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Poll: The Kalam Cosmological Argument is an argument for (this is a public poll):

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  1. #41
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Tangible as in "real" or "actual". In this case, having a property that can cause something into being, into the actual material universe. Moral values do not "cause" anything into the actual material universe. Neither numbers nor values possess properties of creation.
    But why should I think that the only immaterial things that exist must have the property that they can cause something material to exist?

    1) There is no evidence for their existence in actuality.
    That depends on your standard for evidence.

    2) There is no "substance" of justice, nor of morality, nor of numbers. Abstracts do not have matter or energy.
    They are immaterial, yes. But how do you know that they don't actually exist?

    No, the issue is you have seemingly attributed physical properties to things which cannot have them. It's like saying "The number 4 is fuzzy and blue" or "justice is spikey, weights over 1,000 lbs and tastes like sugar."
    You're conflating "exists" with "physically exists".

    Not physical laws which are contingent upon physical states of being.
    So you meant "physical laws", not just "laws"? Does that mean that the rules of logic apply? So logic predates/transcends the universe?

    No, it means that it is not caused or caused deterministically by prior events.
    If it isn't caused, then certainly it isn't caused deterministically, so there's no point to add that in (other than emphasis). Does that mean that you allow for it to be caused non-deterministically?

    How is that an alternative explanation? What is the argument or evidence for it? All you seem to be doing is taking a word, replacing it, the making up a name for it as if this presents an actual possibility. For what reason should we accept it?
    I'm not trying to prove that such a thing is possible. I'm just saying that I don't see why it's impossible. All you said was basically, "The only alternative to a personal agent is kinda hard to think about, so we should just accept that it's a personal agent."

    Capable of causing such an event as the beginning or creation of the universe. this is a tremendous display of power.
    I don't think you've addressed my concern. Does the notion of power presuppose the existence of will? A cannon is powerful, but doesn't exercise "power" in the way that the word is used in debates about omnipotence, where "all powerful" is interpreted as something like "possessing no barriers to one's will". Is the notion of "power" that you're using here also defined in terms of will?

    Because it is personal ("own volition"). There are 3 reasons for believing this to be the case.

    1) Let's reduce explanations that apply to actuality, or the physical universe. In this sense, there are 2. There are scientific explanations in terms of laws and initial conditions and personal explanations in terms of agents and their volitions (Swinburne, R. (1991) The Existence of God, rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp: 32-48).

    For example, in answer the question "Why is the kettle boiling?," we may answer "The heat of the flame is being conducted via the copper bottom of the kettle to the ater, increasing the kinetic energy of the water molecules, such that they vibrate so violently that they break the surface tension of the water and are thrown off in the form of steam." Or, alternatively, we could answer "I put it on to make a cup of tea. Would you like some?"


    The first provides a scientific explanation, the second a personal explanation. Each is a perfectly legitimate form of explanation and in certain contexts it owuld be wholly inappropriate to give one rather than the other. But the first state of the universe cannot have a scientific explanation, since there is nothing before it, and therefore, it cannot be account for in terms of laws operating on initial conditions. It can only be accounted for in terms of an agent and his vil9tions, a personal explanation.

    2) The personhood of the cause of the universe is implied by being immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless and spaceless. Since the only entities we know of which can possess such properties are either minds or abstract objects, and abstract objects do not stand in causal relations. They cannot volitionally exercise a causal power to do anything. If they were causes, they would be so not as agents, but as mindless events or states. But tehy cannot be event-causes, since they do not exist in time and space. Therefore the transcendent cause of the origin of the universe must be of the order of mind.

    3) This same conclusion of a personal cause, is also implied by they fact that only personal, free agency can account for the origin of a first temporal effect from a changeless cause. For if the cause of the universe were an impersonal set of necessary and sufficient conditions, it could not exist without its effect. The only way for the cause to be timeless and changeless but for its effect to originate de novo [from the beginning, anew] a finite time ago is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to bring about an effect without antecedent determining conditions. Thus, we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal creator. (The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, 2012 pp 191-194)
    This doesn't answer my question. How do you know there is a personal explanation at all? What if there are no persons or wills or minds involved at all in the causation of the universe?

