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

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  1. #161
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by ReasonPlease
    The Big Bang describes the expansion from the singularity, it doesn't say the singularity began to exist ex nihilo.
    On this point, let me repost my reply to you in another thread:

    This statement reveals a typical misunderstanding of the Big Bang singularity, as if the singularity is this pin-like object simply existing in space as a sort of before state. But the singularity is not an object in any practical sense, it is a mathematical construct that represents a breakdown of our abilities to understand. There is no space, no time. Our Universe does not exist in any sense of the word existence.

    Its T=0, there is nothing, then Spacetime begin expanding.

    The singularity does imply an ex nihilo event. There is nothing before, then there is spacetime expanding and existing where it did not before. That is the very definition of "ex nihilo."

    This idea of the Universe existing as the singularity and then starting to expand as a sort of "cracked" "cosmic egg" was just recently dealt a blow by Alexander Vilenkin when it was shown that the Universe cannot exist infinitely in a static state of a singularity.

    Let me quote a few bits from his recent paper:

    It has been recently shown [1] that the spacetime of an inationary universe is necessarily past-incomplete, even though inflation may be eternal to the future. All past-directed timelike and null geodesics, except maybe a set of measure zero, reach the boundary of the inflating region of spacetime in a nite proper time (nite ane length, in the null case). This indicates that inflation must have had some sort of a beginning

    This is from the Introduction where they reference a 2003 paper that showed inflationary spacetimes (like ours) have an absolute beginning, even in the case of multiverse models.

    They then go on to address the "cosmic egg" concept of a Universe existing in a static state prior to the Big Bang.

    The idea that the universe could have started as a static, closed space in the asymptotic past has been widely discussed in recent years, under the name of "emergent universe" scenario (see, e.g., [3{5] and references therein).

    What they find is that that the Universe cannot exist in a static state for an infinite amount of time, but will collapse after a finite amount of time. So if the Universe expands into the Big Bang rather than collapses, then it has do so before it collapsed. Since they demonstrate that the Universe will collapse from a static state after a finite amount of time, that means the Big Bang would have had to happened after a finite amount of time. In other words the Universe has not existed infinitely into the past in a static state.

    Our analysis in this paper indicates that oscillating and static models of the universe, even though they may be perturbatively stable, are generically unstable with respect to quantum collapse
    .

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.4096

  2. #162
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    On this point, let me repost my reply to you in another thread:

    This statement reveals a typical misunderstanding of the Big Bang singularity, as if the singularity is this pin-like object simply existing in space as a sort of before state. But the singularity is not an object in any practical sense, it is a mathematical construct that represents a breakdown of our abilities to understand. There is no space, no time. Our Universe does not exist in any sense of the word existence.

    Its T=0, there is nothing, then Spacetime begin expanding.

    The singularity does imply an ex nihilo event. There is nothing before, then there is spacetime expanding and existing where it did not before. That is the very definition of "ex nihilo."

    This idea of the Universe existing as the singularity and then starting to expand as a sort of "cracked" "cosmic egg" was just recently dealt a blow by Alexander Vilenkin when it was shown that the Universe cannot exist infinitely in a static state of a singularity.

    Let me quote a few bits from his recent paper:

    It has been recently shown [1] that the spacetime of an inationary universe is necessarily past-incomplete, even though inflation may be eternal to the future. All past-directed timelike and null geodesics, except maybe a set of measure zero, reach the boundary of the inflating region of spacetime in a nite proper time (nite ane length, in the null case). This indicates that inflation must have had some sort of a beginning

    This is from the Introduction where they reference a 2003 paper that showed inflationary spacetimes (like ours) have an absolute beginning, even in the case of multiverse models.

    They then go on to address the "cosmic egg" concept of a Universe existing in a static state prior to the Big Bang.

    The idea that the universe could have started as a static, closed space in the asymptotic past has been widely discussed in recent years, under the name of "emergent universe" scenario (see, e.g., [3{5] and references therein).

    What they find is that that the Universe cannot exist in a static state for an infinite amount of time, but will collapse after a finite amount of time. So if the Universe expands into the Big Bang rather than collapses, then it has do so before it collapsed. Since they demonstrate that the Universe will collapse from a static state after a finite amount of time, that means the Big Bang would have had to happened after a finite amount of time. In other words the Universe has not existed infinitely into the past in a static state.

    Our analysis in this paper indicates that oscillating and static models of the universe, even though they may be perturbatively stable, are generically unstable with respect to quantum collapse
    .

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.4096
    The Big Bang does not say the universe began ex nihilo, it states the universe came from the singularity.

    If the singularity was nothing, we wouldn't be here. Case closed.

    ---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:24 PM ----------

    Believing you can get something from nothing is absurd, this is why theists belief in creation ex nihilo should instantly be disrgarded.

  3. #163
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by ReasonPlease View Post
    The Big Bang does not say the universe began ex nihilo, it states the universe came from the singularity.

    If the singularity was nothing, we wouldn't be here. Case closed.

    ---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:24 PM ----------

    Believing you can get something from nothing is absurd, this is why theists belief in creation ex nihilo should instantly be disrgarded.
    You have completely avoided addressing any of my points or support. It is particularly noticeable that you refuse to even address the conclusions of Alexander Vilenkin that demonstrate conclusively that the universe, and in particular the singularity are finite in the past, meaning that they HAD to begin to exist.

