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A good rebuttal to the Kalaam Argument?

MysticEgg
Posts: 524
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1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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1/25/2014 1:37:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What is God?
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.
dvande28
Posts: 32
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1/25/2014 2:02:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

I agree with this argument. If NBE is synonymous with God, then the argument is just another case of special pleading. For this argument to be sound there would have to be more than one thing that does not begin to exist.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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1/25/2014 2:08:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.

I do think that the LCA is sound though. If A-series of time is the case, then I think the KCA is sound also. I just don't know enough about the philosophies of time...

I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 2:10:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:08:24 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.

I do think that the LCA is sound though. If A-series of time is the case, then I think the KCA is sound also. I just don't know enough about the philosophies of time...

I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Beginning to exist requires temporal becoming. There is no temporal becoming under B-Theory. So, as William Lane Craig even admits, it is metaphysically impossible for the Kalam to hold if B-Theory is true.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 2:13:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:08:24 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.

I do think that the LCA is sound though. If A-series of time is the case, then I think the KCA is sound also. I just don't know enough about the philosophies of time...

I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Here is Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist":

"e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e"s existing at t is a tensed fact." [http://www.reasonablefaith.org...]

If B-Theory is true, then a tenseless theory of time is true. Thus, (iv) cannot be satisfied, and nothing begins to exist.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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1/25/2014 2:19:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:13:59 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 2:08:24 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.

I do think that the LCA is sound though. If A-series of time is the case, then I think the KCA is sound also. I just don't know enough about the philosophies of time...

I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Here is Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist":

"e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e"s existing at t is a tensed fact." [http://www.reasonablefaith.org...]

If B-Theory is true, then a tenseless theory of time is true. Thus, (iv) cannot be satisfied, and nothing begins to exist.

You're probably correct.

Unless you reworded it...

1. Everything which has a finite past is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.
2. The universe has a finite past.
C: The universe is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.

The KCA is interesting, but I don't think it gets to the heart of the issue, even if it is sound... The whole idea of cosmological arguments is that they terminate in something that is ultimately fundamental in an ontological sense. I wonder what the original argument is like, not Craig's bastardization of it.

Another point to make is that even if QM describes virtual particles coming into existence without any cause, it simply doesn't follow that they have absolutely no cause whatsoever. The whole virtual particles is irrelevant, and invalid reasoning.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 2:29:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:19:44 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 2:13:59 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 2:08:24 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

I agree. That has always been my #1 rebuttal against it.

I do think that the LCA is sound though. If A-series of time is the case, then I think the KCA is sound also. I just don't know enough about the philosophies of time...

I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Here is Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist":

"e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e"s existing at t is a tensed fact." [http://www.reasonablefaith.org...]

If B-Theory is true, then a tenseless theory of time is true. Thus, (iv) cannot be satisfied, and nothing begins to exist.

You're probably correct.

Unless you reworded it...

1. Everything which has a finite past is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.
2. The universe has a finite past.
C: The universe is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.

Well, if there is no temporal becoming, then there is no reason to believe the first premise anymore. This is because, even if everything has a finite past, it still wouldn't "come from", because that implies temporal becoming. This thing may have a finite past, but it never came into being, and is tenselessly eternal. Thus, ex nihilo nihil fit is not violated. Since the only reason to accept the first premise of the Kalam in the first place is because "something from nothing" is supposed to be absurd, and there wouldn't be a something from nothing scenario even if the universe has a finite past under B-Theory; we have no reason to accept the first premise.

So, yes, you can reword the argument like that, but now we have no powerful reason to accept the first premise like we would have with the Kalam. Even if things have a finite past, they are tenselessly eternal and never come into being!


The KCA is interesting, but I don't think it gets to the heart of the issue, even if it is sound... The whole idea of cosmological arguments is that they terminate in something that is ultimately fundamental in an ontological sense. I wonder what the original argument is like, not Craig's bastardization of it.

Another point to make is that even if QM describes virtual particles coming into existence without any cause, it simply doesn't follow that they have absolutely no cause whatsoever. The whole virtual particles is irrelevant, and invalid reasoning.

Actually, virtual particles play a huge role in undermining the Kalam. Not the first premise, but the notion that the cause must be personal. Basically, the first premise says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Well, virtual particles may not have a sufficient cause, but they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). So, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise. However, they undermine Craig's argument for a personal cause. This is because, Craig says that if there were just a bunch of sufficient and necessary conditions, if the cause of the universe is timeless, but the cause temporal, then the universe should be eternal. Since this is not the case, Craig invokes a personal cause. However, what virtual particles show is that you don't need sufficient conditions! All you need are necessary conditions, and the finite temporal effect can happen spontaneously. This dodges the need for a personal cause.
SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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1/25/2014 2:31:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

What exactly are your misgivings regarding the arguments against the existence (or traversal) of an actual infinity?


Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

Craig actually defends presentism (viz. an A-theory of time) quite aptly in his Time and Eternity. Denying that time is tensed, it seems to me, is like denying that we have free will or that the external world exists. That time is tensed simply seems to be an obviousity, a commonsensical feature of reality that some deny only to give lip-service to B-theory.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 3:15:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:31:28 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

What exactly are your misgivings regarding the arguments against the existence (or traversal) of an actual infinity?


Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

Craig actually defends presentism (viz. an A-theory of time) quite aptly in his Time and Eternity. Denying that time is tensed, it seems to me, is like denying that we have free will or that the external world exists. That time is tensed simply seems to be an obviousity, a commonsensical feature of reality that some deny only to give lip-service to B-theory.

What do you mean by only "some". You do realize that there are more B-Theorists in philosophy than A-Theorists, right?

All Respondents

Other542 / 931 (58.2%)
Accept or lean toward: B-theory245 / 931 (26.3%)
Accept or lean toward: A-theory144 / 931 (15.5%)

But, metaphysicians are who really need to consult because the nature of time is metaphysics.

Accept or lean toward: B-theory98 / 234 (41.9%)
Other80 / 234 (34.2%)
Accept or lean toward: A-theory56 / 234 (23.9%)

http://philpapers.org...

Also, a lot of things are 'obvious' until science debunks it.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 3:17:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:31:28 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

What exactly are your misgivings regarding the arguments against the existence (or traversal) of an actual infinity?


Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

Craig actually defends presentism (viz. an A-theory of time) quite aptly in his Time and Eternity. Denying that time is tensed, it seems to me, is like denying that we have free will or that the external world exists. That time is tensed simply seems to be an obviousity, a commonsensical feature of reality that some deny only to give lip-service to B-theory.

You make it seem like people who deny tense are this small faction of philosophy, going against the grain. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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1/25/2014 3:17:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 2:31:28 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

What exactly are your misgivings regarding the arguments against the existence (or traversal) of an actual infinity?


To begin with, an actually infinite past is not an actual infinity, in the sense that there is not an actual amount of things in existence at the same time.

Secondly, to say "IF the past is finite, THEN we've traversed an infinite amount of time" seems absurd to me. Traversing is always done between two points. If there's not beginning of the universe, it's ridiculous to say "an infinity has been traversed." So an infinite amount of time has not passed since passage always is between two points. But the idea is that you can always reach back farther, say 10 million years, or 100 million years, and say that time has passed between that point, and our present point.

So saying an infinite passage of time is impossible seems to beg the question; passage is always from point to point.

You could read about this in the Summa Theologica or De Aeternitate Mundi. I'm just not entirely convinced.


Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

Craig actually defends presentism (viz. an A-theory of time) quite aptly in his Time and Eternity. Denying that time is tensed, it seems to me, is like denying that we have free will or that the external world exists. That time is tensed simply seems to be an obviousity, a commonsensical feature of reality that some deny only to give lip-service to B-theory.

That's true. A series does seem intuitively true, but I'm not entirely certain that it is the case. I don't see any theological problems necessarily with B-series and God. In fact, I think God sees time as a B-theorist.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
MysticEgg
Posts: 524
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1/25/2014 3:19:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

Normally, I would agree. The problem is, unless there is another, non-abstract thing IN the NBE, then you assume God exists; there is no if, in that case.

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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1/25/2014 3:22:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:17:25 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 2:31:28 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

What exactly are your misgivings regarding the arguments against the existence (or traversal) of an actual infinity?


To begin with, an actually infinite past is not an actual infinity, in the sense that there is not an actual amount of things in existence at the same time.

Secondly, to say "IF the past is finite, THEN we've traversed an infinite amount of time" seems absurd to me. Traversing is always done between two points. If there's not beginning of the universe, it's ridiculous to say "an infinity has been traversed." So an infinite amount of time has not passed since passage always is between two points. But the idea is that you can always reach back farther, say 10 million years, or 100 million years, and say that time has passed between that point, and our present point.

So saying an infinite passage of time is impossible seems to beg the question; passage is always from point to point.

You could read about this in the Summa Theologica or De Aeternitate Mundi. I'm just not entirely convinced.


Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.

Craig actually defends presentism (viz. an A-theory of time) quite aptly in his Time and Eternity. Denying that time is tensed, it seems to me, is like denying that we have free will or that the external world exists. That time is tensed simply seems to be an obviousity, a commonsensical feature of reality that some deny only to give lip-service to B-theory.

That's true. A series does seem intuitively true, but I'm not entirely certain that it is the case. I don't see any theological problems necessarily with B-series and God. In fact, I think God sees time as a B-theorist.

It is funny you say that, because science backs that notion up:

https://medium.com...

They showed that any observer outside the universe would see a static universe, while the observers inside would experience time.

"This is an elegant and powerful idea. It suggests that time is an emergent phenomenon that comes about because of the nature of entanglement. And it exists only for observers inside the universe. Any god-like observer outside sees a static, unchanging universe, just as the Wheeler-DeWitt equations predict.

Of course, without experimental verification, Page and Wootter's ideas are little more than a philosophical curiosity. And since it is never possible to have an observer outside the universe, there seemed little chance of ever testing the idea.

Until now. Today, Ekaterina Moreva at the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM) in Turin, Italy, and a few pals have performed the first experimental test of Page and Wootters' ideas. And they confirm that time is indeed an emergent phenomenon for "internal" observers but absent for external ones." [From Article]
zmikecuber
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1/25/2014 3:36:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:19:55 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

Normally, I would agree. The problem is, unless there is another, non-abstract thing IN the NBE, then you assume God exists; there is no if, in that case.


That's true. But the argument seems to form a valid disjunctive syllogism...

P1: EITHER the cause is a mind, OR is is an abstract concept.
P2: The cause is not an abstract concept.
C: .'. The cause is a mind.

The reasoning behind P2 is that abstract concepts which aren't "minds" don't have any causal ability. It's not just that the cause of the universe has to be NBE, but it also has to be causal.

I've got mixed feelings on the KCA. I used to think it was unsound, since I was unconvinced by the philosophical arguments against an infinite past... I took the side with Aquinas, that philosophy can't show the past is finite. Now, with the BGV theorem, I'm not so sure...

Anyways, I think the best rebuttal is to undermine the A-theory of time the KCA assumes.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
MysticEgg
Posts: 524
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1/25/2014 3:46:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:19:55 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

Normally, I would agree. The problem is, unless there is another, non-abstract thing IN the NBE, then you assume God exists; there is no if, in that case.


That's true. But the argument seems to form a valid disjunctive syllogism...

P1: EITHER the cause is a mind, OR is is an abstract concept.
P2: The cause is not an abstract concept.
C: .'. The cause is a mind.

The reasoning behind P2 is that abstract concepts which aren't "minds" don't have any causal ability. It's not just that the cause of the universe has to be NBE, but it also has to be causal.

Forgive me, as I'm not well versed in such things. However, I don't see how premise one can be true. Could you please defend it and define "mind".

Thanks.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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1/25/2014 3:46:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Here is Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist":

"e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e"s existing at t is a tensed fact." [http://www.reasonablefaith.org...]

If B-Theory is true, then a tenseless theory of time is true. Thus, (iv) cannot be satisfied, and nothing begins to exist.

You're probably correct.

Unless you reworded it...

1. Everything which has a finite past is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.
2. The universe has a finite past.
C: The universe is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.

Well, if there is no temporal becoming, then there is no reason to believe the first premise anymore. This is because, even if everything has a finite past, it still wouldn't "come from", because that implies temporal becoming. This thing may have a finite past, but it never came into being, and is tenselessly eternal. Thus, ex nihilo nihil fit is not violated. Since the only reason to accept the first premise of the Kalam in the first place is because "something from nothing" is supposed to be absurd, and there wouldn't be a something from nothing scenario even if the universe has a finite past under B-Theory; we have no reason to accept the first premise.


