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  1. #301
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You are the one providing examples of rearranging matter/energy in our observable universe (even "creating" a piece of art is still matter/energy/brain-states being rearranged in an already-existing universe), all the while claiming that these examples serve to support your assertion that the "universe" (however you define it - still not clear/coherent) "began to exist" (again, however you define it - still not clear/coherent).
    This will not go any further until you clarify the terms as you are using them in order to avoid ambiguity, and it's just one more example of why you need to please leave the scientisting to the scientists.
    If you refuse to address Squatch's argument, for whatever reason you care to forward, then his argument stands until a valid rebuttal is offered.

    And really this "leave the scientisting to the scientists" is not a valid rebuttal and seems pretty trollish to me. At ODN, non-scientists (which is pretty much everyone here) are free to have scientific debates and if they provide support as defined by ODN then it's support and it stands as support until someone presents a valid counter-argument. Implying that someone is personally unfit to make a scientific argument because they aren't scientist is pretty much a personal attack and as it serves absolutely no valid purpose in debate and therefore seems to be designed to annoy Squatch.

    So either way, his last post was not addressed by anything that qualifies as a valid rebuttal so it stands until one is provided.

  2. #302
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    That's a good way of putting it, I'd say. Even the very concept of supernatural is incoherent, since the moment we have even the slightest demonstrable idea of what's actually going on within the until-then claimed supernatural realm, it would de facto become part of the natural realm, and our understanding of the natural realm would simply be expanded to include the new knowledge (ie: more of the box would be illuminated). Theists' cherry-picking of scientific models that even have the slightest whiff of something they can twist into support for their claimed supernatural entity(ies) is nothing more than a god of the gaps.
    That's why the question, "What do you mean by 'nature'" is so important...and why it so seldom gets answered.

    If there is a "god"...the god is almost certainly a part of nature...and is NOT supernatural.

  3. #303
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If you refuse to address Squatch's argument, for whatever reason you care to forward, then his argument stands until a valid rebuttal is offered.
    I have not refused to address it, and have rebutted it. I have pointed out why his argument is incoherent and requested clarification of the terms he is using multiple times. Each time he has avoided doing so, which further illustrates his reliance on ambiguity, which I have also already pointed out.
    The leaving the scientisting to the scientists is only intended to communicate the fact that no valid conclusions will be reached by arguing the way in which he has been arguing. So if Squatch, or yourself, want to actually get to the bottom of this, it will have to be clarified, since it is currently incoherent. If you want to say that providing examples of one process (changes in matter/energy) as support for a completely different process (everything that exists beginning to exist) is fulfilling the requirements for "support as defined by ODN", then there really isn't much else to say, and ODN really is the perfect echo chamber it appears to have been designed to be.

  4. #304
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I have not refused to address it, and have rebutted it.
    A valid rebuttal attempts to show why the challenged argument is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I have pointed out why his argument is incoherent and requested clarification of the terms he is using multiple times.
    Which is not the same as attempting to show why his argument is wrong and therefore not a valid rebuttal.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Each time he has avoided doing so, which further illustrates his reliance on ambiguity, which I have also already pointed out.
    That's your assessment of his debating which I don't think is even correct but that's just a difference of opinion. So I understand your opinion on his debating style but that still does not equate a rebuttal to his argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The leaving the scientisting to the scientists is only intended to communicate the fact that no valid conclusions will be reached by arguing the way in which he has been arguing.
    That's not how it reads. You are actually requesting that he not engaging in "scientisting" (as in only scientists should do that) which likewise indicates that he is incapable (since he's not a scientist) of adequately conveying scientific concepts which likewise indicates that you will always find his scientific explanations lacking.

    But anyway, you should stop requesting that he not do that.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    So if Squatch, or yourself, want to actually get to the bottom of this, it will have to be clarified, since it is currently incoherent. If you want to say that providing examples of one process (changes in matter/energy) as support for a completely different process (everything that exists beginning to exist) is fulfilling the requirements for "support as defined by ODN", then there really isn't much else to say
    I don't say that.

    If Squatch is indeed providing examples of one process (changes in matter/energy) as support for a completely different process, then his support is invalid. And if I were debating him, I would point out that his support is invalid and why it's invalid. So go ahead and do THAT and I will agree that you have rebutted his argument. And the fact that you apparently recognize that that is what he is doing (assuming it is) means that you have an adequate understanding of his argument to generate a rebuttal.

    But refusing to rebut his argument, for whatever reason you care to forward for refusing to "move forward" is a non-rebuttal and leaves his argument standing.

  5. #305
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    A valid rebuttal attempts to show why the challenged argument is wrong.
    Really, his argument doesn't even make it to the rebuttal stage because his premise is incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Which is not the same as attempting to show why his argument is wrong and therefore not a valid rebuttal.
    Your opinion is noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    That's your assessment of his debating which I don't think is even correct but that's just a difference of opinion. So I understand your opinion on his debating style but that still does not equate a rebuttal to his argument.
    No, it's not an "assessment/opinion of his debating style". I have specifically pointed out equivocation/ambiguity in his language and how it ties into the flaws in his premises in posts # 263, 281, 283, 285, 287, 290, while repeatedly asking him to clarify his language in order for him to avoid this ambiguity.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    That's not how it reads. You are actually requesting that he not engaging in "scientisting" (as in only scientists should do that) which likewise indicates that he is incapable (since he's not a scientist) of adequately conveying scientific concepts which likewise indicates that you will always find his scientific explanations lacking.
    Again, I have explained why I have expressed this sentiment, and I don't care how it reads to you. From the very beginning, I said that, in order to actually get to the bottom of this, non-scientists need to stop scientisting. From the initial statement, it should be clear to anyone that the intention there is to maximize our chances of getting to the bottom of this. Obviously, only scientists should be doing the kind of scientisting that gets to the bottom of things. So as long as his scientific statements are lacking (which I've explained how they are), I'll continue to request that he leave the scientisting to scientists so that we can achieve the goal of getting to the bottom of this.

    Since you did indicate that it seems trollish to you, a mod, I'll point out that I have clearly expressed my intentions with the phrase from the very beginning, and also above to you twice, and that those intentions have not been to provoke, annoy, upset, antagonize, mock, denigrate, or belittle.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    If Squatch is indeed providing examples of one process (changes in matter/energy) as support for a completely different process, then his support is invalid. And if I were debating him, I would point out that his support is invalid and why it's invalid. So go ahead and do THAT and I will agree that you have rebutted his argument.
    First of all, it doesn't matter whether you agree that I have rebutted his argument. Second, to be clear, the initial challenge was to provide a coherent definition for "going from not existing to existing", as we have no actual examples of this. So he has not been providing examples as support for a process, he has been attempting to providing examples of a process which so far isn't even coherent.
    In any case, here is where I have pointed out that those examples are invalid and why:
    #281 - Again, this is equivocating between the usage of "created" in the change from wood to chair and the usage in P1 of "begin to exist" meaning a change from non-existence to existence. If you want to use the wood-chair comparison for the universe, you need to offer the "wood", or material from which the universe came

    #283 - You are using the "creation" of a chair (meaning the change from wood to a chair - something existed and then something else existed, the process between them being called "creation") as a comparison and proof that the universe was created (meaning the change from the universe not existing to the universe existing - nothing existing and then something existing, the process between them also being called "creation"). Your use of creation with the chair and the universe is ambiguous, as the processes are not the same. If you want to commit to using wood-chair as proof of "creation", then you by definition are saying that the universe resulted from the same kind of process as wood-chair.

    #283 - I mean the two examples you provided as support for the creation of the universe (wood-chair, which isn't valid since it's a different kind of creation, and virtual particles, which aren't valid since their creation isn't actually observed)

    #283 - All you've offered is observed instances of things beginning to exist (in the case of wood-chair), and not-observed instances of things beginning to exist (in the case of virtual particles, only their effects have been observed), both of which take place inside an already-existing universe.

    #285 - Again, your examples "begin to exist" in an already-existing universe. Are you saying that the universe began to exist in an already-existing universe? If not, then you are using "begin to exist" ambiguously.

    #287 - These are both more examples of things beginning to exist in an already-existing universe. Bottom line: you're trying to convince people of the kind of "begin to exist" where the universe (everything that exists, reality, etc.) did not exist and then it did, by providing examples of "begin to exist" which are precisely not that, all while hiding behind ambiguity in the language you are using.