    They can happen potentially, but not in actuality. This has been discussed in the other thread. Regardless, what is the relevance here if you accept the science for the beginning of the universe?
    You said that logic "shows" that the universe had a beginning. That is, it is not logically possible for the universe to have no beginning. That is, there is no possible universe which has no beginning. I don't think this is true, so I'd like to see some argument supporting it.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    But why should I think that the only immaterial things that exist must have the property that they can cause something material to exist?
    Such an odd question. It is asking "Why should I believe that the #4 is not fuzzy, does not smell of cabbage, nor is purple?"

    Ideas, thoughts, language, do not physically cause anything Clive, they are associations, abstractions of the mind.

    That depends on your standard for evidence.
    What evidence is there and on what standard is being used?

    They are immaterial, yes. But how do you know that they don't actually exist?

    You're conflating "exists" with "physically exists".
    By exist, I mean exist as a physical object which "touches" the physical universe (tangibility). The #4 is not fuzzy, it doesn't weight 3 tons, and it does not cost 40 euros (even with inflation). It's a number, an association. Why should anyone believe different?

    If you have reasons for thinking it is much more, let's hear it. If not, then there is no reason to accept it for anything other than it is.

    So you meant "physical laws", not just "laws"? Does that mean that the rules of logic apply? So logic predates/transcends the universe?
    I suppose some systems of logic may do so, especially if a logical, transcendent being exists.

    I'm not trying to prove that such a thing is possible. I'm just saying that I don't see why it's impossible.
    Based on what we know scientifically and what we reason logically, how is it not impossible?

    All you said was basically, "The only alternative to a personal agent is kinda hard to think about, so we should just accept that it's a personal agent."
    No, I explained that through deduction we know certain things.

    I don't think you've addressed my concern. Does the notion of power presuppose the existence of will?
    I didn't say it did. You are confusing a known, particular and necessary attribute with motive. Power provides potential, it doesn't provide will. I'm not sure why you made the leap there.

    This doesn't answer my question. How do you know there is a personal explanation at all? What if there are no persons or wills or minds involved at all in the causation of the universe?
    How does it not answer your question? You asked why must it be personal. I gave you 3 reasons. If we have 2 possibilities, then reason that 1 is impossible, then it is reasonable to conclude that what is left over is reasonable. In addition if certain characteristics exist which supports that remaining proposition, then we have good reason to accept it.

    You said that logic "shows" that the universe had a beginning. That is, it is not logically possible for the universe to have no beginning. That is, there is no possible universe which has no beginning. I don't think this is true, so I'd like to see some argument supporting it.
    See the KCA.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    The KCA, as utilized by modern philosophers:
    1.Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
    2.The universe has a beginning of its existence;
    Therefore:
    3. The universe has a cause of its existence.
    4.Since no scientific explanation (in terms of physical laws) can provide a causal account of the origin of the universe, the cause must be personal (explanation is given in terms of a personal agent)
    (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/co...ical-argument/)

    There is a unique brilliance to this argument, in that it manages to avoid the regress of most causal arguments, by adding the contingency in the first premise, which states that the argument only applies to things which began to exist. This allows them to use the first cause argument to support their chosen theology. Unfortunately, it is still utterly wrong:

    1. It provides no explanation or justification as to why the being has no beginning this is asserted, but never proven
    2. In doing so, it also violates Occam's razor, which postulates that the simplest explanation is the best, unless the additional complexity is supported by evidence. If you can believe a god could have always existed and then created the universe, then why not cut out the middleman and simply say the universe always existed (technically, this is correct, since physicists believe time was not present prior to the big bang).
    3. It also asserts that the universe had a beginning to its existence, which in the literal sense is correct, but is also a gross oversimplification of cosmology. the Laws of physics, including causality as we understand it (cause precedes effect) were established in the fractions of a second after the big bang, so the basis of the first premise, that everything has a cause, would not have applied when the universe began, therefore the argument is irrelevant to the very circumstance it was designed to explain
    4. It asserts not just that the universe had a cause (which in and of itself may or may not be the case), but it is then used to argue for a being, the very definition of a dubious assumption.
    5. The last point in the argument, which attempts to justify (or at least reduce) the leap from a deistic god to a theistic, is one massive argument from ignorance.

