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

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

    The Kalam Cosmological Argument goes as follows:

    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The Universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

    People claim that this argument is an argument for the existence of God. In other words, it is an argument for the existence of an entity with the following characteristics:

    1. Omnipotent
    2. Omniscient
    3. Omnipresent
    4. You can add in any other characteristics that your God has. It really makes no difference.

    The Kalam Cosmological Argument in no way proves the existence of an entity with the above characteristics. The only characteristic that the entity from this argument must have is that it is not caused (not affected by time, like the 4th dimension). But it does not need to be conscious or intelligent or anything else. Being intelligent is not a requirement for not being caused. Not being caused is just a property of this entity.

    To use the symbol God to represent the entity that the Kalam Cosmological Argument argues for is a deliberate attempt to mislead people. When people hear God they add on all the characteristics that they believe their God has. But this argument in no way proves that this entity has those characteristics. A more appropriated symbol to use to represent the entity argued for in the Kalam Cosmological Argument is X. If a person were not deliberately trying to mislead people they would use the standard symbol X to represent the entity. By using the symbol God they are deliberately trying to manipulate people.

    This is yet another example of how religion is nothing more than a tool used by power hungry people in an attempt to manipulate/control other people.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    To be clear...

    1) The KCA is an argument for the existence of God.
    2) Some people believe that God has the characteristics of X, Y, Z.
    3) The KCA doesn't prove that God has characteristics of X, Y, Z.
    4) Therefore, the KCA is flawed and serves only the purpose to mislead people.

    Is that about it? If so, do you not see the logical problem w/ the argument?

    And given that there are 3 types of explanations (as offered by Dr. Craig. who has popularized the KCA):

    1. a logico-mathematical explanation (which, because it is abstract, is incapable of explaining the fact that something comes into existence)
    2. a scientific explanation (which can explain events occurring within the universe, but not the coming-to-be of the universe itself)
    3. a personal explanation, involving an agent doing something for a reason.

    Personal explanation is the only schema that can explain the coming-to-be of the cosmos.

    And from this, is it possible to know qualities of this type of being if it exists? Sure it is. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists (as per the KCA and most plausible explanation, point #3), who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful.

    It is from additional argumentation and reasoning that we can know other characteristics of God.

    In short, you put too much "faith" in the KCA to do what it was never intended to do nor claims to do. It isn't what you think it is.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    I also disagree with your dismissing of it needing to be sentient. A mechanistic FC would not be able to exist in a state without causing the effect. IE you cannot describe a state of existence in which a sufficient, mechanistic cause exists without its corresponding effect without appealing to something more.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I also disagree with your dismissing of it needing to be sentient. A mechanistic FC would not be able to exist in a state without causing the effect.
    Why?

    Widgit is the mechanism that makes universes and has no cause. Widgit has no motive, it simply makes universes in an unpredictable fashion.

    How is that appealing to something more or how does it lack sufficiency?
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Why?

    Widgit is the mechanism that makes universes and has no cause. Widgit has no motive, it simply makes universes in an unpredictable fashion.

    How is that appealing to something more or how does it lack sufficiency?
    Expand on it. What is "widgit"? What are its properties and qualities? Where did it come from? Where did it go? Does science support such a thing or is this merely speculating, and multiplying reasons unnecessarily?
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Expand on it. What is "widgit"? What are its properties and qualities? Where did it come from? Where did it go? Does science support such a thing or is this merely speculating, and multiplying reasons unnecessarily?
    Why would I need to expand on it? The Cosmological argument doesn't require that for any of its contentions. Its only necessary quality is being uncaused.

    Still, I will answer for the sake of argument

    What is "widgit"? Its the thing that made our universe.

    What are its properties and qualities? It exists beyond the scope of time and space. Widgit has no intent.

    Where did it come from? Where is an inapplicable attribute. It is all places and no place and comes from nowhere, it just exists.

    Where did it go? Likewise a nonsensical question. It exists "currently" from our temporal bound perspective.