    Your refusal to actually address the arguments made reveal your complete lack of support for your own argument. In light of the evidence presented either address the arguments made and support your own claim or retract!

    Challenge to support a claim.

  4. #164
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Note: I may have dropped some points from the previous posts but I've been trying to organize my thoughts around KCA. Please re-raise them if you want to continue.

    Magic contradicts science
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    SharmaK: Something is magical when the explanation of their power is supernatural. By supernatural, I mean acts that act in contrary to current science.
    And by "contrary" do you mean contradicted by current science or simply not-explained by current science?
    We have enough experience with humans to know that they do not possess additional supernatural powers. Not only that, but we have examined every single piece of the human body - there is nothing in it that allows for the claims of magic: no levitation bladder in one's feet such that one could walk on water.

    And humans cannot raise the dead unless the person was not actually dead. No amount of new science is going to be able to explain Mark's "testimony" that there were people risen from the dead, walking through the city. We know this because we know how bodies stiffen and rot once the human is dead. If there is no brain left, then there is no person; no amount of science is going to be able to reconstruct the human, along with his experiences and personality.

    This is all based on thousands of years of human experience. It's not only about technology or science, neither of which would have been available at the time anyway, there is also common experience, otherwise they wouldn't need to appeal to special powers. And if were to be consistent with what we know now, either the dead did not rise, people were hallucinating, Mark was lying, Mark is not to be taken literally, or Mark did not write this at all but it was inserted later.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Is saying the Bible is not to be wholly trusted a composition fallacy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    SharmaK: Well, if a book claims multiple magical acts that could not be explained with contemporaneous technology, then either it never happened or it never happened in the way it described. If a book consistently does this, or more in the case of the Bible, one chooses acts such as this to gain credibility then one has to assume that there are other lies that are not so obvious. So we are assuming here that we are capable of describing accurately all actions that have occurred historically?
    You also realize that this is a composition fallacy right?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition:
    The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole.
    I am not committing any fallacy because I am explicitly saying (several times now) that I believe that parts are true but also that parts are false. The whole thing is at best only partially reliable.
    Aren't you the one committing the fallacy when you claim the the Bible is wholly true, just because only parts are?
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Necessity of starting off with 0 deities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post

    SharmaK:The four elements have already been debunked. What's your point?

    Squatch:Your argument for choosing "0 deities" over 1 was not one based on evidence, it was based on a simple explanation. 4 elements is a more simple explanation of matter than 200+ elements.

    SharmaK: No, it is done by starting with what we precisely know. Firstly, there's the science and secondly, supposing a intelligence with no actual evidence or signs of one or reasons why it is needed only raises the question of where this intelligence came from.
    Squatch:So then let me rephrase the question. If you and I were discussing this in say 1300, you would be a supporter of the four elements right? There was no evidence at that point debunking them and they are a simpler explanation right?
    For the first part, I'm still not clear what you are talking about. We're not in the 1300's, and whether it was taken to be correct back then has nothing to do with our current position - that there are not four elements. We have to take the best state of our knowledge of actual facts.

    0 deities is the most logical choice, because there is no evidence for any deities. KCA would work just as well for zero deities.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    CA does not necessitate intelligence
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Secondly, the CA gives a reason to need an intelligence as has been argued (and since no one is still debating me on the subject I would presume settled) here and elsewhere. You are assuming, without merit, that the intelligence part of the argument is just thrown in there for kicks rather than being a necessary conclusion from the observable evidence.
    CA does not require 'intelligence', as you said, it only requires 'intent', which we are debating below. Something can be said to have intent without requiring intelligence - e.g. an ant has the intent to seek food but it has no further intelligence.

    Contrawise, even if your argument of intent as a necessity is true, it still doesn't mean that God is 'intelligent'. From your own description, God does not make decisions (for that would require time) - he only acts according to his nature, his intent.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    CA mandates attributes that match a deity - but which one, if any?
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Squatch: You however make an unfounded distinction after this quote. A "deity" in general is called for by the attributes of the CA. Again, the CA mandates that our first cause is atemporal, aphysical, omnipotent and intentful. Those attributes are those of a deity.

    SharmaK: If all that you're saying is that those attributes match those of a deity then I can retort it also matches those of a magic unicorn, which also have these same exact properties. In fact, I believe that the FSM is also ascribed with these powers too. And neither of those are deities!

    This is sophistry as Apok pointed out so recently. It is also an appeal to ridicule, not a valid rebuttal. You can feel free to attempt to rename it whatever you wish, but the common language word for what is described is deity.
    This is a perfectly valid rebuttal. We do not share the same universe of discourse, I believe that deities are just as much a human invention as magic unicorns and the FSM; for me they are interchangeable and just as valid within the so-called logic CA. You have as much of an idea that a deity has these qualities as I do that the FSM does. We are on equal logical footing - there are no 'facts' or 'evidence' that you can point to support your claim over mine.

    Since not all deities have these qualities, you cannot say it is a deity at all unless you want to limit the deities you are talking about; in which case you need to state which ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    A deity is what is described by the CA, you cannot simply change the word for a
    common definition and then claim that I need to support it.
    I am not merely changing a word, I am substituting a totally different kind of magical creature that has its own independent origins that are not necessarily deities. The magical unicorn, I made up; the FSM other people made up; but I could just as easily insert Brahmin or some other deity.

