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Kalaam Cosmological Argument

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Tree of Life, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    The big snag for me is that I don't believe cause and effect exist in the normal way that we define it where the past implies the future. In fact I suspect that quantum mechanics is evidence that cause and effect is bologna.

    The question "how did the universe come into existence?" doesn't need an answer, because the question arises from misconceptions about reality.
     
  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Interesting. So you deny the principle of causality?
     
  3. 46AND2

    46AND2 Forty six and two are just ahead of me...

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    Eternity has no meaning without time. If time began with the expansion of space from the singularity, there is no "before" that.
     
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Are you saying that time began?
     
  5. 46AND2

    46AND2 Forty six and two are just ahead of me...

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    In my admittedly limited understanding of the Big Bang, I believe it is theorized that time began with the expansion of space.
     
  6. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I cannot really argue in favor of something like the quantum vacuum as the fundamental nature of reality, since it's still an aspect of physical reality, and I find materialism absurd and incoherent. So I ultimately agree with you that something that is like the universe is not a good candidate, but there's nothing in the Kalam that really supports that conclusion. The materialist would no doubt think that the fact that it can be described in physical terms a point in its favor, since they believe reality is ultimately material in nature. I think you need more than the Kalam to challenge that claim.

    As far as Hilbert's Hotel is concerned, the fact that an actual infinity is philosophically absurd does not on its own mean that it is impossible. Interestingly, it seems that physicists have been able to produce quantum Hilbert Hotels, so if such absurdities are possible at the quantum level, one must wonder if they are possible temporarily as well. I find it unlikely, but I don't accept the common sense notion of time as it is, and separate versions of the Kalam are necessary to accomodate the B Theory of Time.

    Sure. I basically just think mechanistic naturalism has become too powerful a paradigm. As a society, we've become increasingly lost in a web of scientific, technological metaphorical language, confusing the models for the reality. As far as I can tell, this happens in every era--the religious paradigm was so strong during the medieval period that it would have been almost psychologically impossible not to be a theist, but in the past centuries, we've been moving deeper and deeper into our clockwork (and now digital) world, and it's naturalism that can prove to be psychologically irresistible.

    Yes, but immediately identifying it with God is an invalid move. The atheist would claim (rightly, I think) that we only do so because we are socially conditioned to favor this solution, but that it isn't justified by the argument itself.

    You need more to rationally get to intellect and will, and unfortunately, people seldom have patience for what that particular "more" entails. Especially since it gets us further and further away from familiar empirical territory.
     
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  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Do you affirm that all that begins to exist has a cause?
     
  8. 46AND2

    46AND2 Forty six and two are just ahead of me...

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    I don't think that we have any way of knowing that. However, for the sake of the discussion, I am willing to cede that premise.
     
  9. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Been there, done that. Eventually it will end with Steven Hawking's suggestion that time and space did not exist prior to event 0. Thus, talking about it is absurd. Those are not my words. It is a the paraphrased response of the best answer that I was given. Yep, "The idea is absurd so it is absurd to talk about it?" That's the best answer atheists have to offer for this argument and they seem to be completely fine with it.
     
  10. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Part of God's "omnipresence" means that He is in all times as well as space. God would be neither bound by space nor time. So yes, in essence "time" existed prior to the creation of the universe. It is just not any type of time that we can fathom or understand...because we are not God.
     
  11. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How about a thought or idea? I have seen plenty of them come to exist all the time. And yes, they usually have a cause for them to exist.
     
  12. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Either you're using the phrase "began to exist" the same way in all of your premises and applying it the same way to all the things that "began to exist", or your argument is not valid. If you mean something different by "began to exist" in premise 1 than what you mean by "began to exist" in premise 2, then using the same exact phrase would be dishonest.

    You're using the exact same phrase because you mean the exact same thing and you're applying it the exact same way to all things, though, right?

    So let's say I, the person, began to exist once all of my molecules gathered together and electricity started flowing in my brain. We can say, "Look! There was a cause for those molecules rearranging, therefore there is a cause for molecules rearranging even if we don't know what that cause is in some cases."

