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  1. #281
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    We don't?
    No, we don't have any examples of the change from non-existence to existence which is required for P1. Further, even if we accept that the rearranging of atoms is an information creation process, which we don't since there was information there before, the creation of information which you claim takes place when wood is changed to chair is not comparable to the change from non-existence to existence which you are applying in P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If we go from the state in picture 1 to the state in picture 2, a chair has been created.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    The rearranging of atoms is an information creation process.
    The information process in wood-chair is not comparable to the change from non-existence to existence which you try to apply to the universe in P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Thus we cannot simply dismiss that information and arrangement creation as irrelevant as it is fundamentally described in thermodynamics as an underlying law for the universe.
    Sure we can, and we do. Information creation is simply not comparable to matter/energy/time/space/reality/universe creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    What's more, we can reject your objection further with the example of virutal particles (which cause Hawking Radiation). These are particles that pop into existence at the quantum level and after a brief period annihilate themselves. These particles don't appear out of nothing as is sometimes described, but come from probabilistic fluctuations to the quantum foam that exists at the Planck distance level of the universe.
    For all practical purposes, virtual particles exist only in the mathematics of the models used to describe the measurements of real particles. They don't exist in the same sense as the existence following the change from non-existence which you are trying to apply in P1. Further, 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. The way in which you are trying to apply P1 has no universe into which this universe began to exist. You're grasping at virtual straws, here, Squatch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Thus, we have two examples of the causation proposed in my argument.
    No, we have two examples which prove yet again why you should leave the scientisting to real scientists. If all you can offer as evidence that anything at all can actually begin to exist is "creation of information when wood is changed to chair", and "virtual particles pop into existence at the quantum level", your confidence in P1 is in no way rationally justified.

    ---------- Post added at 01:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:01 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I don't see why that would be the case. Given, for example, quantum entanglement the cause and effect are simultaneous, no linear time is required for the state change of the particles. We can even remove the state change here and retain the causation. If particle 1 is spinning downward, it causes particle 2 to spin upward to retain information symmetry. No time is taken in that sentence, it is a static description that requires causation.
    The problem with your example is that both the cause and effect are present within space-time, which makes it yet another invalid comparison. Even the word "simultaneous" is itself necessarily temporal. By removing time in the case of the cause and effect for the universe you are placing the cause in a state without temporal properties and the effect in a state with temporal properties at t=0. All you're doing is making nonsensical statements devoid of any actual meaning. Again, it's best that you leave the scientisting to actual scientists. That's the only way we'll get to the bottom of this.
    Last edited by futureboy; March 13th, 2018 at 06:02 PM.

  2. #282
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    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.
    I'm not sure you understand the term equivocating here. Equivocation is when you use a word that has two different definitions and your argument conflates those two definitions.

    Take for example, the classic example of the word "bank."

    P1: Otters live in banks
    P2: Banks store money
    C: Otters store money

    Obviously fallacious because we are using two dramatically different defintions of the word bank (specifically P1 uses definition 1, P2 uses definition 2).

    That isn't occuring here. The creation of a chair specifically fulfills the only (non-archiac) definition for that word. You can't have an equivocation fallacy if there is only one definition and it describes the activity.

    Take a look at the examples:


    ‘he created a thirty-acre lake’
    ‘over 170 jobs were created’
    ‘In its draft resolutions, the ANC called on all levels of government to create projects that generated jobs.’
    ‘This deliberate thrust for creating an enabling environment brings about the shift in growth strategy.’
    ‘From Spain he brought a translator who created a Latin summary of Aristotle's biological and zoological works.’
    ‘Saying that humans, being creatures of flesh, could not obey the law was to say, in effect, that God made a bad job of creating them.’
    ‘In an effort to justify their existence they create documents that only a fool would sign without modifying it.’
    ‘The company plans to centralise its business by moving into the large distribution warehouse in Kettlestring Lane, creating an extra 30 jobs.’
    ‘Plans to rejuvenate the River Eden could create dozens of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy, according to a new report.’
    ‘How far can we use the imagination to create a videogame that brings someone to nirvana?’
    ‘Scotland can demonstrate that plans to revitalise health and safety in the workplace can be made a reality by creating real partnerships to bring the accident figures down.’
    ‘The system, if adopted, is predicted to bring in revenues of nearly £50 billion and create two million jobs.’
    ‘It effectively created a new bank which has brought us back into the mainstream of competing with the big Scottish banks.’
    ‘With a wide array of workshop topics, Career Services has information on every aspect of the job hunt, from creating a resume to selling your skills in an interview.’
    ‘This new recording features two dozen carols brought together to create a concert performance.’
    ‘If granted, it will generate power for thousands of homes, creating hundreds of jobs in the Doncaster area.’
    ‘His paintings are attempts at getting outside of time, at creating timeless icons of existence.’
    ‘Chaos is a calm Goddess, who loves to work with Existence to create things and let them run amok on their own.’
    ‘We are going to create new jobs from bringing in new products and services to the community.’
    ‘It was this love of generations yet unborn that brought God to create the universe.’
    ‘Mayo County Council have done an exemplary job in creating this trail and bringing the visual arts to the people.’
    ‘At the same time, the Commission was not brought into being to create a historical document.’

    Literally none of the examples used in the dictionary follow the strict interpretation you mention. They all follow the informational focused creation process I mentioned.


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    Information creation is simply not comparable to matter/energy/time/space/reality/universe creation.
    You are confusing differences in scale with differences in kind.

    Building a wooden chair is nothing like the complexity of building a Virginia class submarine, but that doesn't mean both aren't building something.

    How, exactly, do the two concepts materially differ?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    For all practical purposes, virtual particles exist only in the mathematics of the models used to describe the measurements of real particles. They don't exist in the same sense as the existence following the change from non-existence which you are trying to apply in P1.
    Well, let's see what actual physicists say.

    Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, provides this answer.
    Virtual particles are indeed real particles. Quantum theory predicts that every particle spends some time as a combination of other particles in all possible ways. These predictions are very well understood and tested.

    Quantum mechanics allows, and indeed requires, temporary violations of conservation of energy, so one particle can become a pair of heavier particles (the so-called virtual particles), which quickly rejoin into the original particle as if they had never been there. If that were all that occurred we would still be confident that it was a real effect because it is an intrinsic part of quantum mechanics, which is extremely well tested, and is a complete and tightly woven theory--if any part of it were wrong the whole structure would collapse.
    ...
    Thus virtual particles are indeed real and have observable effects that physicists have devised ways of measuring. Their properties and consequences are well established and well understood consequences of quantum mechanics.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...particles-rea/



    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, we have two examples which prove yet again why you should leave the scientisting to real scientists.
    You mean like the ones I've quoted throughout this thread? Or are you engaging in a no true scottsman fallacy?

    Remind me again, which one of the two of us actually has physics training?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The problem with your example is that both the cause and effect are present within space-time, which makes it yet another invalid comparison.
    Welcome to a begging the question fallacy. You are insisting that the only support for the premise is the premise itself. Sorry man, that isn't a valid rebuttal. If I were to say, "prove the sky is blue" and you offered evidence based on light refraction to which I object "those don't count because they aren't the actual sky" it would be dismissed out of hand as dumb objection. That is literally the same argument structure you've employed here.



    I should take a step back and discuss the consequences of rejecting premise 1 as you have. You can either mean: a) things cannot begin to exist, they must always exist or b) things can begin to exist without a cause.

    A is clearly not a tenable position given the consensus scientific opinion that this universe, and its dimensions did, in fact begin to exist. B is equally as bizarre as it posits a universe where things can begin to exist at random, or must always exist because they don't need a cause to begin existing. This is, essentially, appealing either to an eternal universe rejected by physicists or a fantasy universe of magic where things begin to exist on their own.

    There is a reason that the principle of causation isn't really disputed by philosophers or physicists (good luck finding one that agrees with your point), because it is fundamentally nonsensical to reject. Your attempt to limit the principle to our universe only is a remnant of 1950s thinking that was long ago abandoned in physics. It is also a pretty classic example of a taxicab fallacy. You take the principle as far as it suits you, then abandon it with no explanatory reason.
    "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.


  3. #283
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I'm not sure you understand the term equivocating here.
    Equivocation:
    "the use of ambiguous language to conceal the truth or to avoid committing oneself"

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You mean like the ones I've quoted throughout this thread? Or are you engaging in a no true scottsman fallacy?
    No, 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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Remind me again, which one of the two of us actually has physics training?
    Oh that's right, I forgot that ODN was where real physicists came to suss out the truth behind the origins of the universe. Really, Squatch, such a statement from you only highlights how little weight KCA actually carries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Welcome to a begging the question fallacy. You are insisting that the only support for the premise is the premise itself.
    No, I'm insisting that you have the intellectual honesty to make valid comparisons when grasping at straws for support of P1. As it stands, we have no observed instances of things beginning to exist in the sense that you are attempting to use it in your argument. 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. Therefore, P1 remains unsupported and incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I should take a step back and discuss the consequences of rejecting premise 1 as you have. You can either mean: a) things cannot begin to exist, they must always exist or b) things can begin to exist without a cause.
    No, the consequence of rejecting P1 is that one maintains rational skepticism. No further conclusions must be reached if we don't even know what you're talking about. Please provide a coherent explanation for P1 in the sense that you are using it with the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    the consensus scientific opinion that this universe, and its dimensions did, in fact begin to exist
    Do you mean there are scientists which say that there was nothing and then there was the universe? Please provide a coherent explanation for P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Your attempt to limit the principle to our universe only is a remnant of 1950s thinking that was long ago abandoned in physics.
    I have not attempted to limit any principles to our universe only. I've explained why your use of the terms is ambiguous and why your examples fail to serve as support for even just your 1st premise.

  4. #284
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    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")
    How does my example (the creation of the chair) not meet the definition offered?

    Bring (something) into existence.

    Again, take a look at the examples. Is the dictionary wrong in using the word creation here?

    ‘he created a thirty-acre lake’
    ‘over 170 jobs were created’
    ‘In its draft resolutions, the ANC called on all levels of government to create projects that generated jobs.’
    ‘This deliberate thrust for creating an enabling environment brings about the shift in growth strategy.’
    ‘From Spain he brought a translator who created a Latin summary of Aristotle's biological and zoological works.’
    ‘Saying that humans, being creatures of flesh, could not obey the law was to say, in effect, that God made a bad job of creating them.’
    ‘In an effort to justify their existence they create documents that only a fool would sign without modifying it.’
    ‘The company plans to centralise its business by moving into the large distribution warehouse in Kettlestring Lane, creating an extra 30 jobs.’
    ‘Plans to rejuvenate the River Eden could create dozens of new jobs and bring millions of pounds into the local economy, according to a new report.’
    ‘How far can we use the imagination to create a videogame that brings someone to nirvana?’
    ‘Scotland can demonstrate that plans to revitalise health and safety in the workplace can be made a reality by creating real partnerships to bring the accident figures down.’
    ‘The system, if adopted, is predicted to bring in revenues of nearly £50 billion and create two million jobs.’
    ‘It effectively created a new bank which has brought us back into the mainstream of competing with the big Scottish banks.’
    ‘With a wide array of workshop topics, Career Services has information on every aspect of the job hunt, from creating a resume to selling your skills in an interview.’
    ‘This new recording features two dozen carols brought together to create a concert performance.’
    ‘If granted, it will generate power for thousands of homes, creating hundreds of jobs in the Doncaster area.’
    ‘His paintings are attempts at getting outside of time, at creating timeless icons of existence.’
    ‘Chaos is a calm Goddess, who loves to work with Existence to create things and let them run amok on their own.’
    ‘We are going to create new jobs from bringing in new products and services to the community.’
    ‘It was this love of generations yet unborn that brought God to create the universe.’
    ‘Mayo County Council have done an exemplary job in creating this trail and bringing the visual arts to the people.’
    ‘At the same time, the Commission was not brought into being to create a historical document.’


