The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
Williaam
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument(Part 2)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 788 times Debate No: 15878
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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...


Williaam

Pro

All right. First off, good luck to you! And, here we go:

Counterpoint to both contentions:

I would first like to summarize what my opponent just said: That the universe and time could not begin to exist because there was a time when neither existed. What I assume he meant by that is: Since 'the past' is, in essence, a measurement of time, that time would have had to exist in order to measure the period in which time did not exist.

However, it is a very easy argument to refute, because the concept of time did not exist until human beings created it. Therefore, the creation of the concept of time would begin the existence of actual time. From that point forward, time was given a quantitative representation and was thus expressed as a measurement. But a measurement of what? Time is directly influenced by and based upon the revolution of our universe.

"For example, 'one hour' means what? It means 1/24th of 'a day', or 1/24th of the earth's revolution from this position of the earth in relation to the sun as compared to a previous or subsequent revolution." [1]

So, what would happen if the Earth ceased to turn? What would happen if the Earth ceased to orbit around the sun? What would happen to time? Because the very basis of time would cease to exist, and we wouldn't be able to effectively measure time anymore, then I suppose you could say that time would cease to exist.

To continue, we are completely able to measure elements of time as the past by definition. However, that is not to say that the concept of time had a past, or that the non-existence of time is a quantifiable increment of time - falling under the term 'past' - as we only have the ability to declare things as the past because time was brought into existence.

What I'm trying to say is that there was not a period when time's non-existence was a measurable increment of time, because the concept of time did not exist. We can only say that there was a period when time didn't exist because time now exists and is measured with terms such as 'the past' and 'a period'. So, we can effectively look back and say that there was a period of time where time didn't exist....because of the fact that time now exists.

On the same note, time could not have existed before the creation of the universe - given the Kalam Cosmological Argument, you could say that the universe was the cause of time's existence - because without the universe there would be no measure for a basis of time. Therefore, there can be no reference to a 'period before the universe existed' because time did not exist. Sure, we can label it as such now that time exists and is measurable, but that does not indicate that there was a time period in which time did not exist. The same can be said of the universe.

I hope that makes sense, because it was much more difficult to put into words than it was to see it in my head.

Sources:

[1] http://www.blurtit.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their response.

Pro says "I would first like to summarize what my opponent just said: That the universe and time could not begin to exist because there was a time when neither existed"

This is a misunderstanding of my argument. I was showing the contradiction of claiming that some where in the past time did not exist. Because of the contradiction this proves that its impossible for time to begin to exist. I will go into more detail on this later on in my argument.

What is time ?

Pro says "So, what would happen if the Earth ceased to turn? What would happen if the Earth ceased to orbit around the sun? What would happen to time? Because the very basis of time would cease to exist, and we wouldn't be able to effectively measure time anymore, then I suppose you could say that time would cease to exist."

Pro confuses our various measurements of time such as the solar calendar, with the more fundamental reality of time. It is this fundamental reality of time that is being referred to in the kalam argument and my counter argument.

As it has been said, time is what stops all events happening together. For instance Pro was born AFTER his parents were born. The birth of his parents and his birth did not happen together. Its this difference between events, a difference not based on the physical or spatial that is being referred too when we talk about time.

Time is "A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future." [1]

On a side note, even if the world stopped turning, the sun stopped rising, we would still have a measurement of time.

"An atomic clock is a clock that uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element. Atomic clocks are the most accurate time and frequency standards known, and are used as primary standards for international time distribution services, to control the frequency of television broadcasts, and in global navigation satellite systems such as GPS." [2]

Countering the Kalam argument

Premise 1) For something to begin to exist, there must be a point in the past where it did not exist.

If something exists, and has always existed, that is too say there is no time in the past where it did not exist, that makes it eternal and thus did not begin to exist. For example Pro began to exist, because there was a point in the past where Pro did not exist. Lets look at two different states.....

State 1 = Where Pro does not exist
State 2 = Where Pro does exist

S2 always comes after S1.

Premise 2) There has never being a point in time where time did not exist.

As said before, to say that time did not exist "before" it existed is a contradiction. Because there is no "before" where time does not exist. Before/present/after all happen where time exists.

Premise 3) Time is part of the universe

The argument is as follows.......

Premise 1) For something to begin to exist, there must be a point in the past where it did not exist.
Premise 2) There has never being a point in time where time did not exist.
Premise 3) Time is part of the universe.
Conclusion 1) Therefore the claim that the universe began to exist is false.

I look forward to Pros response.

Sources

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Williaam

Pro

Williaam forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Con

Extend my arguments to this round thanks.
Williaam

Pro

Williaam forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Con

Guess there is nothing other to say than vote Con.
Williaam

Pro

Williaam forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Williaam 5 years ago
Williaam
Why is the voting period so long?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
IllegalcombatantWilliaamTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro obviously has ascended back into the quantum singularity from which all life began. -Forfeit-
Vote Placed by Johnicle 5 years ago
Johnicle
IllegalcombatantWilliaamTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: "Williaam forfeited this round."