    Just some thoughts



    If you want to address any points I raised, please don't do so by saying "this was addressed elsewhere" or "this is in another thread", because that accomplishes nothing. Please direct me to a specific post on a specific page or simply cut and paste the response. Thank you

  4. #44
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Such an odd question. It is asking "Why should I believe that the #4 is not fuzzy, does not smell of cabbage, nor is purple?"

    Ideas, thoughts, language, do not physically cause anything Clive, they are associations, abstractions of the mind.
    Let's say that I grant you that--even though some immaterial objects can "physically cause" things, e.g. God. How does it then follow that these things don't exist? It seems like you're just saying, "No, Plato was dumb, Forms don't exist, it's like saying the #3 is smelly." I haven't seen any reasons given to think that immaterial objects can only exist if they can "physically cause" (what does this mean?) things.

    What evidence is there and on what standard is being used?
    I could argue from intuition, and say that my brain--which is properly functioning and whose cognitive functions are aimed at producing truth--has produced for me the intuition that abstract Forms do indeed exist.

    But why am I the only one on whom the burden of evidence is placed? You're the one claiming that an entire category of objects obviously doesn't exist. My objection doesn't have to be, "There's good evidence that these things exist." Right now, my objection is, "How do you know that?"

    By exist, I mean exist as a physical object which "touches" the physical universe (tangibility). The #4 is not fuzzy, it doesn't weight 3 tons, and it does not cost 40 euros (even with inflation). It's a number, an association. Why should anyone believe different?

    If you have reasons for thinking it is much more, let's hear it. If not, then there is no reason to accept it for anything other than it is.
    Let's assume that integers are intangible and do not cause things to occur in our universe. You're asking me to therefore conclude "The integers don't actually exist."

    We as humans can conjure up the abstract concept of an integer. But just because we can have an abstract idea or mental association of an object (say, the integers) doesn't mean that the object therefore doesn't actually exist (i.e., exists solely as a mental object). We can have a mental image or abstract concept of God existing; this doesn't show that God only exists as a mental abstraction. How do you know that the same isn't true for integers? It seems like you want me to think that because we form the idea of a number using mental abstractions and concepts, that they must exist only as mental abstractions or concepts.

    I suppose some systems of logic may do so, especially if a logical, transcendent being exists.


    Based on what we know scientifically and what we reason logically, how is it not impossible?
    Well, I'm not aware of a logical theorem that proves an infinite regress of causes is impossible. If you have a proof, I'd love to see it.

    No, I explained that through deduction we know certain things.
    ...no, you said, "If it isn't my interpretation, what else could it possibly be?" I don't see any reason to think that the uncaused cause could be an impersonal entity, mindless and devoid of will; I'm not convinced that this alternative is impossible. I'd need to see an argument for it.

    I didn't say it did. You are confusing a known, particular and necessary attribute with motive. Power provides potential, it doesn't provide will. I'm not sure why you made the leap there.
    I'm not making a leap. I'm just asking whether you're using "power" in the sense that it's used in debates about omnipotence, in which "power" relates to the ability of an entity to enact its will. Apparently you're not interested in simply telling me what you meant...?

    How does it not answer your question? You asked why must it be personal. I gave you 3 reasons. If we have 2 possibilities, then reason that 1 is impossible, then it is reasonable to conclude that what is left over is reasonable. In addition if certain characteristics exist which supports that remaining proposition, then we have good reason to accept it.
    Well, first you'd need to show that those were the only 2 possibilities, but I get your meaning.