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    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.
    Moving the goal posts fallacy. You've shifted from giving examples of something being created to something being created by the same process. Surely creating a lake and creating a chair don't involve the same process, but both (according to the dictionary) are both creations.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, 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)
    Including where I quote a physicist showing that your understanding of virtual particles isn't correct?

    Gordon Kane, director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, provides this answer.
    Virtual particles are indeed real particles. Quantum theory predicts that every particle spends some time as a combination of other particles in all possible ways. These predictions are very well understood and tested.

    Quantum mechanics allows, and indeed requires, temporary violations of conservation of energy, so one particle can become a pair of heavier particles (the so-called virtual particles), which quickly rejoin into the original particle as if they had never been there. If that were all that occurred we would still be confident that it was a real effect because it is an intrinsic part of quantum mechanics, which is extremely well tested, and is a complete and tightly woven theory--if any part of it were wrong the whole structure would collapse.
    ...
    Thus virtual particles are indeed real and have observable effects that physicists have devised ways of measuring. Their properties and consequences are well established and well understood consequences of quantum mechanics.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...particles-rea/

    Or perhaps earlier where I quoted several physicists, including nobel prize winners, discussing how the begginning of the universe is increasingly unavoidable?

    Quote Originally Posted by future
    virtual particles, which aren't valid since their creation isn't actually observed
    Huh?

    But while the virtual particles are briefly part of our world they can interact with other particles, and that leads to a number of tests of the quantum-mechanical predictions about virtual particles. The first test was understood in the late 1940s. In a hydrogen atom an electron and a proton are bound together by photons (the quanta of the electromagnetic field). Every photon will spend some time as a virtual electron plus its antiparticle, the virtual positron, since this is allowed by quantum mechanics as described above. The hydrogen atom has two energy levels that coincidentally seem to have the same energy. But when the atom is in one of those levels it interacts differently with the virtual electron and positron than when it is in the other, so their energies are shifted a tiny bit because of those interactions. That shift was measured by Willis Lamb and the Lamb shift was born, for which a Nobel Prize was eventually awarded.

    Quarks are particles much like electrons, but different in that they also interact via the strong force. Two of the lighter quarks, the so-called "up" and "down" quarks, bind together to make up protons and neutrons. The "top" quark is the heaviest of the six types of quarks. In the early 1990s it had been predicted to exist but had not been directly seen in any experiment. At the LEP collider at the European particle physics laboratory CERN, millions of Z bosons--the particles that mediate neutral weak interactions--were produced and their mass was very accurately measured. The Standard Model of particle physics predicts the mass of the Z boson, but the measured value differed a little. This small difference could be explained in terms of the time the Z spent as a virtual top quark if such a top quark had a certain mass. When the top quark mass was directly measured a few years later at the Tevatron collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, the value agreed with that obtained from the virtual particle analysis, providing a dramatic test of our understanding of virtual particles.

    Another very good test some readers may want to look up, which we do not have space to describe here, is the Casimir effect, where forces between metal plates in empty space are modified by the presence of virtual particles.

    ibid


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Oh that's right, I forgot that ODN was where real physicists came to suss out the truth behind the origins of the universe.
    Who ever said it was? I pointed out the incredibly broad error in your statement about leaving it to actual physicists.

    1) I'm the only one citing physicists here. You are relying on your own understanding.

    2) I have physics training, you do not.

    Now, I'm happy to drop all of that and discuss the mechanics in detail (I've already offered peer-reviewed papers on them), but I think you might get a bit overwhelmed.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, the consequence of rejecting P1 is that one maintains rational skepticism.
    You cannot hold that both a and ~a are valid. If you say that a is not a true statement you must, be definition, be saying that ~a is. That is foundational critical thinking. If, "the sky is blue" is not true, then "the sky is not blue" has to be true.

    So by saying that premise 1 isn't true, you are de facto, accepting one of these two positions, so which is it?

    A: things cannot begin to exist, they must always exist
    B: things can begin to exist without a cause.
    "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.


  5. #285
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    How does my example (the creation of the chair) not meet the definition offered?
    All your examples are cases of creatio ex materia, meaning creation from something or somewhere which already exists. Or more accurately, they're examples of things beginning to exist in an already-existing universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Moving the goal posts fallacy. You've shifted from giving examples of something being created to something being created by the same process.
    No, I'd actually rather you refrain from using the term "created" at all, since P1 is "begin to exist" and will no longer respond to statements using "created". Please provide a coherent definition of "begin to exist".

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Surely creating a lake and creating a chair don't involve the same process, but both (according to the dictionary) are both creations.
    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. Please provide a coherent definition of the terms used in P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    So by saying that premise 1 isn't true, you are de facto, accepting one of these two positions, so which is it?
    I'm not saying P1 isn't true, I'm saying I reject it because it isn't even coherent in the context you are using it. Please explain what you mean by "begin to exist" when you say the universe began to exist. It would also help if you defined how you are using the term "universe", to avoid further ambiguity inherent in KCA.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    All your examples are cases of creatio ex materia, meaning creation from something or somewhere which already exists.
    You are arguing mechanism, not causality here. Whether a causal agent rearranges existing matter to cause a chair to begin to exist, or whether that causal agent utilizes no pre-existing matter to bring into existence a new sonata, both of those are examples of beginning to exist. You are concerned here with the ex nihilio vs ex materia side of the statement, but the premise is agnostic of those concepts, it addresses the creatio aspect.

