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Kalam cosmological argument

tejretics
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10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply. Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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10/8/2015 4:16:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo.

I don't understand your point here. Can you rephrase?
tejretics
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10/8/2015 4:56:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:16:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo.

I don't understand your point here. Can you rephrase?

The "causal principle" is basically a physical law. Sans the universe, physical laws do not apply, according to General Relativity, whereas physical laws apply throughout the universe, per SR. So the causal principle doesn't necessarily apply sans the universe. Further, the principle - and all physical laws - are intrinsically derived from the existence of physical constraint, but sans any matter/energy, there is nothing constraining something else physically, so X cannot be constrained from "coming into being," as Sean Carroll notes.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
dylancatlow
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10/8/2015 6:04:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:56:01 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:16:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo.

I don't understand your point here. Can you rephrase?

The "causal principle" is basically a physical law. Sans the universe, physical laws do not apply, according to General Relativity, whereas physical laws apply throughout the universe, per SR. So the causal principle doesn't necessarily apply sans the universe. Further, the principle - and all physical laws - are intrinsically derived from the existence of physical constraint, but sans any matter/energy, there is nothing constraining something else physically, so X cannot be constrained from "coming into being," as Sean Carroll notes.

Okay, I understand now.

The first moment of the physical universe, being physical, is naturally beholden to physical laws. So either the first moment of the universe wasn't physical, or its existence must owe to some cause (assuming the causal principle is valid). "Absent any universe" =/= the conditions under which the universe arose; if those conditions were real enough to determine the manner in which the real universe came into being, then they would be part of the real universe, a contradiction.
dylancatlow
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10/8/2015 6:23:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
By the way, I don't think the causal principle is an artificial constraint that just happens to apply to our universe, and therefore I don't think it is restricted to things which "begin to exist" or the physical.
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume.

The causal principle isn't a physical law. It's a metaphysical one. A constraint on existence in general.

Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo.

It's not a physical constraint...
And also, theorizing about what it was like before the singularity isn't really helpful to your side of this debate because there was also an absolute lack of physical potentiality, which theoretically implies that "something" could not possibly have emerged from the pre-singularity nothingness.

It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

Appeal to intuition isn't necessarily fallacious (unless it's being used to imply that counter-intuitive automatically = false). Rational intuition can serve as prima facie warrant for the causal principle. In other words, without overriding reason to deny the accuracy of such intuitions, we should accept them to be true.

I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to with the "hasty generalization" part.


On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

... zero divided by zero isn't infinity
It's undefined.

Also, what happened to your eternalism argument against this premise lol
tejretics
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10/10/2015 12:30:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

At the subatomic level, quantum indeterminacy makes the causal principle seem to break down. "On the quantum level, the connection between cause and effect, if not entirely broken, is to some extent loosened. For example, it appears that electrons can pass out of existence at one point and come back into existence elsewhere. One can neither trace their intermediate existence nor determine what causes them to come into existence at one point rather than another. Neither can one precisely determine or predict where they will reappear; their subsequent location is only statistically probable given what we know about their antecedent states." [http://plato.stanford.edu...] Quentin Smith argues, "[Q]uantum-mechanical considerations show that the causal proposition is limited in its application, if applicable at all, and consequently that a probabilistic argument for a cause of the Big Bang cannot go through."


Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume.

The causal principle isn't a physical law. It's a metaphysical one. A constraint on existence in general.

Justify this.


Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo.


It's not a physical constraint...

Citations needed.

And also, theorizing about what it was like before the singularity isn't really helpful to your side of this debate because there was also an absolute lack of physical potentiality, which theoretically implies that "something" could not possibly have emerged from the pre-singularity nothingness.

You're assuming the alternative is ex nihilo causation, but you fail to account for simultaneous causality of the universe by itself, and for "B-theories" of time.


It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

Appeal to intuition isn't necessarily fallacious (unless it's being used to imply that counter-intuitive automatically = false). Rational intuition can serve as prima facie warrant for the causal principle. In other words, without overriding reason to deny the accuracy of such intuitions, we should accept them to be true.