    Does science support such a thing or is this merely speculating, and multiplying reasons unnecessarily? Science supports that our universe exists and
    supposes it possible it has a beginning. That it has a beginning is true as Widgit created it from nothing. Science is incapable of measuring or quantifying Widgit since being outside of time and space it is not measurable for us.
    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
    Why would I need to expand on it? The Cosmological argument doesn't require that for any of its contentions. Its only necessary quality is being uncaused.
    Because you are dismissing a logical path and replacing it with something else. Therefore, we must examine if your path, is just as logical.

    What is "widgit"? Its the thing that made our universe.
    So far so good.

    What are its properties and qualities? It exists beyond the scope of time and space. Widgit has no intent.
    How so?

    Where did it come from? Where is an inapplicable attribute. It is all places and no place and comes from nowhere, it just exists.
    But you say it is natural. How is this possible? By what reason do you attribute such a quality? Or is it as I said...just speculative?

    Where did it go? Likewise a nonsensical question. It exists "currently" from our temporal bound perspective.
    So it is not natural then? How can it be since it is not observable?

    Does science support such a thing or is this merely speculating, and multiplying reasons unnecessarily? Science supports that our universe exists and
    supposes it possible it has a beginning.
    Science supports that most likely, it has a beginning. In fact, Valenkin has recently shown that other current models are speculative and simply not realistic. He has established there is no evidence for other theories.

    That it has a beginning is true as Widgit created it from nothing. Science is incapable of measuring or quantifying Widgit since being outside of time and space it is not measurable for us.
    So...you agree with me that it is not scientific (your reason). And since something being scientific is really your only leg to stand on here...it looks like the table just fell over...
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  8. #8
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    This is yet another example of how religion is nothing more than a tool used by power hungry people in an attempt to manipulate/control other people.
    Its really a misapplication of logic into the real world. It's no more a proof that God exists in reality than Snape was really a good guy in reality. Neither are, because they are both human inventions. Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality. If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!

    But rather than seeing it as a tool to manipulate people, I think it's an evolution of theology from the realm of physical reality (miracles, angels, etc) into the realm of logic. It is also the beginning of a chain of arguments from which all the other characteristics of God can be derived. However, the important thing to remember is that these are all logical arguments with no direct link to a physical reality. Indeed, the deity presented: timeless, spaceless, existing in eternity and for eternity, also shares the exact characteristics of other things that are simply just human ideas (e.g. Snape).

    And it works just as well to argue for multiple deities as it does for one deity so for me it's a circular argument: you need to have a belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities in order for it to have any truth value.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Its really a misapplication of logic into the real world. It's no more a proof that God exists in reality than Snape was really a good guy in reality. Neither are, because they are both human inventions. Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality. If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!

    But rather than seeing it as a tool to manipulate people, I think it's an evolution of theology from the realm of physical reality (miracles, angels, etc) into the realm of logic. It is also the beginning of a chain of arguments from which all the other characteristics of God can be derived. However, the important thing to remember is that these are all logical arguments with no direct link to a physical reality. Indeed, the deity presented: timeless, spaceless, existing in eternity and for eternity, also shares the exact characteristics of other things that are simply just human ideas (e.g. Snape).

    And it works just as well to argue for multiple deities as it does for one deity so for me it's a circular argument: you need to have a belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities in order for it to have any truth value.
    Those emphases are mine, with the italicized especially emphasized. Now that we know your opinion, we'd like to see your support for those opinions. It would behoove those of us here to regularly recognize the difference between simple declarations and qualified statements.

    But, of course, it doesn't matter that we attend to these "small niceties" of the formal setting. The flag will be waved in Valhalla yet again, and it will go down in history that the atheists won.
    Last edited by Lukecash12; March 14th, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    Those emphases are mine, with the italicized especially emphasized. Now that we know your opinion, we'd like to see your support for those opinions. It would behoove those of us here to regularly recognize the difference between simple declarations and qualified statements.