    Given the change in objection, would it be fair to assume that you've dropped your objection about virtual particles?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Please provide a coherent definition of "begin to exist".
    I would offer to two definitions, one informal, one formal.

    Informal

    The phrase is composed of common use words and conveys the common use definition of those words.

    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."


    Formal (which I unreservedly steal from Dr. Craig)

    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, your examples "begin to exist" in an already-existing universe.
    Again, and? What about the already existing universe is relevant to the causal agent?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    I'm not saying P1 isn't true, I'm saying I reject it...
    You realize these two statements mean the same thing?

    If I reject the statement "the sky is blue" I am accepting the statement "the sky is not blue."

    Nor can you claim agnosticism because you aren't saying "I don't know if the sky is blue" you are saying "I reject that the sky is blue."

    When you say "I reject that "all things that begin to exist have a cause" is a true statement (because of evidence, or coherence, or whatever)" You are saying "A: things cannot begin to exist, they must always exist or B: things can begin to exist without a cause."

    Even if you claim incoherence of premise 1, you still, but basic logical principle are accepting the contrary position. I'm simply asking you to clarify your position which leads to your view that premise 1 is incoherent. Is it incoherent because things cannot begin to exist or is incoherent because things can begin to exist without a cause?
    "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 Squatch347 View Post
    Whether a causal agent rearranges existing matter to cause a chair to begin to exist, or whether that causal agent utilizes no pre-existing matter to bring into existence a new sonata, both of those are examples of beginning to exist.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You are concerned here with the ex nihilio vs ex materia side of the statement, but the premise is agnostic of those concepts, it addresses the creatio aspect.
    Then that must be your problem; being agnostic to the ex part. I guess you'd have to do that since you don't actually have any examples of the kind of "begin to exist" you're using in P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Begin: Come into being or have its starting point at a certain time or place.
    "Come into being" is ill-defined, and again lends itself to the kind of ambiguity you are taking advantage of here. Please be more specific. "Have its starting point" is better, since we can easily think of the starting point of the chair in the wood-chair example: the starting point is the point at which the matter which was simply referred to as "wood" can be easily identified as a "chair". But again, that's not the kind of "begin" you're using in P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    exist: Have objective reality or being.
    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. How are you defining "universe" in P2, and what was there, if anything, before the universe "began to exist"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    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
    While I respect Craig's conviction in trying to make KCA work for his arbitrarily-chosen deity, the problem here is that the definition appears to be designed in an attempt to avoid certain other issues with KCA, without actually offering a definition of "begin to exist" - case in point, the definition of "begin to exist" which you've quoted here from Craig itself contains both the phrases "begins to exist" and also "comes into being".

    So you've now provided two definitions for "begin to exist", both of which themselves contain the very concept you're trying to define.
    Please provide a coherent definition of "begin to exist". Take your time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Again, and? What about the already existing universe is relevant to the causal agent?
    The fact that the cause also necessarily exists within the already existing universe. Or the fact that all instances of cause-effect require the existence of a universe in order to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    You realize these two statements mean the same thing?
    So, when you guess that the number of jelly beans in the jar is odd, and I reject your assertion, I'm saying that it's not odd, or even asserting that it's not even? Is that really how one goes about making rational conclusions about the world around us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If I reject the statement "the sky is blue" I am accepting the statement "the sky is not blue."
    If we've both lived all our lives in a cave and never saw the sky, your rejection of the statement "the sky is blue" would not be asserting that the sky is not blue, would it? That the situation we find ourselves in with the beginning of the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Nor can you claim agnosticism because you aren't saying "I don't know if the sky is blue" you are saying "I reject that the sky is blue."
    Again, jelly beans and cave-men are agnostic until anyone can present some actual evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    When you say "I reject that "all things that begin to exist have a cause" is a true statement (because of evidence, or coherence, or whatever)" You are saying "A: things cannot begin to exist, they must always exist or B: things can begin to exist without a cause."
    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.
    Last edited by futureboy; March 19th, 2018 at 08:11 PM.

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  9. #288
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Futureboy...Squatch

    Although I am not participating here, I am enjoying the rigorous discussion you guys are having.

    I am much more in tune with the arguments Futureboy is making, but it is interesting to see how each of you present your positions.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    These are both more examples of things beginning to exist in an already-existing universe.
    So the only possible way to prove the premise in your mind is to show the universe coming into existence? That is a pretty heavy begging the question fallacy there Future. You can't insist that the support for a premise be the premise itself.

    I've offered two examples, you object to them because they are "within our universe." What you haven't done, is show why that matters. Why is your objection relevant? They are also not blue. So what? If you want to maintain that that particular criteria (being within the universe) matters, you need to explain how it matters. Is it because of physical laws? Observability? What?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Then that must be your problem; being agnostic to the ex part.
    I would argue it is more of your problem than mine. Having an argument whose premises aren't affected by a rebuttal is a good thing, not a bad thing.

    Let's offer an example;

    P1) Mike fired the weapon.
    P2) The shot killed Steve.
    C1) Mike killed Steve.

    Now, one could argue that Mike was justified in killing Steve, or that it was an accident, or that I haven't proven motive and intent. Those are all true statements. They are also irrelevant because I'm not concluding it was murder. This argument is agnostic towards intent, which makes counters aimed at intent empty.

    Likewise, your counter is empty because it relies on the ex nihilio v ex materia distinction. My argument is agnostic to that distinction and so it isn't affected by such attempts.

    Now, if you could show a reason as to why that distinction is relevant to the premise... (A common attempt by internet atheists is to employ a taxicab fallacy and say that causation is related to this universe for example) But until you offer a tie between your distinction and the actual premise, it isn't really germane.