    I would dispute this, then:

    The first provides a scientific explanation, the second a personal explanation. Each is a perfectly legitimate form of explanation and in certain contexts it owuld be wholly inappropriate to give one rather than the other. But the first state of the universe cannot have a scientific explanation, since there is nothing before it, and therefore, it cannot be account for in terms of laws operating on initial conditions.
    The first objection would be to the truth of the "no infinite regression" premise in the KCA. The second objection would be that if there are any laws applicable in the pre-universe, then mathematics (though not necessarily its physical and therefore embedded-in-our-universe extension, physics) can account for behavior/events in that system.

    See the KCA.
    To my knowledge, the impossibility of infinite regression is a premise in KCA, not a conclusion.

    ---------- Post added at 05:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:45 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtPeppers
    2. In doing so, it also violates Occam's razor, which postulates that the simplest explanation is the best, unless the additional complexity is supported by evidence. If you can believe a god could have always existed and then created the universe, then why not cut out the middleman and simply say the universe always existed (technically, this is correct, since physicists believe time was not present prior to the big bang).
    What does it matter if we violate Occam's razor?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  5. #45
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by CLIVE
    But why am I the only one on whom the burden of evidence is placed? You're the one claiming that an entire category of objects obviously doesn't exist
    Wait.. are you trying to say that Ideas are objects? I thought that was a contradiction in terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLIVE
    It seems like you want me to think that because we form the idea of a number using mental abstractions and concepts, that they must exist only as mental abstractions or concepts.
    What would the idea of "4" look like if it were an object distinct from the arbitrary groupings we correlate with the idea of 4?
    I don't understand how an inherent concept can exist outside of the mind.. can you help me out on that?
    To serve man.

  6. #46
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    I'm sorry Clive, I'm not sure that I'm too interested in this type of discussion. There must be at least some boundary of discourse between interlocutors. There must at least be a foundation for which conversation of other issues may rest upon. And it seems in this and other topics, similar to what happens with Sharmak and mican, that the foundation is not agreed upon. And if it is not agreed upon, then other topics which need one between participants, cannot take place. If we don't agree on the basics from which both of our arguments can operate, then our arguments cannot relate to one another, thus, not address each other.

    For example, Sharmak holds that reality IS perception. So any discussion involving truth is futile until that foundation is addressed. mican believes in nontraditional rules of logic and seemingly, rather a radical form of moral relativism, so reasoning about moral truths cannot happen until we've established the ground rules for reasoning as well as the nature of morality. And you hold a completely different metaphysical philosophy. And this too must be addressed prior to engaging about issues which evolve from the foundation. It's like whacking at the limbs of a brush instead of grabbing a hold of its root. In a world in which perception is reality (and vice versa), there are inevitable truths and falsehoods, the same is true for a "different" (to say the least) form of reasoning and in relative morality. Likewise, in a world where Forms can create, there are obvious truths. But in a world in which truth is correspondent, logic is actually ordered, morals are objective and universal, there are also truths and falsehoods. The issue is at determining which type of reality, is actual. And it is only after that is done, can issues of what is possible/impossible, moral values, truth, etc... be addressed. This discussion, much like the others cannot happen, until the foundations from which the arguments rest, are addressed. In your universe, just about anything is possible, thus arguments like this don't make sense. But I see little to no reasoning involved for such a universe. I realize it is a universe you believe in and because of that, your epistemology is quite different. But specific topics such as this cannot be addressed until those metaphysical views are addressed. And as I mentioned to the others, I have no problem in discussing those metaphysics, just not in a thread that is not about them. A new thread should be started.

    However, it doesn't seem like you are actually arguing for Platonic Forms, but rather Clivistic Forms. Plato's Forms never had the property of "doing" or "acting"...they could not "create" or "cause" anything. So for them to be thought of as such, is not from Plato, but from Clive. Which is fine of course, but it needs to be stated for what it is, in addition to actually be argued for. In other words, there is no reason for anyone to merely accept such Forms to be actual because you say they are.
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  7. #47
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    So you say then, it is a natural, scientific explanation. That's been addressed.
    No, I don't I just say it is an explanation that follows from the KCA.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    No, I don't I just say it is an explanation that follows from the KA.
    How does it follow? How is that possible?
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  9. #49
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    How does it follow? How is that possible?
    The same way God follows. It is an uncaused cause. I just changed the un-related characteristics ascribed to that cause to illustrate that the KCA tells us almost nothing about God except that it is uncaused.

