The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Pennington
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is sound

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,929 times Debate No: 32982
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. [1]


Stipulations


Since the burden of proof is on Pro, Pro will make the first argument in this round (the first round is not for acceptance, but for my opponent to present an opening argument). My burden is to falsify, and/ or undermine at least one of the premises of the argument in question.

In round 4, my opponent will simply put:

"No argument will be posted here, as agreed"

This means, that we both give up a round (I'm giving up this round, and Pro is giving up round 4) to ensure that Pro gets the first say, and I get the last say due to the burden of proof.

Logical Validity

The logical validity of the Kalam Cosmological Argument will be assumed. This will be debate over the established truth of the premises (or at the very least, one of the premises).

Source

[1] http://www.reasonablefaith.org...


Pennington

Pro

Thank you Pro for starting this debate. I will present my argument this round and leave my last round as Pro asked. I will offer a basic standard of my argument and allow Pro to address it.


The Kalam Cosmological argument has a basic argument with two subsets. In full it is as follows:


KCA


The Basic Argument


1. Whatever begins to exist, has a cause of its existence.


2. The universe began to exist. i.e., the temporal regress of events is finite.


2. Therefore, the universe has a cause.[1]


First Sub-set


Argument based on the impossibility of an actual infinite:


1. An actual infinite cannot exist.


2. An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite.


3. Therefore, an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist.


This first sub-set is that an actual infinite cannot exist in the real world and an infinite temporal series is such an actual infinite.


Second Sub-set


Argument based on the impossibility of the formation of an actual infinite by successive addition:


1. A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.


2. The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.


3. Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite.[2]


The second sub-set is that a temporal series cannot be an actual infinite a temporal series is a collection formed by successive addition and a collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.


PREMISES


The KCA stands as a valid argument formed in logic called Modus Ponens. This is also known as "affirming the antecedent" or "the law of detachment".[3] Modus ponens, as a valid argument form, serves as the basic conditional elimination rule (→E), one of the basic rules of inference, and may be labeled as such where appropriate. That means that so long as premise 1 and 2 are true, the conclusion follows necessarily.


1. "Whatever begins to exist requires a cause"


If Pro denies this premise, then he denies a fundamental law of natural science.


2. "The universe began to exist"


The universe came into being. If Pro denies this he denies the state of modern cosmology.


Sufficient Reason


The first premise in the KCA is the Principle of Sufficient Reason.[4] The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a principle that everything must have a reason for coming into existence. It is reasonable to accept this premise as true because we do not see things coming into existence without reason. Therefore we have cause to believe that the universe had a cause for its beginning.[5] The second premise from the metaphysical Principle Ex Nihilo Fit,[6] we see that the universe could not come from nothing. Even if the universe has always existed, that still does not contradict the universe had a original beginning. The theory of the Big-Bang[7] is just one theory that shows the universe could of had a beginning. These premises are strongly supported by our intuition and our experience.


Temporal regress


If we assume that the world has no beginning in time, then every single moment a eternity could have passed. Now the infinity of a series consists in the fact that it can never be completed through successive synthesis. It thus follows that it is impossible for an infinite world-series to have passed away, and that a beginning of the world is therefore a necessary condition of the world's existence.[7]


CAUSE


Whatever causes the universe to appear is not inside of our space. The cause must therefore be non-physical, because physical things only exist in space. Whatever causes the universe to appear is not bound by time. And the cause is not material. All the matter in the universe came into being at the first moment. Whatever caused the universe to begin to exist cannot have been matter, because there was no matter causally prior to the big bang.[8]


If we go searching for the agency that is beyond our space and time as being responsible for the universe, then all our human analysis from one culture to the next shows us similar properties which are only possessed by a supernatural cause. This cause can go beyond space and time. Such a cause must be beginningless and uncaused. Ockham's Razor[9] will shave away further causes, since we should not multiply causes beyond necessity. This entity must be unimaginably powerful, since it created the universe without any material cause.[10]


PERSONNEL CAUSE


From all the analysis, we can conclude that this transcendent cause is to be taken personal. There are two types of causal explanation, scientific explanations in laws and conditions and personal explanations.[11] The first state of the universe cannot and does not have a scientific explanation, therefore it can only be accounted for by personal explanation.[12]


Therefore we can conclude that the KCA is sound by agreeing with fundemental laws and having a explanation for the personnel cause outside of the universe.


References


[1]


http://plato.stanford.edu......


[2]


http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3]


http://www.philosophy-index.com...


[4]


http://plato.stanford.edu...


[5]


http://stripe.colorado.edu...


[6]


http://www9.georgetown.edu...


[7]


http://en.wikipedia.org...


[8]


http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu...


[9]


http://winteryknight.wordpress.com...


[10]


http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_razor


[11]


http://www.leaderu.com...


[12]


http://www.shef.ac.uk...


[13]



Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God, rev. ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), pp. 32-48.

Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

For this debate, I will only focus on Premise 2.