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    "Come into being" is ill-defined, and again lends itself to the kind of ambiguity you are taking advantage of here.
    I don't see how it is ambigious, can you elaborate? Can you give an example of something occuring where this definition could not be precisely applied?

    It seems relatively intuitive that within any causal chain that if the premise "X exists" is not true at one point, but true at a later point it has "come into being" right?

    I also find your objection here a bit odd given that physicists and philosophers use these terms without any of the apparent confusion you are having.

    If you prefer something more rigorous, aside from the formal definition Dr. Craig offered, perhaps Dr. Quentin Smith's formulation (specific to time) would suit you? 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
    Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing universe
    Are you then claiming that it is impossible for something to have objective reality or being outside of our physical and temporal dimensions? That seems a bold claim. And an equally unsupported one given that you are relying solely on our current physical observations to maintain it. Are you really saying that we have full knowledge of everything that has objective reality?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    the problem here is that the definition appears to be designed in an attempt to avoid certain other issues with KCA, without actually offering a definition of "begin to exist" - case in point, the definition of "begin to exist" which you've quoted here from Craig itself contains both the phrases "begins to exist" and also "comes into being".
    You realize that it contains those terms because it is defining them right? It isn't relying on them for the definition. I do realize that I quoted this verbatim in formal logical form so this might not have been clear to you. I'll rephrase and then you can offer a response that deals with what is actually being offered;

    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.

    Translation:

    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.


    Does that clarify the formal definition a bit?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    The fact that the cause also necessarily exists within the already existing universe.
    So your counter argument is that no causal agent can affect our universe if it is not part of our universe? Why do you say that?


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    So, when you guess that the number of jelly beans in the jar is odd, and I reject your assertion, I'm saying that it's not odd, or even asserting that it's not even? Is that really how one goes about making rational conclusions about the world around us?
    Yes, because you are conflating two ideas, not accepting an assertion, and rejecting it. If you reject an assertion, you are saying that it is not true. That is a statement which can be debated, argued, supported, etc. If you don't accept it, you are simplying saying it isn't convincing, which is a matter of psychology, not debate. Let's take your jelly bean example:

    Squatch: There are an odd number of jelly beans in that jar.
    Rejecting Future: No there aren't.
    Unconvinced Future: I don't know why I should believe that.


    Rejecting future is saying that there aren't an odd number of jelly beans in the jar (thus there must be an even number). Unconvinced Future is simplying conveying his psychological doubt about the premise.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Again, jelly beans and cave-men are agnostic until anyone can present some actual evidence.
    Which I did (see my initial post on this topic). Your objection wasn't that I didn't provide evidence, it was that you didn't know what the word "begin" means. That isn't a lack of evidence, it is a linguistic question.
    "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 Squatch347 View Post
    So the only possible way to prove the premise in your mind is to show the universe coming into existence? That is a pretty heavy begging the question fallacy there Future. You can't insist that the support for a premise be the premise itself.
    Please indicate where I have insisted this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I've offered two examples, you object to them because they are "within our universe." What you haven't done, is show why that matters.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    My argument is agnostic to that distinction and so it isn't affected by such attempts.
    Again, merely claiming that your argument is agnostic to a valid distinction doesn't solve anything. You assert that examples of changes in matter/energy within space-time which can be called "beginning to exist" are support for the universe beginning to exist.
    You then claim that the difference in those processes is not relevant in order to support that they are similar.
    This is patently absurd.

    Again, I asked you to provide examples of the kind of "begin to exist" you're applying to the universe.
    All the examples you've provided require a universe, and therefore are examples of a different process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I don't see how it is ambigious, can you elaborate? Can you give an example of something occuring where this definition could not be precisely applied?
    It's the variety of ways in which "come into being" could be applied which is the issue. One could say that a book came into being when it was written by the author, or a person came into being when they were born. Again, the process being described is different from what you're talking about with the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    It seems relatively intuitive that within any causal chain that if the premise "X exists" is not true at one point
    This all breaks down once you realize such statements assume a temporal nature. "True at one point" assumes a point in time, but since time did not exist when "X exists" was not true, the statement makes no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    If you prefer something more rigorous, aside from the formal definition Dr. Craig offered, perhaps Dr. Quentin Smith's formulation (specific to time) would suit you? 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.
    Same problem here: phrases like "earlier than it" make no sense absent the existence of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Are you then claiming that it is impossible for something to have objective reality or being outside of our physical and temporal dimensions?
    No, I'll repeat: 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. 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
    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.
    Same problem again: assuming the existence of time before it existed.

    Bottom line: no amount of Craig's definition gymnastics can solve the problem that we simply don't and may never know what happened at the beginning of the universe/space/time/observable reality - whether it began to exist and there was nothing prior to it, or whether it changed from something else into what we see now. Such attempts are merely exercises in absurdity, which is why no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    So your counter argument is that no causal agent can affect our universe if it is not part of our universe? Why do you say that?
    No, let's re-cap:
    S: Surely creating a lake and creating a chair don't involve the same process, but both (according to the dictionary) are both creations.
    F: 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.
    S: What about the already existing universe is relevant to the causal agent?
    F: The fact that the cause also necessarily exists within the already existing universe. Or the fact that all instances of cause-effect require the existence of a universe in order to happen.

    So again, your examples require an already-existing universe. You say that this is irrelevant, because they're all examples of "begin to exist". Ok then, we'll leave it at that, and conclude that you don't actually have any examples of "begin to exist" involving the same process which you attempt to apply to the universe. All you have is examples of instances in which the phrase "begin to exist" can be used, regardless of the process involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Yes, because you are conflating two ideas, not accepting an assertion, and rejecting it.
    I've already clarified that I'm not saying P1 isn't true, but that it is unsupported due to it not even being coherent, and therefore claims of its truth must be rejected in order to maintain rational skepticism. And before this devolves into a silly definitions argument, please note that from the very beginning, I haven't used "reject" in order to express the issue with P1. You're the one who brought up the "consequences of rejecting premise 1 as you have" in post # 282.

