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  1. #1
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    How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    How the Kalam looks to me when Fleshed Out:

    1. An A-theory of time is more plausibly true than a B-theory of time. or any other theory of time not involving temporal becoming.
    2. On an A-theory of time it is more plausibly the case than not that if the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    3. It is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming.
    4. Therefore it is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    5. Since, on 4, this region would involve the temporal becoming of space, time and matter it it more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is timeless hence changeless, spaceless and immaterial.
    6. It is more plausibly the case than not that this efficient cause is also very powerful for it caused the whole of the connected space-time region, including matter, into temporal becoming.
    7. It is more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is also a personal agency since, if it were but a set of sufficient physical conditions, the effect would exist simultaneously with this set and therefore temporal becoming would be negated.
    8. On 4-7 this would given you a timeless, changeless, spaceless, immaterial, very powerful person agent as the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space-time region.
    9. Such a being is recognisable as a minimalist definition of what historically to the present is known as God.
    10. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that God is the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space time region, but this necessitates the existence of God hence it is reasonable to believe that God more plausibly than not exists. 
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    1. An A-theory of time is more plausibly true than a B-theory of time. or any other theory of time not involving temporal becoming.
    Why?

    2. On an A-theory of time it is more plausibly the case than not that if the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    Why efficient?

    3. It is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming.
    In what sense temporal? Do you meant that in a moment in time for some other space time region this one began?

    4. Therefore it is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    Not seeing why.

    5. Since, on 4, this region would involve the temporal becoming of space, time and matter it it more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is timeless hence changeless, spaceless and immaterial.
    Again, why? Why must an agent be timeless, why not another space time region, or something temporal? And again, why efficient? If it is changeless how did it act to change things? If it is spaceless how does it create space and time?

    6. It is more plausibly the case than not that this efficient cause is also very powerful for it caused the whole of the connected space-time region, including matter, into temporal becoming.
    It is only plausible it has the power to do the thing it is ascribed to doing, everything else is pure speculation.

    7. It is more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is also a personal agency since, if it were but a set of sufficient physical conditions, the effect would exist simultaneously with this set and therefore temporal becoming would be negated.
    Why what has personal agency got to do with any of that?
    Why can't one temporal system give rise to another? I'm a temporal system, I can set into motion other temporal systems.

    8. On 4-7 this would given you a timeless, changeless, spaceless, immaterial, very powerful person agent as the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space-time region.
    Provided they were anything other than pure conjecture yes.

    9. Such a being is recognisable as a minimalist definition of what historically to the present is known as God.
    Yes but it seems more like you started with this conclusion than worked your way to it.

    10. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that God is the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space time region, but this necessitates the existence of God hence it is reasonable to believe that God more plausibly than not exists. 
    Not really no, sound more like wishful thinking justified by a lot of unfounded assumptions.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    How the Kalam looks to me when Fleshed Out:

    1. An A-theory of time is more plausibly true than a B-theory of time. or any other theory of time not involving temporal becoming.
    2. On an A-theory of time it is more plausibly the case than not that if the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    3. It is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had temporal becoming.
    4. Therefore it is more plausibly the case than not that the whole of the connected space-time region had an efficient cause.
    5. Since, on 4, this region would involve the temporal becoming of space, time and matter it it more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is timeless hence changeless, spaceless and immaterial.
    6. It is more plausibly the case than not that this efficient cause is also very powerful for it caused the whole of the connected space-time region, including matter, into temporal becoming.
    7. It is more plausibly the case that this efficient cause is also a personal agency since, if it were but a set of sufficient physical conditions, the effect would exist simultaneously with this set and therefore temporal becoming would be negated.
    8. On 4-7 this would given you a timeless, changeless, spaceless, immaterial, very powerful person agent as the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space-time region.
    9. Such a being is recognisable as a minimalist definition of what historically to the present is known as God.
    10. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that God is the efficient cause of the whole of the connected space time region, but this necessitates the existence of God hence it is reasonable to believe that God more plausibly than not exists. 
    I'm rather fond of a paraphrased quote by the philosopher Daniel Dennett, which I think sums this all up quite nicely:

    "Philosopher's Syndrome: Mistaking the limits of one's own imagination for metaphysical necessity."
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Why?
    You seem to misunderstand the intention of the post which was to demonstrate how the argument looks when all the undergirding presuppositions and all the steps from cause to God are laid out in argument form. It is trivially obvious that support is then required for each disputed premise and it is there that your why questions would be addressed.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    You seem to misunderstand the intention of the post which was to demonstrate how the argument looks when all the undergirding presuppositions and all the steps from cause to God are laid out in argument form. It is trivially obvious that support is then required for each disputed premise and it is there that your why questions would be addressed.
    Keep in mind if you don't explain it, were not likely to understand it.