Just based on our intuition?


I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to with the "hasty generalization" part.

Some things being caused in the observable universe =/= everything requires a cause.



On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

... zero divided by zero isn't infinity
It's undefined.

Agreed. But most cosmologists say singularities have actual infinities (whether - or not - they exist).


Also, what happened to your eternalism argument against this premise lol

I wasn't generally refuting the KCA, as these were new thoughts of mine. I'm unsure about these arguments myself. The eternalism argument, I'm quite convinced by it, but that isn't relevant to the OP.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/10/2015 5:53:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 12:30:59 PM, tejretics wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.



Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

At the subatomic level, quantum indeterminacy makes the causal principle seem to break down. "On the quantum level, the connection between cause and effect, if not entirely broken, is to some extent loosened. For example, it appears that electrons can pass out of existence at one point and come back into existence elsewhere. One can neither trace their intermediate existence nor determine what causes them to come into existence at one point rather than another. Neither can one precisely determine or predict where they will reappear; their subsequent location is only statistically probable given what we know about their antecedent states." [http://plato.stanford.edu...] Quentin Smith argues, "[Q]uantum-mechanical considerations show that the causal proposition is limited in its application, if applicable at all, and consequently that a probabilistic argument for a cause of the Big Bang cannot go through."

That only confirmed what I said. Indeterminism doesn't deny causation; it just introduces an element of probability and uncertainty to causation on sub-atomic levels. In other words, instead of just saying "X causes Y", we say "X has a 40% chance of causing Y".

Also, there are plenty of deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics which are experimentally equivalent with the Copenhagen interpretation. QM is very much a work in progress, so just because scientists haven't fully figured out why certain phenomena happen doesn't mean we should assume they're acausal.


The causal principle isn't a physical law. It's a metaphysical one. A constraint on existence in general.

Justify this.

How? That's just the definition of the causal principle -- it's a metaphysical constraint on the existence of contingent beings. Your refutation is essentially a straw-man because no reasonable theist thinks that the scientific principle of determinism affirms the first premise. It is obvious that a physical law wouldn't apply before physical reality existed. Just like how physical laws can't be imposed on a non-physical God :P


And also, theorizing about what it was like before the singularity isn't really helpful to your side of this debate because there was also an absolute lack of physical potentiality, which theoretically implies that "something" could not possibly have emerged from the pre-singularity nothingness.

You're assuming the alternative is ex nihilo causation, but you fail to account for simultaneous causality of the universe by itself, and for "B-theories" of time.

I have already gone over why B-theory of time doesn't exempt the universe from the problem of ex nihilo creation:
"How does eternalism prove that the block-universe never began to exist? All it proves is that there is no place in time within the block that can really be considered its 'beginning'. The block-universe is often compared to a meter stick to demonstrate that concept; I do not see how this precludes us from asking where the meter stick as a whole came from."

I'm not sure how simultaneous causation relates to this. The only context I've ever heard the term used in is the (incredibly weak) rebuttal to stupid atheistic time/causation arguments against the existence of God [http://www.atheismandthecity.com...]


Appeal to intuition isn't necessarily fallacious (unless it's being used to imply that counter-intuitive automatically = false). Rational intuition can serve as prima facie warrant for the causal principle. In other words, without overriding reason to deny the accuracy of such intuitions, we should accept them to be true.

Just based on our intuition?

Our rational intuitions about reality, yeah... I'm not sure why this is controversial. We use prima facie justification all the time.


Some things being caused in the observable universe =/= everything requires a cause.

That's not the argument being made, though.



On premise 2,
singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume).

... zero divided by zero isn't infinity
It's undefined.

Agreed. But most cosmologists say singularities have actual infinities (whether - or not - they exist).

On what basis?