    So again, the issue with P1 is that it's not even coherent, not that it's not true, and not that it's false.
    Further, this lack of coherence is quite aptly demonstrated by your inability to provide any examples of a process similar to that which KCA attempts to apply to the universe, and can only offer examples of similar uses of the phrase.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Please indicate where I have insisted this.
    It is a logical necessity from your objection. You are excluding all such examples that occur within the universe's dimensional structure, correct? Given that the only "beginning" we could reference is the "beginning" we are attempting to analyze. That makes it a begging the question fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    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
    Again, why can't we apply that? Can you give me a bit more than a bare assertion why those wouldn't apply from a causation point of view?

    Alternatively, you could answer the attendent question, why doesn't our universe require causation? IE why should we limit the principle that effects require causes to the spacetime framework of our universe?


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    Again, merely claiming that your argument is agnostic to a valid distinction doesn't solve anything. You assert that examples of changes in matter/energy within space-time which can be called "beginning to exist" are support for the universe beginning to exist.
    This is a bit of a strawman. I'm not claiming that these examples are evidence that the universe began to exist. They are evidence that something can go from not existing to existing. Remember, that was your objection to premise 1 (all things that begin to exist have a cause), that we have "no examples of that ever happening."

    I've provided three (chair, Beethoven's Fifth, and Virtual Particles).

    We can at least agree, at this stage, that things begin to exist. What you have moved to as a defense is that the universe is not of a kind due to some undescribed factor, which is what I'm asking you to defend above.

    You've offered that they are all "matter transition" rather than matter creation. This objection fails for two reasons, 1) Beethoven's Fifth, and Virtual particles are, indeed, matter/information creation. 2) Its completely irrelevant to the argument. If we were to presume, for the sake of debate that the universe didn't begin to exist at t=0, that it always existed (an assumption that virtually all current models reject, http://www.newgeology.us/Alexander%20Vilenkin.pdf) that doesn't, in the slightest, affect premise 1, as we can still assert that things that begin to exist still require causes, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    It's the variety of ways in which "come into being" could be applied which is the issue.
    And do any of those "variety of ways" not require a cause? If not, then Premise 1 would still hold. "All things that begin to exist (in all the variety of ways future imagines that term covers) require a cause."


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    This all breaks down once you realize such statements assume a temporal nature. "True at one point" assumes a point in time,
    That is a bold, and unsupported assertion. Nothing about a causal chain requires a temporal component. That is literally the foundation of Causal Set Theory (https://link.springer.com/article/10...714-013-1569-y). Causal Set theory can absolutely be applied to describe state changes without a temporal component (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/impe...ssertation.pdf), in fact there are some who assert that it is causal set theory that creates time, rather than requires it.


    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 beggining 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, I'll repeat: Everything which we identify as having objective reality or being, has it within an already-existing universe
    Hmm, ok. Let's accept this for a second and see where it leads. Does that mean that the definition of exist: "Have objective reality or being", cannot be applied outside of our spacetime?

    If not, then how does your statement relate to my objection at all?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Same problem again: assuming the existence of time before it existed.
    You'll need to elaborate, nothing in Dr. Craig's definition assumes the existence of time before it existed. Nothing in the statement quoted, or the other premises talk about a time predating t=0.

    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.

    To elaborate on why your objection doesn't seem to make any sense, let's take the the universe at the beggining and see if the three conditions apply;

    @t=0;

    a) x exists at t (and the actual world includes no state of affairs in which x exists timelessly). This appears to be a true statement of the universe at t=0, it does exist as a singularity, and it doesn't exist timelessly, ie it has a temporal dimension
    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.Again, this appears to be a true statement of the universe at t=0. This is the first time at which it exists. IE there is no time prior to t=0 in which the universe exists
    c) x's existing at t is a tensed fact.Finally, yes this is a true statement. The universe exists at t in a tensed manner.

    All three conditions appear to be met, and such the universe meets the formal criteria given for beginning to exist. Nor, when applied, do we seem to see any area where we are assuming the existence of time before t=0.


    Quote Originally Posted by Future
    Such attempts are merely exercises in absurdity, which is why no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist.
    Wait, what? Did you miss the myriad quotes and references in this thread? Are are you saying that Prof. Vilenkin isn't "serious?"

    Actually, this is such a patently ridiculous claim, you need to support or retract it. Challenge to support a claim. I'm doing this because we can't have an actual discussion if you are going to so patently misrepresent the field being discussed.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    examples of "begin to exist" involving the same process which you attempt to apply to the universe.
    Are you asking for an example of the same mechanism that brought forth the dimensions of the universe? That wasn't what you asked earlier, and would make your question far more coherent. Are you asking me to given an example of a mechanism that would give birth to physical and temporal dimensions?
    "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 Squatch347 View Post
    Are you asking for an example of the same mechanism that brought forth the dimensions of the universe? That wasn't what you asked earlier, and would make your question far more coherent. Are you asking me to given an example of a mechanism that would give birth to physical and temporal dimensions?
    As we have been carrying on this discussion in PM, I haven't been posting in the thread lately, but ya, this seems to be really touching on the sticky point/s.

    Could there have been a state of nothing prior to T-0 (the BB)?

    If there was "nothing", then T-0 "something", the universe definitely "began" to exist.
    If there was "something", then T-0 is only when "time" began, not the matter/energy/whatever that makes up our universe. The universe came to be in it's current form perhaps, but existed in another form before our current "time" began. I don't see how we can rule out another "time", "prior" to our "time" if there was "something" prior to T-0.

