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Variation of the cosmological argument...

bladerunner060
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3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.
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philochristos
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3/25/2013 12:31:26 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't think there is any version of the cosmological argument that uses your P1. All the versions I'm aware of would deny P1.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

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bladerunner060
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3/25/2013 12:41:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:31:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
I don't think there is any version of the cosmological argument that uses your P1. All the versions I'm aware of would deny P1.

Oh, I know that. Standard P1 is: "Everything that begins to exist has a cause", and the special pleading comes in at "god doesn't have a cause, therefore P1 doesn't apply", which is why they would deny my P1.

But I don't see a meaningful difference between the support of classic P1 and my P1'.
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philochristos
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3/25/2013 12:46:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:41:14 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Oh, I know that. Standard P1 is: "Everything that begins to exist has a cause", and the special pleading comes in at "god doesn't have a cause, therefore P1 doesn't apply", which is why they would deny my P1.

But I don't see a meaningful difference between the support of classic P1 and my P1'.

You don't see a difference between "things that have beginnings" and "things that do not have beginnings"? How is it special pleading to say that one requires a cause but the other doesn't?

Or, take the argument from contingency, which is another version of the cosmological argument. It breaks reality into necessary and contingent beings. Contingent things require causes and necessary things don't. The only question is whether there ARE any necessary things, and the argument is that there must be since it's impossible for everything to be contingent.

There's no such thing as "classic P1" because P1 is not classic. Nobody uses it. It's a strawman.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
bladerunner060
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3/25/2013 12:51:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:46:27 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:41:14 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Oh, I know that. Standard P1 is: "Everything that begins to exist has a cause", and the special pleading comes in at "god doesn't have a cause, therefore P1 doesn't apply", which is why they would deny my P1.

But I don't see a meaningful difference between the support of classic P1 and my P1'.

You don't see a difference between "things that have beginnings" and "things that do not have beginnings"? How is it special pleading to say that one requires a cause but the other doesn't?

I don't se a difference in their SUPPORT. Both rely on the same inductive process; the special pleading crack was probably unfair.

Or, take the argument from contingency, which is another version of the cosmological argument. It breaks reality into necessary and contingent beings. Contingent things require causes and necessary things don't. The only question is whether there ARE any necessary things, and the argument is that there must be since it's impossible for everything to be contingent.

There's no such thing as "classic P1" because P1 is not classic. Nobody uses it. It's a strawman.

I'm unclear how it's a "strawman". Isn't that word-for-word P1 of Kalam?
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philochristos
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3/25/2013 1:27:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:51:15 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:46:27 AM, philochristos wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:41:14 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Oh, I know that. Standard P1 is: "Everything that begins to exist has a cause", and the special pleading comes in at "god doesn't have a cause, therefore P1 doesn't apply", which is why they would deny my P1.

But I don't see a meaningful difference between the support of classic P1 and my P1'.

You don't see a difference between "things that have beginnings" and "things that do not have beginnings"?

I don't se a difference in their SUPPORT. Both rely on the same inductive process;

Oh, I think I see your point, now. You're saying that if I make an inductive case for universal causation, then I can't just arbitrarily make an exception. If I say, "All of our experience shows that things that exist require causes," then turn around and say, "but there's one thing that doesn't," then I'm being arbitrary or special pleading. If all of our experience really did show that things that exist require causes, then I'd have to inductively infer that everything has a cause. But then, I'd know I had made a hasty inference since there would be an exception. And if I allow an exception in the case of God, then I might as well allow an exception in the case of the universe. The inductive argument doesn't allow me to make arbitrary exceptions.

But I think there are a few things wrong with that argument.

First, in Bill Craig's case, his inductive argument isn't from particular cases of things that exist, but rather, in particular cases of things beginning to exist. He doesn't argue anything like...

A cat exist, and it has a cause.
A dog exists, and it has a cause.
A pie exists, and it has a cause.
etc. etc. etc.
Therefore, everything has a cause.

Rather, he argues like...
The beginning of a cat required a case.
The beginning of a dog required a cause.
The beginning of a pie required a cause.
etc. etc. etc.
Therefore, everything that begins to exist requires a cause.

Now, you could say that since the first scenario leads to a conclusion which is not true even though all the premises are true, and since the second scenario follows the same pattern, that we can't know that the conclusion in the second scenario is true either.