But, let's say that B-theory IS true... Things with finite pasts still have causes, right? I mean, it still seems true from experience, and also intuitively true, even if they don't ever really "become".

So, yes, you can reword the argument like that, but now we have no powerful reason to accept the first premise like we would have with the Kalam. Even if things have a finite past, they are tenselessly eternal and never come into being!



The KCA is interesting, but I don't think it gets to the heart of the issue, even if it is sound... The whole idea of cosmological arguments is that they terminate in something that is ultimately fundamental in an ontological sense. I wonder what the original argument is like, not Craig's bastardization of it.

Another point to make is that even if QM describes virtual particles coming into existence without any cause, it simply doesn't follow that they have absolutely no cause whatsoever. The whole virtual particles is irrelevant, and invalid reasoning.

Actually, virtual particles play a huge role in undermining the Kalam. Not the first premise, but the notion that the cause must be personal. Basically, the first premise says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Well, virtual particles may not have a sufficient cause, but they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum).

As I said, they may still have an efficient cause. Nobody is saying everything that begins to exist has a physical cause. Rather, we're saying that it has a metaphysical cause. So to say that, even if quantum particles come into being without a physical cause, it doesn't follow that they come into being with no cause whatsoever.

Furthermore, it doesn't even seem necessarily plausible that there is not physical cause. Just because QM explains virtual particles without reference to a physical cause, it doesn't follow that there is no physical cause. And it sure doesn't follow that there is no metaphysical cause.

This seems to remind me of the laws of physics... If the laws of physics are just observational explanations of what happens, then they really don't explain anything. Lol. That objects with large mass tend to be attracted towards each other, doesn't seem to explain anything. It's just observing what happens, and giving us mathematical ways to understand what is going on.

So, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise. However, they undermine Craig's argument for a personal cause. This is because, Craig says that if there were just a bunch of sufficient and necessary conditions, if the cause of the universe is timeless, but the cause temporal, then the universe should be eternal. Since this is not the case, Craig invokes a personal cause. However, what virtual particles show is that you don't need sufficient conditions! All you need are necessary conditions, and the finite temporal effect can happen spontaneously. This dodges the need for a personal cause.

Not necessarily. To begin with, it hasn't been shown that virtual particles do in fact have absolutely no cause whatsoever. So it seems that your argument falls flat right there, and doesn't make it past the first stage. Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.
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1/25/2014 3:55:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:46:38 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:19:55 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

Normally, I would agree. The problem is, unless there is another, non-abstract thing IN the NBE, then you assume God exists; there is no if, in that case.


That's true. But the argument seems to form a valid disjunctive syllogism...

P1: EITHER the cause is a mind, OR is is an abstract concept.
P2: The cause is not an abstract concept.
C: .'. The cause is a mind.

The reasoning behind P2 is that abstract concepts which aren't "minds" don't have any causal ability. It's not just that the cause of the universe has to be NBE, but it also has to be causal.


Forgive me, as I'm not well versed in such things. However, I don't see how premise one can be true. Could you please defend it and define "mind".

Thanks.

Well I'm hardly the one to be asking about the KCA, but I can do my best.

Either the cause is a mind, or it is not a mind. In addition to this, the cause must be immaterial, spaceless, timeless, etc. But most importantly, the cause must be causally active. Meaning, it has the ability to cause things.

Now obviously, a mind is a plausible explanation to begin with. But what about the other horn?

The whole idea is that something which is immaterial, space-less, timeless, and is not a mind doesn't seem to plausibly have causal ability. Things that match this description, such as numbers, or universal ideas, or laws of logic, etc. Don't seem to have any causal ability. The idea though, is that using inductive reasoning, these things through their nature are unable to cause anything. The reason these things can't cause anything, is precisely because they aren't personal.

Furthermore, something which is non-personal, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, etc. seems intuitively unable to cause anything.

This intuitive view, in addition to the examples of things which fit the description, seems to cast a very good deal of doubt upon whether non-personal, immaterial, abstract things, have any causal ability whatsoever.

And then on the other hand, we have an immaterial mind. A mind can easily fit the needed description, and obviously does have causal ability. So it seems to be a better choice.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
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1/25/2014 4:00:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

RT, if you think that the world exists as a thought in a higher mind, and this physical world, or thought in a mind, began to exist, wouldn't it be reasonable to infer that the mind the world is in caused the world?

If the world is a thought in a mind, and that thought began to exist. Wouldn't it be the mind in which it exists that caused it? Unless of course, God can't always control what he thinks about. Lots of guys have that problem. Lol. :P

Just curious what you'd think of this.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
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1/25/2014 4:16:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:46:59 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I wonder if one could make the case that the KCA is still sound even with B-series time. The universe still "begins to exist" in a sense, and would need to be ontologicall preceded by something more fundamental than itself.

Here is Dr. Craig's definition of "begins to exist":

"e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e"s existing at t is a tensed fact." [http://www.reasonablefaith.org...]

If B-Theory is true, then a tenseless theory of time is true. Thus, (iv) cannot be satisfied, and nothing begins to exist.

You're probably correct.

Unless you reworded it...

1. Everything which has a finite past is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.
2. The universe has a finite past.
C: The universe is hierarchically preceded by something more ontologically fundamental than itself.

Well, if there is no temporal becoming, then there is no reason to believe the first premise anymore. This is because, even if everything has a finite past, it still wouldn't "come from", because that implies temporal becoming. This thing may have a finite past, but it never came into being, and is tenselessly eternal. Thus, ex nihilo nihil fit is not violated. Since the only reason to accept the first premise of the Kalam in the first place is because "something from nothing" is supposed to be absurd, and there wouldn't be a something from nothing scenario even if the universe has a finite past under B-Theory; we have no reason to accept the first premise.


But, let's say that B-theory IS true... Things with finite pasts still have causes, right?

Within the universe. That doesn't mean it applies to the universe as a whole (that seems like a fallacy of composition). All we know is that this is the case inside of it.


I mean, it still seems true from experience, and also intuitively true, even if they don't ever really "become".

Yes, within the universe. Why apply that to the universe as a whole? I see a missing premise.