    Then we consider the universe. If it's a rearranging of matter and energy, or if it's a rearranging of something more fundamental into the things we call matter and energy, then we can say, "Look! There was a cause for that rearrangement even if we don't know what that cause is in this case." However, if you mean "began to exist" as in "popped into existence where there was previously nothing" no one has ever seen that happen so there is no reason to apply causation that we witness in rearrangements to "poppings".

    So if you're talking about things rearranging in premise 1, and then the universe popping into existence in premise 2, your argument is no longer valid because "began to exist" means two different things in the same argument. It should look more like this:

    1) Everything that moves has a cause.
    2) The universe popped into existence.
    3) The universe has a cause.

    That isn't valid.

    Personally, I just think matter and energy and probably even spacetime is just some other more fundamental thing rearranged to look like the stuff we find ourselves in. So I would be fine if "began to exist" in your argument always meant "rearranged", but I don't think you mean it that way in premise 2.
     
  13. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree. The argument doesn't actually prove that there is a God. Rather, it attempts to prove that a timeless, spaceless, immaterial, supernatural, immensely powerful, personal, uncaused and eternal "cause" must exist in order for the universe to come into existence. Theists call this "cause" "God". The logic does not necessarily prove God's existence, rather, it places the option of "God" as a logical possibility to be considered. Otherwise, how would you be able to claim deism is false other than by pure "faith" that it is false?
     
  14. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    Have you ever had a thought or idea that wasn't a rearrangement of already held knowledge? I've had thoughts pop into my head, sure, but they're either in the form of sentences where I've simply rearranged words I know, or they're images where I've simply rearranged visual objects that I know.
     
  15. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, I think I am beginning to understand where you are coming from. Just to make sure I understand correctly, you are saying that nothing really begins to exist. Rather, they have always existed but just reformed. For example, we didn't actually create a pot, rather, we rearranged preexisting matter in the form of clay into the shape and image of a pot. Is that correct?
     
  16. (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ)

    (° ͡ ͜ ͡ʖ ͡ °) (ᵔᴥᵔʋ) Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think the reverse it true. Time is meaningless to the eternal. Hence, another reason why the eternal and uncaused "cause" would therefore be "timeless". Timeless, as in, beyond our concept of time. Not without time but the time is meaningless nonetheless. In your case, you could say that if the universe was eternal, time outside our universe would be meaningless.
     
  17. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

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    I don't know if nothing has ever began to exist from nothing, I'm just saying I've never seen it happen, so I couldn't know how it works. Your example is accurate, but I'm not saying that's the only way it works. I suspect it is, but I don't know. Maybe everything in the universe is just a rearrangement but the universe itself popped into existence from nothing. If that's the case, you can't compare the two, that's what I'm getting at.
     
  18. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    It attempts no such thing. The only attributes the argument speaks to are "uncaused" and "eternal." The rest are just getting a free lunch here.
     
  19. 46AND2

    46AND2 Forty six and two are just ahead of me...

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    Word salad. When you have no idea what "the eternal" is, or if it even exists, you can describe it any way you like. Ultimately, though, it doesn't mean anything.
     
  20. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Perhaps in a strict sense, but if the layman identifies God with the thing that caused/created the world then the move certainly makes a lot of sense for him.

    There seem to be two big issues here: 1) the amateur/expert distinction, and 2) the difficulty with identifying a causal philosophical conclusion with God. For the first, the shortened version of the Kalam without any explanation is a layman's argument, and its value is mostly found by laymen. Your critique may be too subtle for that demographic, and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense--just that the layman will probably ignore your "quantum field" suggestion. For the second, what causal argument could ever live up to your criterion? The conclusions of such arguments never fully encapsulate what we believe God to be. As Aquinas concludes his arguments, "And this everyone understands to be God."

    That may be, but I tend to think that arguments exist in social and cultural contexts and that unspecified premises tend to be present in those contexts.

    I guess I am more interested in how others view this argument, and many seem to find it convincing. I am not so sure about it myself. I think some good basic objections were brought to a point in the "ex nihilo" objection on the first page of this thread.

    Indeed, it certainly requires accompanying arguments to round out a classical conception of God.
     
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