    I don't see why you are claiming CA is requiring specifically deities and not other creatures (that we may not have discovered yet) that also have those attributes.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    But gravity can just as invalid-ally described as magic
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If you were to say, Gravity is a force that acts in on matter in an attractive manner. And I were to respond, things that act on matter in an attractive matter are magic, so gravity is made up, you would reject that argument regardless of the fact that it is identical to the one you just made.
    No, because gravity can be measured and doesn't require supernatural power nor a supernatural being to exist. I can show the effects of gravity and measure it such that you would not be able to dispute it. Everything about the proof of gravity can be done without resorting to the supernatural; they would be excess to requirements insofar as showing gravity exists. So you cannot say it is made up, the most you can say is that there may still be magic involved in the workings of gravity.

    On the other hand, magic is defined as supernatural; miracles are just one kind of magic, potions that turn people in frogs are another kind of magic, as is flying on a broomstick. It's unfortunate that 'miracles' share the same conceptual space as other superstitions but that doesn't make miracles necessarily false; they are false because they cannot happen in a way that is consistent with known science (see above).
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    A universe could exist outside ours, physically continuous but separate
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Squatch: Since the cause is separate from the universe (as it is contradictory for the universe to cause itself) the FC must be atemporal and aphysical.
    SharmaK: This is definitely not necessarily the case. A containing universe with a powerful being is more a plausible scenario.
    I'm assuming you didn't read Chad's OP. A containing universe fails as an
    explanation because of infinite regression. To say there is another universe
    around this one would necessitate that it has a beginning as well.
    But CA is about this universe, not another one. If you want to change the argument then please restate it or if you want to expand 'universe' to mean the 'outer universe' as you seem to be doing above then prove that this universe would necessitate it has a beginning: neither of us have any idea that it hasn't always existed or that it may contain a further external universe.
    But my point was of necessity and it is not a necessity that the FC is atemporal and aphysical - only that it is separate from this universe.
    FC is clearly not atemporal because there must have been a point in time that this universe did not exist and then it did. FC must have experienced both these states since one had to be before the other.
    FC is clearly not aphysical either because outside our universe is not nothing; even a total vaccuum would be something.

    Multiple Deities is not a single cause
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    SharmaK: It still looks like you are calling the final event a 'cause'. Is this similar to how you describe God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus, what one would normally call three beings, as one being?
    Just as you might call a set of pistons, a cam rod and some other parts an engine. The fact that an engine is made up of more than one part does not negate its being an engine.
    This is true, but then the root cause then is clearly not the engine because we can dig deeper. You are using the point just before the creation of the universe as a jumping off point to call it your deity. But this is contradicts the idea that this is the First Cause; it isn't - there were other initial causes before the actual First Cause
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Intent contradicts the atemporal requirement
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Sharmka: Also, how can one have intent if they are atemporal? To have intent there has to be a 'before' state and an after 'state' ; but you've already said that there cannot be
    Squatch: Intent is not bound to a temporal nature. Wanting or desiring something to be simply implies two different states, not necessarily a temporal relationship between the two.
    SharmaK: But even the idea of intent requires an action, so there are already two states, which in turn implies a temporal being.
    Two states does not require a temporal nature either. There is nothing in this
    argument saying that one state preceded the other, only that they are separate.
    Of course two states require time - how else could they be different? They don't all exist at the same time.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Omnipotence does not logically follow
    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Squatch: Certainly a cause capable of creating the universe is omnipotent in relation to that universe is it not? Since the FC created every aspect of this universe, I'm not sure what element of it is outside of the FC's span of control.
    SharmaK: No! omnipotent means unlimited power! Or are you saying that God does not have unlimited power? In which case, he doesn't qualify as FC. And if you are claiming unlimited power, it is wholly not a necessity.
    However you look at it, the universe is not infinite so infinite power is not necessary. Only lots.
    Challenge to support a claim.Please support that a CA requires unlimited power.
    __________________________________________________ __________


    Multiple Universes?
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    SharmaK: In that case, there is no reason there couldn't be an oscillating condition such that the universe expands and collapses and expands again or there could be multiple universes, of which we live in one. There is no reason that there needs to be a first cause.

    Squatch: That would a) not avoid the infinite regress problem and b) be contradictory to scientific consensus. There is no proposed model of the universe that allows for infinite expansion and contraction. Since entropy accumulates between the cycles we are left with a non-sustainable process that mandates a beginning.

    SharmaK:Sure, but there is no proposed model that deities exist either. I'm just matching your non-evidence based beliefs that it's a deity with my own non-evidence based reading of science fiction books.

    You are attempting to reject a hypothesis that is based on 50 years of scientific consensus with one that has been utterly disproven and rejected. An infinite regression universe is not physically possible within the context of our universe as you are arguing.
    The universe is defined as all matter and energy, so the total amount of energy outside of the universe equals 0.

    More importantly, unless you are insisting that there is an infinite amount of energy outside of our universe the problem still happens. If the universe were infinitely old, we wouldn't have defined galaxies or stars or any observable phenomena. If the universe were infinitely old and a cyclical model were valid we already would have run out of go throughs an infinitely long time ago.

