The Instigator
Sargon
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
Miles_Donahue
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,754 times Debate No: 36360
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (7)

 

Sargon

Con

Ave

Resolution/Burden of Proof

This debate will be centered around the Kalam Cosmological argument. I will be taking the Con position, and argue that the KCA is not logically valid and the premises are not sound. Pro will demonstrate that the KCA is logically valid and sound. The winner of the debate will be the person who proves their case with a preponderance (a majority) of the evidence.

(Logical validity is when the truth of the premises logically entail the conclusion. An argument is sound if all of its premises are true.)

Argument
The KCA we will be debating is formulated like this:

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
4. If the universe has a cause, there exists an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe who sans the universe is beginningless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, and enormously powerful.
5. Therefore, there exists an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe who sans the universe is beginningless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, changeless, and enormously powerful.

Rules/Format
General expectations of DDO conduct should be followed. No forfeiting, cheating, trolling, etc.

The first round is for acceptance. The subsequent rounds will be for debating.

Vale
Miles_Donahue

Pro

I accept, and look forward to what I hope to be a fascinating and mind-expanding exchange.
Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Con

Ave

As a preliminary note, I wish to thank the user Poetaster for creating the beautiful images you will see in my opening statement.

Entailment Argument

P1: Every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state.
P2: If every state of the universe is sufficiently caused by a previous state, then every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state.
P3: If every state of the universe has a causal explanation with reference to another state, then there is no state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
P4: An external cause of the universe can only exist if there is a state of the universe that was not caused by a previous state of the universe.
C: By P3 and P4, The universe has no external cause.

Support for the Entailment Argument

A half-open state of time can be thought of a line segment with a maximum value, but no minimum value.




A first state of time can be thought of as a line segment with a maximum and minimum value.



Physicists derive equations from relativity called metric tensors (or metrics for short), which describe the geometric and causal structure of space-time.[1] Ever since Einstein created general relativity in 1915, four physicists have derived metrics from his theory that describe the universe we live in, which are now called Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) metrics[2]. The FLRW metric describes a universe that is isotropic, homogenous, and expanding. These metrics also state that every state of time is half-open.[3][4]

If every state of time is half-open, then this creates problems for a first state of time. A first state of time has a minimum value and a maximum value However, this contradicts the theory of relativity. The theory of relativity tells us that every state of time must have no minimum value, but a maximum value. Therefore, the theory of relativity tells us that a first state of time does not exist. Not only that, but the existence of a first state of time would actually be impossible!

Now, let’s talk about sufficient causation. In the context of this argument, I use sufficient cause to refer to a condition that, when it has been actualized, will inevitably lead to something else. [5] For example, if people are playing checkers, then there is also a board and pieces in use. The act of playing checkers requires the use of a board and pieces

This is a picture of the universe if every state of time is half-open.


Every end-point (represented by the U shape) sufficiently causes the next end-point, and is sufficiently caused by a prior end-point. If one end-point represents the first hour after the Big Bang, and the next end-point represents the second hour after the Big Bang, then the first hour after the Big Bang sufficiently causes the second hour, because once it has been actualized, it will lead to the second hour. The first premise is warranted, and I believe that the other premises logically follow from its truth.

I also want to clarify how my argument is consistent with Big Bang cosmology. The universe still had a "beginning" in the sense that every state of time must be less than 13.9 billion years old, the age of the universe. In algebraic terms, if T represents a state of time, then every T < 13.9 billion years ago. I think this explanation will solve any questions about how my view of the universe is compatible with standard Big Bang cosmology, which has a finitely old universe.