    But, of course, it doesn't matter that we attend to these "small niceties" of the formal setting. The flag will be waved in Valhalla yet again, and it will go down in history that the atheists won.
    Fair enough!:

    Neither are, because they are both human inventions.
    Snape is definitely a human invention because we know their author and God is also a human invention because we know the Bible also has human authors. Both Harry Potter & the Bible make claims that are impossible (e.g. the building of an Ark to save animals from a flood that did not happen, the anointing of a human into a deity).

    Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality.
    By this I mean that KCA's only claim is that it is a logically sound argument - i.e. syntactically correct but there is nothing to connect it's claims to anything physical. At best it is a hypothesis of what God might be rather than anything definitive.

    If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!
    If the argument was convincing there would be no reason to be an atheist. It would be like believing the the Earth is flat (though in this case there is the Flat Earth Society - which is worth a perusal to see other people come up with all sorts of reasons to continue having their beliefs).

    However, the important thing to remember is that these are all logical arguments with no direct link to a physical reality.
    KCA is merely speculation - there is no reason to say that the universe had a beginning because it could just be expanding and contracting infinitely and we're just in an expansion cycle. This is known as the Big Bounce. This in turn is also still speculation; the fact being that no-one knows the actual origins of the universe and the other theories are just as inconclusive. However, these ideas are bound to evidence by taking observations of the universe.

    KCA is merely a thought experiment in the sense that it is simply based on the possible existence of a first-cause and that everything has a cause. The latter is not true because there exist many things that exist that do not have a cause: e.g. numbers.

    And it works just as well to argue for multiple deities as it does for one deity so for me it's a circular argument: you need to have a belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities in order for it to have any truth value.
    There's no reason to say that there is only one cause - one deity. There could have been multiple deities that created the universe. So to conclude that this first cause is a single event executed by a single person is just one possibility. KCA does not definitively rule out any of the other possibilities.

  11. #11
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Just to clear some air before we start, I hope my humor didn't come off as offensive.

    Neither are, because they are both human inventions.
    Snape is definitely a human invention because we know their author and God is also a human invention because we know the Bible also has human authors. Both Harry Potter & the Bible make claims that are impossible (e.g. the building of an Ark to save animals from a flood that did not happen, the anointing of a human into a deity).
    I didn't know that you were there, when the flood allegedly happened, Sharm!

    But contending more seriously:

    You still haven't supported anything. Actually, you've simply strung together more unsupported statements to support an unsupported statement. I could very well just go along with you and work with those views, at this point, but I don't see the point of doing that, considering that this is the norm when it comes to logic here and that it is without a doubt not proper logic (I mean no offense, and I am not implying that you are stupid, my friend).

    1. You haven't actually demonstrated why it is that the flood must not have happened. Actually, you just declared that it didn't happen, without even entering into a dialectic about what kind of a flood was being talked about, the plausibility of such a flood given consideration of common knowledge or cited facts about weather and geography, etc.

    2. You haven't demonstrated how humanity and deity are incompatible. Considering how hard it is to quantify, let alone locate, anything essential to being a deity, we basically have no frame of reference for saying that humanity and deity are incompatible.

    3. This set of premises that you are apparently using (and I mean "apparent" in the proper sense that this is what your material in this thread indicates), does not lead to your conclusion. At least, not without proper explanation. Here are the premises and the conclusion:

    P1. The two cited examples are documents with claims in them.
    P2. They make impossible claims.
    C. Therefore their contents are human inventions.

    I wasn't aware that claims made (P1), which are impossible claims (P2), must be human inventions (C). There is a process of invention here, and a quality of humanness, that isn't being taken into consideration. C doesn't necessarily follow from P1+P2, without the company of some unidentified P3 and/or P4.

    For more clarity: "Invention" in it's proper sense (the act of using human ingenuity to synthesize something, or something that has been synthesized by human ingenuity, depending on your grammatical usage of the word), is definitely not what happens when people claim things that they believe. While the claims may very well have been fabricated, that hasn't been supported yet.