    Ok, so we agree that our cause must be wholly separate from our universe. I've shown that another universe outside of this one doesn't solve our problem, because it too would need yet another universe to create it and so on and so on ad-infinitum.
    Given that, the cause must not be a natural one and we are left with one possible conclusion.
    Multiple Universe - not infinite!
    I'm not saying anything is infinite. An oscillating universe could just as easily run out of of oscillating power.
    I am not saying the the universe is infinitely old, we are talking about the space that our universe is currently expanding into.

    Multiple Universes - still theoretical!
    You have not shown that another larger universe leads to any infinity. The extra-universe only need to be older than the current one, not infinitely older. And if there still needs to be a question about this extra-universe, then that is explicitly outside of the scope of KCA because there is absolutely zero evidence of what is outside of our universe.

    I'm fine if KCA is a hypothetical, but you seem to be stating it as fact. Is it fact or is is speculative?


    Outside physical universe?
    It is also no a requirement that something outside all physical things is supernatural. It is equally as possible and likely that there is literally nothing outside of our universe.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

  5. #165
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    We have enough experience with humans to know that they do not possess additional supernatural powers
    What does that really mean? I hope it doesn't mean we don't have the ability to change our brain through intention, which therefore can rewire the brain, which therefore can, through focused intention (not drugs), result in blind people to see, paralized people to walk, to name just a few, and what some would have called supernatural powers decades ago, quite amazinlgy natural today.

    The Brain the Changes Itself
    http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge/MAIN.html

    The power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility. Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff...with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human


    THE BRAIN CAN CHANGE ITSELF. It is a plastic, living organ that can actually change its own structure and function, even into old age. Arguably the most important breakthrough in neuroscience since scientists first sketched out the brain’s basic anatomy, this revolutionary discovery, called neuroplasticity, promises to overthrow the centuries-old notion that the brain is fixed and unchanging. The brain is not, as was thought, like a machine, or “hardwired” like a computer. Neuroplasticity not only gives hope to those with mental limitations, or what was thought to be incurable brain damage, but expands our understanding of the healthy brain and the resilience of human nature.
    This understanding certainly has far reaching implications and, no doubt, it raises interesting new questions about what we thought we knew (or assumed) about human potential.
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  6. #166
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What does that really mean? I hope it doesn't mean we don't have the ability to change our brain through intention, which therefore can rewire the brain, which therefore can, through focused intention (not drugs), result in blind people to see, paralized people to walk, to name just a few, and what some would have called supernatural powers decades ago, quite amazinlgy natural today.
    If the brain can rewire itself then that's not really supernatural is it? That said, I'm saying there aren't any special organs to assist walking on water, raising the dead, healing, multiplying fishes, alchemy (turning wine into water), exorcising demons (aka healing the insane?) and so on.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    If the brain can rewire itself then that's not really supernatural is it? That said, I'm saying there aren't any special organs to assist walking on water, raising the dead, healing, multiplying fishes, alchemy (turning wine into water), exorcising demons (aka healing the insane?) and so on.
    The brain has been used to accomplish/begin to accomplish all of these things. Foam on our feet lets us walk on water. Medicine lets us raise the dead and heal people. Fish farms allow us to multiply fish. Physics allows us to begin attempting to perform alchemy. Psychology allows us to attempt to heal the insane. All of these things are made possible by our brains.
    abc

  8. #168
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    The brain has been used to accomplish/begin to accomplish all of these things. Foam on our feet lets us walk on water. Medicine lets us raise the dead and heal people. Fish farms allow us to multiply fish. Physics allows us to begin attempting to perform alchemy. Psychology allows us to attempt to heal the insane. All of these things are made possible by our brains.
    I'm sure that there are natural explanations for Jesus' miracles (assuming they actually occurred). I'm disputing that they are due to magic.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    If the brain can rewire itself then that's not really supernatural is it?
    A blind person using mere intention (focus conscious states) to rewire his brain to see is not supernatural, right? I would agree. However, I would point out that such a phenomena, was considered supernatural 100 years ago.

    That said, I'm saying there aren't any special organs to assist walking on water, raising the dead, healing, multiplying fishes, alchemy (turning wine into water), exorcising demons (aka healing the insane?) and so on.
    How about this idea: If in about 350 years or so, humanity discovered through scientific understanding, not based on a reductionist theory, but a different scientific paradigm, that the natural agency of focused conscious states (as we've started to discover now can rewire the human adult brain) could accomplish phenomena such as walking on water, healing, multiplying fishes, etc., would that be supernatural or natural?
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    A blind person using mere intention (focus conscious states) to rewire his brain to see is not supernatural, right?
    No, it is simply not true. Such a thing is impossible.

