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Kalam Argument

stubs
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3/31/2012 8:46:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I have always been interested in seeing different responses to the Kalam Argument so I am going to post my case and I just want to see different responses. I will state the argument (even though I am sure everyone here has seen it) and then explain.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

The two premises are not religious statements. They can be found in an astrophysics and cosmology books. David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse. If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause. So what is that cause? It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind. The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts
Stephen_Hawkins
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3/31/2012 10:15:16 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 8:46:10 AM, stubs wrote:
I have always been interested in seeing different responses to the Kalam Argument so I am going to post my case and I just want to see different responses. I will state the argument (even though I am sure everyone here has seen it) and then explain.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

The two premises are not religious statements. They can be found in an astrophysics and cosmology books. David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Two scientists using the term "beginning" in a different manner. We cannot use the scientific method to test before the Big Bang because the Big Bang model that is accepted states the laws of the Universe broke down at this time, meaning that we would be using completely guesswork and assuming the laws of the universe were unchanged. When you google the quotation, you get so many creationist sites citing it in that exact phrase, it is difficult to get the context. However, even if we pretend it is in context, we get two scientists opinions who we can just say that we disagree with, and the argument holds no weight still.

Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible

News to me. The majority of philosophers who evaluate the scientific method usually end up saying that it is limited by its own field, and cannot prove something is impossible. In the words of Clarke First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse.

http://lmgtfy.com...

And there's still philosophical and scientific debate on the plausibility of the multiverse.

If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause.

Evidence for this claim is..?

So what is that cause?

Oh, no evidence. kthxbai

It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind.

Justification for this claim? No? kthxbai.

The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

Of which I'd disagree, as matter can simply exist. In fact, I'd go up to Anthony Kenny and ask him where Bertrand Russell, the most famous 20th century, would fall into this category? Because he certainly did not believe matter came from nothing by nothing, and he was certainly an atheist.

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

The problem is when each point is tried to be justified, problems become evident. Such as evidence for the primary claim, and where the evidence comes from. Further, the fact that there is severe equivocation between the word 'universe' and 'matter' to make the argument more convincing (or, to be technical, the application of lexical ambiguity of the word "universe").
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stubs
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3/31/2012 10:27:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago

Two scientists using the term "beginning" in a different manner. We cannot use the scientific method to test before the Big Bang because the Big Bang model that is accepted states the laws of the Universe broke down at this time, meaning that we would be using completely guesswork and assuming the laws of the universe were unchanged. When you google the quotation, you get so many creationist sites citing it in that exact phrase, it is difficult to get the context. However, even if we pretend it is in context, we get two scientists opinions who we can just say that we disagree with, and the argument holds no weight still.
I know the context it is in. It is in his book The Nature of Space and Time. Page 20 I believe


News to me. The majority of philosophers who evaluate the scientific method usually end up saying that it is limited by its own field, and cannot prove something is impossible. In the words of Clarke First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
I've already proved that an actual infinite universe could not exist because the number of past events would have to be infinite which is logically incoherent. Even if a multiverse existed (not claiming it did) it would still be bound by this premise because the argument extends to any universe in an expansionary era or had one.
and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse.

http://lmgtfy.com...

And there's still philosophical and scientific debate on the plausibility of the multiverse.

If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause.

Evidence for this claim is..?
If the universe does not have a cause than why is there something rather than nothing?
So what is that cause?

Oh, no evidence. kthxbai

It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind.

Justification for this claim? No? kthxbai.
It would have to be an abstract object or personal mind due to necessity because it could not be in space and time, material, or impersonal
The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

Of which I'd disagree, as matter can simply exist. In fact, I'd go up to Anthony Kenny and ask him where Bertrand Russell, the most famous 20th century, would fall into this category? Because he certainly did not believe matter came from nothing by nothing, and he was certainly an atheist.