    ---------- Post added at 05:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:24 AM ----------

    Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality.
    By this I mean that KCA's only claim is that it is a logically sound argument - i.e. syntactically correct but there is nothing to connect it's claims to anything physical. At best it is a hypothesis of what God might be rather than anything definitive.
    Right, it's all well and good to hear your opinion again. It would be even nicer to see support for your opinion. Considering that the KCA infers it's conclusion from research done in physics, e.g. thermodynamics and big bang cosmology, the KCA demonstrably has connected it's claims to physical things. For you to refute that fact (and I mean "fact" in the proper sense, that is: a state of affairs which has a truth quality, meaning that it can be proven or disproven; you never know with how people have been using words around here lately), would require that you demonstrate that the KCA does not properly infer from the research done in physics that it relies upon, or that the research done in physics that it relies upon, has been done inconclusively or improperly.

    It is not a hypothesis of what God is, because God is defined as the Creator. That definition, "Creator", belongs to that word: "God". This shouldn't be under contention, but I'll cite that if you really need me to. Because of that, your claim is nonsensical. The KCA argues that God as He is universally defined, is the cause of the universe because other competing explanations for the origin of our universe currently fail. It uses the word God, without detailing at much of any length what or who it hypothesizes that God is, aside from using the word and it's universal definition.

    Sidenote: Maybe I'm just anal, but I still get a kick from people not knowing how to distinguish between fact, opinion, theory, and law. The first two concern whether or not a statement/proposition has a truth value, and the second two concern levels of certainty amongst scientists which correlate to how well a hypothesis fits, whether or not it has yet been disproved by research designed to do just that, and whether or not the hypothesis holds true universally. There's my rant for the day. Now that I've used it up, I'll have to walk on eggshells
    Last edited by Lukecash12; March 15th, 2012 at 05:14 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Why?

    Widgit is the mechanism that makes universes and has no cause. Widgit has no motive, it simply makes universes in an unpredictable fashion.

    How is that appealing to something more or how does it lack sufficiency?
    What do you mean by "unpredictable fashion?" What mechanism are you implying that allows a non-temporal item to create a temporally limited and non-infinitely old universe?

    ---------- Post added at 05:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:51 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Fair enough!:

    Neither are, because they are both human inventions.
    Snape is definitely a human invention because we know their author and God is also a human invention because we know the Bible also has human authors.
    This book had a human author, Martin Gilbert, does that mean that Winston Churchill is a human invention? http://www.amazon.com/Churchill-A-Li...1815991&sr=8-4

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality.
    Which claim specifically, which premise to you reject as unsound in reality and why?
    Multiple authors here and elsewhere have offered deductive reasoning and evidential support for both of the premises, under what evidence or reasoning do you reject them?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK
    If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!
    Your assumption here is that atheists are solely motivated by logical analysis, that they don't have personal biases or investments. I'm not sure how that would be supportable here.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!
    If the argument was convincing there would be no reason to be an atheist. It would be like believing the the Earth is flat (though in this case there is the Flat Earth Society - which is worth a perusal to see other people come up with all sorts of reasons to continue having their beliefs).
    I'm going to assume by now that you are starting to see the pattern here. I would like for you to actually qualify the idea that weighty statements invariably convince people. "No atheists" is different from "few atheists". Moreover, I'd like for you to qualify the idea that weighty statements mostly convince people more than less weighty statements. Considering that we are enculturated people, with in-group biases, imperfect minds, cult personalities, dominating traditions, etc.: it would seem that a statement's weight doesn't really guarantee belief in that statement.

    However, the important thing to remember is that these are all logical arguments with no direct link to a physical reality.
    KCA is merely speculation - there is no reason to say that the universe had a beginning because it could just be expanding and contracting infinitely and we're just in an expansion cycle. This is known as the Big Bounce. This in turn is also still speculation; the fact being that no-one knows the actual origins of the universe and the other theories are just as inconclusive. However, these ideas are bound to evidence by taking observations of the universe.

    KCA is merely a thought experiment in the sense that it is simply based on the possible existence of a first-cause and that everything has a cause. The latter is not true because there exist many things that exist that do not have a cause: e.g. numbers.
    Ah, I can see that you disagree with traditional big bang cosmology. If you can see the pattern well enough by now, I would like to see why you disagree with traditional big bang cosmology, on concrete, evidential grounds.