    How about this idea: If in about 350 years or so, humanity discovered through scientific understanding, not based on a reductionist theory, but a different scientific paradigm, that the natural agency of focused conscious states (as we've started to discover now can rewire the human adult brain) could accomplish phenomena such as walking on water, healing, multiplying fishes, etc., would that be supernatural or natural?
    So now Jesus is a time traveler or alien (with superior technology)?
    abc

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    A blind person using mere intention (focus conscious states) to rewire his brain to see is not supernatural, right? I would agree. However, I would point out that such a phenomena, was considered supernatural 100 years ago.
    We're not talking about 100 years ago. We're talking about now, where such things are still considered 'miracles' powered by a deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How about this idea: If in about 350 years or so, humanity discovered through scientific understanding, not based on a reductionist theory, but a different scientific paradigm, that the natural agency of focused conscious states (as we've started to discover now can rewire the human adult brain) could accomplish phenomena such as walking on water, healing, multiplying fishes, etc., would that be supernatural or natural?
    I'm not sure how you got from rewiring a brain to creating matter from nothing but if it could happen then it would be a natural human capability. There is still no need for deities to get involved.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    We're not talking about 100 years ago. We're talking about now, where such things are still considered 'miracles' powered by a deity.
    Are you arging against an anthropomorphic idea of God?

    I'm not sure how you got from rewiring a brain to creating matter from nothing
    Who said anything about creating matter out of nothing? What is nothing? Rewiring the brain (as we understand we can now do) is simply the result, the effect, which in itself, is pretty amazing. Up to only 70 years ago, this idea was considered wacko -- unthinkable by mainstream science.

    However, now that we understand it and it has been tested, the amazing, aspect of neuroplasticity is the process by which it occurs and uses to create the effect. i.e. rewiring of the brain. It uses mental force, intention, focused conscious states. Those are all subjective states, focused intention, states of consciousness, including positive states of consciousness. What is consciousness? It certainly is not nothing, right? In that it's invisible, we know we experience life through it. So consciousness is something, and science is now studying it trying to come up with some type of definition.

    So, back to my question about natural vs supernatural. If in the next 350 years or so, humanity discovered through scientific understanding, not based on a reductionist theory, but a different scientific paradigm, that the natural agency of focused conscious states could accomplish phenomena such as walking on water, healing, multiplying fishes, etc., would that be supernatural or natural?

    but if it could happen then it would be a natural human capability. There is still no need for deities to get involved.
    Is the god you argue against sitting on some white cloud high above somewhere beyond the universe with a long white beard playing a harp or some rounds of cosmic golf?
    Last edited by eye4magic; March 26th, 2012 at 01:44 AM.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    eye4magic: However, I would point out that such a phenomena, was considered supernatural 100 years ago.
    SharmaK: We're not talking about 100 years ago. We're talking about now, where such things are still considered 'miracles' powered by a deity.

    Are you arging against an anthropomorphic idea of God?
    Not specifically, I'm just wondering why you and Squatch keep raising what people thought in the past as a reason to justify it today.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Who said anything about creating matter out of nothing?
    You did: "multiplying fishes" in this reply and below.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What is nothing? Rewiring the brain (as we understand we can now do) is simply the result, the effect, which in itself, is pretty amazing. Up to only 70 years ago, this idea was considered wacko -- unthinkable by mainstream science.

    However, now that we understand it and it has been tested, the amazing, aspect of neuroplasticity is the process by which it occurs and uses to create the effect. i.e. rewiring of the brain. It uses mental force, intention, focused conscious states. Those are all subjective states, focused intention, states of consciousness, including positive states of consciousness. What is consciousness? It certainly is not nothing, right? In that it's invisible, we know we experience life through it. So consciousness is something, and science is now studying it trying to come up with some type of definition.
    I'm sure it's a great thing if we can rewire our brain at will but I'm not sure what you are trying to say - that Jesus found the power to rewire a human brain?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So, back to my question about natural vs supernatural. If in the next 350 years or so, humanity discovered through scientific understanding, not based on a reductionist theory, but a different scientific paradigm, that the natural agency of focused conscious states could accomplish phenomena such as walking on water, healing, multiplying fishes, etc., would that be supernatural or natural?
    Natural of course, but you may as well as if the same if in 350 years we discover that we can actually magic rabbits out of a hat.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Is the god you argue against sitting on some white cloud high above somewhere beyond the universe with a long white beard playing a harp or some rounds of cosmic golf?
    No.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I'm just wondering why you and Squatch keep raising what people thought in the past as a reason to justify it today.
    What people thought of in the past as miracles, were most likely miracles. As far as supernatural vs natural today, the more we understand about the mind, the brain and how they interact vs consciousness, the criteria seems to be changing.

    You did: "multiplying fishes" in this reply and below.
    How is consciousness nothing?

    I'm sure it's a great thing if we can rewire our brain at will but I'm not sure what you are trying to say - that Jesus found the power to rewire a human brain?
    Rewiring the brain is about learning to think differently by retraining the mind to change the brain, which can then change a condition in the body.

    Jesus, didn't have to rewire anything. His enlightened mind (thinking), no doubt, was spot on and is something we should learn to emulate. In fact, I think the Bible teaches such a principle. "Let that mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5.

    Natural of course, but you may as well as if the same if in 350 years we discover that we can actually magic rabbits out of a hat.
    Well, if in 350 years we understand it scientifically, probably through a new scientific paradign, then it won't be considered magic anymore, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    You have completely avoided addressing any of my points or support. It is particularly noticeable that you refuse to even address the conclusions of Alexander Vilenkin that demonstrate conclusively that the universe, and in particular the singularity are finite in the past, meaning that they HAD to begin to exist.

    Your refusal to actually address the arguments made reveal your complete lack of support for your own argument. In light of the evidence presented either address the arguments made and support your own claim or retract!