So, yes, you can reword the argument like that, but now we have no powerful reason to accept the first premise like we would have with the Kalam. Even if things have a finite past, they are tenselessly eternal and never come into being!



The KCA is interesting, but I don't think it gets to the heart of the issue, even if it is sound... The whole idea of cosmological arguments is that they terminate in something that is ultimately fundamental in an ontological sense. I wonder what the original argument is like, not Craig's bastardization of it.

Another point to make is that even if QM describes virtual particles coming into existence without any cause, it simply doesn't follow that they have absolutely no cause whatsoever. The whole virtual particles is irrelevant, and invalid reasoning.

Actually, virtual particles play a huge role in undermining the Kalam. Not the first premise, but the notion that the cause must be personal. Basically, the first premise says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Well, virtual particles may not have a sufficient cause, but they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum).

As I said, they may still have an efficient cause. Nobody is saying everything that begins to exist has a physical cause. Rather, we're saying that it has a metaphysical cause.

Nobody is saying otherwise lol Where is this coming from?

So to say that, even if quantum particles come into being without a physical cause, it doesn't follow that they come into being with no cause whatsoever.

True. As I said, I did not argue that virtual particles harm the first premise.


Furthermore, it doesn't even seem necessarily plausible that there is not physical cause. Just because QM explains virtual particles without reference to a physical cause, it doesn't follow that there is no physical cause. And it sure doesn't follow that there is no metaphysical cause.

Well, actually, if there are physical causes they would either have to be local or non-local hidden variables; which are both problematic ideas. However, there is a physical cause; the quantum vacuum itself. This is a necessary cause, but quantum events have no sufficient cause.


This seems to remind me of the laws of physics... If the laws of physics are just observational explanations of what happens, then they really don't explain anything. Lol. That objects with large mass tend to be attracted towards each other, doesn't seem to explain anything. It's just observing what happens, and giving us mathematical ways to understand what is going on.


So, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise. However, they undermine Craig's argument for a personal cause. This is because, Craig says that if there were just a bunch of sufficient and necessary conditions, if the cause of the universe is timeless, but the cause temporal, then the universe should be eternal. Since this is not the case, Craig invokes a personal cause. However, what virtual particles show is that you don't need sufficient conditions! All you need are necessary conditions, and the finite temporal effect can happen spontaneously. This dodges the need for a personal cause.

Not necessarily. To begin with, it hasn't been shown that virtual particles do in fact have absolutely no cause whatsoever.

To begin with I AGREE! lol As I said, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise of the Kalam. It only undermines the argument for a personal cause.

So it seems that your argument falls flat right there, and doesn't make it past the first stage.

Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.

Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.


Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.
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1/25/2014 4:21:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 4:00:40 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:56:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

RT, if you think that the world exists as a thought in a higher mind, and this physical world, or thought in a mind, began to exist, wouldn't it be reasonable to infer that the mind the world is in caused the world?

Yes. Just like when you daydream; you caused that scenario in your mind.


If the world is a thought in a mind, and that thought began to exist.

Well, assuming A-Theory (which I don't really accept). Nothing ontologically comes into being, or begins to exist.

Wouldn't it be the mind in which it exists that caused it?

It would be in the mind that caused it; yes.

Unless of course, God can't always control what he thinks about. Lots of guys have that problem. Lol. :P

This could be the case lol


Just curious what you'd think of this.
Illegalcombatant
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1/25/2014 4:32:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 3:55:18 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:46:38 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:36:01 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 3:19:55 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:42:52 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/25/2014 1:32:10 PM, MysticEgg wrote:
I have only ever seen this rebuttal twice:

Once from a website and once used in my debate. While there are probably good rebuttals to my rebuttal, human bias and perspective is a powerful thing. I need another's take. It goes as follows:

When you claim that something "began to exist", you already make a huge assumption. You assume that the world can be divided into things that begin to exist (BE) and things that don't (NBE). If God is the only thing that fits into the NBE category, then you beg the question.

Alors:

P1) Everything that begins to exist, except God, has a cause.
P2) The Universe is not God.
C) Therefore, the Universe has a cause. [From 1, 2]

Is this logical? Yes, it's fine. However, when you do this:

P3) The cause has to be God (timeless, spaceless, etc...).
C2) God necessarily caused the Universe. [From 3]
P4) Only actual things affect things.
P5) By creating the Universe, you affect it.
C3) God is actual. (This is what you mean when you state: God exists) [From all above]


You assume the God exists, if he is the only thing in NBE. The only way I can think out of this is by - obviously - proving that there is another thing, that's not abstract, which fits into the NBE category.

Someone, please and in all sincerity:

Rebut me.

I don't think I understand... IF God exists, then he fits into the NBE category. The point is that the only thing in the NBE category that can cause BE things is God, IF he exists. The argument attempts to show that since the universe needs a cause in the NBE category, the only thing that could possibly be the case in the NBE category is God. How is that begging the question?

Normally, I would agree. The problem is, unless there is another, non-abstract thing IN the NBE, then you assume God exists; there is no if, in that case.


That's true. But the argument seems to form a valid disjunctive syllogism...

P1: EITHER the cause is a mind, OR is is an abstract concept.
P2: The cause is not an abstract concept.
C: .'. The cause is a mind.

The reasoning behind P2 is that abstract concepts which aren't "minds" don't have any causal ability. It's not just that the cause of the universe has to be NBE, but it also has to be causal.


Forgive me, as I'm not well versed in such things. However, I don't see how premise one can be true. Could you please defend it and define "mind".

Thanks.

Well I'm hardly the one to be asking about the KCA, but I can do my best.

Either the cause is a mind, or it is not a mind. In addition to this, the cause must be immaterial, spaceless, timeless, etc. But most importantly, the cause must be causally active. Meaning, it has the ability to cause things.

Now obviously, a mind is a plausible explanation to begin with. But what about the other horn?

The whole idea is that something which is immaterial, space-less, timeless, and is not a mind doesn't seem to plausibly have causal ability. Things that match this description, such as numbers, or universal ideas, or laws of logic, etc. Don't seem to have any causal ability. The idea though, is that using inductive reasoning, these things through their nature are unable to cause anything. The reason these things can't cause anything, is precisely because they aren't personal.

Furthermore, something which is non-personal, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, etc. seems intuitively unable to cause anything.