    I know you will invoke entropy, but since we can't even identify the physical nature of 96% of our current universe and can not define the state of matter/energy/whatever at T-0, I am not convinced it applies.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    It is a logical necessity from your objection. You are excluding all such examples that occur within the universe's dimensional structure, correct?
    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. The fact that you are unable to do so only further demonstrates the incoherence of your argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Again, why can't we apply that?
    Because it's a different process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Alternatively, you could answer the attendent question, why doesn't our universe require causation?
    Nobody has claimed that it doesn't. We just don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    They are evidence that something can go from not existing to existing.
    You are using the terms ambiguously. Every example you have provided is not the same "going from not existing to existing" as is being used for the KCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    We can at least agree, at this stage, that things begin to exist.
    No, changes in matter and energy are observed within our observable universe, and those changes can be described as things beginning to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    1) Beethoven's Fifth, and Virtual particles are, indeed, matter/information creation.
    As I explained before, use of "creation" will be ignored. Please stick to the terminology used in the KCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    2) Its completely irrelevant to the argument. If we were to presume, for the sake of debate that the universe didn't begin to exist at t=0, that it always existed (an assumption that virtually all current models reject, http://www.newgeology.us/Alexander%20Vilenkin.pdf) that doesn't, in the slightest, affect premise 1, as we can still assert that things that begin to exist still require causes, right?
    Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    And do any of those "variety of ways" not require a cause?
    The point, again, is that they're examples of a different process than that which is applied in the KCA. Whether they have a cause is irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Causal Set theory can absolutely be applied to describe state changes without a temporal component
    Being able to describe something without referring to time is not the same as time not existing. Causal set theory is still something which is applied to spacetime. Again, please leave the scientisting to the scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Hmm, ok. Let's accept this for a second and see where it leads. Does that mean that the definition of exist: "Have objective reality or being", cannot be applied outside of our spacetime?
    We don't know. We don't even know whether there is an "outside of our spacetime". Such statements are incoherent. I'll repeat: 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. 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
    All three conditions appear to be met, and such the universe meets the formal criteria given for beginning to exist.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Wait, what? Did you miss the myriad quotes and references in this thread? Are are you saying that Prof. Vilenkin isn't "serious?"
    First of all, the observable universe beginning to exist and the observable universe having a beginning are not one and the same. Second, the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theorem which Craig mounts as his nail-in-the-coffin argument that the universe began to exist is not without its flaws when used in this way. As 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. Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Are you asking for an example of the same mechanism that brought forth the dimensions of the universe? That wasn't what you asked earlier, and would make your question far more coherent.
    Again, from the very beginning I've made clear that the issue with P1 is that it isn't even coherent. Please explain what you mean by "begin to exist". All the examples you've provided have been of changes in matter and energy within our observable universe. 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. How are you defining "universe" in P2, and what was there, if anything, before the universe "began to exist"?

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    As we have been carrying on this discussion in PM, I haven't been posting in the thread lately, but ya, this seems to be really touching on the sticky point/s.

    Could there have been a state of nothing prior to T-0 (the BB)?

    If there was "nothing", then T-0 "something", the universe definitely "began" to exist.
    If there was "something", then T-0 is only when "time" began, not the matter/energy/whatever that makes up our universe. The universe came to be in it's current form perhaps, but existed in another form before our current "time" began. I don't see how we can rule out another "time", "prior" to our "time" if there was "something" prior to T-0.
    I think our PM discussion is probably the most productive, and I think has already gone past this section of the discussion. But just to rehash a bit, the distinction I made in PM is whether the "something" that exists causally prior to t=0 is the "substance" that is transformed into the universe at t=0. Ie is it a blob of goo that becomes the singularity or is it something completely external to the matter, energy, dimensions that are the universe? I am arguing the latter. The former becomes somewhat incoherent for a whole host of reasons imo (how does an atemporal blob create a temporal dimension? Does this involve something creating itself? How does this blob create a temporally finite universe? etc).

    [Side note: you mentioned that I would bring up entropy, I'm assuming in response to some kind of cyclical model universe. There is an important development in that particular area of physics, it appears the universe is accelerating rather than decelerating, which makes a cyclical universe model disagree with observational evidence. There is some disagreement on this finding and the conclusion that led to their Nobel Prize, but even the disagreements have the universe at "steady acceleration" rather than the deceleration necessary for the cyclical model to be true.]

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm merely pointing out that they don't serve as examples due to the different process they describe.
    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Nobody has claimed that it doesn't. We just don't know.
    But you are making the argument that the principle of causation doesn't apply outside our physical/temporal dimensions. That is literally what your objection about them happening within "an already existing universe" means. Is that no longer your objection? Does their presence within an existing universe matter, or not?

    If it does, then you need to explain why that principle is limited to dimensionality.

    If not, you need to explain how the "process" is different between the examples and premise.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    You are using the terms ambiguously. Every example you have provided is not the same "going from not existing to existing" as is being used for the KCA.
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    No, changes in matter and energy are observed within our observable universe, and those changes can be described as things beginning to exist.
    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Please leave the scientisting to the scientists.
    This is not a valid response. I am quoting a well respected physicist. Can you explain how Prof. Vilenkin is incorrect?

    One popular theory is eternal inflation. Most readers will be familiar with the theory of inflation, which says that the universe increased in volume by a factor of at least 10^78 in its very early stages (from 10^−36 seconds after the Big Bang to sometime between 10^−33 and 10^−32 seconds), before settling into the slower rate of expansion that we see today. The theory of eternal inflation goes further, and holds that the universe is constantly giving birth to smaller “bubble” universes within an ever-expanding multiverse. Each bubble universe undergoes its own initial period of inflation. In some versions of the theory, the bubbles go both backwards and forwards in time, allowing the possibility of an infinite past. Trouble is, the value of one particular cosmic parameter rules out that possibility:

    But in 2003, a team including Vilenkin and Guth considered what eternal inflation would mean for the Hubble constant, which describes mathematically the expansion of the universe. They found that the equations didn’t work (Physical Review Letters, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.90.151301). “You can’t construct a space-time with this property,” says Vilenkin. It turns out that the constant has a lower limit that prevents inflation in both time directions. “It can’t possibly be eternal in the past,” says Vilenkin. “There must be some kind of boundary.”