B-Theory of Time

The entire Kalam Cosmological Argument is dependant upon the A-Theory of time being true over the B-Theory of time. My opponent has not defended the A-Theory of time; so by direct result, the Kalam Cosmological Argument has not been properly defended by Pro. William Lane Craig even agrees that the argument in question is meaningless without the A-Theory of time being true:

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... 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 [1]

When it comes to the particular theory of time, there is no "begins to exist". The past, present and future all exist (in a 4d or n+1d block), with the present image seen on progression through this block, and being no more real than those before or after. Many philosophers and scientists adhere to notion that this view is proven:

It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four-dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three-dimensional existence. - Albert Einstein [2]

As it turns out, it is actually impossible to find any objective and universally acceptable definition of “all of space, taken at this instant.” This follows … from Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The idea of the block universe is, thus, more than an attractive metaphysical theory. It is a well-established scientific fact. - Rudy Rucker [3]

Special relativity [by itself] appears to provide a definite proof of the block universe view. -Vesslin Petkov

Note that I have no burden to show B-Theory true, while my opponent must show that B-Theory (as described as the last picture in the illustration below) is false for the Kalam to get off the ground:

[4]

The point of this section is to simply show that if B-Theory is true, the Kalam Cosmological Argument fails. Pro has not supported A-Theory. Therefore, the burden of proof has not been met on his side.


"Begins to Exist"

Even if Pro can show that the A-Theory of time is true, the Kalam Cosmological Argument is still in trouble. My opponent claims that it is futile to argue that the universe did not begin to exist. Cosmology tells us the universe began to exist, and so does philosophical argumentation proving that an infinite past is impossible. Is this true however? Not in the slightest. Pro's arguments only defend a finite past of the universe, not an actual coming into being.

The term "begins to exist" is used to ascribe two qualities to 'x':

i) 'x' has a finite past

ii) 'x' came into being

Only if both i) and ii) are the case when speaking of 'x' can we say that 'x' began to exist. The issue here
is that all of the theistic arguments for the universe beginning to exist only demonstrate i), while ii) is left
completely unsupported. This means that we are still left without reason to accept Premise 2 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, as only one of the qualities of something beginning to exist have been
demonstrated. I will put this concept into an analogy perhaps...In order for 'y' to be a TV for example, it must have certain qualities coinciding with its nature. This means that in order for us to conclude that 'y' is a TV, it must be shown that it is both electronic, and an object which projects moving pictures. If you only show 'y' is electronic, we cannot conclude 'y' is a TV without knowing it produces moving pictures in addition. Similarly, we cannot conclude that 'x' is something that began to exist, when we only know thatone of the necessary qualities of this claim actually hold (specifically the quality of 'x' having a finite past).

Here is a thought experiment:

Lets say you take all of reality and play it backwards on a projector. Also, imagine that it stops right at the singularity. This means that one could not simply past this boundary and say "there is nothing", then skip to the next frame and say "now we have a singularity". The tape would just run back to the singularity. It would then not make sense to say that the universe "came from" "nothing", because the universe never would have "came from" at all. The claim that the universe "came from" "nothing" in this light, would be the logical equivalence to claiming that "past the edge of the Earth" there is "nothing". How could there be "nothing" "past the edge of the earth", if there is no "past the edge of the Earth"? Correspondingly, how could the universe "come from" "nothing", if the universe did not "come from"? These resulting propositions would not be logically feasible. Even though one could claim that it is conceivable for their to be a causally prior without a temporally prior in retrospect, this would actually has to be shown as a necessity in order for the Kalam Cosmological Argument to be authenticated. This is vital when taking into the account the burden of proof.

Now lets get into a crucial segment of my argument. I concede that the presence of ii) necessarily entails
i) when dealing with a temporal beginning, but we have no reason to conclude that i) necessarily entails ii)
in contrast. These are not the same state of affairs. To make it more clear; One could not conceive of
a temporal coming into being without having an infinite past. It is true on the other hand however that one
could easily conceive of something having a finite past without coming into being. The universe could
be an example of this, as there has never been a time when it could have not existed even with a finite
past.

Again, the theist will inevitably claim that there could be a causally prior to the universe, with a lack of a
temporally prior punched into the equation. However, one could just as easily conceive of no prior. The
latter would actually be more parsimonious in the long run. Regardless, the more one examines the situation the more it comes clear that Pro has not shown a logical or metaphysical necessity for ii) to be the case with regards to 'x', simply because i) is the case with regards to 'x'. An a posteriori argument using empirical observation from within our spatio-temporal universe will not suffice, as relations in a spatio-temporal domain rely extensively on temporal causal dependency.

Concept Illustration

To show the distinction between i) and ii) further, I created an illustration:



ii) can clearly be seen to necessarily imply i) pertaining to temporal beginnings, as one cannot conceive of something coming into being in this sense that had an infinite past. However, the existence of i) without ii) has not been shown to be unreasonable a priori. Without a logical or metaphysical link entailing the necessity of ii) from i), we are left with no viable support for the claim that the universe actually began to exist.

Do I Deny Modern Cosmology?

The key evidence of The Big Bang centers around the Red Shift of the galaxies[4], and the Cosmic Microwave Background[5]. Even if we assume A-Theory, modern cosmology only indicates that the universe has a finite past, not that the universe had a proper coming ito being (as I already proved). The Big Bang theory is not a description of a universe coming into being, it is a theory about the universe evolving from a single point. Any scientist who speaks of a coming into being of this single point, does not have support from modern cosmology behind them; and is speculating. We simply have no necessitating link between a finite past, and a coming into being.