    Challenge to support a claim.
    Could you give an observable example of something beginning to exist from nothing?

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Rampantai View Post
    Could you give an observable example of something beginning to exist from nothing?
    Strawman. I never claimed that anything began to exist from nothing. I just argued that the universe is past-finite and had to begin to exist.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I think I'll need you to support that quantum entanglement events take place in an atemporal framework.
    I think that might depend on what you mean by framework. Does it occur within a temporal universe? Yes. Does it require a temporal dimension to occur? No. Specifically, entanglement refers to the linking of certain characteristics between particles regardless of space or time. IE if one particle has a set of characteristics then the other particle must have a corresponding set of characteristics, regardless of its distance, .

    Quote Originally Posted by ReasonPlease View Post
    @Squatch347
    If something is separated in space, it's separated in time (space-time). Provide evidence that this spooky action is timeless.
    Please see my response to Dio above.

    Quote Originally Posted by RP
    I didn't say that logic didn't dictate reality, I said philosophy based on macroscopic knowledge about the universe is flawed because it neglects sub-atomic knowledge which contradicts many of our intuitions at the macroscopic level.
    You indicated that the logic underlying the CA is flawed. When asked to elaborate you cited the difference between macroscopic and quantum realities. Can you please directly support how QM, Relativity, anything actually contradicts the CA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rp
    Why is it necessary that it's God if I were to grant this first cause for the sake of argument?
    If you were to accept the FC (for the sake of argument) you would be accepting a non-temporal, intentful, omnipotent cause. If you were to then search for a word that fits those characteristics, it would be God. Note, we are not saying it proves the Christian, Jewish or any other specific god, but a deity whose nature creates a limited set of possible described deities.

    Quote Originally Posted by RP
    The Big Bang describes the expansion from the singularity, it doesn't say the singularity began to exist ex nihilo.
    But since we know that the singularity could not have existed for an infinite period of time prior to expansion (otherwise the universe would have already reached heat death), we know that the singularity had a beginning.




    Can I presume that your failure to respond to my challenge that actions require time is a withdrawal of the claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Note: I may have dropped some points from the previous posts but I've been trying to organize my thoughts around KCA. Please re-raise them if you want to continue.
    Not a problem. Thanks for the heads up.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Magic contradicts science

    We have enough experience with humans to know that they do not possess additional supernatural powers. Not only that, but we have examined every single piece of the human body - there is nothing in it that allows for the claims of magic: no levitation bladder in one's feet such that one could walk on water.
    You are assuming that these humans were able to achieve said actions based solely on their internal biology? That seems like an ungrounded assumption. Also, because science does not confirm an action is not sufficient reason to dismiss it. It solely would be reason not to scientifically confirm it. Your position of dismissing the actions within the Bible would be evidentially unfounded. You could maintain an agnosticism on those actions, but rejection is unscientific given your support.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Is saying the Bible is not to be wholly trusted a composition fallacy?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition:
    The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole.
    I am not committing any fallacy because I am explicitly saying (several times now) that I believe that parts are true but also that parts are false. The whole thing is at best only partially reliable.
    Aren't you the one committing the fallacy when you claim the the Bible is wholly true, just because only parts are?
    Perhaps we have had a miscommunication. Your earlier statements repeatedly argued because you felt you could reject one section or character in the bible because it was "beyond credibility" that you could therefore reject any other part of the bible you felt as incredible. That is a fallacy of composition. Because one section of the Bible might be false does not imply or indicate with logical validity that any other section is false.

    [/quote=SharmaK]
    For the first part, I'm still not clear what you are talking about. We're not in the 1300's, and whether it was taken to be correct back then has nothing to do with our current position - that there are not four elements. We have to take the best state of our knowledge of actual facts.[/quote] Earlier you were attempting to invoke something akin to Akem's Razor, ie that given two explanations, you would take the one that is simpler. I was attempting to point out to you that using such an assumption would have led to fallacious results. Specifically, given a set of knowledge in 1300, your assumption that the simpler explanation is the correct one would have led you to accept a hypothesis we now know to be false. Akem's Razor is principle, not a rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    0 deities is the most logical choice, because there is no evidence for any deities. KCA would work just as well for zero deities.
    Well the CA is evidence for their existence, given its conclusions.

    Regardless, even if it weren't given a lack of observational evidence one cannot dismiss the concept of a deity for your preference of a naturalistic explanation. Without evidence, neither is more substantial than the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    CA does not require 'intelligence', as you said, it only requires 'intent', which we are debating below. Something can be said to have intent without requiring intelligence - e.g. an ant has the intent to seek food but it has no further intelligence.
    But an ant does not create systems that give rise to intelligence. Our FC has intent (and therefore purpose) to create a universe with sentient, intelligent beings, creating intelligence would mandate intelligence within the creator.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Contrawise, even if your argument of intent as a necessity is true, it still doesn't mean that God is 'intelligent'. From your own description, God does not make decisions (for that would require time) - he only acts according to his nature, his intent.
    Why would intelligence require decisions? Decisions arise from an imperfect knowledge of a subject, which God would not have.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    This is a perfectly valid rebuttal. We do not share the same universe of discourse, I believe that deities are just as much a human invention as magic unicorns and the FSM; for me they are interchangeable and just as valid within the so-called logic CA. You have as much of an idea that a deity has these qualities as I do that the FSM does. We are on equal logical footing - there are no 'facts' or 'evidence' that you can point to support your claim over mine.
    Because you are engaging in sophistry. If I were to call the furry animal described in the picture below as a horse.



