum swing does need a beginning based on experience, we have no actual experience of universes oscillating. Thus, my opponent cannot bridge the gap here, and say that the oscillating universe requires a beginning.

Occam's Razor

God's existence is an unnecessary assumption. We know the universe exists, but we don't know if God does. Therefore, positing something we don't even know exists to explain the universe, when we don't have to go outside to explain the universe, is unnecessary.

More On The Oscillation

"Your believe the Universe just exists, why would it just exist in such an oscillating motion" - Pro

Why wouldn't it? Remember, Pro has the burden of proof. He must rule this out to make his case, I don't have to prove it true.

"If it was always there then why is it even oscillating" - Pro

Why wouldn't it be oscillating? As I said, my opponent has the burden of proof here. Asking me questions is not the same as meeting his burden of proof.

"The whole point of this statement was to argue that the Universe came did not just come from nothing but the fact that it is now expanding and contracting would suggest in nothing is now turning into something anyway." - Pro

Nope. The universe just expands and contracts forever in the past. No "something from nothing" scenario, as there was always something. You can only have something from nothing if you start with nothing, however, there is no state of the universe preceded by "nothing" in this scenario, as any state of the universe is preceded by another.

Evolution

"Evolution does not explain the creation of our existence it is merely the path that has taken us from existence to where we our now, our ability to evolve is instinctive but again why are we programmed in such a way?" - Pro

Evolution has nothing to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

"Furthermore, no one is saying the Universe just spontaneously came to existence which is not what I am arguing, I am arguing that God created the Universe." - Pro

This argument only works if the universe had a beginning, and if everything that has a beginning, has a cause. I already tore down these two assertions.

"Everything that begins to exist has a cause because of energy conservation we can not simply gain nothing from something as I am sure you agree and vaguely touch on in your argument." - Pro

Energy conservation is never violated if the universe just went through multiple contractions and expansions. The same amount of energy would always be there.

"The Universe began to exist because otherwise would suggest it is infinite and infinity is not possible, it is an abstract concept and thus cannot be applied in this situation. there are inconsistencies in infinity as well." - Pro

Pro hasn't proven that infinity is impossible, or that it cannot be applied to this situation. Therefore, we shouldn't believe him without further argumentation. He offered no justification for this point.

Conclusion

None of my opponents argument show a creator of the universe. Both premises of the argument have not been shown true. Since Pro has the burden of proof in the debate; the debate is leaning in my favor.
derogatory

Pro

Your attack at my theory of pendulums is trivial, essentially your saying we cant describe the universe in anyway or form since we have no experience of oscillating and by consequence your reference of quantum gravity should also be nullified as we to have no experience of the universe contracting.

Occam's Razor

To be quite frank it is a very necessary assumption since for us it is logically plausible for a universe to be created probably what most people would think, and by extension a creator who or what is labelled as God.

Next point

The Universe must expand into something, what is it expanding into? is it expanding into something as well? what is that something? has it always been there? You see its not the universe thats the problem with the expanding for an infinite time, its whats NOT the universe that is the problem. A string of inconsistency here I don't think even physicists are ready to commit to an infinite universe which might actually require an infinite amount of energy to maintain it, similar to how we require energy each day to be maintained (on top of the fact it needs to contract and expand)

Evolution is a consequence of Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Energy Conservation.

Ok so I understand Energy conservation is never violated but equally why would the ratio's of energy change, surely if it was always there it would also do what it was doing initially (newtons 1st of motion to an extent) so if it was contracting it would always contract or expanding, it would always expand which is clearly shown by the doppler effect and we can't just presume contraction eventually since it hasn't occurred and we have not experience of it.

You haven't tore down any solutions because you have no experience if these assertions, similar to the fact we have no experience of an oscillating universe which is essentially contradicting the Big Bounce which you stated in a previous argument.