    Uncased has a number of other implications but mindfulness morality or purpose are not among them.

    All the KCA does is claim a set of rules, and then claim there must be an exception to those rules. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Any other trait you can ascribe to God or Widget or whatever is not going to come from the KCA but from some other line of argument. I can use the KCA to support the FSM as much as God or Allah or Odin or just about anything I want.

    I think its interesting to discuss it in terms of an uncaused cause, but I think using the word God in the argument distorts it on both sides.

    Another solution is to simply say the big bang had no cause and itself was the uncased cause. The proof tries to say that because science can't explain that, it can't be true. But science can't explain god either so that would mean by the same logic god can't be true. Its just a case of special pleading.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The same way God follows. It is an uncaused cause. I just changed the un-related characteristics ascribed to that cause to illustrate that the KCA tells us almost nothing about God except that it is uncaused.
    And as I said, this has already been addressed. It isn't the same way that God follows Sig. You are throwing in a property that doesn't follow at all (natural). So please support this property.

    Uncased has a number of other implications but mindfulness morality or purpose are not among them.

    All the KCA does is claim a set of rules, and then claim there must be an exception to those rules. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Already addressed as well. I don't think you are reading my posts now Sig.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    [QUOTE=eye4magic;488946]
    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    It seems to be intact.
    Glad to hear it.

    Done
    Glad to hear it.

    I have no questions.
    I hope that means you understand it.

    Does that mean you think Martians would understand your logic?
    Well it was a joke. But if that is a serious question. Martians are at most one celled organism so no I don't think that a one celled organism has a better chance of understanding my argument then you.
    abc

  12. #52
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    And as I said, this has already been addressed. It isn't the same way that God follows Sig. You are throwing in a property that doesn't follow at all (natural). So please support this property.
    Nope, not covered. And I think I now see what the problem is after reading a link someone posted. There is a contention that the first cause must be either
    Natural
    or
    Personal

    I reject that dichotomy as a false dilemma. So whenever I say offer an answer to KCA you are yourself tossing it into one of those two categorical. I've denied that Widget is natural and that it is personal and that just doesn't fall into your scope of understanding so you keep trying to label it one of the other.

    Widget is unnatural and impersonal. It does not follow any natural order nor does it have any properties we would call personal. It is an unthinking but non mechanistic agent of action. It has no moving parts, no parts at all in fact. It is unchanging and has neither mind nor body, only the power of creation, not by will or mechanic but by fiat.

    Now, furthermore about the false dilemma. Natural and Personal are not opposite or mutually exclusive terms by most understanding. Natural and Supernatural are. Personal and impersonal are. But they are not intrinsic to one another. I often argue that what we call personal is a subset of natural, that is our personal natures are natural phenomenon just as cause and event driven as any other observation of the natural world is. Evidence to the contrary is pretty much non-existent and there is a fair degree of evidence supporting that contention though it is far from entirely conclusive, yet. Personally I find the notion of a mind without substance flies in the face of what we know about how minds work and the notion of a timeless mind doubly impossible since all thought is patterned in an order of event an all orders of event are temporal. A being outside of time cannot think in any way we would recognize thought. There is no progression "outside of time", no change, no formulation, no order. This is why I formulated Widget not to have that flaw and why I did not ascribe to him any thought.

    Already addressed as well. I don't think you are reading my posts now Sig.
    I don't always read posts responding to other debaters. So that is possible. I'll look.

    Ahh probably this...

    Because it is personal ("own volition"). There are 3 reasons for believing this to be the case.

    1) Let's reduce explanations that apply to actuality, or the physical universe. In this sense, there are 2. There are scientific explanations in terms of laws and initial conditions and personal explanations in terms of agents and their volitions (Swinburne, R. (1991) The Existence of God, rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp: 32-48).
    Lets not. There are more than 2. There are also supernatural explanations that are not about agents or governed by science as we know it. There is also dispute as to whether personal explanations are not merely a subset of scientific explanation. This as I pointed out before is a false dilemma. I'll respond to the illustration to show this.