This intuitive view, in addition to the examples of things which fit the description, seems to cast a very good deal of doubt upon whether non-personal, immaterial, abstract things, have any causal ability whatsoever.

And then on the other hand, we have an immaterial mind. A mind can easily fit the needed description, and obviously does have causal ability. So it seems to be a better choice.

I can just assert that minds without bodies can't produce physical effects.

It's just asserted that a timeless immaterial non personal thing can't produce anything.

It's just asserted that a timeless immaterial person can produce a physical effect.

It' just asserted what is obvious, it's just asserted what is not.

One assertion is just as good as another.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
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1/25/2014 4:58:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

But, let's say that B-theory IS true... Things with finite pasts still have causes, right?

Within the universe. That doesn't mean it applies to the universe as a whole (that seems like a fallacy of composition). All we know is that this is the case inside of it.


I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different? It is a thing with a finite past afterall. I'm not saying that the universe must have a cause, since every part of it has a cause.


I mean, it still seems true from experience, and also intuitively true, even if they don't ever really "become".

Yes, within the universe. Why apply that to the universe as a whole? I see a missing premise.


So, yes, you can reword the argument like that, but now we have no powerful reason to accept the first premise like we would have with the Kalam. Even if things have a finite past, they are tenselessly eternal and never come into being!



The KCA is interesting, but I don't think it gets to the heart of the issue, even if it is sound... The whole idea of cosmological arguments is that they terminate in something that is ultimately fundamental in an ontological sense. I wonder what the original argument is like, not Craig's bastardization of it.

Another point to make is that even if QM describes virtual particles coming into existence without any cause, it simply doesn't follow that they have absolutely no cause whatsoever. The whole virtual particles is irrelevant, and invalid reasoning.

Actually, virtual particles play a huge role in undermining the Kalam. Not the first premise, but the notion that the cause must be personal. Basically, the first premise says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. Well, virtual particles may not have a sufficient cause, but they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum).

As I said, they may still have an efficient cause. Nobody is saying everything that begins to exist has a physical cause. Rather, we're saying that it has a metaphysical cause.

Nobody is saying otherwise lol Where is this coming from?


I'm not entirely sure of your terms "sufficient cause" and "necessary cause". It seems to me that "necessary cause" describes the conditions of something which cause it. If this is the case, then I'd argue that virtual particles do, in fact, have a "sufficient cause." The way I've always read the first premise of the KCA has been in the sense of an Aristotelian efficient cause, not something about "these conditions happen to produce x".

So to say that, even if quantum particles come into being without a physical cause, it doesn't follow that they come into being with no cause whatsoever.

True. As I said, I did not argue that virtual particles harm the first premise.


Nevermind what I said above... I looked up the terms on wikipedia. I would argue that whatever begins to exist has a sufficient cause. So I do think that we disagree.


Furthermore, it doesn't even seem necessarily plausible that there is not physical cause. Just because QM explains virtual particles without reference to a physical cause, it doesn't follow that there is no physical cause. And it sure doesn't follow that there is no metaphysical cause.

Well, actually, if there are physical causes they would either have to be local or non-local hidden variables; which are both problematic ideas. However, there is a physical cause; the quantum vacuum itself. This is a necessary cause, but quantum events have no sufficient cause.


Well I'd argue that they do have sufficient causes.


This seems to remind me of the laws of physics... If the laws of physics are just observational explanations of what happens, then they really don't explain anything. Lol. That objects with large mass tend to be attracted towards each other, doesn't seem to explain anything. It's just observing what happens, and giving us mathematical ways to understand what is going on.


So, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise. However, they undermine Craig's argument for a personal cause. This is because, Craig says that if there were just a bunch of sufficient and necessary conditions, if the cause of the universe is timeless, but the cause temporal, then the universe should be eternal. Since this is not the case, Craig invokes a personal cause. However, what virtual particles show is that you don't need sufficient conditions! All you need are necessary conditions, and the finite temporal effect can happen spontaneously. This dodges the need for a personal cause.

Not necessarily. To begin with, it hasn't been shown that virtual particles do in fact have absolutely no cause whatsoever.

To begin with I AGREE! lol As I said, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise of the Kalam. It only undermines the argument for a personal cause.

So it seems that your argument falls flat right there, and doesn't make it past the first stage.

Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.


I'm arguing that quantum particles have some sort of sufficient cause, besides the conditions of the quantum vacuum.

Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.



Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.

Well then I think I disagree. Why do we think the virtual particles have no sufficient cause? Just because we describe them without a sufficient cause, it doesn't follow that they have no sufficient cause.
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"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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1/25/2014 5:13:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 4:58:04 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

But, let's say that B-theory IS true... Things with finite pasts still have causes, right?

Within the universe. That doesn't mean it applies to the universe as a whole (that seems like a fallacy of composition). All we know is that this is the case inside of it.


I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different?

Why wouldn't the universe be different? Wholes are always different from their parts. Again, our observation of causation within the universe, does not justify applying to to the universe as a whole.

It is a thing with a finite past afterall.

Yes, but it isn't within the domain we observe causation (within the universe).

I'm not saying that the universe must have a cause, since every part of it has a cause.

Then what are you saying? The only evidence we have of causation pertains to the parts of the universe. So, if you argue the universe as a whole has a cause off of this basis, it seems fallacious.



I'm not entirely sure of your terms "sufficient cause" and "necessary cause". It seems to me that "necessary cause" describes the conditions of something which cause it.

A necessary cause is something that has to exist in order for something else to exist, but if exists the effect doesn't have to exist. For example, oxygen is a necessary cause of my breathing, because without it I couldn't breath, but oxygen can exist without my breathing. However, if I am sneezing, and I put my two fingers on tissue from a box, send a signal to "lift", and everything is going smoothly, then this is the sufficient cause of the tissue rising. It is not just a necessary cause because you cannot have the cause without the effect (if I put my two fingers on the tissue and pull, the tissue HAS to rise). However, oxygen to breath is just a necessary cause, because oxygen can exist while breath doesn't HAVE to.

If this is the case, then I'd argue that virtual particles do, in fact, have a "sufficient cause."

Well, there is no evidence of one. I suppose you take it on faith?

The way I've always read the first premise of the KCA has been in the sense of an Aristotelian efficient cause, not something about "these conditions happen to produce x".