Sources


[1] The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, pp. 183-184.
[2] Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, 15th ed.pp. 150.
[3] The Fourth Dimension, p. 149.
[4] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[5] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

[6] http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...
Pennington

Pro

Thank you Pro for your last round. Pro concedes my first premise and instead just focuses on premise two and the B-theory of time.

A & B-Series of Time

First, I would like to say that my opponent is correct by saying that the KCA argument hinges on the A-series of time. This is in fact a thoroughly explained premise of KCA and I seen no reason to bring it into question but I will explain it and cover my opponents remarks.

We should begin by defining the A & B series of time properly.[1] Philosophers of time have two broad views of time, which are the A & B series. In the A-series of time there is a real difference between past, present, and future. The present exist but the future is not yet real and the past no longer exist. To be temporal means you come into existence and go out of existence.[2] This is the common sense view of time, almost everyone has this view and it follows with premise one my opponent conceded.

The B-series of time says that there is not really any difference in the past, present, and future. It says that the past, present, and future are all equally real. It says things like future marriage, our deaths, vacations we take, and what we will eat next week, are all as real as right now. The problem here is that though these things could become real, they are not yet. It further says that even the things in the past have not vanished into non-being and are still as real today.The problem with this theory is that it is just a illusion. Like right now, we all know the present is 2013 but for people in 2050, they are in 2050 and we are from the past.

The difference in these theories is that, B-series states, "there is no temporal beginnings." In this theory nothing comes in and out of being, they are just real. Now how does this impact the argument of KCA? We know from my first premise that whatever exist has a cause and therefore the universe has a cause. This first premise underlines the A-series in that we come into being. When everything that begins to exist has a cause, means that nothing can come into being without a cause. Nothing can just pop into existence, they need causes to make them exist. By conceding the first premise my opponent therefore concedes the A-series.[3] This is because in the B-series nothing ever comes into being and therefore cannot be aligned with the first premise. This means that even though the B-series can have some actual truth, it is a illusion. It has nothing to do with coming in and out of existence because everything exist at the same time. The B-series therefore can not follow with the first premise that my opponent has already conceded.

My opponent assumes I must show the B-theory false to make the A-theory true and ultimately the KCA valid. This is not the case. By the logic Modus Ponens, we have a conclusion that follows necessarily. Premise one is true and A-theory follows premise one and B-theory can not follow. I do not have to show that the B-theory is false or untrue because it can be truth in projection but not in temporal reality. Our natural deduction with our premise one, follows that the A-theory is in play.

"Begins to Exist"

My opponent gives us the argument on the meaning of 'coming into being.' The argument equivocates on the "begins to exist."

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause means 'from a material state.'

2. But, The universe began to exist means not from a 'material state.'

Everything that has a beginning has a cause and the universe came into being so therefore it has a cause.

x Begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is not time t* prior to t at which x exists.

This example is adequate in all actual purposes because it allows time itself to begin to exist. But, I will offer a more clear example:

x Begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is no time t* prior to t at which x exists and no state of affairs in the actual world in which x exists timelessly.

Just to address further the argument that Pro makes, he objects, nothing ever begins to exist, the material precedes it, it is not true that the universe began to exist.

He asserts, though carefully, that nothing ever begins to exist. Do we ever exist? If we do, is it here, then, or there? This is argument is absurd as it gives possibility that we do not exist. We should believe that we exist or we could never find purpose for debating anything.

This argument simply confuses the thing from the material in which it is made up of. Just because the material in which something is made has always existed does not mean the thing has always existed. This presupposes that everything has a material cause but it still is irrelevant of the first two premises of the Kalam. Even if it was then it would require proof for it and my opponent has already said, "The logical validity of the Kalam Cosmological Argument will be assumed." Therefore he must provide the proof of this argument.

What we can not say or just assume is that the universe had neither a sufficient cause or material cause without proof. I remind you that there is no metaphysical impossibilities involved for a sufficant cause without a material cause. It is always possible to add another event to history, which means the history of the universe is a potential infinite but can never be an actual infinite.[4]

Analogy

Pro gives us a analogy about a TV having to show that it is electric and has moving pictures to show us that it is a TV. This is false. There could be a number of reasons why the TV shows us that it is a TV beyond being electronic and moving pictures. Like knobs for channels, volume, antennas, and a speaker box. Furthermore even if those were the only two options for knowing a TV is a TV, then it still does not follow that the TV is not a TV just because one of the premises can not be known.

Thought experiment:

God exist changelessly alone without the universe, is timeless. Time comes into existence at creation and has a beginning and is finite in the past. So God exists timelessly without creation and temporally since the moment of creation. Scientists do not deny causation at all. They suggested four types of causation and I offer direct causation.

Direct Causation

Direct causation is related to the concept of God (natural or personnel cause), which is associated with nature and natural relations.[5] A free agent can get a temporal effect from a changeless cause. We can say that a finite time ago a Creator endowed with free will could have willed to bring the world into being and it does not imply that there was time prior to that moment. What timelessness entails is that one doesn’t do anything different, that is, that one does not change.[6] Time is at best a measure of time rather than time itself. It should exist outside of physical time (time as defined in the General Theory of Relativity) because it is a boundary point of space time rather than a point in or of space time. Accordingly, it requires a cause for its origination.[7]

Conclusion

I would like to remind readers that my opponent has took all the BOP off myself in this debate and came right out and took it upon himself. I presented my argument without giving every detail because it was on my opponent to show my case incorrect and not vice verse. He brought a argument that naturally follows premise one. He offers a bad objection about 'begins to exist' and was incorrect that I did not offer a metaphysical and supernatural cause.