    Also, I would like to level that you've misunderstood the KCA. "Everything that begins to exist has a cause". Moreover, numbers are approximate figures that are used to level with essentially uncountable data, by the human mind. They demonstrate the utility and power of the human mind. So, unless you think abstract concepts are actual realities, and would like to demonstrate to us how and where we can see this abstract concept, it would behoove you as a naturalist to accept numbers as a process of the human mind, not actual realities vaguely akin to a Form.

    ---------- Post added at 06:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:04 AM ----------

    And it works just as well to argue for multiple deities as it does for one deity so for me it's a circular argument: you need to have a belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities in order for it to have any truth value.
    There's no reason to say that there is only one cause - one deity. There could have been multiple deities that created the universe. So to conclude that this first cause is a single event executed by a single person is just one possibility. KCA does not definitively rule out any of the other possibilities.
    I see. Would you care demonstrating this through logically sound statements which have a truth value? "There's no reason", "there could have been", "so to conclude.....is just one possibility", and "KCA does not definitely rule out", all should be followed by specific qualifications. I've demonstrated well enough why they would need specific qualifications, and if it isn't apparent to you at this point why they do, I shall have to spell them out from P1 to Pwhatever to C and demonstrate to you why the conclusions don't directly follow the premises; This is something I don't want to have to do, as it is mildly tedious, elementary, and boring.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    1. You haven't actually demonstrated why it is that the flood must not have happened. Actually, you just declared that it didn't happen, without even entering into a dialectic about what kind of a flood was being talked about, the plausibility of such a flood given consideration of common knowledge or cited facts about weather and geography, etc.
    In the case of the Ark and the Flood, there has been no evidence in the geological record going back millions of years of any kind of flood. In addition, having an Ark is in of itself impossibly impractical - how would all the animals have been fed and watered?

    And if you want to go to the route that it was a localized flood that some poor guy over-prepared for then I'm in agreement that it was a human delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    2. You haven't demonstrated how humanity and deity are incompatible. Considering how hard it is to quantify, let alone locate, anything essential to being a deity, we basically have no frame of reference for saying that humanity and deity are incompatible.
    They don't need to be incompatible in order for deities not to exist. Lots of things that don't exist that are also incompatible: Gorgons, vampires and other human inventions also do not exist and are not compatible with humans.

    And if you want to go the route that God is hard to quantify and locate, I have to point out that this is also a characteristic shared by all things that don't exist. Perhaps, that is a better explanation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    3. This set of premises that you are apparently using (and I mean "apparent" in the proper sense that this is what your material in this thread indicates), does not lead to your conclusion. At least, not without proper explanation. Here are the premises and the conclusion:

    P1. The two cited examples are documents with claims in them.
    P2. They make impossible claims.
    C. Therefore their contents are human inventions.

    I wasn't aware that claims made (P1), which are impossible claims (P2), must be human inventions (C). There is a process of invention here, and a quality of humanness, that isn't being taken into consideration. C doesn't necessarily follow from P1+P2, without the company of some unidentified P3 and/or P4.
    They are impossible claims only in contemporary eyes. I'm sure several thousand years ago, they were believable. It is with hindsight, now that we know a great deal more about the world, that we can see it is indeed a fictional story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukecash12 View Post
    For more clarity: "Invention" in it's proper sense (the act of using human ingenuity to synthesize something, or something that has been synthesized by human ingenuity, depending on your grammatical usage of the word), is definitely not what happens when people claim things that they believe. While the claims may very well have been fabricated, that hasn't been supported yet.
    I'm not saying they are making impossible claims, I am saying their claims are impossible. That is, the original author thought it were a reasonable possibility that a flood happened. He didn't go out and claim something nobody would have believed in; e.g. that we were flooded with chocolate.