    #287 - No, again, I'm saying that the statement is incoherent until you provide a clear definition of "begin to exist" which doesn't rely on ambiguity between what you're actually trying to support and the examples you've provided such as wood-chair.

    #290 - It matters because every example you've provided involves a process which requires an already-existing universe. You simply can't then apply the same principle to the universe itself, and call those examples support for what you're claiming the universe is doing when it's not the same process.

    #293 - I'm merely pointing out that they don't serve as examples due to the different process they describe. If you are trying to describe the process of something beginning to exist and provide examples, then you must provide examples which describe a similar process.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And the fact that you apparently recognize that that is what he is doing (assuming it is) means that you have an adequate understanding of his argument to generate a rebuttal.
    No, it means that I have an adequate understanding of critical thinking in order to identify when something doesn't even make sense, and especially that when offering a definition and examples in support of an unknown process, you don't get to just ignore the actual process and provide examples of a different process.

  6. #306
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Squatch, I'm posting this response despite frustration that you have continuously refused to clarify your terms and how you're using them. However, if you once again fail to provide clarification and instead want to continue to rely on ambiguous language, I won't be engaging with you any further, since we're pretty much repeating ourselves at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But they are different, in your view because they occur within the temporal/physical dimensions of this universe, right? That was your argument above, is that still your position?
    It would depend on how you are defining "universe", which I've repeatedly asked you to clarify.
    Question to opponent.How are you using the term "universe", and what was there before the universe began to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    But you are making the argument that the principle of causation doesn't apply outside our physical/temporal dimensions.
    No, I'm pointing out that the principle of causation has only been observed within our universe. Again, "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" isn't even a coherent concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If it does, then you need to explain why that principle is limited to dimensionality.
    No, the burden is on you to first support that there is even something outside dimensionality in which any principles could apply.
    Question to opponent.If you're referring to the universe as all of dimensional spacetime and everything which exists, then what are you even talking about when you refer to something outside this?
    Question to opponent.What is that, and what properties does/could it have?
    Question to opponent.Do you have any support for any claims you make regarding it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If not, you need to explain how the "process" is different between the examples and premise.
    The initial challenge was for you to define the concept of "going from not existing to existing" since we had no examples of this. You then started providing examples of changes in existing matter/energy, which don't serve as examples of the actual process of "going from not existing to existing" but only examples of "situations in which one could say that something began to exist".
    I mean seriously, how often do we actually say, "That chair began to exist", especially when the actual process behind it is considered in more detail? Maybe at the beginning someone might say that the chair began to exist, but the second you actually start asking about the actual process, we find that it's nothing like "going from not existing to existing", but simply a change in existing matter/energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Can you explain the process of virtual particles coming into existence and how that is different than the term begin used in the KCA? Please be specific.
    First of all, virtual particles coming into existence has not been observed, only their effects. Second, I already answered this the first time I responded to your virtual particles example in post # 281: "even if we accepted virtual particles as changing from demonstrably and actually not-existing to demonstrably and actually existing, this would still not be comparable to the change from non-existence to existence which you are applying to the universe, if for the sole reason that the virtual particles would begin to exist inside this universe.
    Again, if you want to use the process of virtual particles going from not existing to existing as an example of the process of the universe going from not existing to existing, then you are by definition referring to a process which takes place inside a universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Can you explain how, when the information contained in Beethoven's 5th Symphony began to exist, that that was simply a "change in matter and energy" as you claim?
    Beethoven's mind state changed from not having composed the 5th to having composed the 5th through the process of composing. This is a change in matter/energy. "Compose" basically means "to make or form by combining things, parts, or elements".

    Or you could do a simple thought experiment to demonstrate why the 5th "coming into existence" is nothing more than changes in matter/energy:
    Imagine that all the papers, discs, vinyls, etc (all physical recordings & sheet music) of the 5th were shredded beyond repair. No chance of ever getting the 5th from them. Just mush.
    Next, all the people who knew 5th in any capacity (whole thing, bits & pieces) died. Just rotting bodies in the ground.

    Would the information referred to as the 5th still "exist"? No, it would be forgotten, because the matter & energy that had previously changed into "the 5th" changed into "not the 5th". Nothing was created or destroyed, and nothing began or ceased to exist. It's all just changes in existing matter & energy within an existing universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This is not a valid response. I am quoting a well respected physicist. Can you explain how Prof. Vilenkin is incorrect?
    Again, Professor Sean Carroll points out in his debate with Craig: "The theorem is only about classical descriptions of the universe, not about the universe itself." He points out other flaws, while also pointing out that even one of the theorem's authors, Alan Guth, suspects that the universe is very likely eternal, and had no beginning (while clarifying, of course, that we don't know for sure). So again, we just don't know, and anyone who claims to know based on theorems such as the BGV are engaging in incoherent absurdity.
    Professor Lawrence Krauss also explains in his debate with Craig why BGV cannot be used in this way, and even provides support in the form of an email from Vilenkin himself to Krauss who further explains this and echoes Carroll's explanation of the "classical" issue. (https://youtu.be/V82uGzgoajI?t=22m45s)
    Bottom line - even Vilenkin doesn't think Craig's use of BGV is valid.
    But it's good that we're leaving the scientisting to the scientists (not Craig). Let's agree to let them do their job and hopefully get to the bottom of this soon. Engaging in pointless equivocation in order to support one's arbitrary and irrational beliefs won't get us anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    How so? If all the different ways we use the term "begin to exist" require a cause, how is the statement "all things that begin to exist have a cause" untrue? It would appear a patent tautology.
    The point, again, is that they're examples of a different process than that which is applied in the KCA. You're providing examples of something different than what you've been challenged to support, and claiming that since those had causes, then what you're trying to support also had a cause. The fact that the examples had a cause is irrelevant because they're not valid examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Rather, we can show causal events absent any temporal dimension
    Please give more detail, since you're essentially saying that we've observed something outside our current spacetime dimensions. Again, causal set theory is something which is applied to spacetime, so time is necessarily involved in any process described by causal set theory, even if the theory doesn't refer to time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    As important, it is unsupported. Please support or retract that causal chain require a temporal aspect as you claim in post 290.
    Please indicate where I claimed this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    This is an appeal to ignorance fallacy.
    No, it's a fact. So if you want to claim that there is an "outside of our spacetime", feel free to support that before you try to claim that it's possible for something to have objective reality or being there. And then feel free to support that. Failing this, all you're doing is making absurd statements shielded in ambiguity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If it is not, in fact, your claim that all things which exist must be present within our universe, than you've offered no objection to the definition given. Which is it? Is existence confined to our universe (please support) or is it not (then we accept the standard definition of exist).
    Again, it would depend on how you are defining "universe", which I've repeatedly asked you to clarify.
    Question to opponent.How are you using the term "universe", and what was there before the universe began to exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You'll need to elaborate on what you mean there and how those are different.
    Well, for one, "beginning to exist" has not yet been coherently defined. So far you have only offered examples of changes in existing matter/energy.
    The main difference is due to the fact that the models which include a beginning to the universe are based on the observable universe as we know it. Whether the observable universe as we know it did not exist prior to the beginning proposed in the model, or whether it did exist, just in a different form, is either not covered by models with beginnings, or the models disagree with each other. So again, it's a black box, and we just don't know, so it's best to leave the scientisting to the scientists - if you want to get to the bottom of this, of course - if you'd rather engage in absurdity and ambiguity in order to support your pre-existing irrational beliefs, then by all means, keep up the good work! Just don't expect any rational skeptics to be convinced by your incoherent arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Please support or retract that "no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist."
    LOL, it's always funny when such challenges start flying around. In any case, here's my support: I checked, and could not find any serious/reputable cosmologists asserting that the universe actually began to exist. Again, this is "begin to exist", not "had a beginning". If you know of any, feel free to provide them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I did back in post 286: Thus, begins to exist means "Expressing the result of a process or action where the object comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being."
    Again, this is ambiguous, since all your examples of "comes into being" are nothing more than changes in existing matter/energy within an existing universe. Really, this would all be made a lot simpler if you'd simply provide the clarification which has repeatedly been requested and we can go from there:
    Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing universe - that's literally what reality is: the universe, unless you're applying a different meaning, since you did not clarify that as I recommended.
    Question to opponent.How are you defining "universe" in P2, and what was there, if anything, before the universe "began to exist"?
    Please answer the questions, otherwise, P1 will remain incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Please be specific in how that definition is "incoherent" in the argument put forward. In fact, just to limit the goal post fallacy, please support or retract that this definition is incoherent when used in the following sentences as you claim.