    The "original" is much easier to understand. I get now that you are trying to take his supporting cases and provide them, but then you need the supporting cases for the supporting cases and so on. All that makes more sens simply as support for a simpler set of claims rather than trying to imbed the first line of support into the argument itself. Then again, it all depends on your goal here.

    Perhaps the problem is you have this in a debate thread so I am presuming you have some case you want to support... perhaps that isn't true.

    So what are you trying to accomplish with the post?
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Keep in mind if you don't explain it, were not likely to understand it.

    The "original" is much easier to understand. I get now that you are trying to take his supporting cases and provide them, but then you need the supporting cases for the supporting cases and so on. All that makes more sens simply as support for a simpler set of claims rather than trying to imbed the first line of support into the argument itself. Then again, it all depends on your goal here.

    Perhaps the problem is you have this in a debate thread so I am presuming you have some case you want to support... perhaps that isn't true.

    So what are you trying to accomplish with the post?
    Yes, I could have been more clear but thought the title kind of gave it away.

    Obviously the 'original' is must easier to understand but it is, on my view, better to know and understand the more fuller fleshed out argument with the key features for it to be successful.

    I also think this more fleshed out form makes it more difficult to get through because of P1 and P2 in respect to the A-theory of time. That is by far not uncontroversial and indeed is marginally the minority view in philosophy and in physics. I don't think I've ever seen a presentation of the Kalam where Craig's opponent challenged the argument on this key aspect and it'd be interesting indeed to see how that played out.

    With this post I am hoping to provide a better understanding of the argument which, for any apologists, similar to myself would be invaluable preperation before any discussion or debate on it. It's also to get feedback from others - my usual objective in starting thread.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    With this post I am hoping to provide a better understanding of the argument which, for any apologists, similar to myself would be invaluable preperation before any discussion or debate on it. It's also to get feedback from others - my usual objective in starting thread.
    I find this construction only muddies the waters and introduces jargon but that's just my take on it. If you find it better illustrates the structure of the argument, then it may well be useful to others.

    Arguments about time
    As for time in Craig's arguments, I find his view of time flawed and have argued it many times here. His argument based on actual infinite is a false analogy because moments in time are not persistent entities and therefore can't form a continuous "real" set and thus no "actual infinity" and thus breaks down his primary objection to the alternative view.

    Time is a measure of change in matter. One moment of time does not form a set with other moments in time. Yesterday and today cannot coexist so they are not part of a real set like two leaves on a tree would be. An infinite series of moments is not a set of infinite moments. It is one universe simply in a changing state of existence, not infinite different universes in progressive states.

    Most defenders of the argument I find simply state that understanding of the big bang is prima-facie evidence that spacetime has a defined beginning. There are of course counter points to that.

    Point of form
    At any rate, this is a debate thread so normally there would be a claim you make and support for it and folks would support or rebut. In this case its more an open discussion, probably best in formal discussions or the like.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    His argument based on actual infinite is a false analogy because moments in time are not persistent entities and therefore can't form a continuous "real" set and thus no "actual infinity" and thus breaks down his primary objection to the alternative view.
    Actual infinities do not require that all points coexist (I'm not even sure what you would mean by this given that we are talking about a temporal dimension, co-exist in relation to what?). Only that the set has been formed, thus that all points have been actualized. It is irrelevant if they no longer exist. Craig's point is about a set when the process of creating the points within this set meets two criteria, both that it formed an infinite number of points and had completed doing so.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Actual infinities do not require that all points coexist (I'm not even sure what you would mean by this given that we are talking about a temporal dimension, co-exist in relation to what?).
    Craig's arguments showing the contradictions of Actual infinities (the infinite library) all show paradoxes dependent on co-existence of the set members.
    To illustrate my point, imagine a single golf ball we put it in a set, then we put it in the set again, then we put it in the set again. Is this a set of 3 golf-balls or just one golf ball? I see it as one golf ball in reality. you could in theory have an infinite set of the one golf ball. Is that an actual infinity or just a golf ball?

