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Kalaam Cosmological Argument

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

  1. childeye 2

    childeye 2 Well-Known Member

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    Christ=Messiah=anointed one=The True Image of God sent by God. Please read the bold below:

    John 1 King James Version (KJV)
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

    7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

    8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

    2 Corinthians 4:4
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    2 Corinthians 4:6
    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  2. childeye 2

    childeye 2 Well-Known Member

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    That's because atheism views 'god' as a superstition. Hence if atheists had no imagery of God, they would have nothing to not be believing in.
     
  3. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

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    Huh? Your reasoning is quite difficult to follow in this thread. At first, you seem to acknowledge that your view is compatible with many options, including pantheism and naturalism, which are quite at odds with traditional theism. You then call these options "images of God" even though at least some of them are explicitly or implicitly godless. That doesn't seem to make sense.
     
  4. childeye 2

    childeye 2 Well-Known Member

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    I study semantics, particularly in how words function in the mind both in denotation and connotation. So I know this may be hard to follow, but I am making no mistake when I say that the term 'godless' is meaningless without a definition of 'god', even if it is implicit or explicit in thought. There's just no way around it, everybody whether knowingly or unknowingly has an image of god/God which defines their terms, even atheists.
    In Christianity, where God is defined/imagined as the source of the energy of creation the term becomes an axiom/precept. While atheists believe that a god/God doesn't exist, still many can admit that it's possible that there is a source for the energy that formed the universe.

    However, I did err when saying if atheists had no imagery of God they would have nothing to not believe in. I should have said, if they had no imagery of 'god' with the lower case g, since the atheist image of god is mythical in that an atheist imagines god as a myth. Subsequently if 'god' were defined as a mythical being, even 'God' would be an atheist. So yes it can be confusing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  5. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    So is God proposed to be an exception to PSR?
     
  6. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Wanderer

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    I'm still not following, sorry. How is a naturalist committed to some "image of God" when she says that, in her view, the "cause" identified in the KCA is likely to be naturalistic?
     
  7. childeye 2

    childeye 2 Well-Known Member

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    Even though the naturalist is proposing an alternative image of the cause as being a thing, still in the mind of the naturalist she/he recognizes that a thing is not a person. The mind therefore subconsciously acknowledges God as a person in the negative even while consciously accepting the cause as a thing in the positive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  8. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    That depends on the formulation of the argument, though I would not set it up in such a way. The point of PSR is not to propose exceptions to its own principle through special pleading, but to show that there must exist something that is for all intents and purposes its own explanation in order for all of contingent reality to be explicable.

    Here is the underlying issue in cosmological arguments: if an infinite regress of explanations is impossible, then it must terminate somewhere. Variations of "what caused God?" are not a very good response to this claim, since they miss the genuine thrust of the argument--the infinite regress is being ruled out as a possibility, ergo there must exist something that is in fact uncaused or all of contingent reality becomes absurd. One property of the classical conception of God is that he is this uncaused "being," but one could attempt to conceptualize this sort of First Cause in non-theistic terms.

    Most if not all theistic arguments require PSR, but it's better to think of it as the first step rather than a full argument for the existence of God. My preference right now would probably be to pair it with an ontological argument--the really interesting question presented by PSR is what it would mean for something to be its own explanation, what necessary existence would actually look like, and I'm not sure cosmological arguments are fully equipped to deal with that question. (At least not the ones that are actually accessible.)

    My journey has kind of been atheist -> pantheist -> panentheist -> agnostic -> classical theist -> idealist -> classical theist, so... I don't know. I have many thoughts about apologetics, and most of them are not flattering to either side. ^_^ I think the burden that theists have these days is to actually explain what they're talking about and why it's not crazy, rather than to try to jump down someone's throat with an overly ambitious proof.
     
  9. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    I think this departs from apologetics and enters zen koan territory.

    This is a good thing!
     
  10. Dave Ellis

    Dave Ellis Contributor

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    Thanks for the compliment.

    However, I'd say the vast majority of Christians believe god is more than a simple source of matter and energy. The bible portrays him as a conscious agent with will, desire, and intent. He wants people to live by his rules, and if they don't they are punished.

    That's a lot more than the basic laws of nature, or a nebulous source of matter and energy.
     