RESOLUTION AFFIRMED!

RESOURCES:

[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2]

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[3]

http://www.leaderu.com...

[4]

http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org...

[5]

http://www2.lse.ac.uk...

[6]

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

[7]

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

A & B-Series of time

It is true that A-Theory is intuitively widespread throughout the common folk, but philosophers are extensively divided on this issue. When dealing with philosophers of physics (and physicists themselves), it seems to be that they are leaning more in the direction of B-Theory due to relativity. Many even adhere to the notion that quantum mechanics itself proves B-Theory, like Willard Van Orman Quine and Hilary Putnam [1][2]. I am not trying to make the case that B-Theory correct, but it seems Pro is just assuming A-Theory true without warrant. My opponent claims:

"It [B-theory] says things like future marriage, our deaths, vacations we take, and what we will eat next week, are all as real as right now. The problem here is that though these things could become real, they are not yet" - Pennington

Pro is committing a fallacy of presumption [3]. He has to presume A-Theory true in order to make the claim that these future events are not real. All my opponent is doing is restating the conclusion of A-Theory. He then goes on to say:

"By conceding the first premise my opponent therefore concedes the A-series." - Pennington

The above is clearly false. It could be true that everything that begins to exist has a cause, even if nothing actually begins to exist. This is because something could be true for 'x' even if 'x' is not ever the case. Take for instance a perfectly cubed sphere; it is logically incoherent, and will never be case but we can still infer a truth about it (the fact that it involves two distinct geometries for instance). In contrast, there is no reason to think Premise 1 does not hold simply because things do not
actually begin to exist. This is an elementary mistake. Pro also states:

"My opponent assumes I must show the B-theory false to make the A-theory true and ultimately the KCA valid. This is not the case. By the logic Modus Ponens, we have a conclusion that follows necessarily." - Pennington


I already conceded the logical validity of the argument. The problem is that Premise 2 has not been established. This is because Premise 2 rests upon the A-Theory of time and Pro left us with no good reasons to believe it is true. This holds, even if the Kalam Cosmological Argument follows consistently.

"Begins to Exist"

My opponent fails to adequately respond to my objections here, and most of what he is saying is straw manning [4]. Keep in mind that my arguments hold, even if A-Theory is true. Also, still keep in mind the distinction between:

i) "x" has a finite past
ii) "x" came into being

He says says:

"My opponent gives us the argument on the meaning of 'coming into being.' The argument equivocates on the "begins to exist.


1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause means 'from a material state." -
Pennington

I never argued that everything that begins to exist has a causal means from a material state. This is misrepresenting my argument. I conceded that a coming into being from a non-material state was prima facie [5] conceivable. My argument was that we cannot infer ii) strictly off of the truth of i), not that every cause must have its origin in material. This whole contrived syllogism from Pro misrepresents my argument entirely and can be disregarded. In reality, he is equivocating by interchanging between i) and ii) without warrant.

Lets take into account the description of "begins to exist" provided by Pro (which is actually a regurgitated definition from the mind of William Lane Craig himself):

"x Begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is no time t* prior to t at which x exists and no state of affairs in the actual world in which x exists timelessly."

This comes at the price of coming off extremely forced. It also still suffers from the problem of not necessitating ii), and only inferring something began to exist based off of the inference of i). Pro still has not built this bridge between the two, meaning the above description of "begins to exist" fails miserably. It basically states that something can begin to exist even if it did not come into being. This is absurd.

Another dilemma with the way my opponent is using the description, is evident in the fact that this definition has not been shown to be absolute. There are other
philosophical definitions which are completely different which would have to be ruled out as less superior. Richard Swinburne and Adolf Grunbaum have their own description for "begins to exist" [6]. It can be formulated in this fashion:


"x begins to exist if and only if x exists at sometime t and there is time prior to t* at which x does not exist."

The advantages of this description are clear, as it necessitates i) and ii). It would exclude the concept of God and the universe as that which began to exist as well, containing less baggage. There is no need for "timeless" aspects being mentioned, as the description itself inherently takes care of that. One can accuse it of forcing an exclusion of the universe. However, one can accuse Pro's definition of forcing an inclusion of the universe. The acusation against Pro would be especially true, since ii) has not been established by him in context. Until My opponent shows why Dr. Craig's definitions are superior and knocks my arguments down, he hasn't even scratched the surface.

Pennington then goes on to assert that claiming "nothing begins to exist" under B-Theory opens up the possibility of us not existing. This is false. It just means that we would objectively exist in time tenselessly.

Note the illustration on the right:




Analogy

"....Like knobs for channels, volume, antennas, and a speaker box." - Pennington

False analogy [7]. Knobs, channels, volume, antennas, and a speaker box could be describing an antique radio for all we know. Unless we know that the function of "x" is projecting moving images, we cannot begin to say "x" is a TV for sure (or at the very least, a working TV).

"Furthermore even if those were the only two options for knowing a TV is a TV, then it still does not follow that the TV is not a TV just because one of the premises can not be known." - Pennington

I did not say that they were the only options, just that they were necessary qualities. I also did not say that this would mean "x" wasn't a TV. It would just mean "x" hasn't been shown to be a TV.