    There are three possibilities I see:

    1. They are deliberately lying - creating plausible sounding ideas to gain power. A religion such as Mormonism is a stark examples where the genesis of the texts are clearly written by humans: they are making actually incorrect claims (e.g. American Indians are descended from Jews).
    2. They are delusional - they may have mental deficiencies that cause them to make extraordinary claims. For example the Jerusalem Syndrome, where people are so overwhelmed with being in that city, the go temporarily insane.
    3. They are mistaken - e.g. in the flood example above, it might be possible that someone thought that a local flood affected the entire world.

    But we know they are impossible because there is no factual evidence backing it up and much factual evidence showing the contrary.

    ---------- Post added at 09:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:28 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeCash
    Right, it's all well and good to hear your opinion again. It would be even nicer to see support for your opinion. Considering that the KCA infers it's conclusion from research done in physics, e.g. thermodynamics and big bang cosmology, the KCA demonstrably has connected it's claims to physical things. For you to refute that fact (and I mean "fact" in the proper sense, that is: a state of affairs which has a truth quality, meaning that it can be proven or disproven; you never know with how people have been using words around here lately), would require that you demonstrate that the KCA does not properly infer from the research done in physics that it relies upon, or that the research done in physics that it relies upon, has been done inconclusively or improperly.
    Homeopathy also 'infers its conclusion from research done in physics'. It's actually painful to hear how up to date and informed that science it. So I don't dispute that this is a fact.

    What isn't a fact, what doesn't make it 'science', is that KCA and other religiously inspired 'sciences' such as Intelligent Design have already made assumptions that deities are possible or at least much more probably than they actually are. The 'reality' that they subscribe to is one where physics can be changed on a whim by an intelligence that is also claimed to be unknowable and undetectable by scientific or physical means.

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeCash
    It is not a hypothesis of what God is, because God is defined as the Creator. That definition, "Creator", belongs to that word: "God". This shouldn't be under contention, but I'll cite that if you really need me to. Because of that, your claim is nonsensical. The KCA argues that God as He is universally defined, is the cause of the universe because other competing explanations for the origin of our universe currently fail. It uses the word God, without detailing at much of any length what or who it hypothesizes that God is, aside from using the word and it's universal definition.
    The flaw here is that just because "other competing explanations fail" that doesn't mean that God did it. This is a terrible reason and is often used to stop the search for a "real" answer based on and consistent with our understanding of the physical universe. It's the trap that Behe fell into originally when he described that the flagellum could not have evolved in stages; years later he was proven wrong but you would have it that we should have taken it on face value that just because the current state of knowledge is insufficient.

    KCA does not necessitate a deity any more than Behe's mistaken flagellum does. Both are science based and Behe actually doing 'science'.

    But the failure is that you are also ignoring that introducing deities immediately fails because deities actually do not exist, as you point out: they are not detectable, have no form, have always existed, and so on. We will never agree on this but even before KCA, there has to be an agreement that we believe deities are even possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeCash
    Sidenote: Maybe I'm just anal, but I still get a kick from people not knowing how to distinguish between fact, opinion, theory, and law. The first two concern whether or not a statement/proposition has a truth value, and the second two concern levels of certainty amongst scientists which correlate to how well a hypothesis fits, whether or not it has yet been disproved by research designed to do just that, and whether or not the hypothesis holds true universally. There's my rant for the day. Now that I've used it up, I'll have to walk on eggshells
    Thanks for the rant, :-), but are you claiming that KCA is fact, opinion, theory or hypotheses?

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Fair enough!:

    Neither are, because they are both human inventions.
    Snape is definitely a human invention because we know their author and God is also a human invention because we know the Bible also has human authors. Both Harry Potter & the Bible make claims that are impossible (e.g. the building of an Ark to save animals from a flood that did not happen, the anointing of a human into a deity).
    It does not follow because the Bible is written by the hands of men, that they are not as it claims, God inspired. You are making a claim that it cannot be, so you need to support this claim.