    A second option explored by Vilenkin was that of a cyclic universe, where the universe goes through an infinite series of big bangs and crunches, with no specific beginning. It was even claimed that a cyclic universe could explain the low observed value of the cosmological constant. But as Vilenkin found, there’s a problem if you look at the disorder in the universe:

    Disorder increases with time. So following each cycle, the universe must get more and more disordered. But if there has already been an infinite number of cycles, the universe we inhabit now should be in a state of maximum disorder. Such a universe would be uniformly lukewarm and featureless, and definitely lacking such complicated beings as stars, planets and physicists – nothing like the one we see around us.

    One way around that is to propose that the universe just gets bigger with every cycle. Then the amount of disorder per volume doesn’t increase, so needn’t reach the maximum. But Vilenkin found that this scenario falls prey to the same mathematical argument as eternal inflation: if your universe keeps getting bigger, it must have started somewhere.

    However, Vilenkin’s options were not exhausted yet. There was another possibility: that the universe had sprung from an eternal cosmic egg:

    Vilenkin’s final strike is an attack on a third, lesser-known proposal that the cosmos existed eternally in a static state called the cosmic egg. This finally “cracked” to create the big bang, leading to the expanding universe we see today. Late last year Vilenkin and graduate student Audrey Mithani showed that the egg could not have existed forever after all, as quantum instabilities would force it to collapse after a finite amount of time (arxiv.org/abs/1110.4096). If it cracked instead, leading to the big bang, then this must have happened before it collapsed – and therefore also after a finite amount of time.

    “This is also not a good candidate for a beginningless universe,” Vilenkin concludes.

    So at the end of the day, what is Vilenkin’s verdict?

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Whether they have a cause is irrelevant.
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Being able to describe something without referring to time is not the same as time not existing.
    You've misunderstood the objection. I'm simply showing that your statement that the definition offered requires a temporal component is incorrect. Rather, we can show causal events absent any temporal dimension, thus your argument that causation requires temporality is incorrect.

    As important, it is unsupported. Please support or retract that causal chain require a temporal aspect as you claim in post 290. Challenge to support a claim.


    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 beggining 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
    We don't know.
    This is an appeal to ignorance fallacy. You are objecting to the definition of exist: "Have objective reality or being" by arguing that all things we identify as having objecitve 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 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).


    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 the question.

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

    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
    First of all, the observable universe beginning to exist and the observable universe having a beginning are not one and the same.
    You'll need to elaborate on what you mean there and how those are different.

    You'll also need to actually address the challenge. Please support or retract that "no serious/reputable cosmologists assert that the universe actually began to exist." Challenge to support a claim.


    Quote Originally Posted by future
    Please explain what you mean by "begin to exist".
    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."

    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. Challenge to support a claim.

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

    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.

    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.
    "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.


  16. #295
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Squatch, I've re-iterated the request for you to clarify your use of a few terms and concepts at least three times now, and you've specifically avoided doing so every time even after I've already pointed out to you that you've failed to do so.
    Again:
    We don't even know whether there is an "outside of our spacetime". Such statements are incoherent. I'll repeat: 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. 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.

    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.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Squatch, I've re-iterated the request for you to clarify your use of a few terms and concepts at least three times now, and you've specifically avoided doing so every time even after I've already pointed out to you that you've failed to do so.
    Again:
    We don't even know whether there is an "outside of our spacetime". Such statements are incoherent. I'll repeat: 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. 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.

    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.
    This reminds me of a question I had regarding the "supernatural". If someone has some experience that they regard as "supernatural", I don't understand how they connect it to the "supernatural" world when the only place they can experience it is in the natural world. If you're inside the box, unless you know absolutely EVERYTHING about the contents of the box, it seems to me impossible to conclude you saw something from outside the box while you were still inside it.

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  19. #297
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    This reminds me of a question I had regarding the "supernatural". If someone has some experience that they regard as "supernatural", I don't understand how they connect it to the "supernatural" world when the only place they can experience it is in the natural world. If you're inside the box, unless you know absolutely EVERYTHING about the contents of the box, it seems to me impossible to conclude you saw something from outside the box while you were still inside it.
    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.

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  21. #298
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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    This reminds me of a question I had regarding the "supernatural". If someone has some experience that they regard as "supernatural", I don't understand how they connect it to the "supernatural" world when the only place they can experience it is in the natural world. If you're inside the box, unless you know absolutely EVERYTHING about the contents of the box, it seems to me impossible to conclude you saw something from outside the box while you were still inside it.
    Interesting point.
    I guess the issue then is:
    did the person actually experience something that defied the natural laws of physics or did they not?
    If not, "inside the box", if they did, "outside the box".

    A supernatural anything would necessarily come from outside our nature (universe/reality). That such a something could affect our reality would not immediately make it "natural event" or we need to change the meaning of supernatural.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Interesting point.
    I guess the issue then is:
    did the person actually experience something that defied the natural laws of physics or did they not?
    If not, "inside the box", if they did, "outside the box".

    A supernatural anything would necessarily come from outside our nature (universe/reality). That such a something could affect our reality would not immediately make it "natural event" or we need to change the meaning of supernatural.
    I've never encountered a useful definition of the term.

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    Re: Theistic beliefs are not rationally justified

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I've never encountered a useful definition of the term.
    Honestly, ODN is the only place I have heard such an idea discussed
    I think it might be fun to explore though.

 

 
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