    For example, in answer the question "Why is the kettle boiling?," we may answer "The heat of the flame is being conducted via the copper bottom of the kettle to the ater, increasing the kinetic energy of the water molecules, such that they vibrate so violently that they break the surface tension of the water and are thrown off in the form of steam." Or, alternatively, we could answer "I put it on to make a cup of tea. Would you like some?"

    The first provides a scientific explanation, the second a personal explanation. Each is a perfectly legitimate form of explanation and in certain contexts it owuld be wholly inappropriate to give one rather than the other. But the first state of the universe cannot have a scientific explanation, since there is nothing before it, and therefore, it cannot be account for in terms of laws operating on initial conditions. It can only be accounted for in terms of an agent and his vil9tions, a personal explanation.
    The personal explanation however is just a different perspective on the question not some fundamentally different reason or answer. In one you were asking to identify the mechanisms and in the other you were asking to identify the purposeful agency. Neither is exclusive of the other. I can easily ask you "Why did you decide to make tea?" and I could then chase that line of causality down past your birth and the development of the human race and the tea plant in a very long chain of scientific causality of your willful agency.

    You then would propose that we explain the origin of the universe from a human perspective but its quite clear humans did not create the universe so it seems an illogical perspective to use. The kettle is not boiling because you willed it so. It is boiling for a host of interconnected causal events including your own process of decision making which is not wholly within yourself but is in turn connected to all the universe. Its just an arbitrary distinction you are making and giving definition to.

    2) The personhood of the cause of the universe is implied by being immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless and spaceless. Since the only entities we know of which can possess such properties are either minds or abstract objects, and abstract objects do not stand in causal relations. They cannot volitionally exercise a causal power to do anything. If they were causes, they would be so not as agents, but as mindless events or states. But tehy cannot be event-causes, since they do not exist in time and space. Therefore the transcendent cause of the origin of the universe must be of the order of mind.
    Minds are not abstract, nor have we ever seen an abstract object create anything much less do anything, much less actually exist. This is an unfounded contention. No uncased timeless space-less things do anything so far as we can tell. All personal agents we are aware of directly are time-full, spacial, and are interconnected in cause and effect. If you can show me a mind with no place in time or space or that has no causes I'll be mighty impressed. Till then its all baseless conjecture based on trying to imagine whatever doesn't confine to what we know.

    3) This same conclusion of a personal cause, is also implied by they fact that only personal, free agency can account for the origin of a first temporal effect from a changeless cause. For if the cause of the universe were an impersonal set of necessary and sufficient conditions, it could not exist without its effect. The only way for the cause to be timeless and changeless but for its effect to originate de novo [from the beginning, anew] a finite time ago is for the cause to be a personal agent who freely chooses to bring about an effect without antecedent determining conditions. Thus, we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal creator. (The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, 2012 pp 191-194)
    That is just more of the same and it has all the same flaws. Timeless things cannot think or make decisions or take actions in a rational fashion because all rational thought is ordered and structured in causal relationships: also the false dilemma, also the assumption of uncased will as a real phenomenon.
    Last edited by Sigfried; March 16th, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Nope, not covered.
    Post #40 Sig. It's covered. Address the reasons for personhood directly and quit trying to bait and troll. It's getting old, very quickly.

    Widget is unnatural and impersonal. It does not follow any natural order nor does it have any properties we would call personal. It is an unthinking but non mechanistic agent of action. It has no moving parts, no parts at all in fact. It is unchanging and has neither mind nor body, only the power of creation, not by will or mechanic but by fiat.
    Yes, you claimed it, but not supported it. For what reasons should we accept it? There need to be some that actually exist.

    Lets not. There are more than 2. There are also supernatural explanations that are not about agents or governed by science as we know it.
    Challenge to support a claim.

    Support it.

    What supernatural entities are without a mind and have the potential to "cause" or "create" events?

    The personal explanation however is just a different perspective on the question not some fundamentally different reason or answer.
    No, it indicates volition.