    Just because it is logically sound it is meaningless - the claims are have no grounding in reality.
    By this I mean that KCA's only claim is that it is a logically sound argument - i.e. syntactically correct but there is nothing to connect it's claims to anything physical. At best it is a hypothesis of what God might be rather than anything definitive.
    I'm not sure what you expect out of a logical argument here. You are aware, that if the premises are true, then the conclusion is guaranteed in a sound argument right? Well, the premises are argued to be true. You need to demonstrate that they are not. You are merely saying "nuh-uh" here.

    If it really had any weight then I'm sure there'd be no atheists left!
    If the argument was convincing there would be no reason to be an atheist. It would be like believing the the Earth is flat (though in this case there is the Flat Earth Society - which is worth a perusal to see other people come up with all sorts of reasons to continue having their beliefs).
    This doesn't mean what you think it means. By this logic, then all scientists should believe the same thing, all religions should agree that only 1 religion is true, or all people should be atheists, etc...

    Arguments stand on their own merits, not on percentages of who believes them. The earth is not flat because most people believe it to be round. There are other reasons for believing to be round (or spherical). And it is those reasons we use to determine its truth.

    However, the important thing to remember is that these are all logical arguments with no direct link to a physical reality.
    KCA is merely speculation - there is no reason to say that the universe had a beginning because it could just be expanding and contracting infinitely and we're just in an expansion cycle. This is known as the Big Bounce.
    There is ZERO evidence of this. And there is ZERO reason for this. Alexander Valenkin showed this recently at Hawking's 70th birthday. You have FAITH that it may be the case, but you have no REASON. At least in the KCA, there is reason. Therefore, your position is unreasonable and you have blind faith. This is why many theists make the claim that some atheists a) abandon reason for blind faith, b) have more faith than theists, c) refuse to follow where reason takes them.

    And it works just as well to argue for multiple deities as it does for one deity so for me it's a circular argument: you need to have a belief in the existence of a deity or multiple deities in order for it to have any truth value.
    There's no reason to say that there is only one cause - one deity. There could have been multiple deities that created the universe. So to conclude that this first cause is a single event executed by a single person is just one possibility. KCA does not definitively rule out any of the other possibilities.
    This is true, however, no one has ever "claimed that the argument proves that there is exactly one Personal Creator of the universe. But as you note, Ockham’s Razor enjoins that we not multiply causes beyond necessity. We are warranted in postulating only such causes as are necessary to explain the effect. All that is required in this case is one Personal Creator. To postulate more would be unwarranted." - WLC
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Because you are dismissing a logical path and replacing it with something else. Therefore, we must examine if your path, is just as logical.
    I am not, I am simply offering different extensions of the same argument that are equally arbitrary.

    How so?
    What do you mean how so? Widget does not change and cannot be measured by physical distance so it is outside of time and space. Widget has no intent. It does what it does without thinking. After all how can a thing that has no cause have reason? If a thing does not change it cannot think as we understand the process. One idea cannot follow another. Widget is beyond such limitations as we understand them. Widget simply does and is.

    But you say it is natural.
    I did not. Please re-read my explanation of Widgit and try again without inserting additional claims.

    So it is not natural then? How can it be since it is not observable?
    I don't understand the connection you are trying to make. Widgit is not observable because it is outside the bounds of time and space which we require for observation given our limited capacity. That is why it is not observable.

    Science supports that most likely, it has a beginning. In fact, Valenkin has recently shown that other current models are speculative and simply not realistic. He has established there is no evidence for other theories.
    Thank you for supporting Widgit.

    So...you agree with me that it is not scientific (your reason).
    Yes, in so much as science cannot be reasonable applied to it. If science can operate outside of space and time, then it could examine widgit but it can't at this time.

    And since something being scientific is really your only leg to stand on here...it looks like the table just fell over...
    Who said science was all I could stand on? Oh yes, you did, but without explaining why. My argument for Widget is based only on the rules of logic and the KA contentions, nothing more, nothing less. If you feel Widget is falsified then god of the KA is also falsified.

    ---------- Post added at 08:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:32 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What do you mean by "unpredictable fashion?" What mechanism are you implying that allows a non-temporal item to create a temporally limited and non-infinitely old universe?
    Humans have no capacity to predict Widgets actions. Nor does Widget for that matter. Widget is not aware nor is it a mechanistic mind, it is simply an unchanging agent of creation.