But that would call inductive reasoning into question. Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, only gives you probability. It doesn't even attempt to eliminate exceptions. It gives you a general principle that serves as prima facie reason to think that the next thing you observe of the same kind will have the same properties as the previous things of that kind that you observed. So it may be that the conclusion of one is true and the conclusion of the other is false. You just have to look and see if there are any counter-examples that we can know about apart from the inductive inference.

So, in the first case, that would give us prima facie reason to think everything has a cause, but it wouldn't give us certainty. And if we can figure out that there must be an exception, and that the exception must have some special properties, then why not? That's kind of what Aristotle attempted to show--that not everything CAN have a cause.

And in the second case, maybe we could come up with an exception to that as well. But the Kalam argument doesn't attempt to find an exception to the conclusion in the second scenario. Instead, it attempts to show that not everything can fit into the category of "things that have a beginning." The inductive argument wouldn't even apply to things that don't have beginnings.

And the argument from contingency attempts to show that not everything can fit into the category of "contingent things."

Personally, I think there's a better argument against the inductive case for the first premise in Kalam. You could argue that the various items from which you attempt to infer the conclusion are not actually of the same kind as the universe as a whole. All of these examples are examples of things which begin to exist from pre-existing material which is transformed by a cause. But if the universe had a beginning, then it would not be a transformation, but a beginning ex-nihilo. And you could argue that the two kinds are not analogous enough to make the induction applicable. Unless the beginning of the universe is analogous to the beginning of all the items from which you made your inductive inference, the conclusion would not apply to the universe, at least not strongly.

The second problem I see with your argument (or what I think your argument is) is that the primary support for the first premise in Kalam is not inductive. It's not deductive either. It's a priori. Whereas the inductive case makes it more likely that a beginning of something ex-materia requires a cause than that a beginning of something ex-nilhilo requires a cause, it's just the opposite with the a priori case. I think it's far more obvious that it's impossible for something to begin to exist ex-nihilo without a cause than it is for something to begin to exist ex-materia without a cause. The reason is because at least in the case of beginnings ex-materia, it's possible the potential for change existed in the material itself.

There's no such thing as "classic P1" because P1 is not classic. Nobody uses it. It's a strawman.

I'm unclear how it's a "strawman". Isn't that word-for-word P1 of Kalam?

By "classic P1," I thought you were talking about P1 in your op--that everything that exists requires a cause. If that's what you meant, then no, that's not a premise in Kalam. Sorry, reading your post over, I can see that I misunderstood you.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
atheismo
Posts: 53
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3/25/2013 4:44:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

Yes hte cosmolgic argument proves that if god exists he has cause which than theists cherrypick and say he doesnt and that proves that they are intellectualy dishonest and dont understand logic.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan
wiploc
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3/25/2013 10:31:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 1:27:42 AM, philochristos wrote:
Oh, I think I see your point, now.

It's very rare that we see people self-correct or apologize here. So, hey, well done. You set a good example.

You're saying that if I make an inductive case for universal causation, then I can't just arbitrarily make an exception. If I say, "All of our experience shows that things that exist require causes," then turn around and say, "but there's one thing that doesn't," then I'm being arbitrary or special pleading.

Bingo. I often parody the cosmological argument thusly: If everything I see has a cause, then I conclude that everything that's not blue has a cause. Therefore, the creator of the universe must be blue.

If all of our experience really did show that things that exist require causes, then I'd have to inductively infer that everything has a cause. But then, I'd know I had made a hasty inference since there would be an exception. And if I allow an exception in the case of God, then I might as well allow an exception in the case of the universe. The inductive argument doesn't allow me to make arbitrary exceptions.

Well said.

But I think there are a few things wrong with that argument.

First, in Bill Craig's case, his inductive argument isn't from particular cases of things that exist, but rather, in particular cases of things beginning to exist. He doesn't argue anything like...

A cat exist, and it has a cause.
A dog exists, and it has a cause.
A pie exists, and it has a cause.
etc. etc. etc.
Therefore, everything has a cause.

Rather, he argues like...
The beginning of a cat required a case.
The beginning of a dog required a cause.
The beginning of a pie required a cause.
etc. etc. etc.
Therefore, everything that begins to exist requires a cause.

Still seems like special pleading to me. If he wanted the cause to be whiskers, he could argue it thusly:

- Every part of a cat except its whiskers requires a cause.
- Every part of a dog except its whiskers requires a cause.
- etc.

