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  #31  
Old 23rd January 2009, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
If we assume God created the universe, there was a progenitive act, this invalidates the existence of a closed system in this respect. Even if you can eliminate the idea of the energy potential of the universe coming from somewhere else by relying upon the supernatural, the fact is that God would have provided influence in the form of information, ie, unless God had nothing to do with setting the original state of the universe, and has not interfered in the universe at any point since (energy can come in the form of him burning a bush, regardless of whether it's ex nihilo, it modifies the universe in such a way that it's no longer closed). Still though, it's a minor point that does little to advance my argument or yours, to my knowledge, neither is dependent upon a closed or an open system.
Ok, we'll leave this one alone for now... Let me ask you this, do you believe that the universe is a closed or open system?

You are right, but it's an example of a potential model, and to note, the big bang does not necessitate a beginning of everything. It necessitates a beginning of this universe, but it does leave the doors open for something to exist before the big bang. Indeed, the big bang doesn't actually even bother itself with the beginning of everything, quote from wikipedia ( here ):

"The Big Bang theory, though generally held to be committed to a finite age of the universe, does not commit to a view of infinity that supports the Kalam argument. Mathematical models of the Big Bang generally end in a singularity that has a location in time that is a finite distance from any given event. However, there is also an infinite number of events between this singularity and any given point. This behavior of space and time is allowed by the differential geometry and topology underlying general relativity, the physical theory on which the Big Bang theory is based. Additionally, some Big Bang models are infinite in spatial extent or have an infinitely long past, such as some models devised by Georges Lemaître or Sir Arthur Eddington. However, as Phillip James Edwin Peebles writes, in his "Principles of Physical Cosmology" as well as other publications, the Big Bang theory does not really concern itself with universal origins (cosmogony)."
Nothing in the Kalam argument directly counters the work of those individuals. This is how William Lane Craig lays it out on his website Reasonable Faith:

"As a GTR-based theory, the Friedman-Lemaitre model does not describe the expansion of the material content of the universe into a pre-existing, empty, Newtonian space, but rather the expansion of space itself. This has the astonishing implication that as one reverses the expansion and extrapolates back in time, space-time curvature becomes progressively greater until one finally arrives at a singular state at which space-time curvature becomes infinite. This state therefore constitutes an edge or boundary to space-time itself. P. C. W. Davies comments, "An initial cosmological singularity . . . forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such an extremity. . . . On this view the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself.1""

Craig continues by quoting Eddington:

"Sir Arthur Eddington, contemplating the beginning of the universe, opined that the expansion of the universe was so preposterous and incredible that "I feel almost an indignation that anyone should believe in it--except myself."15 He finally felt forced to conclude, "The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural."16"

Also relevant to the discussion are these two quotes:

Recent discussions have raised the issue of the metaphysical implications of standard Big Bang cosmology. Grünbaum's argument that the causal principle cannot be applied to the origin of the universe rests on a pseudo-dilemma, since the cause could act neither before nor after t=0, but at t=0. Lévy-Leblond's advocacy of a remetrication of cosmic time to push the singularity to - involves various conceptual difficulties and is in any case unavailing, since the universe's beginning is not eliminated. Maddox's aversion to the possible metaphysical implications of the standard model evinces a narrow scientism. Standard Big Bang cosmogeny does therefore seem to have those metaphysical implications which some have found so discomfiting.
Source: "Creation and Big Bang Cosmology." Philosophia Naturalis 31 (1994): 217-224.

The absolute origin of the universe, of all matter and energy, even of physical space and time themselves, in the Big Bang singularity contradicts the perennial naturalistic assumption that the universe has always existed. One after another, models designed to avert the initial cosmological singularity--the Steady State model, the Oscillating model, Vacuum Fluctuation models--have come and gone. Current quantum gravity models, such as the Hartle-Hawking model and the Vilenkin model, must appeal to the physically unintelligible and metaphysically dubious device of "imaginary time" to avoid the universe's beginning. The contingency implied by an absolute beginning ex nihilo points to a transcendent cause of the universe beyond space and time. Philosophical objections to a cause of the universe fail to carry conviction.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science 269-270 (1999): 723-740
The same logic can be turned upon God, where did the energy come from? There's the problem of infinite regress when it comes to an infinite number of moments. (As stated previously, any quality you can assign to God you can assign to non-intelligent phenomena, therefore, any answer to these questions you give God, will also answer you're own question.)
God transcends time and space because he is the author of time and space. You're still looking at "God" as though he were subject to the laws of the cosmos. It takes something outside the cosmos, that transcends it, to bring it into creation.