    The golf ball here is the universe, each "moment" you propose it is another member of the set, but in truth its just one universe still. Saying each moment is part of a set is taking a single thing and pretending it is infinite things. Moments are just measurements in change of a thing, they are not things themselves. A moment has no existence on its own any more than a number does. It is just representative. Space time is not composed of a series of moments, it is a totality in and of itself describing the way matter behaves in respect to rate of change and distance from other bits of matter.

    Unless you object to the notion that all prime numbers form an actual infinity, there should be no objection to infinite moments forming one. They are part and parcel of the same thing, just a list of concepts, not actualized members of a set subject to paradoxes of infinity made real.

    Craig's point is about a set when the process of creating the points within this set meets two criteria, both that it formed an infinite number of points and had completed doing so.
    http://spot.colorado.edu/~morristo/c...l-infinite.pdf (sorry for the secondary quoting couldn't find a good direct Craig quote quickly but I have read his arguments
    Craig’s main line of argument against the possibility of an actual infinite
    charges that ‘various absurdities’ would result ‘if an actual infinite were to be
    instantiated in the real world’.4 For example, there would be no logical bar to the
    existence of an ‘infinite library’ in which every other book has a red cover and the
    rest have black covers. Such a library would have some quite remarkable – and, to
    Craig’s way of thinking, utterly impossible – properties. One could add as many
    books as one liked without increasing the number of books in the library. One
    could remove any finite number of books without decreasing the size of the library.
    And since the library would have no more red- and black-covered books together
    than black-covered ones alone, one could remove all the red-covered books without
    decreasing the number of books in the collection.


    So here Craig is arguing against actual infinity being possible in the real world and all his arguments are based on actualized sets. Exampled by the infinit library. But moments in time are not like books in a library, they don't co-exist. They are just measures of change in the singular universe of which there is only one, and an infinite set of the same thing is still just one thing when you realize it in the real world.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Craig's arguments showing the contradictions of Actual infinities (the infinite library) all show paradoxes dependent on co-existence of the set members.
    Well that is one of his arguments, the other being the one I described. However, in the context he offers this section of the argument the fact that some are "in the past" doesn't cause a problem. They are all in that set "the past" and thus the same objections (and they aren't Craig's, they are Hilbert's objections) could well apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    To illustrate my point, imagine a single golf ball we put it in a set, then we put it in the set again, then we put it in the set again.
    Are you saying that all temporal points are the same? This example loses the dimensionality of time. There is in time, directions. Later, earlier. That dimensionality wouldn't exist in your example.

    Likewise, the set you are describing (in which a golf ball is placed into the set and then removed to be placed into it again), would best by described as "now." The moment we are in, that passes away to be replaced by another moment.

    But Craig's point is about the set "the past" which is the set of all prior moments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Unless you object to the notion that all prime numbers form an actual infinity, there should be no objection to infinite moments forming one.
    Are prime numbers causally subsequent to one another?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    So here Craig is arguing against actual infinity being possible in the real world and all his arguments are based on actualized sets.
    But he isn't implying or requiring that the books actually exist, they are an example. All that matters is that they have all been placed, via a sequential process into a set. That they currently exist in that set or not is irrelevant.

    Look at it this way. If I was to break a glass and then say that glass was in the set of "destroyed glasses" and then repeat the process over and over again, the fact that that set "destroyed glasses" doesn't contain any glasses doesn't mean the process can be actually infinite (IE I've broken an infinite number of glasses).
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    It might help (or not) to consider what Craig considers to be an actual infinite which doesn't seem to match what is proposed by Sigfried above..

    "In order to understand (2.1), we need to understand the difference between a potential infinite and an actual infinite. Crudely put, a potential infinite is a collection which is increasing toward infinity as a limit, but never gets there. Such a collection is really indefinite, not infinite. The sign of this sort of infinity, which is used in calculus, is ¥. An actual infinite is a collection in which the number of members really is infinite. The collection is not growing toward infinity; it is infinite, it is "complete." The sign of this sort of infinity, which is used in set theory to designate sets which have an infinite number of members, such as {1, 2, 3, . . .}, is À0. Now (2.11) maintains, not that a potentially infinite number of things cannot exist, but that an actually infinite number of things cannot exist. For if an actually infinite number of things could exist, this would spawn all sorts of absurdities."