Thought Experiment

This is just a conceptual analysis of possibility. It is not actually an argument for logical or metaphysical necessity.

Direct Causation

This is a rehashing of Dr. Craig's "Origin of a Temporal Effect from a Timeless Cause" dilemma. This is trivial, as it presumes a cause of the universe. I am arguing that a cause has not even been shown in the first place due to lack of support for Premise 2 of the Kalam.

Conclusion

Pro concedes that the resolution rests on the the A-Theory of time. None of his arguments for A-Theory stood up to critical examination and contained strings of fallacious spaghetti. He also mistakenly inferred that conceding Premise 1, entails conceding A-Theory. I disproved this by showing that we can say something is true for "x" even if "x" is never the case, without contradiction. My opponent also misrepresented my critique of the support for Premise 2 of the Kalam, and provided a problematic definition of "begins to exist". There is no doubt that Pennington did not meet his burden of proof.

As it stands, the resolution is negated according to the debate outline.

Sources


[1]
A philosopher Looks At Quantum Mechanics again, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 56, pp 615 - 634.
[2] Word and Object, Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.
[3] http://www.philosophypages.com...
[4] https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...
[5] http://www.collinsdictionary.com...
[6] http://commonsenseatheism.com...
[7] http://www.skepdic.com...

[*Image*] http://www.atheismandthecity.com...
Pennington

Pro

Thank You Pro for your last round.

A & B-Series of time

Pro starts by confirming the A-series of time as widespread among layman and only philosophers are divided about it. He says that philosophers are leaning in the direction of the B-series of time after he has admitted they are divided about it. By what has been said already, if valid, the A-series is another adequate ground for accepting the KCA. But we can add another consideration like Zeno's Paradox which supports the A-series theory as opposed to the B-series.

Zeno's Paradox

It is impossible to have an actually infinite number of things.[1]

Zeno of Elea concluded that a plurality of things in the composition of reality is an absurd notion. The existence of such would preclude a singular Reality. Zeno shows that in order to catch up to the future, one must first arrive at the point where the present and past is.

If (t) is at 2 then (A) must traverse 1 to catch up.

If (t) is at 3 then (A) must traverse 2 to catch up.

If (t) is at 4 then (A) must traverse 3 to catch up.........

Consider the mathematical formula expressing the impossibility of reaching the destination on an infinite line:

4 - 1 = 4

It seems to show that an infinite number of midpoints can never be achieved unless the rate of travel is increased.

d = rt

Given a certain finite distance (d) to be traversed in some length of time (t), then we can calculate how long it would take one to cover (d):

r = d/t

So, in order for one to catch the future, they must have a rate (r2) exceeding time:

r2 > r

Any interval that is actually composed of an infinite number of sub-intervals would necessarily be infinite in distance.Zeno's paradox shows that there cannot really be an actual infinite. These considerations rationally force us to suppose that an actual infinite is just an idea in the mind and not something that exists as a property in reality. This is why I said it is just a illusion.[2]

Zeno's Paradox & A-series

It would be absurd to otherwise say that a finite quantity plus another finite quantity is not always a finite quantity, we could never arrive at infinity. Infinity in this case serves merely as a limit which we never attain.[3] Therefore, I presume nothing here and it is my opponent that assumes B-series as relevant. Again, I do not have to deny B-series, just by simple logic we see that A-series has a valid look at time which supports KCA.

"Begins to Exist"

I may need to apologize here because I may have misunderstood Pros actual argument. I think I know what he is implying and I will continue on....

What Pro still does is deny he exist or anyone or thing for that matter. In this case, Pro has made the problem worse and makes his argument seem more improbable then the second premise. If he tries to say that the universe has always existed then what he is saying is we all have always existed. This means I was not born in 1979 but existed since the Big-Bang blew and formed matter into things.

Even though Pro concedes the first premise, it seems he is looking past it. The cause did not create itself because He is a uncaused cause. It is therefore applied that the uncaused cause has to neccasarily exist. I have offered the Big-Bang as a start for the universe and this shows that the universe has a beginning and a cause. Pro says this is unwarranted but if we concede the first premise then it follows that the universe began and also has a cause.

"x Begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is no time t* prior to t at which x exists and no state of affairs in the actual world in which x exists timelessly."

Pro says this comes off forced but he is just ignoring the first premise. We cannot concede the first premise and then say lets ignore it when we refer to premise two. It is like saying:

I caused this round 3 debate by writing it but what caused me to write it. It further says that this round 3 debate that I am writing, exist before I write it.

Absurd.

So, what could be the cause of the universe, matter, and time?

There are two types of realities: 1)Abstract objects or numbers and 2) A mind.

We see that objects and matter do not cause any effects in this nature. The only logical conclusion we are left with is that the universe, matter, and time were caused by a mind.[4]

Since the universe has either a finite cause or infinite cause, we can rule out that the universe has a finite cause because if the first cause was finite then it is not the greatest of all possible beings.[5] Even if the universe was caused by a finite cause, that cause would require a infinite cause. This breaks down to a infinite cause as the only way to break the chain of causes. Anything that's non-necessary comes to be and passes away so it follows necessarily that things which come to be require a cause.

"x begins to exist if and only if x exists at sometime t and there is time prior to t* at which x does not exist."