There not need be any intelligent agent to create the universe, if intelligence can exist without time, then so can action. Think about it, now think: Didn't thinking about it take you a few moments? If the answer is yes, then intelligence falls into the same problems as non-intelligent reactions in regards to a timeless environment. If you say God can think without having to use time, then that's another assumption, and it can easily be said that an uncaused, eternal, changeless, timeless, and immaterial non-intelligent event need not use time to do it's actions.
God being eternal and timeless means that his thoughts 10 billion years ago are the thoughts he'll have 10 billion years from now. God is not subject to time. He is changeless. That is not an assumption, it just naturally follows. Something timeless would need to create time. As Craig puts it "...it is metaphysically impossible for God to be caused by the world, since if God exists, His nature is such that He exists necessarily, whereas the world's existence is metaphysically contingent (as is evident from its beginning to exist)."
Who's to say a whisper didn't initiate the yell? Dynamite uses a fuse to be ignited. The spark that lights the fuse is a small occurence, followed by the fuse burning, a slightly larger occurance, which is then followed by the big bang of dynamite. Just because we can't see what precedes the big bang does not mean there isn't something there.
Craig deals with this argument also, but unfortunately I can't find it right now. Suffice to say, you're still stuck with the problem of an infinite regress. If something was before the big bang, what was before that? and before that? and before that? The universe began to exist. This we know.

Only in as much as chance can fine tune anything. Here's an example: You know the water wheel expirement? It was the first physical example of a testable, desk-sized chaotic systm. Basically, you take a stationary water wheel and run water onto it's top, and you cannot predict which direction the water wheel will begin turning, it's chaotic. If one direction is assigned 0 and another direction assigned 1, then we can use statistics to find out how many times it'd take before we have a decent probability of getting the string 00100110110. Is this system finetuned to produce that string? No, it's not. Is it capable of producing that string if given enough time? Yes it is.
This doesn't answer the problem of a multiverse also being tuned "just so", or the problem of an infinite number of universes within a multiverse. If our universe is a universe caused by chance alone among an infinite number of other multiverses then you're stuck with the problem that there should be an infinite number of chance-caused universes like our own.

For a fuller argument by Craig against the multiverse theory you can check out this link.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/...rticle&id=5741

And this is where I think I'm going to jump out of this discussion on the cosmological argument. I'm not a physicist, nor a professional philosopher, but I'd recommend that, if you're serious about your search for evidence that you don't blow off any evidence presented with a shrug of the shoulder, or with a quick look into wikipedia-based refutations. Pick up some books (like the aforementioned "Scaling the Secular City" by JP Moreland, or any of William Lane Craig's work on the issue such as "Reasonable Faith"). Study it out. Don't be so quick to assume that theists don't have answers to tough questions.
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  #32  
Old 24th January 2009, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Adrift* View Post
Ok, we'll leave this one alone for now... Let me ask you this, do you believe that the universe is a closed or open system?
I have no clue, this is a really interesting topic though. I used to believe it was closed, but then the initial verdict on the omega value came out to be less than that needed to create a hypersphere without an additional, unknown source of mass beyond that which is calculated by looking at the rotations of galaxies to extrapolate the amount of dark matter in the universe. Rather, what the result was is that we are in neither a curved space-time, nor are we in a flat universe, it pointed to us being in something kinda like a weird horse-shoe shaped... thing. It's hard for me to remember the exact shape. For this reason, I'm open to both interpretations, and will have my opinion on this matter settled by future science. Until future science sheds light on this delimma by providing a clearer unification theory, I switch my view on this subject based on the nature of the topic being discussed. Same with having a standalone universe or a multiverse. The only limit I place on this is that if we are part of a multiverse, then anything is possible, but if we are a standalone universe, then our current incarnation is one in an endless string of universes that came before; this is simply an opinion, and is quite easily disuaded by even just a little bit of science.