    1) All things that begin to exist have a cause.
    We have no examples of anything that "begins to exist" - only examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe. Again, first you need to clarify how you are using the term "universe" here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    2) The universe began to exist.
    This is unsupported. There are current models which include a beginning to the observable universe as we know it, but whether it didn't exist before then is not conclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Translated, please explain how these sentences are incoherent;

    1) All things that express the result of a process or action where the object comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being, has a cause.
    We have no examples of anything "coming into being", just examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe. Really, "come into being" is in many way just as nebulous and ambiguous as "begin to exist" so any use of it exhibits the same issues. Please provide some examples of these "things that express the result of a process where the object comes into being", which aren't actually just changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    2) The universe expressed the result of a process or action where the universe comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being.
    Unsupported. Even the BB model doesn't say that all of reality (if that's how you're using "universe" - you still haven't clarified despite numerous requests) began to exist.
    Last edited by futureboy; April 13th, 2018 at 06:03 AM.

  7. #307
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    How are you using the term "universe", and what was there before the universe began to exist?
    I don’t think you’ve asked me specifically to define that term until now, perhaps I missed it. My understanding is that you’ve maintained your own definition (“everything that has objective reality or being”) which you offered no support for.

    To answer your question succinctly, I hold to the definition used in most cosmology or physics text books which is, unfortunately, a bit technical. I would define universe to mean here “the entirety of a connected spacetime manifold.”

    While the lay and technical definition do differ in some language, they generally are the same thing. A universe is a set of dimensions governed by physical laws and geometric properties. Our universe is the actualized set of physical and temporal dimensions in which the matter and energy we observe exists. This definition is the one (though obviously language differs from source to source) used in most physics and cosmology textbooks.

    The lay definition is:
    All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/universe

    And more technical source definitions argue for essentially the same thing:
    Caltech defines it as the total celestial cosmos, which implies the physical and temporal dimensions we exist within and all the matter and energy contained therein. http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/G...lossary_U.html

    Term universe describing a set of physical and temporal dimensions in which matter and energy are contained: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1803.07095.pdf

    Universe as a term defining the physical and temporal dimensions undergoing expansion along the temporal axis: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.07676.pdf

    The physical and temporal dimensions containing matter and energy : https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.07372.pdf

    Cosmology as the study of matter and energy within the physical and temporal dimensions that are the universe: https://www.worldscientific.com/worl...s/10.1142/p701

    Cosmology as the attempt to model how matter and energy interact within the physical laws governing the universe: https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Cosmol.../dp/0122191412

    Our universe is the matter and energy contained within our physical dimension set: http://physics.sharif.edu/~cosmology...tt%20Roots.pdf

    The universe is a four dimensional object with properties governed by physical laws and its geometry (I would recommend chapter 4): http://poincare.matf.bg.ac.rs/~zarko..._Cosmology.pdf

    So given that definition, can you detail why those processes described are different as you claimed?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, I'm pointing out that the principle of causation has only been observed within our universe.
    Ok…And? What about its observation within the universe means that it would be limited to this universe? Future, this is your objection. You stated that my examples don’t apply because of the boundary state of our universe. If you are raising the fact that we have only observed causality within our universe, it is incumbent on you to defend why that matters or is cogent to this discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" isn't even a coherent concept.
    Can you detail why it isn’t a coherent concept? It would seem intuitively obvious that it means, in this context, that something is contained within our physical and temporal dimensions.

    For example, the physical constants of our universe are not generally held by physicists to be bound to our universe. They aren’t determined by it, nor governed within it. https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.06944

    It would also generally make sense when used in the context of a multiverse, even if that multiverse does not contain physical or temporal dimensions. https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.08631

    Nor do I think Neil Turok is “incoherent” when he is describing either a process, a constant, or a function as causally before or outside the universe. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1612.02792.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1312.1772.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0404480.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    First of all, virtual particles coming into existence has not been observed, only their effects. Second, I already answered this the first time I responded to your virtual particles example in post # 281: "even if we accepted virtual particles as changing from demonstrably and actually not-existing to demonstrably and actually existing, this would still not be comparable to the change from non-existence to existence which you are applying to the universe, if for the sole reason that the virtual particles would begin to exist inside this universe.
    Again, if you want to use the process of virtual particles going from not existing to existing as an example of the process of the universe going from not existing to existing, then you are by definition referring to a process which takes place inside a universe.
    Gravity has never been observed, only its effects. Quarks have never been observed, just their effects. Measuring inferentially isn’t a problem in science, nor a limitation in validating hypothesis via experimentation. We can set aside your first objection unless you are proposing we set aside the existence of gravity, quarks, photons, etc., etc.

    Your second objection again relies on the distinction between them happening in this spacetime framework. You haven’t defended though how that is materially relevant. (Nor do you understand concepts like quantum tunneling). The reason this objection is hollow is because you didn’t actually describe how virtual particles operate. If you had gone into that detail you would see that your objection here isn’t relevant at all.

    So again, if you really want to maintain that virtual particles are not examples of something beginning to exist (even though your language concedes that they begin to exist here) because they do so within a framework of spacetime, you’ll need to: a) Show that they require such a framework to operate and b) show why that framework invalidates their use as an example of something beginning to exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Beethoven's mind state changed from not having composed the 5th to having composed the 5th through the process of composing…Would the information referred to as the 5th still "exist"? No..
    You are conflating the material something is recorded on with the information itself. [Side note, you say mind, but a more accurate term would be brain since mind is the immaterial variant here, and you are referring solely to information storage via neurons, ie a brain.]

    The underlying flaw I believe is that you don’t have an ontology about, well ontology. You don’t have an underlying philosophical basis for whether something “exists” or not. The stereotypical rebuttal to your position is to ask whether you, future, exist? After all the matter and energy that compose your body and brain are different than they were yesterday, so does that future no longer exist?

    Material reductionism of this sort tends to be self defeating. For example, the electrons that make up the message you are reading are changing. And they are different than the electrons I am using to review it. Does that mean the meaning of the word, “word” differs between our two system? Or is there a shared meaning independent of the specific electrons composing the message?

    If you hold the former, as you imply with your destruction thought experiment, then the actual argument you are putting forward has no meaning. It is simply an arrangement of electrons in a system, different from any other arrangement, void of any kind of non-relative meaning.

    You betray that in your thought experiment by noting we need to destroy everything and everyone with knowledge of the 5th for it to cease to exist. Your thought experiment presupposes that all of those independent papers and recordings and memories are referencing the same identity, a symphony. That there is something that they are all independently recording, an identity they are all referencing.

    You might deny that last paragraph, but to make the conclusion of that denial complete, let’s change the subject of your experiment from the 5th to the statement 1+1=2. If we destroy all text books and grow a generation who never learns math, does 1+1 still equal 2? If no, you are denying the independent use of mathematics as a representation of our universe (which for obvious reasons cannot rely on us knowing mathematics). That would be a pretty bold statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Professor Lawrence Krauss also explains in his debate with Craig why BGV cannot be used in this way, and even provides support in the form of an email from Vilenkin himself to Krauss who further explains this and echoes Carroll's explanation of the "classical" issue. (https://youtu.be/V82uGzgoajI?t=22m45s)
    Bottom line - even Vilenkin doesn't think Craig's use of BGV is valid.
    You should be careful relying too heavily on a single article from debunkingwlc.com (which mirrors your position in this debate all to closely). That site has been known to know follow up on its initial discussions with validation. That failure has led you astray here.

    Prof. Krauss was roundly criticized for the editing of the email he put forward in that discussion. He has, for example, not been invited back by the group hosting that discussion. Dr. Craig reached out to another eminent cosmologist Don Page, to ask if, perhaps he had misconstrued Prof. Vilenken’s work. Prof. Page didn’t think that Prof. Krauss’ discussion was likely faithful to the content of Prof. Vilenkin’s email and reached out to Prof. Vilenkin. And lo and behold, he was right. Prof. Krauss’ language was misrepresentative enough that Prof. Vilenkin forwarded over the entire email and some additional comments. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writ...enkin-theorem/


    It certainly would be odd for Prof. Vilenkin to send Prof. Krauss an email that openly contradicts a large portion of his published work after all.

    So what did Prof. Krauss leave out? “They had to assume though that the minimum of entropy was reached at the bounce and offered no mechanism to enforce this condition. It seems to me that it is essentially equivalent to a beginning.