Pro is correct in saying that i) and ii) are clear necessitates by this equation. But, this equation does not account for meta-physical and physical evidence and it then becomes unreasonable. Pro forces a exclusion and at the very same time, he accuses me of doing the same thing. Though my exclusion resides on actual physical and meta-physical bases and not projected theories.

David Hilbert, a mathematician of the 20the century states, "The infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. It neither exists in nature nor provides a legitimate basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea."[6]

If the universe never began to exist, that would mean the number of events in universe is infinite. But mathematicians have shown that the idea of a actual infinite of things leads to contradictions. We have discovered that the universe is expanding, that time, space, matter, and energy appear to have a finite past. There have been numerous scientific papers wrote about how the universe is finite. The astro evidence implies that the universe began to exist in a great explosion called the "Big Bang."

From the very nature of this case shows that the universe has a cause and that cause is, uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial. This cause was before the universe and caused the universe. There cannot be a infinite amount of causes as Pro suggest.

Analogy

"Knobs, channels, volume, antennas, and a speaker box could be describing an antique radio for all we know."

This is true. This still does not change that those descriptions also describe a TV.

Direct Causation

"I am arguing that a cause has not even been shown in the first place due to lack of support for Premise 2 of the Kalam."

Pro is being blatantly false here. I have provided the Big-Bang theory for the cause and I have explained why a uncaused cause's cause is neccasary.

Conclusion

After all this, Pro has not provided any clear cut reason why the KCA is not sound. He concedes many points I have made as to the logical following of each premise and the premises that support them. There is no doubt that Pro has confused the BOP here and who must provide it. My argument is a given from jump and it is Pro who must show it unsound.

RESOLUTION AFFIRMED! Back to Pro!

RESOURCES:

[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_paradoxes

[2]

http://sguthrie.net...

[3]

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

[4]

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com...

[5]

http://www.midwestapologetics.org...

[6]

On the Infinite," in Philosophy of Mathematics, ed. Paul Benacerraf and Hilary Putnam (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1964), p. 151.

Debate Round No. 3
Rational_Thinker9119

Con


A & B-Series of Time

Pro has still not shown A-Theory is true, and concedes that the entire argument we are debating rests upon it. In a last attempt to try and meet his burden of proof he presents one single, irrelevant argument. This is apparently supposed to show that A-Theory is most plausibly true, but my opponent miserably fails in his task.

Zeno's Paradox

Conceptual Scenario A:



Even if Zeno's Paradox succeeds at showing that an actual infinite number of things is incoherent, this still would not support the notion that A-Theory is most plausibly true. This is because B-Theory does not necessarily posit an infinite number of things, just tenseless time [1]. This makes the Zeno's Paradox section from Pro trivial, as its content does not have any obvious bearing on whether A-Theory is actually true or not. Since this entire section from Pro is just one strange red herring [2], it can be disregarded.

Also the resolution to the paradox is incredibly
simple. With regards to the thought analysis involved, the intervals pertaining to scenario get progressively tinier, by halves. Zeno's Paradox for some reason just assumes that because the number of steps is infinite, then so is the total amount of time with regards to this situation. However, 1/2+1/4+1/8...=1. The total time is finite, not infinite. Therefore, Zeno's Paradox does not necessarily show that an actual infinite is impossible.

A-Theory and Relativity

The Theory of Relativity is one of the most well tested theories we have in science [3]. This alone puts A-Theory in a different light, as Relativity questions it. Without a preferred reference frame for identifying a simultaneous point in time at which would be dubbed "now", one has to come to the conclusion that presentism is false. Relativity infers we do not have this preferred reference frame. Therefore, A-Theory is most plausibly false.


Pennington is also incorrect in claiming that he does not have to deny B-Theory. If B-Theory is true then the Kalam is trivial. He must deny it to meet his burden.

"What Pro still does is deny he exist or anyone or thing for that matter." - Pennington

Forgetting the fact that I'm Con, the above drivel is just ridiculous. B-Theory implies that things objectively exist tenselessly, not that things do not exist. Pro just does not understand B-Theory, and is building straw men instead of tackling the issues I am actually bringing forward.

"If he tries to say that the universe has always existed then what he is saying is we all have always existed. This means I was not born in 1979 but existed since the Big-Bang blew and formed matter into things." - Pennington

To say "I was not born in 1979 but existed since the Big-Bang" assumes that there is an arrow of time leading back to The Big Bang. However, this is supposed to be an analogy describing B-Theory. Ergo, the above is a false analogy.

"Begins to Exist"

With regards to other aspects of Premise 2, Pro claims that The Big Bang Theory is evidence that the universe began to exist. Therefore, he has met his burden of proof. This is odd, as I already showed that The Big Bang Theory only lets us know the universe has a finite past (assuming A-Theory), not that the singularity came into being from non-being. There is simply no scientific evidence to support that, as all evidence we have is within space-time. Without a reason as to why we should necessitate the conclusion that the singularity came into being from non-being, simply due to inference of a finite past of the universe; we have no grounds to claim the universe began to exist.

Basically, Pennington has not shown Model 2 below to be true using The Big Bang Theory, as The Big Bang Theory supports Model 1 just as much. This is important, as the singularity does not come into being in Model 1:






In Model 1 the universe does not come into being, but in Model 2 the universe does come into being. Has Pro shown Model 2 to be correct? Not in the slightest. In Model 1 the universe does not "come from" at all, while the universe "comes from" "nothing" in Model 2. Since both fit all the cosmological evidence we have, then what basis are we left with to claim Model 2 is the correct one?