Well, we are discussing P4 of the Kalam (the cause of the universe is personal). Craig talks of causation in terms of necessary and sufficient causation.


So to say that, even if quantum particles come into being without a physical cause, it doesn't follow that they come into being with no cause whatsoever.

True. As I said, I did not argue that virtual particles harm the first premise.


Nevermind what I said above... I looked up the terms on wikipedia. I would argue that whatever begins to exist has a sufficient cause. So I do think that we disagree.


Furthermore, it doesn't even seem necessarily plausible that there is not physical cause. Just because QM explains virtual particles without reference to a physical cause, it doesn't follow that there is no physical cause. And it sure doesn't follow that there is no metaphysical cause.

Well, actually, if there are physical causes they would either have to be local or non-local hidden variables; which are both problematic ideas. However, there is a physical cause; the quantum vacuum itself. This is a necessary cause, but quantum events have no sufficient cause.


Well I'd argue that they do have sufficient causes.

I await you argument.



This seems to remind me of the laws of physics... If the laws of physics are just observational explanations of what happens, then they really don't explain anything. Lol. That objects with large mass tend to be attracted towards each other, doesn't seem to explain anything. It's just observing what happens, and giving us mathematical ways to understand what is going on.


So, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise. However, they undermine Craig's argument for a personal cause. This is because, Craig says that if there were just a bunch of sufficient and necessary conditions, if the cause of the universe is timeless, but the cause temporal, then the universe should be eternal. Since this is not the case, Craig invokes a personal cause. However, what virtual particles show is that you don't need sufficient conditions! All you need are necessary conditions, and the finite temporal effect can happen spontaneously. This dodges the need for a personal cause.

Not necessarily. To begin with, it hasn't been shown that virtual particles do in fact have absolutely no cause whatsoever.

To begin with I AGREE! lol As I said, virtual particles don't undermine the first premise of the Kalam. It only undermines the argument for a personal cause.

So it seems that your argument falls flat right there, and doesn't make it past the first stage.

Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.


I'm arguing that quantum particles have some sort of sufficient cause, besides the conditions of the quantum vacuum.

And, why should anyone believe that?


Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.



Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.

Well then I think I disagree. Why do we think the virtual particles have no sufficient cause? Just because we describe them without a sufficient cause, it doesn't follow that they have no sufficient cause.

No, because if there is a cause, it would have to be non-local hidden variables. Also, remember the BoP. The theist has to argue that everything that begins has a sufficient cause.
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1/25/2014 5:41:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different?

Why wouldn't the universe be different? Wholes are always different from their parts. Again, our observation of causation within the universe, does not justify applying to to the universe as a whole.

It is a thing with a finite past afterall.

Yes, but it isn't within the domain we observe causation (within the universe).


Can't we inductively reason that if every single thing with a finite past has a cause of its existence, then all things with a finite past have a cause of their existence? It may not be the case, but it does seem more probable.

I'm not saying that the universe must have a cause, since every part of it has a cause.

Then what are you saying? The only evidence we have of causation pertains to the parts of the universe. So, if you argue the universe as a whole has a cause off of this basis, it seems fallacious.



I'm not entirely sure of your terms "sufficient cause" and "necessary cause". It seems to me that "necessary cause" describes the conditions of something which cause it.

A necessary cause is something that has to exist in order for something else to exist, but if exists the effect doesn't have to exist. For example, oxygen is a necessary cause of my breathing, because without it I couldn't breath, but oxygen can exist without my breathing. However, if I am sneezing, and I put my two fingers on tissue from a box, send a signal to "lift", and everything is going smoothly, then this is the sufficient cause of the tissue rising. It is not just a necessary cause because you cannot have the cause without the effect (if I put my two fingers on the tissue and pull, the tissue HAS to rise). However, oxygen to breath is just a necessary cause, because oxygen can exist while breath doesn't HAVE to.

Alright. Well then if X is necessary for Y to begin to exist, but it could either be or not be the case that Y does begin to exist, then which case happens? It seems that this is essentially a contradiction of ex nihilo nihil fit.


If this is the case, then I'd argue that virtual particles do, in fact, have a "sufficient cause."

Well, there is no evidence of one. I suppose you take it on faith?


It seems to violate the principle of causality. I think the principle of causality is self-evident.

The way I've always read the first premise of the KCA has been in the sense of an Aristotelian efficient cause, not something about "these conditions happen to produce x".

Well, we are discussing P4 of the Kalam (the cause of the universe is personal). Craig talks of causation in terms of necessary and sufficient causation.


I haven't really read much of WLC, so that might explain it...



Well I'd argue that they do have sufficient causes.

I await you argument.


Let's imagine that quantum particles really do only have a "necessary" cause, that is, the quantum vacuum.

So we have X. Y (the generation of a particle) may follow from X, but not necessarily.

But if it doesn't necessarily follow from X, then, when it does follow from X, what is the cause of this? This is a contingent happening, it really could go either way, so why does it go the way it does? If you argue that there essentially is no answer to this question, then we've violated the principle of causality.


Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.


I'm arguing that quantum particles have some sort of sufficient cause, besides the conditions of the quantum vacuum.

And, why should anyone believe that?


If they don't, then something can come from nothing. Furthermore, they are in fact, not a counter-example to the principle of causality. Simply because particles are explained by physics to have no physical sufficient cause, it does not follow that there is no metaphysical sufficient cause. Key words: explained, and is.

Otherwise, this seems to be an argumentum ad ignoratium.


Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.



Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.

Well then I think I disagree. Why do we think the virtual particles have no sufficient cause? Just because we describe them without a sufficient cause, it doesn't follow that they have no sufficient cause.

No, because if there is a cause, it would have to be non-local hidden variables. Also, remember the BoP. The theist has to argue that everything that begins has a sufficient cause.

What exactly is a variable? Is it just a mathematical expression that puts numbers to reality in order to explain what happens? If that's the case, how can we attribute any causal ability to it? If you ask me something, and I tell you what happens, we can't infer that that describes why it happens.

Another point here.

It seems that you're admitting that quantum vacuum are teleologically "directed at" the production of virtual particles. In other words, there's something about the quantum vacuum that points towards virtual particles. But nothing unintelligent can "direct" itself towards something else. Wouldn't that mean that some intelligence directs causes towards their effects? The cause itself doesn't formally manifest the affect... It produces it. Yet its effect is somehow "within" it. But things can only abstractly be "within" a mind, and the cause sure ain't a mind. Lol.
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1/25/2014 6:18:05 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 5:41:13 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different?