What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a person, who undoubtedly knew he would not change his belief without some sort of physical proof and I am afraid this is not possible and, if so, he has come to the wrong place to find this, I find this argument nonsensical after addressing these issues because, to summarise, the points he uses to criticise my argument is the same repetitive 'we can't just infer that' well equally instead of me proving infinity is impossible, I challenge you to prove it is possible.
Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Rebutting My Opponent

"Your attack at my theory of pendulums is trivial, essentially your saying we cant describe the universe in anyway or form since we have no experience of oscillating and by consequence your reference of quantum gravity should also be nullified as we to have no experience of the universe contracting." -
Pro

The above is a straw-man fallacy. I did not say that we cannot describe the universe in anyway or form, I just said that just because a pendulum swing has a beginning, that wouldn't mean an oscillating universe does. Con was committing the non-sequitur fallacy, and I was just pointing that out. That has nothing to do with quantum gravity.

"To be quite frank it is a very necessary assumption since for us it is logically plausible for a universe to be created probably what most people would think, and by extension a creator who or what is labelled as God." -
Pro

This is the Ad Populum fallacy. Just because most people would say that, that wouldn't mean the idea of God is necessary. Also, it doesn't really matter what most lay-people think. Most philosophers are Atheists, and most scientists are as well. They are the experts about reality and knowledge; not your average Joe.

"The Universe must expand into something, what is it expanding into? is it expanding into something as well? what is that something? has it always been there? You see its not the universe that's the problem with the expanding for an infinite time, its whats NOT the universe that is the problem. A string of inconsistency here I don't think even physicists are ready to commit to an infinite universe which might actually require an infinite amount of energy to maintain it, similar to how we require energy each day to be maintained (on top of the fact it needs to contract and expand)" -
Pro

Many physicists commit to an infinite past (like Anthony Aguirre). Pro has pointed out no problems with an infinite past, and has not supported the notion that the universe is expanding into something. Pro is trying to build a case off of fallacies and bare-assertions.

"Evolution is a consequence of Kalam Cosmological Argument."
- Pro

No it isn't. Evolution has nothing to do with the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

"Ok so I understand Energy conservation is never violated but equally why would the ratio's of energy change, surely if it was always there it would also do what it was doing initially (newtons 1st of motion to an extent) so if it was contracting it would always contract or expanding, it would always expand which is clearly shown by the doppler effect and we can't just presume contraction eventually since it hasn't occurred and we have not experience of it."
- Pro

The universe probably has a zero total sum energy. energy can be both positive and negative. This means, that as much new energy can be created without violation of any physical laws as long as there is enough negative energy to balance it out. A flat universe has zero total energy:

"[T]he flat universe has a zero energy"[1]

Even in a closed universe, the universe plausibly has a total energy sum of zero[2]. This is because if you added up all the positive energy (motion, matter ect.) and the negative energy of gravitational attraction (and just simply stored in space), they would cancel each other out. Negative energy has even been experimentally verified between two Casimir plates[3].

Thus, energy can be created, as long as there is enough negative energy to balance it out. There is no reason there cannot be an infinite string of oscillation.

"You haven't tore down any solutions because you have no experience if these assertions, similar to the fact we have no experience of an oscillating universe which is essentially contradicting the Big Bounce which you stated in a previous argument" -
Pro

You don't need to experience a solution, to posit it as a possible solution. This is another non-sequitur fallacy from my opponent.

"What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a person, who undoubtedly knew he would not change his belief without some sort of physical proof and I am afraid this is not possible and, if so, he has come to the wrong place to find this, I find this argument nonsensical after addressing these issues because, to summarise, the points he uses to criticise my argument is the same repetitive 'we can't just infer that' well equally instead of me proving infinity is impossible, I challenge you to prove it is possible."

This is known as the switching the burden of proof fallacy. Pro made the claim that infinity was impossible, so he must justify it.
---
Well, this was pretty easy. All of my opponents arguments are logical fallacies, and he barely even attempted to support P1 or P2 of the KCA (let alone show that the cause has to be God!).
Since Pro has the burden of proof; the resolution has not been established.

Sources
derogatory

Pro

as required I forfeit this round
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
RT, you should debate WLC on this.. I'd seriously pay money to see (or read) that.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I said "Their" instead of "There" by accident... Oh well.
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