  11. the iconoclast

    the iconoclast I live by faith in the Son of God

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    Hey hey Friend :)

    I have just been unbanned. We had quite a conversation lined up. Wanna continue here or somewhere else? :)
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 "Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?" Supporter

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    Which would imply what Christians call "God" isn't really God at all in the traditional sense. It would be like seeing a man-shaped tree in the woods and assuming that the tree must have personality, thoughts, feelings, and desires... and we'ld better sacrifice something to it or it might cause bad things to happen to us.

    Yes, my point exactly.

    What if a child doesn't have an absolute reality in the manner that they just pop into existence from nothing? I mean, that seems to be the most obvious.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  13. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Yeah, I'm not sure you can get much further than that working specifically with the Kalam.
     
  14. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    It's highly speculative, but one can wonder if a Being from another universe could initiate this one. I don't think of that as a theory of God (too speculative, whereas I have some definite knowns, and having definite knowns is always going to appeal to someone like me), but rather as a mental exercise to help put 'naturalism' into perspective. I think of 'naturalism' as being the notion where God would be assumed (usually without even awareness of the assumption) to be only another being under or in Nature -- this Universe -- subject to the same laws of Nature, physics (meaning of course this particular physics of our Universe). Many will assume something like that I notice in discussions. (not you though -- I don't think you'd assume or insist that is the only possibility).
     
  15. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    Yeah, I think you're right. That's probably the origins of the "what caused God?" type of objection--a lot of people are still thinking in terms of a concrete being which has to be operating under some sort of preexisting set of laws. It's hard to get around thinking of laws themselves as what is fundamental about reality. I think that God being a being from another universe would still fall under the label of naturalism, though, since that other universe and the laws that govern it are more fundamental than beings that emerge from it.
     
  16. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    :) Yep. That possibility would not address the OP idea.

    Brings to mind again another way I've thought about all of this from back in time. And one which happens I learned later to fit scriptures, very interestingly, to realize or learn that God is our "ground of being" so to speak. He is existence itself, in a sense of wording.
     
  17. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 "Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?" Supporter

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    What if the quantum vacuum instead is analogous to the potentiality/creativity of the primordial nature of God in Process thought? Or a realm of ideas/thought? That makes alot more sense to me than trying to fit in the Kalam argument somewhere and make God completely outside the universe.
     
  18. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

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    I think that could be interesting, especially if you drew from Palamism and the essence/energies distinction and saw the quantum vacuum as a sort of physical manifestation of God's energies. (Assuming it's correct to interpret anything in modern physics as being primarily physical in nature. And assuming the quantum vacuum is real and not just a fiction of our current models, for that matter.) I'd be pretty comfortable with a pseudo-Palamist collapse into panentheism, though. Might actually prefer it to the alternatives.

    I would view God primarily as the "principle" that makes things real rather than abstract and potential. But I go with the Actualizer of Thomism, not with the First Cause of the Kalam, so everything is a little different.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  19. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can see no reason for existence except by First Cause, and that with Intent --Purpose. Thus, God. If God is not First Cause, he is not God, but some perhaps superhuman or mind concept.

    When people want to argue me about what's better about "your god" as opposed to some other god, I take them there --First Cause.

    But let me try to trim up your statements a bit:
    1> logic demands cause and effect.
    2> there is existence, as best as science can argue
    3> therefore, existence is caused.

    The problem with my number 3 is that it could be applied to God too, showing the ludicrousness of an effect that caused itself, or was not God after all, but a simple link in the cause-effect chain. So also, your number 2 is a claim, not a logical step between your 1 and 3. IF you can demonstrate that the universe had a beginning (not referring to big bang, but the universe beyond it that caused it, or any of the other semi-philosophical universes proposed under speculative fingertip math (not well grasped), then you've got something.

    --And there is, in the end, logical proof that other sources for existence are not possible, through simple rules of logic: Infinite regression is illogical, as is the power of Chance. And the favorite of the suddenly humble atheist, "I don't know", as if that is more intellectually honest than, "So far, First Cause is the only thing that makes sense to me." The universe did indeed have a beginning, and the caused universe does not encompass or include God.
     
  20. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Because existence responds to laws and principles, co-emergent with them or not, and so is an effect --not purely and simply cause.

    Existence did not invent or design these principles, unless existence has purpose, either as itself was designed, or as itself First Cause. Yet First Cause does not cause itself, as that is a logical contradiction. Therefore neither can I imagine that first cause would add permanent laws to which it is subject. First Cause can only be what it is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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