Also, what happened to your eternalism argument against this premise lol

I wasn't generally refuting the KCA, as these were new thoughts of mine. I'm unsure about these arguments myself. The eternalism argument, I'm quite convinced by it, but that isn't relevant to the OP.

hmph. You never responded to my refutation of it in your other KCA thread.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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10/10/2015 6:31:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

The difference? If there's a 50% chance of an atom becoming radioactive, there isn't any specific reason for it becoming radioactive or not. Furthermore, the probability just tells us the likelihood of it happening, not the cause of it. How can likelihood be a cause of anything?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
DanneJeRusse
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10/10/2015 6:59:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
These threads should be called "The Butchering of Physics by Laymen"
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a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
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ken1122
Posts: 465
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10/10/2015 7:47:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The problem with the Cosmological argument, unmoved mover argument and all others similar, is it imposes a set of rules it does not apply to itself.

According to what little bit we know about the Universe, the unmoved mover does not exist; it is merely a concept. But he who uses the argument proclaims the unmoved mover MUST exist, and presupposes the vast majority of the Universe that we are ignorant of is consistent with the tiny percentage of the Universe we DO know of (a claim nobody is not qualified to make), thus this unmoved mover cannot exist within the Universe, so it must exist outside it. He then proclaims his God exists outside the Universe and is the unmoved mover.

Problem with this is the opposing argument will simply proclaim the Universe as the unmoved mover to which he will probably attempt to use science to prove it cannot be. The problem with using science this way is the same science that will dismiss the possibility of the Universe being the unmoved mover will also dismiss the possibility of his God even existing let alone being an unmoved mover! In other words, according to science God is a worse explanation than the Universe!

These arguments will only work on those who presuppose the existence of his God because they are the only ones who will allow you to apply rules to the opposing argument without applying them to his own. I think they call that; "preachin to the choir".

Ken
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/10/2015 10:39:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:31:06 PM, n7 wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

The difference? If there's a 50% chance of an atom becoming radioactive, there isn't any specific reason for it becoming radioactive or not. Furthermore, the probability just tells us the likelihood of it happening, not the cause of it. How can likelihood be a cause of anything?

I didn't say anything about probabilities causing things to happen (lolwut). I said the fact that quantum events occur in a probabilistic manner doesn't necessarily mean they can't be caused. There could very plausibly be yet-undiscovered processes at work on the sub-atomic level which drive events to occur in accordance with those probabilities -- that's what deterministic interpretations of QM posit, anyways. It's currently beyond our ability to empirically confirm any single interpretation, but I think a deterministic description of quantum systems is pretty likely to be true; one would expect that if quantum events were actually indeterminate, we would see them occurring completely randomly, instead of consistently conforming to calculated probability distributions with near-100% experimental accuracy.

Einstein agreed:

"If the quantum wave is not a complete description of the physical system, then Einstein has a ready explanation of the probabilities that have now entered into physics in quantum measurement processes: they are merely expressions of our ignorance. If an atom has a probability of one half of radioactive decay over an hour, then all that really means is that its wave function describes an ensemble of many different atomic systems, half of which decay in an hour. Whether one particular atom in the ensemble will decay in one hour is definitely determinable. However we will not be able to discern it if all we know is the quantum wave associated with it. Whether it decays or not depends upon properties of that system that have been smoothed away by the quantum wave and thus are unknown to us. It is our ignorance of these smoothed away properties that makes a probabilistic assertion the best we can do." [http://www.pitt.edu...]

Anyways, this isn't really that important in the context of the KCA because
1. There's no reason to prefer the Copenhagen interpretation over other interpretations of QM
2. The KCA's first premise is warranted via prima facie justification, and is distinct from the scientific principle of determinism
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/10/2015 10:45:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:59:37 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
These threads should be called "The Butchering of Physics by Laymen"

Feel free to try correcting me, instead of polluting the thread with such worthless, snarky remarks.

I'm open to admitting that I was wrong if you can expose an actual misconception on my part.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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10/10/2015 11:00:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The KCA is so obviously unsound, I honestly wonder why anyone would defend it. Apart from ignorance.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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10/11/2015 12:41:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply. Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

There are a few fundamental questions that need to be addressed here.