The Problem with William Lane Craig's Definition

"x Begins to exist if and only if x exists at some time t and there is no time t* prior to t at which x exists and no state of affairs in the actual world in which x exists timelessly."

Pro comes out of the ball park without another red herring here. He claims that Premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument has some severe relevance to Premise 2 in the context described. However, Premise 1 deals with causal aspects of hypothetical beginnings, while Premise 2 does not speak on causality. Thus, denying this definition above from Dr. Craig in no way undermines Premise 1 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. All of these random objections coming from Pro are strange indeed. The point is that without a reason to accept Dr. Craig's definition as absolute, we cannot say the universe began to exist based on it.

Now, we actually have very good reason to reject Dr. Craig's definition. Keep in mind the distinction I mentioned in my first round between:

i) "x has a finite past"
ii) "x came into being

If we take a look at Dr. Craig's definition, i) alone meets the criteria. This suggests that all we need to say something began to exist, is the inference that that i) is true pertaining to "x". Why is this problematic? Well this indicates that something can begin to exist even it did not necessarily come into being (as only a finite past is required according to the definition). Since Dr. Craig's definition leaves the door open for something to begin to exist even if it did not come into being, this makes it logically invalid because the two are rather synonymous. The definition introduced by Pro can be discarded for this reason.

The Advantages of Richard Swinburne and Adolf Grunbaum's Definition

"x begins to exist if and only if x exists at sometime t and there is time t* prior to t at which x does not exist."

Pennington claims that because the above does not mention any metaphysical aspects, it is unreasonable. However, this is what makes it advantageous as it does not need to! It should already be assumed that metaphysical existence does not begin to exist. For example, we do not need a definition for "begins to exist" which excludes The Law of Identity. The only reason metaphysical aspects are mentioned in Dr. Craig's definition, is because without them we would have to conclude that God began to exist based on the remaining definition. Swinburne and Adolf Grunbaum's definition necessitate that both i) and ii) be true pertaining to "x", when dealing with the claim that "x" began to exist. This makes the definition in question prima facie valid, while Dr. Craig's definition suffers from the issue of being illogical nonsense.

Since Pro left us without good reason to accept Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist", Premise 2 cannot even get off of the ground.

Analogy

"This is true. This still does not change that those descriptions also describe a TV" - Pennington

This is true. This still does not change the fact that those descriptions alone cannot tell us whether "x" is a TV or not. This was the whole point of the analogy in the first place.

Direct Causation

This has no real bearing on the resolution.

Conclusion


It seems evident that Pennington's responses to my arguments were extremely underwhelming. He is drawing conclusions without logical and metaphysical bridges, and is misrepresenting my position in an slightly embarrassing fashion. In this this last round I demonstrated why Premise 2 of the Kalam Cosmological Argument has not been established.

The resolution has been negated according to the debate outline.

Sources

[1] http://www.academia.edu...
[2] http://www.nizkor.org...
[3] http://www.space.com...
Pennington

Pro

"No argument will be posted here, as agreed"
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
Actually, if you will just take some time to have at least a cared scan, you'd notice that much of those text, maybe almost 50%, is just a quotation from your responses. It is just my practice to always quote, including the whole context, what I am responding.

But if you don't really want to continue this discussion here, then it's fine to me, it's your choice. But then I can't promise to challenge you in a debate.

Anyways, thanks for your precious time sir!^^,
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
If we are going to have "wall of text" wars then I at least want a win on my record. So challenge me and we can do this, if not then please do not waste my time in the comment section :)
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
That's too much text. If you want to debate me then challenge me but I'm not in the mood to read all of that lol
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
>>So you can say that one definition begs the question for its position, but I can say the the other begs the question much more. It assumes that the very necessary condition for everything we know that begins to exist (time) can actually begin to exist itself. The other definition implies that things begin to exist exactly how we see them (Swinburne and Grunbaum). Obviously Craig's definition is the forced one. The latter coincides with what we see with less additive assumptions.<<

Sure, Craig's definition took pains just to allow the *possibility* of a timeless state sans the existence of time. The mere possibility that is denied by Grunbaum.

Hence, it seems that Grunbaum is to carry the burden of justification for the impossibility of timeless state sans the existence of time, not assume it, to say the least.
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
>>Craig's definition fails because it tries to stretch the concept of "begins to exist" past what we know. This violates Occam'z Razor.. Everything I have ever experienced that began to exist has a necessary condition with that being a time when it didn't exist. To include time itself (the very necessary condition for everything we see that begins to exist) as something that can begin to exist does not not seem right at all.<<

Again, this relies on the assumption that because x is what we always observe, therefore not-x cannot be the case, which is fallacious.

>>We know time can have a starting point, but we do not know this starting point can actually come into being from non-being. This means Craig's definition begs the question the most, as I am just sticking with what we know.<<

Now, you admitted that, assuming time is finite, we *do not know* if it *can* come into being. First of all, this seems to betray you position, for it implies that it is *not* necessary that if there is *no* time prior x's existence (which is necessarily the case with time itself) then it *must not* begin to exist. Given your position, you must say that time *cannot* come into being, but that which is false if it is just *possible* that there is a timeless state sans the existence of time.