Why wouldn't the universe be different? Wholes are always different from their parts. Again, our observation of causation within the universe, does not justify applying to to the universe as a whole.

It is a thing with a finite past afterall.

Yes, but it isn't within the domain we observe causation (within the universe).


Can't we inductively reason that if every single thing with a finite past has a cause of its existence, then all things with a finite past have a cause of their existence? It may not be the case, but it does seem more probable.

I don't see how. As I said, we only observe causality within the universe. There is no good reason to think it applies to the universe as a whole on that basis. Also, if you like inductive arguments; all minds have bodies that we know of. So, we can inductively reason that a mind without a body probably doesn't exist (God) based on the same reasoning you are using.

Alright. Well then if X is necessary for Y to begin to exist, but it could either be or not be the case that Y does begin to exist, then which case happens? It seems that this is essentially a contradiction of ex nihilo nihil fit.

No. A violation of ex nihilo nihil fit can only be if there is no cause. If there is a necessary cause but not sufficient cause, then it necessarily doesn't violate ex nihilo nihil fit.

It seems to violate the principle of causality. I think the principle of causality is self-evident

Sure, within the universe lol You are applying concepts that hold within the universe, to the universe itself. Fallacy of composition it seems like...

But if it doesn't necessarily follow from X, then, when it does follow from X, what is the cause of this?

I don't understand.

This is a contingent happening, it really could go either way, so why does it go the way it does? If you argue that there essentially is no answer to this question, then we've violated the principle of causality.

We only know this principle to hold within the universe. You have given NO reason to think it applies to the universe as a whole.

If they don't, then something can come from nothing.

False. A necessary cause without a sufficient cause doesn't violate ex nihilo nihil fit. .

Furthermore, they are in fact, not a counter-example to the principle of causality. Simply because particles are explained by physics to have no physical sufficient cause, it does not follow that there is no metaphysical sufficient cause. Key words: explained, and is.

This begs the question against physicalism. Regardless, even if they aren't a counter-example, why believe everything has a sufficient cause?

It seems that you're admitting that quantum vacuum are teleologically "directed at" the production of virtual particles. In other words, there's something about the quantum vacuum that points towards virtual particles

Not necessarily. A vacuum could exist with no virtual particles at all, however, virtual particles cannot exist without it.

But nothing unintelligent can "direct" itself towards something else

Why not? Gravity "directs itself" towards pulling matter together.

What exactly is a variable? Is it just a mathematical expression that puts numbers to reality in order to explain what happens?

Usually hidden particles they are.
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1/25/2014 6:20:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 5:41:13 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different?

Why wouldn't the universe be different? Wholes are always different from their parts. Again, our observation of causation within the universe, does not justify applying to to the universe as a whole.

It is a thing with a finite past afterall.

Yes, but it isn't within the domain we observe causation (within the universe).


Can't we inductively reason that if every single thing with a finite past has a cause of its existence, then all things with a finite past have a cause of their existence? It may not be the case, but it does seem more probable.

I'm not saying that the universe must have a cause, since every part of it has a cause.

Then what are you saying? The only evidence we have of causation pertains to the parts of the universe. So, if you argue the universe as a whole has a cause off of this basis, it seems fallacious.



I'm not entirely sure of your terms "sufficient cause" and "necessary cause". It seems to me that "necessary cause" describes the conditions of something which cause it.

A necessary cause is something that has to exist in order for something else to exist, but if exists the effect doesn't have to exist. For example, oxygen is a necessary cause of my breathing, because without it I couldn't breath, but oxygen can exist without my breathing. However, if I am sneezing, and I put my two fingers on tissue from a box, send a signal to "lift", and everything is going smoothly, then this is the sufficient cause of the tissue rising. It is not just a necessary cause because you cannot have the cause without the effect (if I put my two fingers on the tissue and pull, the tissue HAS to rise). However, oxygen to breath is just a necessary cause, because oxygen can exist while breath doesn't HAVE to.

Alright. Well then if X is necessary for Y to begin to exist, but it could either be or not be the case that Y does begin to exist, then which case happens? It seems that this is essentially a contradiction of ex nihilo nihil fit.


If this is the case, then I'd argue that virtual particles do, in fact, have a "sufficient cause."

Well, there is no evidence of one. I suppose you take it on faith?


It seems to violate the principle of causality. I think the principle of causality is self-evident.

The way I've always read the first premise of the KCA has been in the sense of an Aristotelian efficient cause, not something about "these conditions happen to produce x".

Well, we are discussing P4 of the Kalam (the cause of the universe is personal). Craig talks of causation in terms of necessary and sufficient causation.


I haven't really read much of WLC, so that might explain it...



Well I'd argue that they do have sufficient causes.

I await you argument.


Let's imagine that quantum particles really do only have a "necessary" cause, that is, the quantum vacuum.

So we have X. Y (the generation of a particle) may follow from X, but not necessarily.

But if it doesn't necessarily follow from X, then, when it does follow from X, what is the cause of this? This is a contingent happening, it really could go either way, so why does it go the way it does? If you argue that there essentially is no answer to this question, then we've violated the principle of causality.



Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.


I'm arguing that quantum particles have some sort of sufficient cause, besides the conditions of the quantum vacuum.

And, why should anyone believe that?


If they don't, then something can come from nothing. Furthermore, they are in fact, not a counter-example to the principle of causality. Simply because particles are explained by physics to have no physical sufficient cause, it does not follow that there is no metaphysical sufficient cause. Key words: explained, and is.

Otherwise, this seems to be an argumentum ad ignoratium.


Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.



Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.

Well then I think I disagree. Why do we think the virtual particles have no sufficient cause? Just because we describe them without a sufficient cause, it doesn't follow that they have no sufficient cause.

No, because if there is a cause, it would have to be non-local hidden variables. Also, remember the BoP. The theist has to argue that everything that begins has a sufficient cause.

What exactly is a variable? Is it just a mathematical expression that puts numbers to reality in order to explain what happens? If that's the case, how can we attribute any causal ability to it? If you ask me something, and I tell you what happens, we can't infer that that describes why it happens.

Another point here.