    Prof. Krauss had said that he deleted this because it was “too technical” but that seems odd given he includes a discussion of negative quantum vacuum conditions. Nor does the sentence even appear that technical.

    Regardless of motive, the fact is, when seen in its entirety, the email does not have Prof. Vilenkin saying that Dr. Craig is using his theorem incorrect. Quite the opposite, as Prof. Vilenkin adds:

    I think you represented what I wrote about the BGV theorem in my papers and to you personally very accurately. This is not to say that you represented my views as to what this implies regarding the existence of God. Which is OK, since I have no special expertise to issue such judgements…
    ibid


    Your understanding of Prof. Carroll’s comments are also limited, and I suspect prejudiced, by the framing from debunking wlc. Prof. Carroll is far too smart of a physicist (and to his undying credit too good of a philosopher) to imply that the BVG theorem doesn’t apply to our own universe. What you are missing, I believe is that Prof. Carroll is making a point that Prof. Krauss tries to exaggerate. Science is not deductive and cannot “prove” something. Thus we could find that our universe doesn’t fit the standard model. That would mean overturning relativity, which is possible…but incredibly unlikely. As Prof. Vilenkin says, there are no sure bets in science. But there are pretty strong ones, and relativity is one of them.

    Prof. Page agreed with this description of what is being said;
    A ‘classical picture of spacetime’ should not be equated with general relativistic spacetime. For special relativistic spacetime, for example, also is a classical picture of spacetime. So the theorem does not presuppose general relativistic spacetime but simply a spacetime that is classical in the sense that it is linearly ordered temporally and so can be said to be expanding in the ‘later than’ direction. In any such spacetime a universe that is, on average, in a state of expansion can’t be past-eternal. But in a quantum gravity regime, if the linear ordering of time is abolished, then it is impossible to speak of expanding, and so the theorem’s one condition isn’t met. The question, then, is not one’s gravitational theory, but whether time exists in one’s model. Quantum gravity theories that do feature a linear temporal ordering fall under the theorem and so will not be past-eternal.
    ibid

    As did Prof. Vilenkin;
    The question of whether or not the universe had a beginning assumes a classical spacetime, in which the notions of time and causality can be defined. On very small time and length scales, quantum fluctuations in the structure of spacetime could be so large that these classical concepts become totally inapplicable. Then we do not really have a language to describe what is happening, because all our physics concepts are deeply rooted in the concepts of space and time. This is what I mean when I say that we do not even know what the right questions are.
    But if the fluctuations are not so wild as to invalidate classical spacetime, the BGV theorem is immune to any possible modifications of Einstein's equations which may be caused by quantum effects.
    ibid.


    So, all told, it would appear, from Prof. Vilenkin’s own email that I am not using his theorem incorrect. Nor does it appear that his own statement quoted in my last post was somehow “out of context.”

    So again, how is Prof. Vilenkin incorrect when he says; “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The point, again, is that they're examples of a different process than that which is applied in the KCA.
    I don’t think this addresses the last response, perhaps it got lost in the length.

    Your initial objection was that “come into being” was “ambiguous,” despite two formal and rigorous definitions and one more lay definition.

    I pressed you to define how it was ambiguous. To which you replied in post 290: “It's the variety of ways in which "come into being" could be applied which is the issue.”

    If we are to hold that the fact that there are a “variety of ways” something could come into being is relevant to this thread, it would need to be that it undermines the premise under discussion. To whit, “all things that begin to exist have a cause.”

    If the entire set of the “variety of ways” require causes, the fact that there are a variety of ways isn’t a relevant rebuttal to the premise.

    Take for example the idea that there are a variety of ways that someone can become wet. They could have a liquid poured on them, they could jump into a liquid, etc. But none of the different ways someone becomes wet undermines the fact that “to become wet you must come into contact with liquid.”

    Every single method for becoming wet requires that one come into contact with liquid. Thus, highlighting the myriad of ways one can do that is completely irrelevant to whether or not contact with liquid is required to become wet.


    Likewise, highlighting there are a variety of ways that something can come into existence, but unless those variety of ways affect the need for causation, it isn’t a relevant point.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, causal set theory is something which is applied to spacetime, so time is necessarily involved in any process described by causal set theory, even if the theory doesn't refer to time.
    Please refer to my posts on causal set theory. They are not discussing an application within a temporal framework. You’ve already been challenged to support that. I am specifically asking you to support these statements:

    Challenge to support a claim. “causal set theory is something which is applied to spacetime” Post 306
    Challenge to support a claim. “Causal set theory is still something which is applied to spacetime.” Post 293

    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    Same problem here: phrases like "earlier than it" make no sense absent the existence of time.
    Well duh, he is talking about this as the beginning of the existence of time. Clearly we can agree that time is past finite if there are a finite number of seconds (or hours, or milliseconds, or years or whatever) prior to this second/hour/year, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, it's a fact.
    Let’s remember what your rebuttal was. You are saying that we cannot apply causality outside of spacetime because you claim that all objective reality exists within our spacetime. As unsupported as that claim is, when asked why we can reject causality outside of our spacetime you appeal to a lack of knowledge. IE “We don’t know.” When you positively reject a premise based on a lack of information, that is, by definition, an appeal to ignorance. https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/...from-Ignorance

    Unless you can give a positive defense for why spacetime matters for causality, your objection is relatively hollow and certainly doesn’t serve as a rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, it would depend on how you are defining "universe", which I've repeatedly asked you to clarify.
    Given the definition I have provided above, are you still objecting to the definition of exist: "Have objective reality or being" by arguing that all things we identify as having objective reality are contained within our universe. To whit; "Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing universe."

    If so, can you support that?
    If not, then it appears we agree on the definition of exist, and this can move forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Sure, I completely understand why Craig seems to think this demonstrates that the universe began to exist, but it simply doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology.
    Hmm, you seem to have dodged this challenge. Are you retracting this claim?

    1) Please support or retract that Craig's definition "assum[es] the existence of time before it existed."

    2) Please support or retract that Craig's definition "doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology."

    I'm assuming that you also would argue that Prof. Smith's definition "doesn't meet the rigorous standards required by mainstream cosmology" as well? If not, please support or retract that assertion as well. [Time begins to exist if and only if for any arbitrarily designated, non-zero, finite interval of time, there are only a finite number of equal intervals earlier than it; or, alternatively, time begins to exist if and only if for some non-zero, finite temporal interval there is no equal interval earlier than it.]

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Well, for one, "beginning to exist" has not yet been coherently defined. So far you have only offered examples of changes in existing matter/energy.
    Your response seems to misunderstand what the word model, observable universe, physical law, or the nature of the models in question (that the universe existed in another form or not is absolutely covered in all the models, some, like Vilenkin’s say “no, it was created via tunneling” some, like Turek’s claim it to be eternal, most argue that at T=0, matter, energy and our spacetime began to exist.)

    You can argue that no coherent definition exists for these terms, but it is an outright untruth to say I haven’t provided definitions. There are currently three, none of which you seem to be arguing against since you specifically dropped rebutting them in your last post.

    We have:

    1) The Lay Definition
    Begin: Come into being or have its starting point at a certain time or place.

    to: Expressing the result of a process or action.

    exist: Have objective reality or being.

    Thus, begins to exist means "Expressing the result of a process or action where the object comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being."

    2) The Formal Logical Definition
    A. x begins to exist at t iff x comes into being at t.

    B. x comes into being at t iff (i) x exists at t, and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly, (ii) t is either the first time at which x exists or is separated from any t*< t at which x existed by an interval during which x does not exist, and (iii) x's existing at t is a tensed fact.

    Alternatively:
    Begins to exist: X can be said to "begin to exist" if and only if it meets the following three criteria at t.

    a) x exists at t (and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly).
    b) t is either the first time at which x exists or is separated from any earlier t at which x existed by an interval in which x does not exist.
    c) x's existing at t is a tensed fact.


    3) The Formal Physics Definition for Temporal Spacetimes

    Time begins to exist if and only if for any arbitrarily designated, non-zero, finite interval of time, there are only a finite number of equal intervals earlier than it; or, alternatively, time begins to exist if and only if for some non-zero, finite temporal interval there is no equal interval earlier than it.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I checked, and could not find any serious/reputable cosmologists asserting that the universe actually began to exist.
    This does not constitute valid support. Your research skills and understanding of physics does not represent the consensus opinion in physics. Unless you can offer something a bit more concrete, you’ll need to retract this claim: “no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist.”