1: Is the Copenhagen interpretation the only model empirically consistent with the data?
2: Should we be realists about quantum entities?
3: Should we be realists about the Big Bang singularity given the limits of general relativity?
4: How can any philosophical argument about the universe based on consensus physics not face the problem of limited physical scales?

I would argue that the most plausible answers to these questions undermine the credibility of your argument, although I don't consider the KCA to be a sound argument.
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/11/2015 12:44:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 11:00:58 PM, Fkkize wrote:
The KCA is so obviously unsound, I honestly wonder why anyone would defend it. Apart from ignorance.

I honestly wonder how people can so easily dismiss an argument which has been rationally defended by thousands of intelligent theists around the world and throughout history. Apart from ignorance.
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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10/11/2015 12:48:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:44:51 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/10/2015 11:00:58 PM, Fkkize wrote:
The KCA is so obviously unsound, I honestly wonder why anyone would defend it. Apart from ignorance.

I honestly wonder how people can so easily dismiss an argument which has been rationally defended by thousands of intelligent theists around the world and throughout history. Apart from ignorance.

Ideally, people dismiss things because they are unsound. Unsoundness is an aspect of an argument that does not depend on how large of a tradition has been built around the argument. While I may concede that "ignorance" is an overstatement, we cannot reject his dismissal of the argument as unsound for the reason that you provided. There are many traditions built around unsound systems: consider logical positivism.
Yonko
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10/11/2015 12:52:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:48:27 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:44:51 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/10/2015 11:00:58 PM, Fkkize wrote:
The KCA is so obviously unsound, I honestly wonder why anyone would defend it. Apart from ignorance.

I honestly wonder how people can so easily dismiss an argument which has been rationally defended by thousands of intelligent theists around the world and throughout history. Apart from ignorance.

Ideally, people dismiss things because they are unsound. Unsoundness is an aspect of an argument that does not depend on how large of a tradition has been built around the argument. While I may concede that "ignorance" is an overstatement, we cannot reject his dismissal of the argument as unsound for the reason that you provided. There are many traditions built around unsound systems: consider logical positivism.

I agree. I was simply countering a dumb statement with a similarly dumb one.

... btw, hi Sargon!
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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10/11/2015 12:53:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:52:04 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:48:27 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:44:51 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/10/2015 11:00:58 PM, Fkkize wrote:
The KCA is so obviously unsound, I honestly wonder why anyone would defend it. Apart from ignorance.

I honestly wonder how people can so easily dismiss an argument which has been rationally defended by thousands of intelligent theists around the world and throughout history. Apart from ignorance.

Ideally, people dismiss things because they are unsound. Unsoundness is an aspect of an argument that does not depend on how large of a tradition has been built around the argument. While I may concede that "ignorance" is an overstatement, we cannot reject his dismissal of the argument as unsound for the reason that you provided. There are many traditions built around unsound systems: consider logical positivism.

I agree. I was simply countering a dumb statement with a similarly dumb one.

... btw, hi Sargon!

Hi.
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/11/2015 12:56:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:53:01 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:52:04 AM, Yonko wrote:

... btw, hi Sargon!

Hi.

Good to see that you're not actually dead.

How would you refute the argument you put forth in favor of premise 2 during your devil's advocate KCA debate?

P1) The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition.
P2) A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.
C) Therefore the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite.
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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10/11/2015 1:04:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:56:53 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:53:01 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:52:04 AM, Yonko wrote:

... btw, hi Sargon!

Hi.

Good to see that you're not actually dead.

How would you refute the argument you put forth in favor of premise 2 during your devil's advocate KCA debate?

P1) The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition.
P2) A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.
C) Therefore the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite.