    It does not mean that we cannot know about cats, it means I am renaming a commonly named object. Changing the name of a real object does not invalidate its existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Since not all deities have these qualities, you cannot say it is a deity at all unless you want to limit the deities you are talking about; in which case you need to state which ones.
    Not all dogs are brown, that does not mean that a brown canine familiares is not a dog. Clearly we are discussing the subset of deities that match the characteristics described by the CA.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    I am not merely changing a word, I am substituting a totally different kind of magical creature that has its own independent origins that are not necessarily deities. The magical unicorn, I made up; the FSM other people made up; but I could just as easily insert Brahmin or some other deity.
    And yet, this statement rejects their ability to be part of our subset of deities. The deity described within the FC cannot have been made up by man since it created man. Since both of those objects described above are self-described as invented by you, they do not qualify.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    I don't see why you are claiming CA is requiring specifically deities and not other creatures (that we may not have discovered yet) that also have those attributes.
    Well they can't be creatures, because that term is generally refering to entities from within our universe. If you are asking whether the CA allows for a being that we don't know about, certainly, but given the attributes of that being, it would fall into the classification of "deity."

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    No, because gravity can be measured
    As can our FC since we are deducing attributes from observed phenomena.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    and doesn't require supernatural power nor a supernatural being to exist.
    Challenge to support a claim. Please support that the origins of gravity are naturalistic in origin, ie existing within our universe. Not that it is associated with matter, but that the mechanism that creates that force is inherent to our universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    On the other hand, magic is defined as supernatural; miracles are just one kind of magic, potions that turn people in frogs are another kind of magic, as is flying on a broomstick. It's unfortunate that 'miracles' share the same conceptual space as other superstitions but that doesn't make miracles necessarily false; they are false because they cannot happen in a way that is consistent with known science (see above).
    Be careful here, you are saying that magic is precluded by current human science, but it isn't. Plenty of actions that you would describe as magic are well within the realm of quantum mechanics. It is physically allowable that you would instantly disappear and reappear on mars. The probability of such an events is unbelievably low, but it is certainly a possibility. It is perfectly allowable for a cat to be both alive and dead at the same instant within QM, and I'm sure that would fall into your "magic" category as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    But CA is about this universe, not another one. If you want to change the argument then please restate it or if you want to expand 'universe' to mean the 'outer universe' as you seem to be doing above then prove that this universe would necessitate it has a beginning: neither of us have any idea that it hasn't always existed or that it may contain a further external universe.
    Since that "universe" gives rise to one with a temporal dimension, it must by definition contain its own temporal dimension. A mechanistic cause cannot create actions within a dimension it does not inhabit. For example. A non-sentient pencil that only exists within the X axis of a graph can move all it wants to, it will not create a point anywhere that requires the Y axis for its description.

    So if you mechanistic universe gives rise to our, it must by definition have a temporal component which would mean that either it has a beginning (infinite regression problem) or that our universe would have to be likewise infinitely old (violates observation).

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    FC is clearly not atemporal because there must have been a point in time that this universe did not exist and then it did. FC must have experienced both these states since one had to be before the other.
    You are applying temporal logic to a non-temporal situation. State changes do not necessitate a temporal component, I have challenged you earlier to support that they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    This is true, but then the root cause then is clearly not the engine because we can dig deeper.
    By all means then please do. What is underlying cause of my car's forward movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharmak
    Of course two states require time - how else could they be different? They don't all exist at the same time.
    I have already contradicted this in my response to Dio. Further, you have not shown by necessity why a state change would require a temporal aspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Challenge to support a claim.Please support that a CA requires unlimited power.
    I have already supported this. A being that creates a universe must have omnipotent power when in relation to it. If it did not have said ability, by what means could it create the universe? If you are asking for support of a claim I did not make, which is that the FC has power in relation to something outside of our universe, please describe the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Multiple Universe - not infinite!
    I'm not saying anything is infinite. An oscillating universe could just as easily run out of of oscillating power.
    Fine, then you have simply moved our question of cause back to the first oscillation. If the universe is not infinitely old, what gave rise to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Multiple Universes - still theoretical!
    You have not shown that another larger universe leads to any infinity. The extra-universe only need to be older than the current one, not infinitely older. And if there still needs to be a question about this extra-universe, then that is explicitly outside of the scope of KCA because there is absolutely zero evidence of what is outside of our universe.
    Please see above for a refutation of this explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharmak
    I'm fine if KCA is a hypothetical, but you seem to be stating it as fact. Is it fact or is is speculative?
    The attributes of our first cause are logical necessities of the argument. Since no one here or anywhere that I'm aware of has shown any of the premises or the structure to be flawed I would argue that it as factual as anything else we would claim to be so.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Outside physical universe?
    It is also no a requirement that something outside all physical things is supernatural. It is equally as possible and likely that there is literally nothing outside of our universe.
    The latter is not possible given the CA. The former is again you attempting to redefine a term. Nature specifically refers to things within our universe. Anything outside of that, by definition, would be supernatural (IE above nature).
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think that might depend on what you mean by framework.
    Well, given that time is essentially a measure of change, what I mean is a state of affairs in which things change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Does it occur within a temporal universe? Yes. Does it require a temporal dimension to occur? No. Specifically, entanglement refers to the linking of certain characteristics between particles regardless of space or time. IE if one particle has a set of characteristics then the other particle must have a corresponding set of characteristics, regardless of its distance, .
    I don't know that this is demonstrates what you're advocating. In fact, entanglement seems to depend on spacetime. From your source:
    "There's a weird time symmetry to all this - let's say the qubit is teleported at 12:00 and the first detector gather its information at 11:45. That fifteen-minute gap must exist in both direction (sic), and it's impossible to reconstruct the qubit until 12:15 rolls around."