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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Well that is one of his arguments, the other being the one I described. However, in the context he offers this section of the argument the fact that some are "in the past" doesn't cause a problem. They are all in that set "the past" and thus the same objections (and they aren't Craig's, they are Hilbert's objections) could well apply.
    Who is Hilbert in this case? So far as I know Craig is the one who argues about the infinite library as an illustration as to why actual infinities are logically contradictory or irrational if realized.

    Are you saying that all temporal points are the same? This example loses the dimensionality of time. There is in time, directions. Later, earlier. That dimensionality wouldn't exist in your example.
    Yes, all temporal points are essentially the same, and yes the "dimensionality" of time is just a mental construct, not an actual thing. Just like the number 1 has meaning but it doesn't exist in and of itself. Time is a measure not a thing.

    Likewise, the set you are describing (in which a golf ball is placed into the set and then removed to be placed into it again), would best by described as "now." The moment we are in, that passes away to be replaced by another moment.
    Not placed and removed, just placed over and over again, the same golf-ball in each member of the set. And yes now, now is put into this infinite set over and over and over again. It is one thing, the universe. Not a whole bunch of different universes stacked on top of one another in a temporal set. The one universe over and over infinitely "pointed to" at different states.

    Take the golf ball and spin it. Then put put a snapshot in the set every second. Its still the same golf ball over and over again. An infinite set of it is still just the one golf ball not an infinite number of books in a library that you can take one out and then wow, there are still just as many books there, crazy. Well if its all just representations of the same book that isn't at all contradictory.

    But Craig's point is about the set "the past" which is the set of all prior moments.
    Moments don't exist. You can't store them up, keep them in a jar or collect them in a realized set. Moments are just an instance of looking at a real thing in a given state. The fact it can have different states doesn't make it more than one thing in different moments.

    Are prime numbers causally subsequent to one another?
    Effectively yes, otherwise you could put 7 in every position in the set. Only by having a sequence of them can they have individual meaning as distinct. 13 cant be the next prime in the sequence unless 7 was the prior number in the sequence.

    But he isn't implying or requiring that the books actually exist, they are an example. All that matters is that they have all been placed, via a sequential process into a set. That they currently exist in that set or not is irrelevant.
    It does matter though. He is appealing to a sense of "ya that is impossible" by making all the books be in the library and then manipulating the set and saying, "you can't actually have that happen can you?" And of course the answer is no because when you take a set of what is really the same book and multiply it infinately and try to make them all in the library with one another things get broken. But its broken not because the set is illogical but because trying to turn a set of the same thing into a coexistent set of different things is illogical. Its a broken analogy. Really there would be only one book in there, just infinite variations of it are available. Take the book out and you have all the books. Take one snapshot of the book out (say you photo copy it) and you have a copy of one state that book but the book is still there.

    Look, it doesn't even work with finite sets. Take your own life. Lets make all the moments of your life and put them in a library. Now take one squatch out of the library, that means a moment of your life doesn't exist anymore. So how do all the past and future moments exist without that moment removed? They can't because you are not a series of squatches but one squatch that has been changing since you were conceived. You are not a plank constant set of squatches but one squatch. You don't exist itrerratively you just exist persistently.

    Look at it this way. If I was to break a glass and then say that glass was in the set of "destroyed glasses" and then repeat the process over and over again, the fact that that set "destroyed glasses" doesn't contain any glasses doesn't mean the process can be actually infinite (IE I've broken an infinite number of glasses).[/QUOTE]

    How do you destroy the same glass over and over like that? To break infinite glasses you must have infinite glasses to start with. You don't.

    Take a mobeus trip and start traversing it. You could travel on it for infinity, does that mean it is infinitely long? No, it just means you are piling up endless iterations of the same fixed thing. There is one universe, you can change it infinite times and it is still just one universe.

    ---------- Post added at 01:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    It might help (or not) to consider what Craig considers to be an actual infinite which doesn't seem to match what is proposed by Sigfried above..
    I understand it well, but its the part where he says "For if an actually infinite number of things could exist, this would spawn all sorts of absurdities." is key here.

