• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.

Kalaam Cosmological Argument

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

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    I just want to focus on this for a moment.

    You say:

    (1) We don't know how the universe came into existence.

    This implies:

    (a) The universe came into existence.
    (b) There is an explanation for the universe although we don't know it.
    (c) Therefore something explains the universe that is not the universe itself.
    You say:

    (2) We don't know what, if anything, exists outside of it.

    But you've already implied that something exists outside of the universe above in implication (1c).

    Unless you want to say that the universe caused itself to begin to exist or that the universe never began to exist but has existed eternally, then you must conclude that something separate from the universe is the explanation for the universe.
     
  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid It's always a challenge to get my point across! Supporter

    +5,653
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Others
    ...oh, philosophy isn't what I do professionally either, but it's hard to get away from the daily act of examining one's own life. How true this is!
     
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    I do think it coheres well will scientific consensus. But I think that the philosophical objections to an eternal universe are more compelling than the scientific objections, personally. What do you believe is the best cosmological argument if not this one?
     
  4. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

    +2,534
    Atheist
    Private
    In my view, arguments that invoke some version of PSR are better, though in some respects they encounter similar issues.
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    No. An eternally existing universe never began to exist in my book. But I believe there are serious philosophical absurdities entailed in the idea of an eternal universe - let alone scientific evidence that makes an eternal universe implausible.

    I appreciate the introduction of the category ex materia from @Archaeopteryx. If the universe began to exist then it would be a beginning ex nihilo and not ex materia. These are, admittedly, categorically different kinds of beginnings. But I believe that since they are analogically related, there is no logical fallacy in the argument.
     
  6. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    PSR?
     
  7. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

    +2,534
    Atheist
    Private
    If they are categorically different, and if the first premise refers to one and the second to something else, then the argument likely suffers from an equivocation fallacy.
    The principle of sufficient reason.
     
  8. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

    +2,534
    Atheist
    Private
    Depending on what you mean by "begin to exist", a universe with a "beginning" need not "begin to exist" either. Remember that "beginning" in cosmology means a first moment in time, not a beginning from nothing. And if time had a first moment then it seems plausible to say that the universe has existed for all time; there was no time where it did not exist.
     
  9. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    Not if they are analogically related, which they are. Premise (1) is true for both things that begin to exist ex materia and things that begin to exist ex nihilo. Because it is equally true for both, their categorical difference is not relevant to this argument.
     
  10. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

    +5,609
    United States
    Reformed
    Married
    I think this simply relocates the problem to time. Since time began to exist it also must have a cause.
     
  11. Dave Ellis

    Dave Ellis Contributor

    +800
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    CA-Conservatives

    To clarify, I'll address your points as you wrote them:

    1a) Correct
    1b) Probably, yes.
    1c) That's an unknown (I'll address this more later, as the next part is based around this point)

    2) Actually, you wrote "something explains the universe that is not the universe itself". I wrote "we don't know what, if anything, exists outside of it".

    Again, we have no idea what, or if anything exists outside of the universe, we don't know the conditions that were present at the spark of the big bang, and we don't know under what conditions that matter and energy can be created.

    Perhaps the universe as we know it, and the matter and energy that make it up is all there is, and the big bang was merely a transition from a previous form of our own universe. Again, we have no idea.

    It may be possible that something exists outside of the universe as we know it, but we don't know that for sure. It would be unjustified to start asserting what does or doesn't exist outside of the universe, as we really have no clue.
     
  12. Dave Ellis

    Dave Ellis Contributor

    +800
    Atheist
    In Relationship
    CA-Conservatives
    That is logically incoherent, you can't have cause and effect without time.
     
  13. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

    +2,534
    Atheist
    Private
    It does seem to be relevant since the evidence cited in supported of premise 1 are all examples of creation ex materia. If the second premise then uses those same terms in a different sense, then the argument equivocates, which poses a rather substantial problem. Put another way, if your evidence for the first premise can only support a certain interpretation, and your second premise relies on an entirely different interpretation, then the argument suffers from an equivocation fallacy.
    I'm not sure that that makes sense though, since it would seem to imply something "before" time. Since before is a temporal concept, that doesn't seem intelligible. More importantly though, it seems to put a question mark on your usage of "beginning". In this scenario, we are talking about a first moment of time, meaning that we plausibly could say that the universe has indeed always existed; it's existed for all time (i.e., there never was a time where the universe has not existed).
     