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Really, this would all be made a lot simpler if you'd simply provide the clarification which has repeatedly been requested and we can go from there: Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing
    I’d be happy to…once you provide support that the latter statement you’ve made is true.

    Likewise, given that I’ve provided a technical definition above, what ambiguity remains in any of the three definitions offered above?



    Quote Originally Posted by future
    We have no examples of anything that "begins to exist" - only examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    Well that isn’t true for virtual particles at all, but I do understand your confusion on that point, it is a complex finding of quantum mechanics.

    Regardless, I’m not sure how this response answers my question. How do those examples not meet this definition: Thus, begins to exist means "Expressing the result of a process or action where the object comes into being at a certain time or place, thus having an objective reality or being."

    Or the more formal definition?

    Begins to exist: X can be said to "begin to exist" if and only if it meets the following three criteria at t.

    a) x exists at t (and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly).
    b) t is either the first time at which x exists or is separated from any earlier t at which x existed by an interval in which x does not exist.
    c) x's existing at t is a tensed fact.



    Take the chair for example.

    The chair is the result of a process in which the chair is brought into being (we certainly can’t say the chair exists before the carpenter is done) at a specific location at the time of completion and is objectively real.

    a) The chair exists at 1033, 26 April (and the actual world obviously doesn’t include a timeless chair).
    b) 1033, 26 April is the first time at which the chair exists.
    c) The chair’s existing at 1033, 26 April is obviously a tensed fact since we are using tensed language related to it.


    How does the chair not meet those criteria? Which one does it not meet?

    How does it not fulfill that definition?


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    This is unsupported. There are current models which include a beginning to the observable universe as we know it, but whether it didn't exist before then is not conclusive.
    Whoa there. This completely dodged the challenge. You were asked to support:

    In fact, just to limit the goal post fallacy, please support or retract that this definition is incoherent when used in the following sentences as you claim. Challenge to support a claim.

    1) All things that begin to exist have a cause.
    2) The universe began to exist.

    Simply saying we don’t have an example isn’t sufficient to support your claim. Rather, you have to show, as you claimed, that the definitions offered are incoherent when used in the two premises referenced.

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Even the BB model doesn't say that all of reality (if that's how you're using "universe" - you still haven't clarified despite numerous requests) began to exist.
    I think this highlights why you are having a hard time here, you aren’t really familiar with the subject matter at hand. When you say “BB model” what are you talking about? What BB model are you referring to? In what paper was it described?

    Your statement is akin to saying “even the global warming model doesn’t say X.” There is no “global warming model” nor a “BB Model.” Those are categories that describe a lot of different models. We’ve discussed about a half dozen or more different models in this thread that fit into the BB set, about half of which do, in fact, have a beginning (ie all of the models that are not past complete). The other half (past complete) suffer from a series of problems primarily related around internal incoherence (I use that term technically not in the manner you’ve offered it here), or are at odds with observational evidence.

    I don’t offer this to degrade or mock you, I just want to point out that if we really want to discuss the status of cosmology, a better familiarity with the structure of the discussion is necessary on your part.





    I couldn’t quite figure out what you meant by saying “having a beginning is not the same as beginning to exist” until I remembered that you are drawing heavily (exclusively?) on debunkingwlc.

    I now realize that you are trying to draw a distinction between A and B theories of time. IE tensed and tenseless theories of time.

    In B theories T=0 (the beginning) is treated like an edge. Something akin to the “left edge” of our spacetime framework. In that sense it can have a beginning, but not begin to exist.

    There are, unfortunately, a couple of problems that debunkingwlc doesn’t actually cover. One is that essentially no philosopher or physicist holds to B theory. It is a, more or less, discarded idea from the 1950s. And this is because;

    It ignores the arrow of time. It treats time exactly like space. There is a point to my left and a point to my right. They both exist and I could go back and forth as I chose.

    But we know that time doesn’t work like that. There is a reason that in Minkowski space the temporal dimension is signed differently than the special ones. Time is uni-directional along the vector of increasing entropy. (This is a long way of saying time only goes forward). Once you relook at our simplified images of an expansionary universe with that framework in mind, you see that the two terms are actually synonymous. They contain the exact same meaning and implications.




    I also wanted to add a bit more to your ideas of causation.

    1) When we discuss whether causation is internal to the universe or independent we have two possible stances to hold.

    a) Causation is independent of our universe. This is my position and was defended earlier in thread and in the thread I linked to.
    b) Causation is dependent on our universe. The consequence of this assertion is that we can invoke universe creation absent any necessary cause. IE the universe can spontaneously create. It is hard (actually impossible) to reconcile that view with a past finite universe like ours. If the universe can just magically jump into existence, it should have always and in all states existed. It also invokes essentially magic (or as some physicists term it worse than magic) to create the universe. We don’t need an explanation, just abracadabra..universe! That position is impossible to reconcile with anything like scientific method of thought.

    Given these problems, a becomes the far more probable view. And, to paraphrase Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; “when you remove all the impossible options, whatever is left, no matter how odd, must be correct.”


    2) You also seem to tie causation to time. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but on several occasions you’ve argued that causation requires or presupposes temporal dimensions. This however, isn’t the case. If we were to imagine a universe that is only spatial dimension, with no time present, just eternally existing. There is nothing contradictory about an object existing in that universe dependent on another object. IE if object 2 exists, object 1 must exist. For example, in that universe if a light is on, the room is not dark. That is a causally dependent relationship that is irrelevant of time.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Someone put it quite aptly: "If you can't show it, you don't know it".
    It sounds like you don't value intuition.

    How can you show love for your parents, spouse, family, friend?
    Last edited by eye4magic; April 27th, 2018 at 02:20 PM.
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    It sounds like you don't value intuition.
    When it comes to caring about whether one has rational justification for a belief, then no, intuition has no place there.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    When it comes to caring about whether one has rational justification for a belief, then no, intuition has no place there.
    Does that mean you think you can’t know love because you may not believe in love because can’t see love?
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Does that mean you think you can’t know love because you may not believe in love because can’t see love?
    I have enough rational justification for believing/knowing my loved ones love me simply by observing their expression of love ("show" is not the right term IMO).

    Look, I'm sure that there's some ultra meaningful deepity that you're trying to play gotcha with here, but that's just not what this thread is about.

    This thread is about theistic beliefs and why they're not rational. If you think that you have rational justification for a theistic belief you hold, please post it.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If you think that you have rational justification for a theistic belief you hold, please post it.
    Unless there is a clear standard for when one have achieved rational justification in a belief, it will be hard to determine when one's belief qualifies as being rationally justified.

    So I'm going to set the bar at "When one has a solid rational reason to think that their belief is true, then their belief is rationally justified".

    As an example I often forward, if one has a clear memory of seeing a dog on their front lawn, then their belief that a dog was on their lawn is indeed rationally justified. Even if they didn't record the dog, so they cannot prove (or "show") the dog was there after the alleged incident, their belief that the dog was there is still very much a justified belief. The reason is that the most likely explanation for why they have that memory of the dog being on the lawn is because the dog was actually there. That doesn't mean that it's impossible the dog wasn't there - it could have been a false memory or maybe a dream that got confused for an actual event, but they are still completely justified in thinking that the reason they remember the dog on the lawn is because there really was a dog on their lawn.

    So before I continue, I just want to make sure that I have provided acceptable criteria for when a belief qualifies as a rational belief. And if my criteria is not accepted, then please provide the criteria that you think is adequate.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    TL;DR
    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I just want to point out that if we really want to discuss the status of cosmology, a better familiarity with the structure of the discussion is necessary on your part.
    Actually, with this post, I'm done "discussing the status of cosmology" with you. You have repeatedly shown that you're not interested in actually getting to the bottom of this, and only care about trying to justify your arbitrarily-held irrational beliefs with faulty god of the gaps reasoning. If you truly cared about the status of cosmology, you'd leave the scientisting to the scientists and wouldn't be grasping at straws to prove your god exists with such ridiculous arguments as the KCA.

    So since we're just repeating ourselves at this point and you've failed to convince me that KCA is even coherent, I'll let you have the last word - I'm sure you'll have lots to say about how your failure to convince me is due to my lack understanding of things or how none of my objections are sufficient to debunk the KCA. Have fun with that. Unfortunately, this has little effect on such simple objections as "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" is not a coherent concept and changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe fail as examples in support of the KCA. And those are just about P1 - we haven't even touched on the various other issues with KCA such as it not even concluding with a deity, or how P1 begs the question when defining things that begin to exist vs don't begin to exist, or the universe as the set of all things being a member of itself issue.