And that goes to my argument against your position that Craig's definition begs the question more than Grunbaum:

If it is just possible that there is a timeless state sans the existence of time, then time can begin to exists. But your preferred position eliminates, by definition, the beginning of time. Therefore, by definition, it asserts the impossibility of timeless existence. Impossibility claims are the ones that carries the burden of justification, much less to be assumed by definition. Craig's definition, on the other hand, suffers no such impossibility claims.
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
>>This is special pleading. Craig's definition begs the question just as much according to your logic as it assumes that "time coming into being" is even possible without warrant just top shove their God in their, when everything we see that comes into being requires a time before when it did not exist.<<

Of course, everything we see that comes into being requires a time before when it did not exists simply because we are within time! That is perfectly consistent with time coming into being, as it would just be due to the fact that we are *already* within the temporal realm. So how could that be an argument against time coming into being?

Moreover, to say that because x is what we always observe, therefore not-x cannot be would be hasty generalization, or maybe fallacy of induction.

>>Acting like when I do it is is a fallacy, but when Craig does it with regards to the opposite end of the spectrum it is not is a fallacy.<<

Is there anything I said that implies your preferred definition is fallacious but Craig's isn't, on balance? On the contrary, I've clearly said that preferring *either one against the other* without due justification is fallacious.
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
First of all, thanks for responding Rational_Thinker!^^,

>>What I meant was that theist's would have to conclude God began to exist off of their own criteria.<<

When you said we have a very good reason for rejecting Craig's definition because it *makes* something begin to exists based only on criteria 1, namely, finitude of the past, you just mean, Craig's definition does *not* make something begin to exist based only on criteria 1? Isn't than self-contradictory?

>>Obviously you are right, my position is that a a finite past does not necessitate coming into being. You can ignore the "we".<<

Is there anything I said that implies that isn't your position? What I want to say is that that is *also* the theist's position, namely, finitude of the past does *not* imply coming into being, contrary to your "very good reason for rejecting Dr. Craig's definition" that the definition is reducible to finitude of the past.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
So you can say that one definition begs the question for its position, but I can say the the other begs the question much more. It assumes that the very necessary condition for everything we know that begins to exist (time) can actually begin to exist itself. The other definition implies that things begin to exist exactly how we see them (Swinburne and Grunbaum). Obviously Craig's definition is the forced one. The latter coincides with what we see with less additive assumptions.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"This imply that, given Dr. Craig's definition, God did *not* began to exists, even if he *has* a finite past! "

What I meant was that theist's would have to conclude God began to exist off of their own criteria. Obviously you are right, my position is that a a finite past does not necessitate coming into being. You can ignore the "we".

"The only difference I see between Dr. Craig's definition and Swinburne-Grunbaum definition is that
the latter eliminates the very possibility of a transition from timeless state to temporal, while the
former allows it. And to be favor one against the other, without due justification, would be
Begging the Question."

This is special pleading. Craig's definition begs the question just as much according to your logic as it assumes that "time coming into being" is even possible without warrant just top shove their God in their, when everything we see that comes into being requires a time before when it did not exist. Acting like when I do it is is a fallacy, but when Craig does it with regards to the opposite end of the spectrum it is not is a fallacy.

Craig's definition fails because it tries to stretch the concept of "begins to exist" past what we know. This violates Occam'z Razor. We know time can have a starting point, but we do not know this starting point can actually come into being from non-being. This means Craig's definition begs the question the most, as I am just sticking with what we know. Everything I have ever experienced that began to exist has a necessary condition with that being a time when it didn't exist. To include time itself (the very necessary condition for everything we see that begins to exist) as something that can begin to exist does not not seem right at all.
Posted by YouShallKnow 3 years ago
YouShallKnow
Hellooo?

Is there anybody out there?

Is my response below nonsense/incoherent? Why?

I hope that there would be someone kind enough for a favor of intellectually correcting/agreeing with me on this critical point.

Thanks!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
Rational_Thinker9119PenningtonTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: S/G to Con because of Pro's frequent typos and grammar mistakes. Also, Con was more organized and wrote more clearly. Con attacked premise 2 on the basis that (1) it depended on the A theory of time while the B theory of time is true, and (2) a finite past is not enough to say the universe came into being. Con successfully refuted Pro's first argument for the A theory, but did not seem to understand Pro's second argument from Zeno's paradox. Although I think Con could've easily refuted it, his attempt missed the mark. The rest of my judgment came down to Con's second point about bridging the gap between a "finite past" and "coming into existence." This came down to Craig's vs. Swinburn/Grunbaum's definition. Con's definition is sufficient, but Pro didn't make any good arguments for why it should be rejected in favor of Craig's, so he never bridged that gap. Since he was never able to defend the second premise from this objection, I gave arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by medv4380 3 years ago
medv4380
Rational_Thinker9119PenningtonTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had mixed up the font in Round 3 so the spelling and grammar goes to Con. Pro had better conduct, and Con behaved rudely throughout the debate. Cons point for B Time held. A better attack on B Time is actually the Law of Causality and the fact that Reverse Causation has never been meaningfully observed. Con left a clear opening with Possibilism and Pro never really went for it. Con failed to argue infinite properly and if Pro had put an Eternalism model in doubt though any other explanation other than intuition Pro would have won.