  14. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    +5,138
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    What is 'God' to you as you think of the word to mean?
     
  15. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    +5,138
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    That an already-existing God would be willing to embody His unending (immortal) spirit into a mortal body for some time? Why not? And also, the question arises: why wouldn't He want to relate to other, younger, but also eternal spirits (even which He generated)? Why not? Can't think of a reason why not. If one thinks to put limits on Him, why this one (or that one, etc.)? If there is some idea behind it, we could examine such. I'm older than a 1 year old (by far), yet appreciate a 1 yr old more now than when I was 25 (just what happened), and even moreso when he/she becomes 2, etc. The infant is a being,
    and that, already, is...transcendent.

    Right? An existing being relating to an existing being makes sense in my experience.

    Perhaps it's mystery appreciating a like mystery. The mystery of beingness.

    Get what I'm saying?

    My observation -- as people age they seem to gain an appreciation for the very young. Just pointing out that actuality.
     
  16. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    +5,138
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    ? It would seem arbitrary to jump to any assertion, yes? Not only 'A', but additionally the other proposition: 'not-A', both are equally arbitrary, agree?

    But we have more information than only existence alone. According to the communication we have, He made us as some kind of essense of Himself. The simple analogy, not to be ignored: 'in His image', suggesting really that we are not only metaphorically children, but in some essential sense (we don't yet have the ability to pin down we may guess) alike. In a word children, if infants. An infant has an essence that connects with the parents of course. Using the communicate analogy, we can consider that a parent is for quite a while vastly older then his/her offspring, yet they have a naturally increasing ability to connect and matter to each other. It's only a (much) longer timescale than only a mere 100 years, is my thought.
     
  17. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    +5,138
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I've sort of touched on this just above, but the information we are given is that we are in some sense like infants/children (not trying to specify much about that, and I don't think of it as only merely physical, or rather, not merely physical in terms the the physical that we understand to date that is).
     
  18. 46AND2

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

    +1,953
    Atheist
    Single
    US-Others
    How do you know? When has anybody ever witnessed ex nihilo, or observed its cause?

    Further, what is your justification for assuming that the beginning of the universe was ex nihilo in premise 2?
     
  19. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

    +1,896
    United States
    Agnostic
    Single
    If a being is outside time then it seems to me that it would be static - like a pet rock. Maybe this matches the experience of many seekers who finally give up. Praying might be like talking to your pet rock. A good old reliable rock - the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Is that what we seek in God? Not me.

    For God to be a living being he must exist in some sort of time IMO.

    If I pray to God and he laughs at me is he always laughing at me - even before I prayed and even after I die? Is that a relationship? ... IDK
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  20. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    +4,053
    United States
    Anglican
    Single
    US-Democrat
    The ground of reality that exists necessarily of its own nature. Intellect, will, and some degree of separation from created reality are required as well, or we're dealing with one of the alternatives to theism. (I would probably add in some additional scholastic ideas, but this isn't strictly necessary.)

    No, I don't think they're equally arbitrary. If one is going to add an additional attribute to the concept of Necessary Existence, there should be a reason. Failing to add that additional attribute doesn't have to mean denying it--it could simply mean a position of agnosticism.

    Now, I do think that revelation is an acceptable basis upon which to make statements about God, as long as that revelation is coherent and consistent with reality, but you're not going to impress anyone who doesn't already accept said revelation by doing so.

    I am a convinced theist. My concern is not whether God exists, but whether this particular argument offers us anything useful.

    My primary frustration here is the failure to define God and explicitly argue from a cause of the universe to anything resembling that definition. It's a formal fallacy, and the sort of thing that drives non-theists nuts, so the missing steps ought to be filled in, or the argument will say nothing even if it succeeds.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
Loading...