It seems that you're admitting that quantum vacuum are teleologically "directed at" the production of virtual particles. In other words, there's something about the quantum vacuum that points towards virtual particles. But nothing unintelligent can "direct" itself towards something else. Wouldn't that mean that some intelligence directs causes towards their effects? The cause itself doesn't formally manifest the affect... It produces it. Yet its effect is somehow "within" it. But things can only abstractly be "within" a mind, and the cause sure ain't a mind. Lol.

Also, everything you are saying assumes A-Theory. It doesn't matter how finite the universe is under B-Theory, it doesn't "come from" as that presupposes temporal becoming. Thus, even if the universe, under B-Theory, has a finite past, and no cause; ex nihilo nihil fit isn't violated.
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1/25/2014 6:25:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/25/2014 5:41:13 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

I'm saying that we very often view things with finite pasts having causes. So why should the universe be any different?

Why wouldn't the universe be different? Wholes are always different from their parts. Again, our observation of causation within the universe, does not justify applying to to the universe as a whole.

It is a thing with a finite past afterall.

Yes, but it isn't within the domain we observe causation (within the universe).


Can't we inductively reason that if every single thing with a finite past has a cause of its existence, then all things with a finite past have a cause of their existence? It may not be the case, but it does seem more probable.

I'm not saying that the universe must have a cause, since every part of it has a cause.

Then what are you saying? The only evidence we have of causation pertains to the parts of the universe. So, if you argue the universe as a whole has a cause off of this basis, it seems fallacious.



I'm not entirely sure of your terms "sufficient cause" and "necessary cause". It seems to me that "necessary cause" describes the conditions of something which cause it.

A necessary cause is something that has to exist in order for something else to exist, but if exists the effect doesn't have to exist. For example, oxygen is a necessary cause of my breathing, because without it I couldn't breath, but oxygen can exist without my breathing. However, if I am sneezing, and I put my two fingers on tissue from a box, send a signal to "lift", and everything is going smoothly, then this is the sufficient cause of the tissue rising. It is not just a necessary cause because you cannot have the cause without the effect (if I put my two fingers on the tissue and pull, the tissue HAS to rise). However, oxygen to breath is just a necessary cause, because oxygen can exist while breath doesn't HAVE to.

Alright. Well then if X is necessary for Y to begin to exist, but it could either be or not be the case that Y does begin to exist, then which case happens? It seems that this is essentially a contradiction of ex nihilo nihil fit.


If this is the case, then I'd argue that virtual particles do, in fact, have a "sufficient cause."

Well, there is no evidence of one. I suppose you take it on faith?


It seems to violate the principle of causality. I think the principle of causality is self-evident.

The way I've always read the first premise of the KCA has been in the sense of an Aristotelian efficient cause, not something about "these conditions happen to produce x".

Well, we are discussing P4 of the Kalam (the cause of the universe is personal). Craig talks of causation in terms of necessary and sufficient causation.


I haven't really read much of WLC, so that might explain it...



Well I'd argue that they do have sufficient causes.

I await you argument.


Let's imagine that quantum particles really do only have a "necessary" cause, that is, the quantum vacuum.

So we have X. Y (the generation of a particle) may follow from X, but not necessarily.

But if it doesn't necessarily follow from X, then, when it does follow from X, what is the cause of this? This is a contingent happening, it really could go either way, so why does it go the way it does? If you argue that there essentially is no answer to this question, then we've violated the principle of causality.



Too bad that is not my argument. Thus, your rebuttal falls flat lol If you read what I said, I never said virtual particles undermine the first premise of the Kalam. I said, it undermines the 4th premise. Namely, that the cause is personal.


I'm arguing that quantum particles have some sort of sufficient cause, besides the conditions of the quantum vacuum.

And, why should anyone believe that?


If they don't, then something can come from nothing. Furthermore, they are in fact, not a counter-example to the principle of causality. Simply because particles are explained by physics to have no physical sufficient cause, it does not follow that there is no metaphysical sufficient cause. Key words: explained, and is.

Otherwise, this seems to be an argumentum ad ignoratium.


Second of all, this seems to be a fallacy of a single cause to a certain extent. Perhaps, in normal conditions, quantum particles are caused by their conditions, but also something else.

Then they would have to be non-local hidden variables, which Zeilinger's work shows is incompatible with experiment.



Could you elaborate this a bit more? I'm afraid I don't entirely understand how you mean that, if quantum particles are caused by their conditions, they refute the idea of a personal cause.

It seems as if you don't understand. Virtual particles are an example of something that have a finite without a sufficient cause, even though they have a necessary cause (the quantum vacuum). However, if something existing without a sufficient cause is possible, then Craig's argument for a personal cause fails. This is because it relies on the notion that the universe must have had a necessary AND sufficient cause. However, virtual particles are an example of something which shows it is possible for their to be things with a finite past that don't have sufficient causes.

Well then I think I disagree. Why do we think the virtual particles have no sufficient cause? Just because we describe them without a sufficient cause, it doesn't follow that they have no sufficient cause.

No, because if there is a cause, it would have to be non-local hidden variables. Also, remember the BoP. The theist has to argue that everything that begins has a sufficient cause.

What exactly is a variable? Is it just a mathematical expression that puts numbers to reality in order to explain what happens? If that's the case, how can we attribute any causal ability to it? If you ask me something, and I tell you what happens, we can't infer that that describes why it happens.

Another point here.

It seems that you're admitting that quantum vacuum are teleologically "directed at" the production of virtual particles. In other words, there's something about the quantum vacuum that points towards virtual particles. But nothing unintelligent can "direct" itself towards something else. Wouldn't that mean that some intelligence directs causes towards their effects? The cause itself doesn't formally manifest the affect... It produces it. Yet its effect is somehow "within" it. But things can only abstractly be "within" a mind, and the cause sure ain't a mind. Lol.

Also, taking data points from within the universe, and applying it to a whole leads to absurdities. For example:

P1: Everything that exists, does so within spacetime
P2: The universe exists
C: Thus, the universe exists within spacetime

What is the problem? I mean, P1 is supported by the exact same inductive reasoning you use to support causality to the universe. I see NO justification for taking a data point from within the universe (such as things existing in space, and having causes), and applying to the universe as a whole. Thus, it doesn't matter how many things have causes within the universe, that wouldn't convince me the universe as a whole has a cause.