    If you'd instead like to move on to the other arguments you think are "inescapable the deeper they are delved into" (Moral & Fine Tuning), we could do that, otherwise, I'll leave it at that. Delving any deeper into KCA only further shows why it's absurd to think anyone could be convinced of it unless they are already theists.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    To answer your question succinctly, I hold to the definition used in most cosmology or physics text books which is, unfortunately, a bit technical. I would define universe to mean here “the entirety of a connected spacetime manifold.”

    While the lay and technical definition do differ in some language, they generally are the same thing. A universe is a set of dimensions governed by physical laws and geometric properties. Our universe is the actualized set of physical and temporal dimensions in which the matter and energy we observe exists. This definition is the one (though obviously language differs from source to source) used in most physics and cosmology textbooks.

    The lay definition is:
    All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/universe

    And more technical source definitions argue for essentially the same thing:
    Caltech defines it as the total celestial cosmos, which implies the physical and temporal dimensions we exist within and all the matter and energy contained therein. http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/G...lossary_U.html

    Term universe describing a set of physical and temporal dimensions in which matter and energy are contained: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1803.07095.pdf

    Universe as a term defining the physical and temporal dimensions undergoing expansion along the temporal axis: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.07676.pdf

    The physical and temporal dimensions containing matter and energy : https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.07372.pdf

    Cosmology as the study of matter and energy within the physical and temporal dimensions that are the universe: https://www.worldscientific.com/worl...s/10.1142/p701

    Cosmology as the attempt to model how matter and energy interact within the physical laws governing the universe: https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Cosmol.../dp/0122191412

    Our universe is the matter and energy contained within our physical dimension set: http://physics.sharif.edu/~cosmology...tt%20Roots.pdf

    The universe is a four dimensional object with properties governed by physical laws and its geometry (I would recommend chapter 4): http://poincare.matf.bg.ac.rs/~zarko..._Cosmology.pdf
    I'd recommend that in the future when you are trying to convince a non-theist of KCA, you stick to a single definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Ok…And? What about its observation within the universe means that it would be limited to this universe? Future, this is your objection. You stated that my examples don’t apply because of the boundary state of our universe. If you are raising the fact that we have only observed causality within our universe, it is incumbent on you to defend why that matters or is cogent to this discussion.
    This is a shifting of the burden of proof. You are the one claiming that the principle of causation can apply outside the universe and absent the existence of the universe. Please provide support for this claim.
    Again, I'm not claiming that causation doesn't apply outside our physical/temporal dimensions. I'm merely pointing out that claims about any kind of "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" are incoherent due to the fact that we don't know anything about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Can you detail why it isn’t a coherent concept? It would seem intuitively obvious that it means, in this context, that something is contained within our physical and temporal dimensions.
    I'm not sure you've exressed yourself clearly here. My statement was: Again, "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" isn't even a coherent concept.
    Your response: it means, in this context, that something is contained within our physical and temporal dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Gravity has never been observed, only its effects. Quarks have never been observed, just their effects. Measuring inferentially isn’t a problem in science, nor a limitation in validating hypothesis via experimentation. We can set aside your first objection unless you are proposing we set aside the existence of gravity, quarks, photons, etc., etc.
    Unfortunately, your ambiguity strikes again, making reasoning is wholly flawed. You are trying to use the coming into existence of virtual particles as the example. I'm saying that the actual coming into existence has never been observed, and therefore virtual particles are not an actual example of coming into existence.

    Your comparison with gravity, quarks, and photons fails because you're not talking about the coming into existence of any of those things.

    Your conclusion of:
    "We can set aside your first objection unless you are proposing we set aside the existence of gravity, quarks, photons, etc., etc."
    is yet another ambiguity, and should be expressed instead as:
    "We can set aside your first objection unless you are proposing we set aside the coming into existence of gravity, quarks, photons, etc., etc."

    I'm am fully willing to set aside the coming into existence of those things, since this has also not been observed.

    So again, since the coming into existence of virtual particles has not been observed (just like the coming into existence of gravity, quarks, etc.), virtual particles fail to serve as an example of something beginning to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your second objection again relies on the distinction between them happening in this spacetime framework. You haven’t defended though how that is materially relevant. (Nor do you understand concepts like quantum tunneling). The reason this objection is hollow is because you didn’t actually describe how virtual particles operate. If you had gone into that detail you would see that your objection here isn’t relevant at all.

    So again, if you really want to maintain that virtual particles are not examples of something beginning to exist (even though your language concedes that they begin to exist here) because they do so within a framework of spacetime, you’ll need to: a) Show that they require such a framework to operate and b) show why that framework invalidates their use as an example of something beginning to exist.
    Again, changes in existing matter/energy within and existing universe are not examples of things beginning to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You are conflating the material something is recorded on with the information itself.
    Essentially you're saying that, in the thought experiment I forwarded, the 5th would still exist in some way even after all the matter that was arranged in representations of it was rearranged to no longer represent it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Side note, you say mind, but a more accurate term would be brain since mind is the immaterial variant here, and you are referring solely to information storage via neurons, ie a brain.
    The mind is an emergent property of a physical brain, so there's no issue with using either term. Changes in a mind can be expressed as changes in matter/energy in the brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Material reductionism of this sort tends to be self defeating. For example, the electrons that make up the message you are reading are changing. And they are different than the electrons I am using to review it. Does that mean the meaning of the word, “word” differs between our two system? Or is there a shared meaning independent of the specific electrons composing the message?
    Words don't have intrinsic meaning, they have usages. The same goes for collections of electrons representing a word or idea. The electrons may be different, but as long as they are arranged in a representation of what is recognizable by both parties, communication takes place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If you hold the former, as you imply with your destruction thought experiment, then the actual argument you are putting forward has no meaning. It is simply an arrangement of electrons in a system, different from any other arrangement, void of any kind of non-relative meaning.
    The arrangement is the information. The information is not created. A different arrangement is different information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your thought experiment presupposes that all of those independent papers and recordings and memories are referencing the same identity, a symphony. That there is something that they are all independently recording, an identity they are all referencing.
    No, again, words don't have intrinsic meaning, they have usages. The same goes for notes and arrangements of notes/sound. If someone plays an arrangement of sound that others recognize as the arrangement they previously experienced as the 5th, then they will identify this new arrangement as also being a representation of the 5th.

    Since you avoided clearly answering the thought experiment, your response appears to indicate that you think if the scenario I described actually took place, the 5th would still exist in some way. This leads to further thought experiments which further demonstrate your use of ambiguity with "begin to exist": If all the matter representing the 5th was mush - there was no record of the 5th ever existing in any way, and 500 years later someone composed a work identical to the 5th that they called "Blarg's Rhapsody", would it actually be the 5th and not what they called it? Would the 5th have existed in some way all the time? Did they create the 5th again? Does the 5th now exist in duplicate? Are they different even though the information is identical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You might deny that last paragraph, but to make the conclusion of that denial complete, let’s change the subject of your experiment from the 5th to the statement 1+1=2. If we destroy all text books and grow a generation who never learns math, does 1+1 still equal 2?
    If nobody understood reality enough to understand that 1+1=2, it would still be possible for representations of 1+1=2 to exist, for example a tree growing in a field, and then another tree grew next to it would be two trees growing in a field.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You should be careful relying too heavily on a single article from debunkingwlc.com (which mirrors your position in this debate all to closely). That site has been known to know follow up on its initial discussions with validation. That failure has led you astray here.

    Prof. Krauss was roundly criticized for the editing of the email he put forward in that discussion. He has, for example, not been invited back by the group hosting that discussion. Dr. Craig reached out to another eminent cosmologist Don Page, to ask if, perhaps he had misconstrued Prof. Vilenken’s work. Prof. Page didn’t think that Prof. Krauss’ discussion was likely faithful to the content of Prof. Vilenkin’s email and reached out to Prof. Vilenkin. And lo and behold, he was right. Prof. Krauss’ language was misrepresentative enough that Prof. Vilenkin forwarded over the entire email and some additional comments. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writ...enkin-theorem/

    It certainly would be odd for Prof. Vilenkin to send Prof. Krauss an email that openly contradicts a large portion of his published work after all.
    Yes, follow-up on discussion is indeed important. Here is the final word on said discussion from Vilenkin via Krauss' Facebook page:
    From me and Alex Vilenkin--sigh--in muted response to some claims that have been posted by some whose buttons have probably been pushed by being wrong:

    "In response to the noise regarding the use of an email communication between the two of us in a dialogue with William Lane Craig, there are two relevant points we have decided to make.