    You then would propose that we explain the origin of the universe from a human perspective
    Strawman. Never proposed any such thing.

    The kettle is not boiling because you willed it so.
    Of course it is. I wanted boiling water so I willfully used the means available to make it so.

    The kettle doesn't just up and boil on its own without my assistance Sig.

    Minds are not abstract, nor have we ever seen an abstract object create anything much less do anything, much less actually exist. This is an unfounded contention.
    ....did you just read what you quoted and are responding to? It doesn't argue that minds are abstract. It doesn't argue that abstract objections create anything. It does the opposite.

    Please read posts carefully before responding.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Plato's Forms never had the property of "doing" or "acting"...they could not "create" or "cause" anything. So for them to be thought of as such, is not from Plato, but from Clive. Which is fine of course, but it needs to be stated for what it is, in addition to actually be argued for. In other words, there is no reason for anyone to merely accept such Forms to be actual because you say they are.
    I don't think the Forms have to act (the integers don't need to be able to "act" to exist). I just don't think that your argument--"Of course everything that exists has to be able to cause things to happen in our universe!"--is very convincing.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Post #40 Sig. It's covered. Address the reasons for personhood directly and quit trying to bait and troll.[B][COLOR=red] It's getting old, very quickly.
    I am not trolling you. Post #40 is not a response to me but to another debater. you are claiming I am proposing an natural response and I have told you repeatedly I am not. You cannot refute an argument an argument I made by addressing one I didn't. If I misunderstand you I cannot help that, you will have to explain yourself better. So far as I can tell you just keep attacking a natural explanation strawman.

    Yes, you claimed it, but not supported it. For what reasons should we accept it? There need to be some that actually exist.
    What support? It is only a logically correct answer to the KCA, that is all. I am not claiming Widget is truth. In fact I will tell you it is a fiction I invented to parallel another answer I also think is fiction. Both have equal logical basis. Both are "proven" by the KCA argument in equal measure. That is my point.

    Challenge to support a claim.

    Support it.
    I did, I gave you an explanation that is non natural and non personal that satisfies the requirements of the KCA. I am not interested in proving its reality, only its validity since that is the scope of the KCA. My aim is to show how incredibly limited the KCA is.

    What supernatural entities are without a mind and have the potential to "cause" or "create" events?
    Voodoo power, Starpower, Karma, Chi... you name it. There are tons of such explanations that are not minds but are supernatural.

    No, it indicates volition.
    It assumes volition as the point of reference but doesn't either require it or explain it. It just picks a different arbitrary stopping point in causal chains.

    Strawman. Never proposed any such thing.
    You are doing it even though you are not claiming it. By identifying human will as a system for explaining cause, you are taking a human phenomena/perception and insisting it can be applied to the creation of the cosmos as a valid explanation. If my mind can cause water to boil, then a mind like mine (but more powerful) can create the cosmos. Its a kind of anthropomorphic thought that a cause, like our decision making can cause absolute creation because it has the power to be a causal agent. More so because you don't perceive all the causes for your decisions, it must be uncased.

    Of course it is. I wanted boiling water so I willfully used the means available to make it so.
    And why did you will it so?

    The kettle doesn't just up and boil on its own without my assistance Sig.
    It could if I did it. Water boils all the time without human intervention. But more to the point, you would not have chosen to boil the water without a whole host of other influences that led you to doing so. "you" are but one in a vast number of causal agents that brought about the event and "you" are caught up and entangled in them such that there is little hope of showing that your will is not a cause of them.

    ....did you just read what you quoted and are responding to? It doesn't argue that minds are abstract. It doesn't argue that abstract objections create anything. It does the opposite.