To go straight to the heart of the argument, I think there's a more general problem at the core of it that's worth addressing--the problem of arbitrary cancellation, as I would put it. Many scientific theories suggest the existence of an infinite amount of entities. Many a priori arguments contradict it (although I would contend that most philosophers and physicists agree that actual infinities are at least possible). When we have a contradiction between empirical science and a priori argumentation, which ought to come first? We don't really have a clear answer to that question. Many are inclined to answer "empirical science", but as one of my friends, philochristos, suggested to me a long time ago, it seems that a priori arguments have the epistemic advantage of being necessarily true, while empirical science can be overturned. If we can't answer this question, then we have to be uncertain about a major conflict that underlies the problem of actual infinities, and that implication leaves me rather uncertain about both sides. If you wanted somebody to pull an Oppy or a Smith and start writing dense logic about the Sandy paradox or Hilbert's hotel, I'm probably not your thinker for that.
Yonko
Posts: 227
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10/11/2015 1:25:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 1:04:08 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:56:53 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:53:01 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:52:04 AM, Yonko wrote:

... btw, hi Sargon!

Hi.

Good to see that you're not actually dead.

How would you refute the argument you put forth in favor of premise 2 during your devil's advocate KCA debate?

P1) The temporal series of events is a collection formed by successive addition.
P2) A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.
C) Therefore the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite.

To go straight to the heart of the argument, I think there's a more general problem at the core of it that's worth addressing--the problem of arbitrary cancellation, as I would put it. Many scientific theories suggest the existence of an infinite amount of entities. Many a priori arguments contradict it (although I would contend that most philosophers and physicists agree that actual infinities are at least possible). When we have a contradiction between empirical science and a priori argumentation, which ought to come first? We don't really have a clear answer to that question. Many are inclined to answer "empirical science", but as one of my friends, philochristos, suggested to me a long time ago, it seems that a priori arguments have the epistemic advantage of being necessarily true, while empirical science can be overturned. If we can't answer this question, then we have to be uncertain about a major conflict that underlies the problem of actual infinities, and that implication leaves me rather uncertain about both sides.

Huh. That's great food for thought. Philochristos' point is actually fairly convincing... It's interesting to contrast that with the argument you put forth for accepting the primacy of the hard sciences in investigating reality (which is also fairly convincing):

"Facts are, in essence, true propositions. Analytic philosophers concern themselves with what propositions are meaningful and what propositions are not. In order for a proposition to be meaningful, and therefore capable of being true or false, a proposition must be free of lexical, structural, and other forms of ambiguity. One of the crowning achievements of the hard sciences is its analytical and quantitative precision that is free from such ambiguity. The set of concepts invoked by fields such as chemistry and physics in order to explain observed phenomena use mathematics to obtain this analytical and quantitative precision. For this reason, if one is to have access to the facts about reality, one must do it through a conceptual schema that is analytical and quantitative. The hard sciences, considering their analytical and quantitative nature, as well as their stunning predictive power, are therefore the conceptual schema from which we should investigate the nature of reality. Although other subjects may be interesting from an intellectual standpoint, we must accept the primacy of the hard sciences in investigating reality. Anything which is inconsistent with the hard sciences is by implication inconsistent with the basic conceptual schema for investigating reality, and is therefore unacceptable."

If you wanted somebody to pull an Oppy or a Smith and start writing dense logic about the Sandy paradox or Hilbert's hotel, I'm probably not your thinker for that.

So you think the syllogism itself is probably sound?
YYW
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10/11/2015 1:35:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Most generally agree that the KCA is garbage. There was once a time where I devoted a pretty considerable amount of time to explaining why it was garbage, but that's less of something I'm concerned with now.
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tejretics
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10/11/2015 3:47:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 12:41:36 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply. Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

There are a few fundamental questions that need to be addressed here.

The OP wasn't really about *refuting* the KCA. I just had a few thoughts that might be in contrast with the premises.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Rational_Thinker9119
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10/11/2015 4:34:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

One could respond to this by simply pointing out that a quantum vacuum is necessary for a quantum fluctuation. Thus, that would be it's cause.

Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

There may have been no "constraint" is there was nothing but there would also be no "allowance" either. This is why the idea of "nothing" is nonsense.