    Moments in time don't "exist" the way books in a library do. They "exist" in the way numbers do. that is they are references we use to apply to things that do exist. What we apply time to is the universe, and there is only one of those, not an infinite number of them. Time is a measurement, not a thing. What it measures is the universe and there is by definition one of them.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I understand it well, but its the part where he says "For if an actually infinite number of things could exist, this would spawn all sorts of absurdities." is key here.

    Moments in time don't "exist" the way books in a library do. They "exist" in the way numbers do. that is they are references we use to apply to things that do exist. What we apply time to is the universe, and there is only one of those, not an infinite number of them. Time is a measurement, not a thing. What it measures is the universe and there is by definition one of them.
    So Craig is saying that an actually infinite number of things cannot exist in reality and you seem to be saying the same? If you are positing the existence of an actual infinite then what is it?
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    So Craig is saying that an actually infinite number of things cannot exist in reality and you seem to be saying the same? If you are positing the existence of an actual infinite then what is it?
    Craig claims that an infinite history, aka a universe without a point of temporal origin is impossible because it would be an actualized actual infinity. I am saying that it would not be an actualized actual infinity. It is simply one universe that is in a perpetual state of change, not some imagined infinite series of universes in each moment of time as he would have us see it.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Can you point out where Craigs makes the claim you ascribe to him? The Kalam I am aware of runs like this and maybe you see this as equivalent to what you posted:

    " 2.1 Argument based on the impossibility of an
    actual infinite.

    2.11 An actual infinite cannot exist.
    2.12 An infinite temporal regress of
    events is an actual infinite.
    2.13 Therefore, an infinite temporal
    regress of events cannot exist.

    2.2 Argument based on the impossibility of
    the formation of an actual infinite by
    successive addition.

    2.21 A collection formed by successive
    addition cannot be actually infinite.
    2.22 The temporal series of past events
    is a collection formed by successive
    addition.
    2.23 Therefore, the temporal series of
    past events cannot be actually
    infinite.

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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    Can you point out where Craigs makes the claim you ascribe to him? The Kalam I am aware of runs like this and maybe you see this as equivalent to what you posted:

    " 2.1 Argument based on the impossibility of an
    actual infinite.

    2.11 An actual infinite cannot exist.
    If an actual infinite cannot exist then surely God cannot exist either since he is 'eternal'. I didn't think disproving God would be so easy!

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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotsmanmatt View Post
    Can you point out where Craigs makes the claim you ascribe to him? The Kalam I am aware of runs like this and maybe you see this as equivalent to what you posted:
    See the quote I posted in post #9. It describes Craig's primary argument for the impossibility of an actual infinite.
    2.11 An actual infinite cannot exist.
    2.12 An infinite temporal regress of
    events is an actual infinite.
    In this one he uses the hotel instead of the library but the argument is not any different.

    But Hilbert's Hotel is even stranger than the German mathematician gave it out to be. For suppose some of the guests start to check out. Suppose the guest in room #1 departs. Is there not now one less person in the hotel? Not according to the mathematicians-but just ask the woman who makes the beds! Suppose the guests in room numbers 1, 3, 5, . . . check out. In this case an infinite number of people have left the hotel, but according to the mathematicians there are no less people in the hotel-but don't talk to that laundry woman! In fact, we could have every other guest check out of the hotel and repeat this process infinitely many times, and yet there would never be any less people in the hotel. But suppose instead the persons in room number 4, 5, 6, . . . checked out. At a single stroke the hotel would be virtually emptied, the guest register reduced to three names, and the infinite converted to finitude. And yet it would remain true that the same number of guests checked out this time as when the guests in room numbers 1, 3, 5, . . . checked out. Can anyone sincerely believe that such a hotel could exist in reality? These sorts of absurdities illustrate the impossibility of the existence of an actually infinite number of things.
    And as usual the problem is he's got an example where you have different things in different rooms all together. Coexistent. But with moments in time it is not like that. On moment in time doesn't exist alongside other moments in time. When one moment passes to the next that moment is no more. There is only ever one existing moment in time. It is not infinite, it is singular. He utterly misrepresents how time works and uses an analogy that confuses the reader as to the nature of time. An easy mistake to make but a mistake none the less.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    And as usual the problem is he's got an example where you have different things in different rooms all together. Coexistent. But with moments in time it is not like that. On moment in time doesn't exist alongside other moments in time. When one moment passes to the next that moment is no more. There is only ever one existing moment in time. It is not infinite, it is singular. He utterly misrepresents how time works and uses an analogy that confuses the reader as to the nature of time. An easy mistake to make but a mistake none the less.