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

The problem is when each point is tried to be justified, problems become evident. Such as evidence for the primary claim, and where the evidence comes from. Further, the fact that there is severe equivocation between the word 'universe' and 'matter' to make the argument more convincing (or, to be technical, the application of lexical ambiguity of the word "universe").
Dan4reason
Posts: 1,168
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3/31/2012 10:27:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 8:46:10 AM, stubs wrote:
I have always been interested in seeing different responses to the Kalam Argument so I am going to post my case and I just want to see different responses. I will state the argument (even though I am sure everyone here has seen it) and then explain.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

The two premises are not religious statements. They can be found in an astrophysics and cosmology books. David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse. If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause. So what is that cause? It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind. The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

I agree with that statement because of what we know about the big bang.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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3/31/2012 11:52:26 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 8:46:10 AM, stubs wrote:
I have always been interested in seeing different responses to the Kalam Argument so I am going to post my case and I just want to see different responses. I will state the argument (even though I am sure everyone here has seen it) and then explain.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

The two premises are not religious statements. They can be found in an astrophysics and cosmology books. David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought. The role that remains for the infinite to play is solely that of an idea." Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse. If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause. So what is that cause? It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind. The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

Well, there are obviously many problems with this. First off, the only observation we have of things requiring causes are within the universe and strictly involve parts of the universe. Claiming the universe must have had a cause based on a principle that we only know is true for the parts, is a potential Fallacy of Composition. Now, there are exceptions to the Fallacy of Composition but until it has been determined, it's too early to claim the universe must have had a cause based on that huge question mark hanging over the argument.

Also, there is an Equivocation Fallacy at play here by using "begin to exist" to mean both the form change/ rearrangement of matter, and the popping into existence of something ex nihilo. The argument uses a clever "glossing over" technique, but it can be easily spotted.

The kicker, is that spontaneous things happen all the time in physics. Spontaneous is defined as acting without external stimulus (which would include an external cause). The Radioactive Decay of an atom for example is spontaneous, so Carbon-12 technically "begins to exist" without any external cause.

David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality. it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought.

Experts give their personal opinion on things all the time, that doesn't mean that what they say is fact just because of their status. This could clearly be looked at as an Appeal To Authority.

Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Steven Hawking also said, "God was not needed to create the universe". So if you take what this man says at face value, why not that?

Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse

I'm not sure if all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible. I'm not saying it is possible, just that I will have to research this further.

Also, evidence may be starting to pile up regarding other universes and dimensions.

"In the most recent study on pre-Big Bang science posted at arXiv.org, a team of researchers from the UK, Canada, and the US, Stephen M. Feeney, et al, have revealed that they have discovered four statistically unlikely circular patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The researchers think that these marks could be "bruises" that our universe has incurred from being bumped four times by other universes. If they turn out to be correct, it would be the first evidence that universes other than ours do exist."
http://www.physorg.com...

"A new study demonstrates that the shapes of extra dimensions can be "seen" by deciphering their influence on cosmic energy released by the violent birth of the universe 13 billion years ago."
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Now, I personally don't personally have a belief that the multiverse is a reality but I don't rule it out (just like I wouldn't rule out God if there was any evidence of his existence).

If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause.

I already demonstrated the flaw in claiming the universe must have a cause at this time.

So what is that cause? It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind.

Why? This is clearly a Bare Assertion Fallacy.

The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful

Why? This is clearly yet, another Bare Assertion Fallacy. Now I know there are arguments to back your claims up, but you haven't provided them so there is no reason for me to address them.

It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything.

How can a mind itself cause anything? Neuroscience paints us a pretty clear picture regarding human beings and the activity that goes on in the brain, and it seems that the brain causes things to happen based on sensory input and things of that nature. The mind is dependent on the brain like the images projected on a screen are dependent on the projector.

Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

The Big Bang speaks of how the universe as we know it, sprang into existence from a hot dense state the universe was once in (The singularity) due to expansion. Now, The Big Bang doesn't say that this hot dense state began to exist ex nihilo. Therefore, the person you quoted is mistaken.

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

I hope you enjoyed my response, hopefully it gave you a different outlook on the argument.
stubs
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3/31/2012 12:10:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago

I hope you enjoyed my response, hopefully it gave you a different outlook on the argument.