    Please read posts carefully before responding.
    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    2) The personhood of the cause of the universe is implied by being immaterial, beginningless, uncaused, timeless and spaceless. Since the only entities we know of which can possess such properties are either minds or abstract objects, and abstract objects do not stand in causal relations. They cannot volitionally exercise a causal power to do anything. If they were causes, they would be so not as agents, but as mindless events or states. But tehy cannot be event-causes, since they do not exist in time and space. Therefore the transcendent cause of the origin of the universe must be of the order of mind.
    It argues minds and abstract objects share the qualities of timeless spaceless immaterial uncasued etc... That pretty much makes minds abstract rather than real. Abstract more or less means having no baring on the concrete or real. It says minds are like that too. I think that is nonsense. Minds are physical practical and observable. They are not outside of time and space, they are in the here and now. One is composing this message to you and it exists here, and it exists now, not outside of time and space. It is quite material and occupies the space between my ears.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I'm sorry Clive, I'm not sure that I'm too interested in this type of discussion. There must be at least some boundary of discourse between interlocutors. There must at least be a foundation for which conversation of other issues may rest upon. And it seems in this and other topics, similar to what happens with Sharmak and mican, that the foundation is not agreed upon. And if it is not agreed upon, then other topics which need one between participants, cannot take place. If we don't agree on the basics from which both of our arguments can operate, then our arguments cannot relate to one another, thus, not address each other.
    This is why KCA is such a terrible argument though. As I pointed out, and what you seem to be alluding to here, KCA only works for those already with a belief in a deity; it is literally preaching to the choir. Rather than being an argument for God, it is merely an additional argument for believers to tell each other. For unbelievers or disbelievers it looks like you're pulling God out of nowhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    For example, Sharmak holds that reality IS perception. So any discussion involving truth is futile until that foundation is addressed.
    How more foundational can one get if not a discussion about the necessity for a deity? Can we perhaps agree that KCA is really not meant to persuade but only to confirm a belief in a deity?

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    This is why KCA is such a terrible argument though. As I pointed out, and what you seem to be alluding to here, KCA only works for those already with a belief in a deity
    Not at all, it is for those who agree with the correspondence theory of truth.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    How more foundational can one get if not a discussion about the necessity for a deity?
    I don't think most believers have a psychological necessity to justify their existence or the planet and its beginnings on God. God is simply the obvious and rational choice.

    Can we perhaps agree that KCA is really not meant to persuade but only to confirm a belief in a deity?
    Or perhaps it was partly meant to simply get people talking/debating/discussing/thinking about God again, which interestingly enough is exactly what's happened since Craig came out with his version in 1979.

    William Lane Craig’s version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (1979) is one of the most hotly debated arguments for the existence of God today. Professional philosophers have published literally hundreds of chapters, books, and academic papers about it since its introduction, in addition to thousands of popular-level books, articles, and debates about it.

    Hundreds of supporting arguments and counter-arguments have been offered, making the Kalam one of the most complex arguments in the philosophy of religion. The argument involves open debates in cosmology, cosmogony, the philosophy of time, the philosophy of mathematics, modal logic, and many other complex subjects.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Not at all, it is for those who agree with the correspondence theory of truth.
    Hmm, how exactly is a KCA-derived being that is immaterial, timeless, undetectable actually affect the universe so directly that it can explicitly tell a human to write specific passages regarding human sexual habits? Sounds a bit contradictory to me.

    ---------- Post added at 01:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:30 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I don't think most believers have a psychological necessity to justify their existence or the planet and its beginnings on God. God is simply the obvious and rational choice.
    I'm sure it is. I've often thought that religious belief may well be neurological or even instinctual.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Or perhaps it was partly meant to simply get people talking/debating/discussing/thinking about God again, which interestingly enough is exactly what's happened since Craig came out with his version in 1979.
    Is this like Mormons converting dead Jews? Is there some secret mojo that is going on such that I am slowly being sucked into the religion just by merely talking about it? That this is just one mind fake? That's just not nice :-)!

    The whole wedge theory approach does indeed work but it does make me wonder if it is purely a publicity stunt or whether it is taken seriously in theological circles.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    I agree with the thread starter...Even if I were to grant a timeless, space less, all powerful, uncaused X which was the cause of the universe this doesn't indicate intelligence of consciousness.

    This would be like seeing a leaf blow and automatically assuming a being with a leaf blower caused it, instead of it being just the wind.

 

 
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