    This is a view of time called presentism, and there are many rival conceptions of time. What's your argument for why anyone should accept that your account of time is true?


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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    This is a view of time called presentism, and there are many rival conceptions of time. What's your argument for why anyone should accept that your account of time is true?
    I can't say I have a lot of practice at that but I will say that the view I hold is very consistent with the current understanding of science and with any particular experiment/prediction you might want to make. It also satisfies a lot of otherwise thorny problems that require special pleading to solve. The cosmological argument is one example.

    At its root it says that all things that exist have a cause but then special pleads there must be an uncased first cause. and then because in this version it argues for temporal limits it argues this first cause must be outside of time or essentially timeless. Another word for eternally present, which is nothing more than what I'd claim for anything that exists. Why make an argument for timeless things and temporal things just so you can try to explain the temporal thing when there is the obvious and far more consistent argument that all things are present existent?

    When talking about these things you will hear such questions as "Does Socrates exsit?" In Presentism the answer would be no. And at face value clearly he doesn't. The non-presentism (however that is called) he does exist just in a different spot on the timeline and indeed we know of him as a hisorical figure so we presume he did exist and in that context yes, existing. But you can easily reconcile these buy understanding that Socrates is an arrangement of the universe, not something independent of it. Every atom that composed him still exists, but they are no longer arranged in a "Socrates pattern" Indeed each moment of your life you are different than the last. We humans categorize and identify by pattern and enough pattern remains we keep calling you you. The existing part however isn't in question.... so... The existence of Socrates is only a question of historical accuracy ( if such a man were ) because physically if he ever did exist the matter and energy that composed him still does exist. Socrates is present with us materially, just not in any pattern we would classify as Socrates by subjective judgement.

    Further lets examine a classic of relativity: relative velocity. We know that time is relative and that if you say accelerate a plane relative to the earth time travels more slowly on the plane than on the earth, yet the earth and the plane are clearly still existent with one another in the "present." They can interact in various ways. The relative difference in time is not creating separate "instances" or coexistent reality. All that is happening is the change in similar matter happens at differing rates relative to one another. That is why it is relativity after all. They are not generating more or less moments than one another they are simply changing at different rates relative to one another.

    Time travel often comes up here because in theory if you go faster than the speed of light time would go backwards, time travel right? Not so much really. You indeed go backwards in time, but that just means you relative to other things. You would get younger, like rewinding a video tape (dating myself a bit) but the rest of the living room is still going forward. When you finish your time trip "you" are younger. But the rest of the world is not. You didn't move into a past time instance, you simply changed the arrow of material action for yourself. The idea you can visit your past doesn't make sense because it is relative time, not you driving time for everything else. (this should not be confused with light and its speed which lets you see the "past", something people sometimes mix into the relativity argument because it involves the speed of light)

    Now on the other side of the argument there simply aren't any good illustrations (that I have seen) we can examine and see it play out consistently. They tend to be tricks of the imagination where we posit our mental image of the past is the past itself. Its like taking a picture of a dog and saying it is the dog. Just because the past lives in your mind, doesn't mean it lives in reality beyond that mental construct. All the logical paradoxes of interventionist time travel come to the fore when we think about the past and future as coexistent and interaction actively.
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    Re: How the Kalam Cosmological Argument Looks to Me when Fleshed Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Who is Hilbert in this case? So far as I know Craig is the one who argues about the infinite library as an illustration as to why actual infinities are logically contradictory or irrational if realized.
    I was referring to David Hilbert, the mathematician. The argument you are referencing is Hilbert’s, not Craig’s originally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Yes, all temporal points are essentially the same, and yes the "dimensionality" of time is just a mental construct, not an actual thing. Just like the number 1 has meaning but it doesn't exist in and of itself. Time is a measure not a thing.
    You’d have to offer support as to why this would be the case, modern physics uses time as an actual thing not some kind of abstract object.

    Time has the same dimensional qualities as any point in space. The location of an object is displayed by giving its X,Y,Z, and T coordinates. Time is an essential part of both quantum mechanics and relativity. Neither field treats it like a mental construct. Time is affected by gravity and by velocity, both of which indicate it isn’t just a mental construct.