Thank you very much for the post. While I do disagree with a lot of the stuff you brought up, I am thankful for the opportunity to read another persons opinion.
Stephen_Hawkins
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3/31/2012 12:54:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 10:27:09 AM, stubs wrote:

Two scientists using the term "beginning" in a different manner. We cannot use the scientific method to test before the Big Bang because the Big Bang model that is accepted states the laws of the Universe broke down at this time, meaning that we would be using completely guesswork and assuming the laws of the universe were unchanged. When you google the quotation, you get so many creationist sites citing it in that exact phrase, it is difficult to get the context. However, even if we pretend it is in context, we get two scientists opinions who we can just say that we disagree with, and the argument holds no weight still.
I know the context it is in. It is in his book The Nature of Space and Time. Page 20 I believe


News to me. The majority of philosophers who evaluate the scientific method usually end up saying that it is limited by its own field, and cannot prove something is impossible. In the words of Clarke First Law: "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
I've already proved that an actual infinite universe could not exist because the number of past events would have to be infinite which is logically incoherent. Even if a multiverse existed (not claiming it did) it would still be bound by this premise because the argument extends to any universe in an expansionary era or had one.
and that there is no evidence for any sort of multiverse.

http://lmgtfy.com...

And there's still philosophical and scientific debate on the plausibility of the multiverse.

If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause.

Evidence for this claim is..?
If the universe does not have a cause than why is there something rather than nothing?

If you just posted this, then I respond with a question of myself: your statement itself predicates that the universe is contingent. But, as per your explanation of the KCA, and time only exists inside the universe, then the universe must necessarily exist. However, as I've previously stated, your question seems to predicate the universe's contingency. Can you explain this for me?

So what is that cause?

Oh, no evidence. kthxbai

It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind.

Justification for this claim? No? kthxbai.
It would have to be an abstract object or personal mind due to necessity because it could not be in space and time, material, or impersonal
The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful. It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything. Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

Of which I'd disagree, as matter can simply exist. In fact, I'd go up to Anthony Kenny and ask him where Bertrand Russell, the most famous 20th century, would fall into this category? Because he certainly did not believe matter came from nothing by nothing, and he was certainly an atheist.

I am not looking to get in big debates in these forums I am just interested in reading responses. Thanks to everyone who reads and posts

The problem is when each point is tried to be justified, problems become evident. Such as evidence for the primary claim, and where the evidence comes from. Further, the fact that there is severe equivocation between the word 'universe' and 'matter' to make the argument more convincing (or, to be technical, the application of lexical ambiguity of the word "universe").

Firstly, I'm not sure what you posted due to everything being in quotations and I don't want to overlook anything.

Secondly, don't take this as an assault on yourself: I am just putting forth my criticisms of the argument.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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wiploc
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3/31/2012 3:36:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 8:46:10 AM, stubs wrote:
Whatever begins to exist has a cause
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe has a cause

- There's no reason to think the premises are true.

- The first premise is arbitrary and self serving. One might as well say that everything that's not blue has a cause.

- The syllogism is valid only if we don't equivocate on the meanings of the words
"begin" and "universe."

- Assuming that Jehovah exists: There is no sense in which the rest of the universe began and Jehovah didn't. And there is no sense in which Jehovah didn't begin and the rest of the universe did.

The two premises are not religious statements. They can be found in an astrophysics and cosmology books.

I'm skeptical.

David Hilberg possibly the greatest mathematician of the 20th century said, "the infinite is nowhere to be found in reality.

You talking about Hilbert?

it neither exist in nature nor provides a legitement basis for rational thought.

Are you asking us to believe one guy, who resisted infinities the way Einstein resisted quantum mechanics? Or do you claim that this expresses the current scientific consensus. If there is such a consensus, how come I only see this claim in theistic arguments?

Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Now that's interesting. That's a claim of scientific consensus. Of course, Hawking is famous for believing that time did not begin. And, again, if almost everyone believes this, why can't I find a scientist who shares that opinion?

Let's have a citation, because, while I'm willing to believe this if it's actually true, I'm not in a position to believe it yet.

Almost all philosophers of science recognize that an infinite universe is impossible

What's going to stop it?

If the universe began to exist the universe must have a cause.

First, you're just saying things that there's no reason to believe. Second, you arbitrarily and self-servingly restrict your rule to things that begin. Why don't I just say that if gods exist they must have causes? Doesn't that make as much sense as your rule?