    In other words, for the event to take place, the gap in time has to actually exist for the "future" qubit to be reconstructed in the present. During the time that it's entangled, the qubit is essentially unchanging, and it must have a temporal state in which to occur, or else the event cannot be said to have happened.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Well, given that time is essentially a measure of change, what I mean is a state of affairs in which things change.
    Ok, I am referring to the physical dimension of our universe time rather than a measurement of state change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dio
    I don't know that this is demonstrates what you're advocating. In fact, entanglement seems to depend on spacetime. From your source:
    "There's a weird time symmetry to all this - let's say the qubit is teleported at 12:00 and the first detector gather its information at 11:45. That fifteen-minute gap must exist in both direction (sic), and it's impossible to reconstruct the qubit until 12:15 rolls around."

    In other words, for the event to take place, the gap in time has to actually exist for the "future" qubit to be reconstructed in the present. During the time that it's entangled, the qubit is essentially unchanging, and it must have a temporal state in which to occur, or else the event cannot be said to have happened.
    Perhaps I didn't satisfactorily make the implications clear in my last post, sorry. The fact that you can entangle across a temporal dimension (independent of the physical one) argues that it can likewise be entangled across the physical dimension independent of the temporal one. The temporal entanglement does not mandate a physical relationship (IE they can entangle as long as one doesn't cross the space of the other, etc), just as traditional entanglement does not mandate a temporal relationship (ie before, after, during).

    If however, (and I think this is what I was referring to above) that entanglement requires our universe to happen, I would argue that of course it does, these particles are of course existing within our universe, but their relationship (entanglement) does not have to have a temporal descriptor to it in order to exist. Just as a ball moving along an X axis doesn't need the Y axis to describe it's movement doesn't mean that the ball doesn't have a Y dimension to it.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ok, I am referring to the physical dimension of our universe time rather than a measurement of state change.
    Well, that's fine, but I don't see that the distinction has any impact on my original statement. That is to say, I don't see any explanatory language here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Perhaps I didn't satisfactorily make the implications clear in my last post, sorry. The fact that you can entangle across a temporal dimension (independent of the physical one) argues that it can likewise be entangled across the physical dimension independent of the temporal one. The temporal entanglement does not mandate a physical relationship (IE they can entangle as long as one doesn't cross the space of the other, etc), just as traditional entanglement does not mandate a temporal relationship (ie before, after, during).
    But it does mandate a temporal relationship. Without a clear initial space/time condition and a corresponding end space/time condition, neither of the events can be rightly said to have occurred. Even the concept of simultaneity depends on a framework in which events can be said to happen.

    Thought experiment:

    Suppose that (and putting aside a number of physical problems for moment) every single particle in an entire universe ("A") simultaneously and completely stopped moving. Galaxies stopped spinning, planets stopped turning, moons, comets, meteors, cosmic dust, etc -- and on the microscopic level particles stopped moving around their nuclei; all that - Complete and utter lack of motion in every way.

    If that were to occur, that place would be timeless, because it would be changeless (and vice versa). Nothing would grow, nothing would get older, nothing would thrive, nothing would decay; nothing whatsoever would change in such a place. Energy and matter would be frozen.

    Then, also simultaneously and completely, everything started back up just as it was.

    Now, suppose you are on the outside of such a place, and you DO observe this event happening from the temporal place in which you reside (Universe "B"). Suppose you witnessed the event, measured its duration with some sort of timer, and recorded that the event lasted exactly one year (your time).

    From your perspective, YOU and ONLY you (and everything in "B") would be exactly one year older than "A". Likewise, everything in "A" would in fact be one year younger than "B" (but not noticeably older relative to everything in "A"). Moreover, there would be absolutely no way for anyone in "A" to detect the event, or to otherwise be aware that it happened unless "B" provided framework with which to observe it. In fact, if "B" didn't exist, then the event in fact didn't happen, since the measurement of time depends on change, and change depends on movement, be it macro, micro, standard, or quantum. So a timeless thing must necessarily and by definition be a changeless thing.

    So this is the problem with the idea of timeless/changeless deity (or with a timeless/changeless singularity, for that matter). Without a framework within which things can/do change (i.e. a temporal one) the deity cannot of their own volition "do" anything. Anything anyone does (including everything from throwing a ball to metabolizing food to thinking) is by definition an event, and events can only occur in a place containing the element of time.

    BTW, just as a courtesy to you, I've left out a bit of your comment strictly for the sake of brevity. I don't think the language about the "X" and "Y" axis of a ball's path adds any strength to your point.

 

 
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