    As loathe as I am to reference Wiki, they do have a good explanation of this concept here:

    Spacetimes are the arenas in which all physical events take place—an event is a point in spacetime specified by its time and place. For example, the motion of planets around the sun may be described in a particular type of spacetime, or the motion of light around a rotating star may be described in another type of spacetime. The basic elements of spacetime are events. In any given spacetime, an event is a unique position at a unique time. Because events are spacetime points, an example of an event in classical relativistic physics is , the location of an elementary (point-like) particle at a particular time. A spacetime itself can be viewed as the union of all events in the same way that a line is the union of all of its points, formally organized into a manifold, a space which can be described at small scales using coordinate systems.
    A spacetime is independent of any observer. However, in describing physical phenomena (which occur at certain moments of time in a given region of space), each observer chooses a convenient metrical coordinate system. Events are specified by four real numbers in any such coordinate system. The trajectories of elementary (point-like) particles through space and time are thus a continuum of events called the world line of the particle. Extended or composite objects (consisting of many elementary particles) are thus a union of many world lines twisted together by virtue of their interactions through spacetime into a "world-braid".
    However, in physics, it is common to treat an extended object as a "particle" or "field" with its own unique (e.g., center of mass) position at any given time, so that the world line of a particle or light beam is the path that this particle or beam takes in the spacetime and represents the history of the particle or beam. The world line of the orbit of the Earth (in such a description) is depicted in two spatial dimensions x and y (the plane of the Earth's orbit) and a time dimension orthogonal to x and y. The orbit of the Earth is an ellipse in space alone, but its world line is a helix in spacetime.[13]
    The unification of space and time is exemplified by the common practice of selecting a metric (the measure that specifies the interval between two events in spacetime) such that all four dimensions are measured in terms of units of distance: representing an event as (in the Lorentz metric) or (in the original Minkowski metric) where is the speed of light.[14] The metrical descriptions of Minkowski Space and spacelike, lightlike, and timelike intervals given below follow this convention, as do the conventional formulations of the Lorentz transformation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime


    I would strongly recommend the following page as a good introduction to this: http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teachi...ime/index.html



    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Not placed and removed, just placed over and over again, the same golf-ball in each member of the set.
    In what sense can you place the same physical golf ball into a set repeatedly without removing it? How do you put an item in a box twice without having removed it from the box? That would seem to make your analogy nonsensical.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    And yes now, now is put into this infinite set over and over and over again. It is one thing, the universe. Not a whole bunch of different universes stacked on top of one another in a temporal set.
    No one argued that it is a whole bunch of different universes stacked on top of one another. Think of time more like we think of a physical dimension. Think of a plane. If I were to draw a line on that plane at Y=5, I wouldn’t say that that is just a bunch of Y’s stacked on top of each other. I would say the line represents Y at different relations to X. The same is true of time. Now is the universe at one relation to t, yesterday is the same universe at a different relation to t.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Take the golf ball and spin it. Then put put a snapshot in the set every second. Its still the same golf ball over and over again. An infinite set of it is still just the one golf ball not an infinite number of books in a library that you can take one out and then wow, there are still just as many books there, crazy. Well if its all just representations of the same book that isn't at all contradictory.
    But you’ve stumbled onto Craig’s other objection. Your set of pictures, is it ever infinite? Can it be actually infinite?

    There are two answers. 1) No, of course not, you can’t count to infinity. This answer is the one I would hold and is Craig’s second objection to that idea.

    2) Sure somehow, then the set of pictures you have is an actual infinite. That actual infinite displays some logically incoherent properties as described by Hilbert.

    It doesn’t matter that it is the same golf ball, what matters is whether the number of pictures is infinite or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Effectively yes, otherwise you could put 7 in every position in the set.
    That makes them ordered, it doesn’t make them causally prior, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    Look, it doesn't even work with finite sets. Take your own life. Lets make all the moments of your life and put them in a library. Now take one squatch out of the library, that means a moment of your life doesn't exist anymore.
    Having read more of your response now I think my point above about how physics treats time as a dimension is even more relevant. You seem to be confusing the objects described by a dimension with the dimension itself.

    Here you conflate the term “moments” of my life with “Squatch” as if I were the same thing as the moments of my life. Clearly those are two separate concepts. A moment is a relational phrase concerning physical dimensionality’s relationship to a specific point in a temporal dimension. It is the Ys in relationship to a single X if we were thinking of our plane above.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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