    The mechanism is beyond our understanding so I cannot explain it to you any more than you can tell me how from a technical perspective your god accomplishes the same feat. I can only tell you that Widgit spontaneously generates universes such as ours and that they have a matrix of time and space such as ours does. This is self evident since we have a matrix of time and space and exist in the way we do.

    ---------- Post added at 08:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:39 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    There is ZERO evidence of this. And there is ZERO reason for this. Alexander Valenkin showed this recently at Hawking's 70th birthday.
    You may want to do more reading on this fellow and his claims. This is from his profile at the university where he teaches about his theory of the universe.

    http://www.tufts.edu/home/feature/?p=vilenkin&p2=2
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander Valenkin
    While all this is happening in our local region, inflation still continues in remote parts of the universe, and other regions like ours are constantly being produced. This never ending process is called eternal inflation. The big bang in this scenario is no longer a one-time event in our past: multiple bangs went off before it in distant parts of the universe, and countless other bangs will erupt in the future.
    He is not in support of your theory of the universe. He is in fact imagining and trying to establish other possibilities through scientific investigation.
    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
    I am not, I am simply offering different extensions of the same argument that are equally arbitrary.

    What do you mean how so? Widget does not change and cannot be measured by physical distance so it is outside of time and space. Widget has no intent. It does what it does without thinking. After all how can a thing that has no cause have reason? If a thing does not change it cannot think as we understand the process. One idea cannot follow another. Widget is beyond such limitations as we understand them. Widget simply does and is.

    I did not. Please re-read my explanation of Widgit and try again without inserting additional claims.

    I don't understand the connection you are trying to make. Widgit is not observable because it is outside the bounds of time and space which we require for observation given our limited capacity. That is why it is not observable.

    Thank you for supporting Widgit.

    Yes, in so much as science cannot be reasonable applied to it. If science can operate outside of space and time, then it could examine widgit but it can't at this time.

    Who said science was all I could stand on? Oh yes, you did, but without explaining why. My argument for Widget is based only on the rules of logic and the KA contentions, nothing more, nothing less. If you feel Widget is falsified then god of the KA is also falsified.
    Good...you are now converted to theism. What you call "Widget", is commonly called God. You make no distinction between the two and you have followed the KCA logically to its end it seems.
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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Good...you are now converted to theism. What you call "Widget", is commonly called God. You make no distinction between the two and you have followed the KCA logically to its end it seems.
    The KCA only states that the thing that caused this universe was itself un-caused. What is the logical connection between being un-caused and having all the characteristics of your god? Here is a hint, there is non
    abc

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This book had a human author, Martin Gilbert, does that mean that Winston Churchill is a human invention? http://www.amazon.com/Churchill-A-Li...1815991&sr=8-4
    Well, there was a Doctor Who episode featuring Winston Churchill - does that mean that he was a human invention or contra-wise, that Doctor Who is a real character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Which claim specifically, which premise to you reject as unsound in reality and why?
    Multiple authors here and elsewhere have offered deductive reasoning and evidential support for both of the premises, under what evidence or reasoning do you reject them?
    1. Not all things that exist have a cause: e.g. numbers exist but they don't have a cause.
    2. Things that exist may have more than one cause: so choosing any deity over multiple deities is a pre-supposition based on one's own religion.
    3. Being an atheist, I choose zero deities as the cause so by the logic of KCA, God did not create the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your assumption here is that atheists are solely motivated by logical analysis, that they don't have personal biases or investments. I'm not sure how that would be supportable here.
    This is true, but I would think that if it were such a killer argument, it would be the first thing being discussed. But you are right, logical arguments don't really hold much sway unless both parties agree to the universe of discourse.

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    Re: Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for entity X

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    The KCA only states that the thing that caused this universe was itself un-caused. What is the logical connection between being un-caused and having all the characteristics of your god? Here is a hint, there is non
    See the 2nd post in this thread.
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