A Criticism of the Kalam Cosmological Argument

"Everyday experience [thus] fails to reveal how the universe really works...' -Brian Greene, physicist [6]

Critics of the KCA such as RationalThinker, wiploc, and DakotaKrafick have pointed that, if something cannot come from nothing, then god cannot create the universe ex nihilo. Miles has suggested that nothing is actually defined as ‘’non-being’’, which is supposed to solve the problem. This definition actually refutes one of his warrants for P1.Why aren’t lions and tigers and bears coming into being right now, if it’s possible that they can? The answer is obvious, not inexplicable as the theist suggests. We occupy space-time and live under physical laws. If a tiger spontaneously appeared during a William Lane Craig debate, then it would have came from being. The reason we don’t see tigers and bears coming into being from non-being is that we occupy space-time, and that’s being. It’s simply impossible for us to experience a tiger coming from non-being, because everything we experience takes place in space-time.

Miles supports the causal principle by using an inductive generalization. I’m shocked that he does this without noting any of the problems with this method. I can use inductive generalization to disprove the theory of relativity! In all of my experience, when an object in motion gets pushed, it travels faster. Therefore, I can make an inductive generalization that an object in motion goes faster when it’s pushed. Imagine a William Lane Craig book traveling at the speed of light. According to my inductive generalization, if I push the book, it will travel faster than the speed of light. This means that my inductive generalization has proven that an object can travel faster than the speed of light. If your warrant for P1 can be used to disprove one of the most confirmed theories in all of science, there’s something wrong with your warrant.

David Hume demonstrated the huge problems with inductive reasoning when he wrote A Treatise of Human Nature[7]. Hume pointed out that all inductive reasoning contains a missing premise which has gone unjustified. This premise is what Hume called the ‘’uniformity of nature’’. This unjustified premise, according to Hume, states that “instances of which we have had no experience, must resemble those of which we have had experience, and that the course of nature continues always uniformly the same”. Most philosophers agree that Hume decisively proved this assumption could not be proven deductively or causal reasoning, nor can it be proved inductively, as that would be circular.[8] It’s apparent that Miles has his work cut out for him, and that simply asserting inductive reasoning will not cut it.

Miles implies that he has a realist interpretation of the cosmological singularity. To him, the singularity really was a point of infinite density, preceded by absolute nothingness. I think this interpretation has many problems. It is better to think of the singularity as a mathematical abstraction rather than a real thing. For example, it's supposed to have infinite temperature, but it's a zero dimensional point. Temperature relates to molecules moving around, like spreading out when heated, or getting closer together when cooled. How can temperature make any sense at a zero-dimensional point, which by definition, has no movement? Dr. Craig also points out that a physical object with no duration and no physical extension hardly qualifies as a physical thing at all! [9]

There are no reasons to accept P1 as true. I'm not under any obligation to prove it wrong, so I won't, but the reasons offered have all been refuted by Hume centuries ago. The problems are much more fundamental than actual infinities. Rather, they start with the very first words the argument says, that everything which begins to exist has a cause.

Vale

References
1: http://en.wikipedia.org...
2: http://en.wikipedia.org...
3: http://plato.stanford.edu...
4: I consulted DDO user nordmarj, who has a master's degree in Astronomy and Physics, and he told me this was a correct statement.

5: http://www.nku.edu... (You have to read quite a bit of it to get to the point.)
6: The Fabric of the Cosmos, pg 75
7: http://www.davidhume.org...
8: http://plato.stanford.edu...
9: Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology, pg 227


Miles_Donahue

Pro

Due to current events in my life, I will have to concede.
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Con

Ave

I extend the entailment argument and my criticisms of the KCA. So far, 100% of the evidence presented has been in my favor, so a Con vote is the best choice. I thank Pro for participating in this debate.

Vale
Miles_Donahue

Pro

I really wish I could participate in this debate, but life gets in the way of what we want. I concede.
Debate Round No. 3
Sargon

Con

Ave

Vote Con.

Vale
Miles_Donahue

Pro

I concede.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
Looking forward to this one :)
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by philochristos 3 years ago
philochristos
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: What everyone else said.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: due to concession.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 3 years ago
TheHitchslap
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: concession
Vote Placed by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
SargonMiles_DonahueTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.