    1. we both willingly agreed to the request from Dr. Craig to have the full email, which had been edited on the powerpoint slide simply to save time during a 15 minute presentation by Krauss, as there was nothing in the full correspondence that either of us were concerned about sharing.

    2. we both agree that the edited version does not distort the content or ideas expressed in the original email at all. Those who are claiming otherwise, including apparently Dr. Craig, are mistaken.

    Lawrence Krauss and Alex Vilenkin"
    https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceMKr...51721132708510

    And FYI, I haven't seen debunkingwlc.com before - the link you posted doesn't work. In any case, there's a wealth of WLC debunking online to review - so much in fact, that WLC has to disable comments on his YT and post his writings online in a format which similarly limits the torrential flow of debunking. But the bottom line is that the KCA has roundly failed to convince any reputable physicists of the existence of god. If KCA were proof of god in any way, someone would've already collected a Nobel prize for it. As it stands, it's just another gap-god argument that theists bring up when their irrational beliefs are questioned, as you have done here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Likewise, highlighting there are a variety of ways that something can come into existence, but unless those variety of ways affect the need for causation, it isn’t a relevant point.
    Again, all you've done provide examples of changes in existing matter/energy within an existing universe that are often referred to as "come into being". And again, the fact that these changes follow the cause-effect principle that has been observed within the existing universe is irrelevant, because they're a different process than what you're attempting to describe in KCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Please refer to my posts on causal set theory. They are not discussing an application within a temporal framework. You’ve already been challenged to support that.
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_sets
    "The causal sets program is an approach to quantum gravity. Its founding principles are that spacetime is fundamentally discrete (a collection of discrete [b]spacetime points, called the elements of the causal set) and that spacetime events are related by a partial order. This partial order has the physical meaning of the causality relations between spacetime events."

    From https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9909075
    Title - "Introduction to causal sets: an alternate view of spacetime structure"
    Page 3 - "The above discussion implies the need for a spacetime structure that will underpin the classical spacetime structure of general relativity. The causal set hypothesis proposes such a structure. Causal sets are based on two primary concepts: the discreteness of spacetime and the importance of the causal structure."
    Page 5 - "This combination of discreteness and causal structure leads directly to the idea of a causal set as the fundamental structure of spacetime."
    Page 6 - "If causal sets comprise the true structure of spacetime..."

    From http://iopscience.iop.org/journal/02...uantum-Gravity
    "To arrive at a theory of quantum gravity, physics must make a creative leap, from a position grounded in current knowledge to a new conception of the physical world."
    "the proposal that the deep structure of spacetime is a causal set"

    From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6uHQhGC65U
    "[Causal Set Theory's] basic hypothesis is that spacetime itself is fundamentally atomic, or granular. It (spacetime) doesn't have a smooth and continuous structure at it's (spacetime's) most fundamental level."

    So again, causal set theory applies to spacetime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Let’s remember what your rebuttal was. You are saying that we cannot apply causality outside of spacetime because you claim that all objective reality exists within our spacetime. As unsupported as that claim is, when asked why we can reject causality outside of our spacetime you appeal to a lack of knowledge. IE “We don’t know.” When you positively reject a premise based on a lack of information, that is, by definition, an appeal to ignorance.

    Unless you can give a positive defense for why spacetime matters for causality, your objection is relatively hollow and certainly doesn’t serve as a rebuttal.
    This is nothing more than shifting the burden of proof.
    Again, you claim that there is something "outside our physical/temporal dimensions" to which causality can apply. Please provide support for this, as we thusfar have no knowledge whatsoever about it and no way if observing it. IF you want to claim that causality can exist and operate outside of what we have observed to exist, please provide support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You can argue that no coherent definition exists for these terms, but it is an outright untruth to say I haven’t provided definitions.
    Ok then, based on your definitions, what was there before the universe existed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Well that isn’t true for virtual particles at all, but I do understand your confusion on that point, it is a complex finding of quantum mechanics.
    It appears as though you're saying that virtual particles are not changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    Here's some support that they are:
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle
    "a virtual particle is a transient fluctuation"
    "The concept of virtual particles arises in perturbation theory of quantum field theory where interactions between ordinary particles are described in terms of exchanges of virtual particles."
    "Virtual particles do not necessarily carry the same mass as the corresponding real particle, although they always conserve energy and momentum."
    "Virtual particles are also excitations of the underlying fields"

    From https://profmattstrassler.com/articl...what-are-they/
    "A virtual particle is not a particle at all. It refers precisely to a disturbance in a field that is not a particle."
    "A virtual particle, generally, is a disturbance in a field that will never be found on its own, but instead is something that is caused by the presence of other particles, often of other fields."

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Take the chair for example. The chair is the result of a process in which the chair is brought into being (we certainly can’t say the chair exists before the carpenter is done) at a specific location at the time of completion and is objectively real.
    No, the chair is an example of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    Another thought experiment to demonstrate the ambiguity issue:
    "we certainly can’t say the chair exists before the carpenter is done"
    This depends on how one defines "chair" (again, words have usages, not intrinsic meanings). If one defines "chair" as something made by a carpenter that supports your weight on legs when you sit on it", then the carpenter could make something he considers to be an "incomplete chair" with only 3 legs (not "chair") that could still be called a chair by someone adhering to that definition.
    And then the carpenter adds the 4th leg. Did two chairs begin to exist? Did the first representation of "chair" cease to exist and then another began to exist?
    Again, when we get down to the brass tacks of the actual process, we find nothing more than changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe, a nothing began to exist in the way you're trying to use the term for KCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    How does the chair not meet those criteria? Which one does it not meet?
    It's an example of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe. There is nothing that began to exist in this example - only changes in matter which resulted in changes in how that matter is described.
    A chair did not begin to exist - there was something that was called "pile of wood" which was existing matter/energy, and it was changed within an existing universe into something that was then called "chair".

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Simply saying we don’t have an example isn’t sufficient to support your claim. Rather, you have to show, as you claimed, that the definitions offered are incoherent when used in the two premises referenced.
    Again, you have not provided any examples of something that "begins to exist" - only examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe.
    If you want to use your definition of begins to exist to apply to a chair, then you are by definition talking about changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe. Hence your definition fails, unless you don't actually care about the process involved in "begin to exist" (which you've already admitted you don't, claiming your argument is "agnostic" to the process), and instead choose to rely on ambiguity (if a definition of "begin to exist" which can apply to both the universe and a chair isn't ambiguous, I don't know what is).

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I think this highlights why you are having a hard time here, you aren’t really familiar with the subject matter at hand. When you say “BB model” what are you talking about? What BB model are you referring to? In what paper was it described?
    LOL, I don't think I'm having a hard time pointing out why your examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe don't serve as examples of the kind of "begin to exist" you need to support for the KCA. In any case, a quick googling of "Big Bang Model" easily provides the following results.
    From https://www.britannica.com/science/big-bang-model
    "Big-bang model, widely held theory of the evolution of the universe. Its essential feature is the emergence of the universe from a state of extremely high temperature and density — the so-called big bang that occurred 13.8 billion years ago."
    "These two assumptions make it possible to calculate the history of the cosmos after a certain epoch called the Planck time. Scientists have yet to determine what prevailed before Planck time." - No beginning to exist here.

    From http://www.pitt.edu/~rmgale/candt.htm
    "Some defenders of the Kalam Argument supplement their conceptually-based argument against the universe having had an infinite past existence with contingent facts from modern Big Bang cosmology that holds there to be a point singularity at some past time, which they then gratuitously interpret as the point in time when the universe came into existence." - Pretty clear.