If everything we observed had a cause, then the appropriate conclusion would be that everything had a cause.

...
The second problem I see with your argument (or what I think your argument is) is that the primary support for the first premise in Kalam is not inductive. It's not deductive either. It's a priori.

And thank you for this. I've never run across this before
Typhlochactas
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3/25/2013 12:00:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:41:14 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:31:26 AM, philochristos wrote:
I don't think there is any version of the cosmological argument that uses your P1. All the versions I'm aware of would deny P1.

Oh, I know that. Standard P1 is: "Everything that begins to exist has a cause", and the special pleading comes in at "god doesn't have a cause, therefore P1 doesn't apply", which is why they would deny my P1.

But I don't see a meaningful difference between the support of classic P1 and my P1'.

Wrong. God's cause of existence is that he exists necessarily. No theist asserts he is uncaused.
wiploc
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3/25/2013 12:46:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:00:57 PM, Typhlochactas wrote:
Wrong. God's cause of existence is that he exists necessarily. No theist asserts he is uncaused.

Nonsense. You should talk to a theist. Or google "uncaused cause."
Pennington
Posts: 1,286
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3/25/2013 1:45:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
God caused creation and everything that exists but that doesn't mean He lives in that creation or has needs of being created as we do. Meaning that what we see and make the claim from, we see everything needs a source so everything has a source is true for our creation but God is not in that creation and a exception to that rule. Were God exist things could be without need of a cause.
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1Devilsadvocate
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3/25/2013 3:17:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

Other things that exist without cause:
abstract objects & unembodied mind.

CA does not rest on the premises that everything else in the universe has a cause.
The 1st premises is:
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
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1Devilsadvocate
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3/25/2013 3:19:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:17:53 PM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

Other things that can exist without cause:
abstract objects & unembodied mind.

CA does not rest on the premises that everything else in the universe has a cause.
The 1st premises is:
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

fix'd
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
"Albert Einstein

http://www.twainquotes.com... , http://thewritecorner.wordpress.com... , http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com...
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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3/25/2013 3:35:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

There is literally, no way to support premise 1 because we do not have knowledge of everything. Also, I can quote many physicists who believe in that which is causeless due to inderterminate views of quantum mechanics.
bladerunner060
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3/25/2013 8:34:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:17:53 PM, 1Devilsadvocate wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

Other things that exist without cause:
abstract objects & unembodied mind.

Unembodied mind is, to the atheist, a nonsequitor. Abstract objects are "caused" by the minds thinking them.


CA does not rest on the premises that everything else in the universe has a cause.
The 1st premises is:
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

And it goes on to say that the universe began to exist, which therefore means everything IN the universe began to exist.
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bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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3/25/2013 8:35:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 3:35:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

There is literally, no way to support premise 1 because we do not have knowledge of everything. Also, I can quote many physicists who believe in that which is causeless due to inderterminate views of quantum mechanics.

P1' (mine) is inductive, in the same way that P1 (classic CA) is. I agree with you, my point was just that there is another way the CA fails, in that it can be rewritten with premises that have the same justification, but that preclude God's existence (or his causeless existence).
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Rational_Thinker9119
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3/25/2013 8:43:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:35:52 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 3:35:53 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 3/25/2013 12:21:16 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, I've been thinking of the CA. In addition to ignoring certain findings in quantum physics, it is, essentially, an inductive argument. Considering that, the first premise could easily be:

P1: Everything that exists has a cause.

Then, of course:

P2: God exists

C: Therefore God has a cause.

The only way out would seem to be proving that other things exist without cause (thus invalidating the traditional CA, which rests on everything else in the universe having a cause), or proving that god is an exception to P1, or of course disagreeing with P2.

There is literally, no way to support premise 1 because we do not have knowledge of everything. Also, I can quote many physicists who believe in that which is causeless due to inderterminate views of quantum mechanics.

P1' (mine) is inductive, in the same way that P1 (classic CA) is. I agree with you, my point was just that there is another way the CA fails, in that it can be rewritten with premises that have the same justification, but that preclude God's existence (or his causeless existence).

That's the reason why nobody uses the classic CA anymore lol I don't see the point here...
bladerunner060
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3/25/2013 10:27:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/25/2013 8:43:42 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

That's the reason why nobody uses the classic CA anymore lol I don't see the point here...

People use Kalam all the dang time!
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