On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

A full theory on quantum gravity will do away with a singularity.
Rational_Thinker9119
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10/11/2015 4:36:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:31:06 PM, n7 wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

The difference? If there's a 50% chance of an atom becoming radioactive, there isn't any specific reason for it becoming radioactive or not. Furthermore, the probability just tells us the likelihood of it happening, not the cause of it. How can likelihood be a cause of anything?

There may not be a sufficient cause but some may say there is still a necessary cause.
tejretics
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10/11/2015 4:46:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 4:34:40 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

One could respond to this by simply pointing out that a quantum vacuum is necessary for a quantum fluctuation. Thus, that would be it's cause.

I didn't recall mentioning "quantum fluctuations" at all...quantum fluctuations are caused, obviously. Quantum indeterminacy does not imply a vacuum fluctuation.


Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

There may have been no "constraint" is there was nothing but there would also be no "allowance" either. This is why the idea of "nothing" is nonsense.


On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

A full theory on quantum gravity will do away with a singularity.

I agree.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Yonko
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10/11/2015 5:17:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 1:35:23 AM, YYW wrote:
Most generally agree that the KCA is garbage. There was once a time where I devoted a pretty considerable amount of time to explaining why it was garbage, but that's less of something I'm concerned with now.

Did you write any of your criticisms of the KCA on this website? I'd be interested in seeing them.
Yonko
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10/11/2015 5:38:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:31:06 PM, n7 wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:01:20 AM, Yonko wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply.

Quantum indeterminacy doesn't exempt anything from causation -- it just subjects some things to probabilistic causation.

The difference? If there's a 50% chance of an atom becoming radioactive, there isn't any specific reason for it becoming radioactive or not. Furthermore, the probability just tells us the likelihood of it happening, not the cause of it. How can likelihood be a cause of anything?

Also, upon reading into the debates of philochristos, I found an interesting excerpt which adds on to my comments from earlier:

"Most physicists subscribe to indeterministic interpretations of quantum physics, which entail undetermined events, such as radio active decay and pair production/annihilation. But it is a mistake to infer that because an event is indeterminate that it is therefore uncaused, because indeterminate events have probabilities. The probabilities are determined by initial conditions, so those initial conditions serve as causes, albeit insufficient causes. Sufficient causes entail 100% probability in their effects, but insufficient causes entail less than 100% probability of their effects. The fact that particular isotopes have fixed half lives shows that radioactive decay is not completely a-causal." [http://www.debate.org...]
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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10/11/2015 5:53:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 3:47:33 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 10/11/2015 12:41:36 AM, BlueDreams wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:04:18 PM, tejretics wrote:
I have a few thoughts on the Kalam CA.

It doesn't seem to me that premise 1 is compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which would suggest quantum indeterminacy, so the "causal principle" doesn't apply. Furthermore, premise 1 seems to contradict cosmological justifications for premise 2, since BGV theorem predicts a singularity, and physical laws would break down at infinite temperature and zero volume. Finally, premise 1 fails to account for lack of physical constraints at - and before - the singularity. Sans the universe there is no constraint, and the "law of causality" emerges from constraint, i.e. things are physically constrained from coming into being ex nihilo. It also seems to me that Craig is using a hasty generalization and appeal to intuition when it comes to justifying premise 1.

On premise 2, I don't see how the BGV theorem entails an actual, ontological beginning, since all it would entail is that - some 13.8 billion years ago - the universe was in a high-density state, and that inflation expanded this state. And the argument on actual infinites contradicts this, since the high-density state is a singularity, with infinite density (resulted by its having mass and zero volume, re: division by zero, density = mass / volume). So, if General Relativity entails a singularity, the actual infinite defense is false. Some cosmologists say General Relativity would entail a cosmological singularity.[http://www.hawking.org.uk...]

There are a few fundamental questions that need to be addressed here.

The OP wasn't really about *refuting* the KCA. I just had a few thoughts that might be in contrast with the premises.

Well then, in turn, I had questions that relate to your thinking.