And this is where I think I'm going to jump out of this discussion on the cosmological argument. I'm not a physicist, nor a professional philosopher, but I'd recommend that, if you're serious about your search for evidence that you don't blow off any evidence presented with a shrug of the shoulder, or with a quick look into wikipedia-based refutations. Pick up some books (like the aforementioned "Scaling the Secular City" by JP Moreland, or any of William Lane Craig's work on the issue such as "Reasonable Faith"). Study it out. Don't be so quick to assume that theists don't have answers to tough questions.
No problem, I will say that I'm not tossing anything you said off hand, but I still feel you failed to make an argument linking intelligence as a necessity for a progenitive cause, nothing you stated *requires* intelligence to be a factor in the creation of the universe, in my opinion. The fact is, any attribute you give an intelligent progenitor can be given to a non-intelligent progenitor as well, this was the crux of my argument. The Kalam's cosmology was good though, I had never heard of that before and reading the history of it was quite fun. Thank you for an enjoyable debate.

Last edited by ragarth; 24th January 2009 at 12:40 PM.
  #33  
Old 24th January 2009, 08:46 PM
for the things which God has said

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Given general agreementation, I must establish a default position? Perhaps that is a fallacy worth discussing! I do not take my requirements from general agreementation; I take my requirements, from the things the Lord has said!

J.E.B.
  #34  
Old 25th January 2009, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ragarth View Post
I have no clue, this is a really interesting topic though. I used to believe it was closed, but then the initial verdict on the omega value came out to be less than that needed to create a hypersphere without an additional, unknown source of mass beyond that which is calculated by looking at the rotations of galaxies to extrapolate the amount of dark matter in the universe. Rather, what the result was is that we are in neither a curved space-time, nor are we in a flat universe, it pointed to us being in something kinda like a weird horse-shoe shaped... thing. It's hard for me to remember the exact shape. For this reason, I'm open to both interpretations, and will have my opinion on this matter settled by future science. Until future science sheds light on this delimma by providing a clearer unification theory, I switch my view on this subject based on the nature of the topic being discussed. Same with having a standalone universe or a multiverse. The only limit I place on this is that if we are part of a multiverse, then anything is possible, but if we are a standalone universe, then our current incarnation is one in an endless string of universes that came before; this is simply an opinion, and is quite easily disuaded by even just a little bit of science.

No problem, I will say that I'm not tossing anything you said off hand, but I still feel you failed to make an argument linking intelligence as a necessity for a progenitive cause, nothing you stated *requires* intelligence to be a factor in the creation of the universe, in my opinion. The fact is, any attribute you give an intelligent progenitor can be given to a non-intelligent progenitor as well, this was the crux of my argument. The Kalam's cosmology was good though, I had never heard of that before and reading the history of it was quite fun. Thank you for an enjoyable debate.
Well I'm glad I was able to at least give you something to chew on. Please, do yourself a favor and at least visit professor Craig's website if you have a chance or read some of his papers online. He presents the argument far better than I could ever possibly hope to.
  #35  
Old 25th January 2009, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jonathanbrickman0000 View Post
Given general agreementation, I must establish a default position? Perhaps that is a fallacy worth discussing! I do not take my requirements from general agreementation; I take my requirements, from the things the Lord has said!

J.E.B.
Then you're default position would be what the Lord said? Not once did I say that a person's default position need be the same as everyone else's in the face of a lack of any empirical evidence. Let's go back to my coin example and change it up a bit:

I put a penny under a cup, then walk out of the room. A few minutes later you come over to visit me and we go to the room with the cup in it.
My default position is that there's a penny under the cup because I observed myself putting it under the cup. You're default position would probably be that there is no penny under the cup because you didn't know that I put a penny under it.

Both are equally valid default positions to hold. Neither of us has actual empirical proof to back up our claims at that moment, but each of us has a logical progression of reasoning based on our available knowledge to prove why we each hold differing opinions. This thread was my attempt to understand the logic behind a default position for Deity.
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