    Again, the BB model doesn't say that anything began to exist - it's just describing changes in existing matter/energy from a point where everything was condensed into a singularity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I don’t offer this to degrade or mock you
    Don't worry - no danger of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I just want to point out that if we really want to discuss the status of cosmology, a better familiarity with the structure of the discussion is necessary on your part.
    Actually, with this post, I'm done "discussing the status of cosmology" with you. You have repeatedly shown that you're not interested in actually getting to the bottom of this, and only care about trying to justify your arbitrarily-held irrational beliefs with faulty god of the gaps reasoning. If you truly cared about the status of cosmology, you'd leave the scientisting to the scientists and wouldn't be grasping at straws to prove your god exists with such ridiculous arguments as the KCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I couldn’t quite figure out what you meant by saying “having a beginning is not the same as beginning to exist” until I remembered that you are drawing heavily (exclusively?) on debunkingwlc.
    Actually, you made up the debunkingwlc part - complete with a made-up URL to nowhere - so I'm not sure what you're remembering here, but that's irrelevant. The difference is that an object's current form can have a beginning, but if the object was the result of changes in existing matter/energy, then the object didn't begin to exist. That's why BB cosmology doesn't say the universe began to exist. We simply don't know, and until someone offers a reliable method for seeing beyond Planck Time, any arguments about what happened before the BB or what caused it are nonsense. Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I now realize that you are trying to draw a distinction between A and B theories of time. IE tensed and tenseless theories of time.
    No, but nice strawman. All I'm doing is pointing out how you can't even get past P1 due to a lack of support for anything beginning to exist. Again, all you've provided are examples of changes in existing matter/energy in an existing universe, calling those events "begin to exist", while completely ignoring the actual process of change in matter/energy behind them, and attempting to argue that the actual process is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I also wanted to add a bit more to your ideas of causation.
    Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    "When one has a solid rational reason to think that their belief is true, then their belief is rationally justified".
    I think this is a fine definition. If I were to quibble it would be with the word "strong" which is somewhat subjective. I might substitute the word "valid" in there or something to link the rational justification mentioned with it being not logically fallacious, etc.

    Minor quibble. I think this should be the thread's adopted definition.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I may be missing something here, but, with all else being equal, how is "seeing" a red car in front of you not count as strong evidence that there is a red car in front of you?
    If one limits the definition of "evidence" to that which one can tangibly show someone else and I can't show someone else that I saw a red car, then me seeing the red car does not qualify as evidence.

    Conversely, if we do count just seeing a red car as evidence that there was a red car there, then someone seeing God (or having some kind of direct experience with God) would count as evidence for God's existence.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    [Sorry, I deleted the post to which Mican responded because I wanted to approach this topic from a different angle. However, since he took the trouble to respond to my post ( . . . and thank you for that, Mican) I feel obligated to reply to him.]

    I use the more or less standard philosophical definition of 'evidence' in terms of rational belief -- that is 'that which makes a claim or proposition more likely to be true than would otherwise be the case.'

    Evidence comes in different strengths. For instance, if I see a red car in front of me, then that is fairly strong evidence to support my belief that a red car is in front of me.

    However, if I tell you that I saw a red car in front of me, then while this definitely counts as evidence for you, too, to believe my claim, it is not nearly as strong a piece of evidence for you as it is for me. The claimed perceptual evidence of other people is only one piece of evidence that has to be weighed against other evidence in order for us to fairly evaluate the rationality of our beliefs.

    If a co-worker tells us that he saw a red car on the road in front of him this morning on his commute to work, I think for obvious reasons we'd all be more likely to believe that claim as true than if the same co-worker told us he saw a flying saucer zoom down in front of him for a few seconds then zoom away.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If a co-worker tells us that he saw a red car on the road in front of him this morning on his commute to work, I think for obvious reasons we'd all be more likely to believe that claim as true than if the same co-worker told us he saw a flying saucer zoom down in front of him for a few seconds then zoom away.
    This seems pretty much common sense and I agree.

    When the discussion is about God, we are to believe things that defy our experience in everyday life. So skepticism should be the natural reaction of logical thought.

    Theistic beliefs in general are not irrational, as it is a possible truth. It seems less rational to pick a particular religion as "the one" though, since all religions rely on the same types of conflicting "evidence". No religion enjoys a clearly superior position of its claims of truth and religions are general mutually exclusive.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I use the more or less standard philosophical definition of 'evidence' in terms of rational belief -- that is 'that which makes a claim or proposition more likely to be true than would otherwise be the case.'

    Evidence comes in different strengths. For instance, if I see a red car in front of me, then that is fairly strong evidence to support my belief that a red car is in front of me.

    However, if I tell you that I saw a red car in front of me, then while this definitely counts as evidence for you, too, to believe my claim, it is not nearly as strong a piece of evidence for you as it is for me. The claimed perceptual evidence of other people is only one piece of evidence that has to be weighed against other evidence in order for us to fairly evaluate the rationality of our beliefs.

    If a co-worker tells us that he saw a red car on the road in front of him this morning on his commute to work, I think for obvious reasons we'd all be more likely to believe that claim as true than if the same co-worker told us he saw a flying saucer zoom down in front of him for a few seconds then zoom away.
    All true.

    When a co-worker tells you something, that's second-hand evidence and if the story is incredible, like the flying saucer story, you have pretty solid reasoning to not find the story convincing and therefore not be too impressed with the evidence. But for your co-worker, if he actually did see a for-real flying saucer very clearly, he has strong first-hand evidence that flying saucers exist and therefore has a very rational reason to believe in flying saucers from then on.

    And it's the same for theistic beliefs. If you're an atheist and a religious person tells you of some religious experience that has convinced him that God really exists, it's perfectly reasonable for you to remain unconvinced since the evidence presented is second-hand and therefore not strong.

    However, if someone actually does have a genuine Godly experience (like if God actually exists and contacts the person), then that person is rationally justified in believing in God even if he has no hope of convincing anyone else that he had a genuine experience.

    So whether theistic beliefs are actually rationally justified is unknown since we don't know if people actually have genuine spiritual experience which gives them rational justification for having theistic beliefs.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    However, if someone actually does have a genuine Godly experience (like if God actually exists and contacts the person), then that person is rationally justified in believing in God even if he has no hope of convincing anyone else that he had a genuine experience.
    Whether the supernatural event actually happened vs they simply had an experience is something the person cannot determine. Therefore, believing that something supernatural actually happened would still not be rationally justified. If something supernatural actually happened, believing it would simply make their belief correct, luckily. You completely misunderstand rational justification if you think that whether the event actually happened is what establishes it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So whether theistic beliefs are actually rationally justified is unknown since we don't know if people actually have genuine spiritual experience which gives them rational justification for having theistic beliefs.
    Also wrong. Think of rational justification like "innocent until proven guilty". Nothing is rationally justified until justification is provided. So a supernatural experience which is in your realm of "we don't know if it's rationally justified" remains unjustified and irrational until justification is provided. As above, this is regardless of whether the supernatural event actually happened and wasn't just an experience, since this is something which by definition cannot be determined for 1st person revelation - even by the one having the experience.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Whether the supernatural event actually happened vs they simply had an experience is something the person cannot determine.
    Support or retract that if a person has a genuine supernatural experience (as in it actually happened), they cannot determine that it actually happened in the same way that they can determine that a non-supernatural event happened (i.e. seeing a dog on their lawn).

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If something supernatural actually happened, believing it would simply make their belief correct, luckily. You completely misunderstand rational justification if you think that whether the event actually happened is what establishes it.
    And that's not my criteria for determining if a belief is rationale. The standard is if whether it makes sense to have such a belief. First-hand experience of something is a very good standard for justifying one's belief. This does not discount the notion that sometimes one's experiences can be wrong but if the experience is very vivid (such as something much stronger than one thinks they heard a whisper in the wind and such) and the person does not have any reason to think that the experience is a false one, then the most logical explanation for why the experienced something is because it actually happened. 99.999 + times out of a hundred, the reason one has a vivd memory of X happening is because it happened and therefore they have a rationale reason to believe that X happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Also wrong. Think of rational justification like "innocent until proven guilty". Nothing is rationally justified until justification is provided.
    And typically first hand experience IS valid rationale justification for believing that something happened. If I see a dog on my lawn, then I am rationally justified in believing that there was a dog on my lawn so TYPICALLY first hand experience equates to rational justification.

    And I acknowledge that a mundane event, such as a dog on your lawn, is different than a supernatural event. But what you have not supported is that the criteria that typically justifies believing that mundane event has occurred does not apply to a supernatural event and therefore you have not supported that first hand experience falls short for rationally justifying that a supernatural event has occurred.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    As above, this is regardless of whether the supernatural event actually happened and wasn't just an experience, since this is something which by definition cannot be determined for 1st person revelation - even by the one having the experience.
    Support or retract that 1st person experience is not valid justification for the person who has the experience to believe that a supernatural event has occurred.

 

 
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