So what is that cause? It would either have to be an abstract object, such as numbers, or a personal mind.

You forgot box turtles. You forgot other "universes." You forgot the quantum foam. You forgot a future accident in the Large Hadron Collider. If you can say numbers might have caused the universe, I can say that it was caused by a shade of blue. If you can say gods did it, I can say measles did.

That is to say, I reject your absurdly false dichotomy.

The personal mind would have to outside of space and time, immaterial, personal, moral and powerful.

You're just making this up. Your argument is a concatenation of arbitrary nonsense.

It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything.

Who made that rule? You're arguing for the existence of a magic-throwing god? If magic exists, why can't abstract objects cause things?

- Anthony Kenny, an agnostic philosopher from oxford university, said, "(A proponent of the big bang) theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that matter came from nothing and by nothing."

Larry Weaver, a student of Richard Feynman, said, "Nobody knows what happened before the big bang. Nobody knows what happened before the big bang. Nobody knows what happened before the big bang." That means Anthony Kenny doesn't know either.
popculturepooka
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3/31/2012 4:04:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 3:36:42 PM, wiploc wrote:

It could not be an abstract object because they cannot cause anything.

Who made that rule? You're arguing for the existence of a magic-throwing god? If magic exists, why can't abstract objects cause things?


"Abstract objects and causality
Another popular proposal for drawing the abstract-concrete distinction has it that an object is abstract if it lacks any causal powers. A causal power is an ability to affect something causally. Thus the empty set is abstract because it cannot act on other objects. One problem for this view is that it is not clear exactly what it is to have a causal power"

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

"According to the most widely accepted versions of the Way of Negation,

An object is abstract (if and) only if it is causally inefficacious."

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

"2. acausality: the item neither exerts a strict causal influence over other items nor does any other item causally influence it in the strict sense, where strict causal relations are those that obtain between, and only between, constituents of the spatio-temporal realm—for example, you can kick a football and cause it (in a strict sense) to move, but you can't kick a number."

http://www.iep.utm.edu...
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stubs
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3/31/2012 4:25:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago


Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Now that's interesting. That's a claim of scientific consensus. Of course, Hawking is famous for believing that time did not begin. And, again, if almost everyone believes this, why can't I find a scientist who shares that opinion?

Let's have a citation, because, while I'm willing to believe this if it's actually true, I'm not in a position to believe it yet.

I wont respond to all your arguments but I will give you the citation since you asked.

Stephen Hawking (physicist): "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.
Stephen_Hawkins
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3/31/2012 4:44:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 4:25:46 PM, stubs wrote:


Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Now that's interesting. That's a claim of scientific consensus. Of course, Hawking is famous for believing that time did not begin. And, again, if almost everyone believes this, why can't I find a scientist who shares that opinion?

Let's have a citation, because, while I'm willing to believe this if it's actually true, I'm not in a position to believe it yet.

I wont respond to all your arguments but I will give you the citation since you asked.

Stephen Hawking (physicist): "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.

Which, in the context, meant that the scientific method states that time began at the Big Bang, because the laws of the universe, and therefore the applicability of the scientific method, is nonexistent. Therefore, for science (and a scientist), time begins at the Big Bang. For a philosopher, it's all up for grabs.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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The_Fool_on_the_hill
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4/1/2012 12:16:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 3/31/2012 4:44:42 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 3/31/2012 4:25:46 PM, stubs wrote:


Also, Stephen Hawking (physicist) said, "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang."

Now that's interesting. That's a claim of scientific consensus. Of course, Hawking is famous for believing that time did not begin. And, again, if almost everyone believes this, why can't I find a scientist who shares that opinion?

Let's have a citation, because, while I'm willing to believe this if it's actually true, I'm not in a position to believe it yet.

I wont respond to all your arguments but I will give you the citation since you asked.

Stephen Hawking (physicist): "Almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the Big Bang." Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.

Which, in the context, meant that the scientific method states that time began at the Big Bang, because the laws of the universe, and therefore the applicability of the scientific method, is nonexistent. Therefore, for science (and a scientist), time begins at the Big Bang. For a philosopher, it's all up for grabs.

YOU HAVE BEEN FOOLED!!
(and that was a sh!tty arguement)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL