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A case against the KCA and the fine-tuned universe argument
Posted: 24 May 2011 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Mingy Jongo - 24 May 2011 01:35 PM

How do you know the premises are true? It is logically possible that the premises are true, as there are no contradictory properties within and between them.  However, it is also logically possible that the premises are false, as there are no contradictory properties within and between their negations..

I agree. However the premises are true, and that is all that is required. The KCA has not been shown to be invalid, nor has it been defeated in any professional venue I can know of (see more below)

  My major problem is with P1: because causality (if it exists) cannot be observed, there is neither evidence for nor against the proposition.

Ha ha I don’t! Nothing is 100% certian. I could be wrong about everything, maybe God does not exist, maybe the KCA is just a philosophical ad hoc word salad. That would be my crappy luck! However, we all must form our paradigm or model of reality so that we can make sense of the world. Just the fact that you are an atheist or agnostic (I am guessing) means that you will look at the world much differently than I , and so you will have different quantifiers that validate reality. All this conspires against us agreeing on many things especially things that lack empirical evidence, such as some metaphysical events and all (claimed) supernatural occurrences.


That said I realize that its much easier for theists and philosophers etc to claim that the KCAs premises are true. Especially considering its philosophical/metaphysical content. And the above is cause for most atheists choose P1 to attack, because its nearly the only premise that has what first looks as a weakness. However if anyone rejects that everything that begins to exist has a cause for their existence they are also claiming by default that something can come from nothing for no reason. This might be a shock, because it’s intuitively obvious (at least to me) that nothing can not create something. Without doubt, that is difficult to take seriously. Because it means if literally nothing exists, how is ‘nothing’ going to create something? Nothing has no power to create or do anything. It has no resources to “distribute” for the creation of something, and it has no reason to create anything. 
I do appreciate your patience and your civil demeanor in this discussion. Please If I have not been clear etc I would be happy to clarify…

rhb

[ Edited: 24 May 2011 03:48 PM by RevHeadBanger ]
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Posted: 24 May 2011 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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RevHeadBanger - 24 May 2011 02:39 PM
Mingy Jongo - 24 May 2011 01:35 PM

How do you know the premises are true? It is logically possible that the premises are true, as there are no contradictory properties within and between them.  However, it is also logically possible that the premises are false, as there are no contradictory properties within and between their negations..

I agree. However the premises are true, and that is all that is required. The KCA has not been shown to be invalid, nor has it been defeated in any professional venue I can know of (see more below)

Repeating the exact statement I called into question does not add anything.  Once again, how do you know the premises of the KCA are true?

RevHeadBanger - 24 May 2011 02:39 PM

  My major problem is with P1: because causality (if it exists) cannot be observed, there is neither evidence for nor against the proposition.

Ha ha I don’t! Nothing is 100% certian. I could be wrong about everything, maybe God does not exist, maybe the KCA is just a philosophical ad hoc word salad. That would be my crappy luck! However, we all must form our paradigm or model of reality, so that we can make sense of the world. The KCAs premises are true. For example most atheists choose P1 to attack because its nearly the only premise that has what first looks as a weakness. However if anyone rejects that everything that begins to exist has a cause for their existence they are also claiming by default that something can come from nothing for no reason. This might be a shock, because it’s intuitively obvious (at least to me) that nothing can not create something. Without doubt, that is difficult to take seriously. Because it means if literally nothing exists, how is ‘nothing’ going to create something? Nothing has no power to create or do anything. It has no resources to “distribute” for the creation of something, and it has no reason to create anything. 

I do appreciate your patience and your civil demeanor in this discussion. Please If I have not been clear etc I would be happy to clarify…

rhb

How do you know that something cannot come from nothing?  Saying “it’s intuitively obvious” is not a very good argument, and your other examples either attack strawmen (“if literally nothing exists, how is ‘nothing’ going to create something”—who says nothing causes something?  What if the something is completely uncaused?), or are irrelevant (“it has no reason to create anything”—why must it have a reason?).

[ Edited: 24 May 2011 03:20 PM by Mingy Jongo ]
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Posted: 24 May 2011 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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domokato - 23 May 2011 03:39 PM

Here is the KCA, according to wikipedia:

The Kalam Cosmological Argument:[9]
(1)Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2)The universe has a beginning of its existence.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.

First off, I have an issue with (1). What does it mean for something to begin to exist? We know that matter and energy are conserved in the universe, so something “beginning to exist” is really just something becoming something else. It is not the same as something coming from nothing. I don’t think we actually have any evidence of such a phenomenon occurring in this universe. Maybe someone more familiar with the goings-on at the LHC can clear this one up.

(2) also lacks support. We don’t know whether or not the universe began to exist or if it always existed.

From these two points alone, we can reject the KCA. But for argument’s sake, I will continue…

Ok, so the universe had a cause. Some function of a Multi-universe. Some function of quantum foam. The universe had a beginning. Certainly in its current state. We say the universe began some 14 billion years ago. That’s not to say something else didn’t exist prior.

1, 2 and 3 say nothing out of the ordinary, nothing IMO unreasonable to accept.

4. Defines I suppose the cause, whatever it is as god. It provides no support for Christianity nor any other religion. god could be a purely metaphysical process, no consciousness, no thought, no intelligence.

5. Just affirms god as defined by whatever cause the universe.

Ok, I don’t see how KCA does anything for the religious community except assume causality. Isn’t that what we all do anyway.

Defeating KCA defeats the assumption of causality? Don’t we already accept the problem with disproving causality?

However the fine-tuned universe… Isn’t that intelligent design. Is it something new or is the same old argument in a new package?

I found this quote

“That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” - Christopher Hitchens

ID is a guess about how the universe can to be as it is. What evidence has been provided to support that guess?

So KCA asks you to defeat the assumption of causality and in being unable to do so accept a guess as to how the universe came about.

Yes I probably won’t be able to disprove causality however I still have no reason to accept their guess.

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Posted: 24 May 2011 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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RevHeadBanger - 24 May 2011 02:23 PM
domokato - 24 May 2011 01:03 PM

You cannot reach this conclusion unless the KCA is shown to be sound, which it has not. Your belief in God based on the KCA, is irrational.

You have yet to show that any premise is not true.

I reject (4) because there is no reason to assume God (with all His properties), and not something else, caused the universe. You say that the KCA made you believe in God, so then it should be important that the KCA proves the existence of the God of the Christian faith. But it does not.

I understand what you’re saying quite well, actually. I think it is you who did not understand me. The chain of regression can be frozen by a universe that always existed, just as easily as it can be by a God that always existed. You have given no reason to accept the God explanation over the universe explanation.

Yes however the empirical evidence does not show that the universe is eternal, which I have already addressed with links etc. If the universe is eternal how could it have began 14.7 or so billion years ago, which is the overwhelmingly accepted theory?

None of your links address this. As we’ve been saying, the big bang theory does not address what came before it. Some scientists say time didn’t exist before the big bang, and that therefore it is a moot question. However, other scientists have other theories about what happened before the big bang, and it seems to still be an open question. http://www.universetoday.com/15051/thinking-about-time-before-the-big-bang/ http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/before-big-bang1.htm . However, even if we take it that the universe as we know it came into existence at a fixed point in time in the past, we cannot apply cause and effect to it since time did not exist prior to the big bang. No time, no causality.

This does not make sense. You are looking at an argument that is unable to show that God exists, and concluding that it is reasonable to assume God exists.

Again the KCA does lend evidence that God exists.

Again, an argument is not evidence of anything. Arguments are attempts at proving something. Evidence is something empirical you use to support an argument.

Can you prove that a different kind of universe would not contain something akin to what we call life? What about silicon-based life, for example? Or what if another universe evolved computers instead of organisms? Or what if another universe contained something that kind of looked like life, but say, they lived forever and didn’t die. Or maybe they didn’t reproduce like life in our universe does. Do you still consider that non-life? Does that make us special? Does it make those other forms of life any less special? What about those universes that contained life that was way better than humans? What if there are possible universes that are even better suited for life. What if there was a universe that evolved God-like beings? How do you even begin to calculate the probabilities of these universes coming into existence?

Again with all due respect, you are now grasping at straws, and maybe even relying on pure faith! Perhaps you should consider an career in the clergy. The answer is no there may be something other than carbon based life. However a universe with a tiny deviation would be either white hot or cold near absolute zero with no solid matter such as planets stars etc.. No that is entering in the realm of speculation and conjecture as well as faith. I find it odd that the resistance to an intelligent agent creating the universe is so great as to generate faith. If you could produce empirical evidence of a life form that could begin to exist evolve and live in a white hot universe or one near absolute zero you may have a valid claim. However, with all due respect, in the absence of such evidence those speculations are in the realm of science fiction or pure faith.

I did not say I believed any of these questions I raised (believing questions?). That might be called faith if I did (and if that made any sense). I will just attack it from a different angle: to say that we don’t understand why the universe seems to be fine-tuned for life, and that therefore God did it, is God of the gaps reasoning. i.e. an argument from ignorance. i.e. invalid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

God used to be the answer to many things, before science came along and filled in those gaps with actual knowledge. Just because this gap hasn’t been filled completely, doesn’t mean you can just stick God in there. It does not require faith to reject God, but it does require faith to accept him. Here are more rebuttals against the fine-tuning argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_tuned_universe#Disputes_on_the_extent_and_existence_of_fine-tuning

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Posted: 25 May 2011 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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POST NUMBER 18 IN FULL I GUESS YOU EDITED YOUR REPLY WHILE I WAS RESPONDING TO IT, IGGY WHAT IS NOT POSTED OR I CAN POST YOUR ORIGINAL POST 18 AS I COPY AND SAVE ALL REPLIES I ANSWER

Gnostikosis - 24 May 2011 05:14 PM

Ok, so the universe had a cause.

Thank you X a zillion! That is the mark of true intelligence! Do you know how many times debating the KCA that we have never progressed past that point due to my partner denying that the universe began to exist. You do not even have to agree that it has a cause, I would admire you for just saying its probable or even possible that the universe had a cause, because that opens up more room for an interesting good discussion.

Some function of a Multi-universe. Some function of quantum foam. The universe had a beginning. Certainly in its current state. We say the universe began some 14 billion years ago. That’s not to say something else didn’t exist prior.

I agree. However the prevailing theory is interpreted to say that this is the only universe. Meta universes and quantum gravity are speculative theories and are not validated and they do not have any empirical evidence unlike the traditional BB theory which has much empirical evdience to support its contentions.

1, 2 and 3 say nothing out of the ordinary, nothing IMO unreasonable to accept.

Agree

4. Defines I suppose the cause, whatever it is as god. It provides no support for Christianity nor any other religion. god could be a purely metaphysical process, no consciousness, no thought, no intelligence.

I agree 100%, and have said that here in this forum. I simply like it because it provides a logical explanation and evidence for the cause. Its much better than saying ; “I beleive that God created the universe by faith.” I wish I had that capacity of pure faith! I don’t. I do have much more faith that I did ten years ago, however it remains a component that I use to construct my paradigm. If I lost the KCA entirely it would not be like losing the foundation or even a supporting wall to my pardigm, its more like losing half the roof! Highly uncomfortable but not structurally threatening.

5. Just affirms god as defined by whatever cause the universe.

Agree.

Ok, I don’t see how KCA does anything for the religious community except assume causality. Isn’t that what we all do anyway.

You dont? What I like about it is that it gets God or a creative agent into the universe. If one agrees with the KCA one agrees that God or an eternal atemporal being or force   exists! Thats HUGE.

Defeating KCA defeats the assumption of causality? Don’t we already accept the problem with disproving causality?

That is a different and long argument. I was attempting to preempt an argument that most atheists bring up about the ‘cause’ being eternal and atemproal uses 90% of the time. You didn’t! Ha ha. The argument is that how can an atemporal agent (God etc) do anything independent of time since causality is dependent on time.

However the fine-tuned universe… Isn’t that intelligent design. Is it something new or is the same old argument in a new package?

Yes much like the theory of evolution, which changes with the emergence of new evidence. Metaphysics are very similar. The only things that do not change is scripture.

I found this quote “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” - Christopher Hitchens

Nice quote however that is what the fine tuned universe is ; circumstantial evidence for the existence of God, along with about fifty at last count more. In this country one can be toasted using circumstantial evidence that proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I use the same method to prove Gods existence beyond a reasonable doubt. So much so that a rational reasonable person would not or could not deny it.

ID is a guess about how the universe can to be as it is. What evidence has been provided to support that guess?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_on_intelligent_design

The above is a list of books etc that support intelligent design. Some are better than others. So I do not endorse all of them. There are just so many evdiences, another that I like is paraphrased in the quote below

“Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind.  No one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind.”
Nature can create fascinating patterns – snowflakes, sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites.  Tornadoes and turbulence and cloud formations.
But non-living things cannot create language. They *cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.”

I have seen this argument presented in other forms and such but the hyperlink expands on why Nature can nor and does not produce Code.

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/prove-god-exists/

It is believed by some that life on planet earth arose accidentally from the “primordial soup,” the early ocean which produced enzymes and eventually RNA, DNA, and primitive cells.
But there is still a problem with this theory: It fails to answer the question, ‘Where did the information come from?’

Hey you took the words right out of my mouth!

So KCA asks you to defeat the assumption of causality and in being unable to do so accept a guess as to how the universe came about.

No it forces you by logical deduction to accept that the cause existed before (outside) time.

Thanks for your reply.

[ Edited: 25 May 2011 04:08 AM by RevHeadBanger ]
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Posted: 25 May 2011 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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time out for edit!

[ Edited: 25 May 2011 04:07 AM by RevHeadBanger ]
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I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers” ‘Gibran’

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Posted: 25 May 2011 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I use the same method to prove Gods existence beyond a reasonable doubt. So much so that a rational reasonable person would not or could not deny it.

So there is more to it than the KCA + fine-tuned universe? Let’s hear it

“Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind.  No one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind.”
Nature can create fascinating patterns – snowflakes, sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites.  Tornadoes and turbulence and cloud formations.
But non-living things cannot create language. They *cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.”

I have seen this argument presented in other forms and such but the hyperlink expands on why Nature can nor and does not produce Code.

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/prove-god-exists/

God of the gaps again. Also, the premises are not true. Viruses have no mind yet they produce code. Same with all the cells in our body; collectively, they have a mind, but individually they don’t, and individually, they create code. Evolutionary code generation can be simulated in a computer, which does not have a mind (you might argue a mind created the simulation, but the evolved code was not created by the mind and the mind may not even be able to understand the code, so the mind really cannot be said to have created it).

Abiogenesis is gaining ground. We are currently able to create two of the four DNA nucleotides from primordial soup + sunlight and freezing/thawing. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the process is discovered and God is removed from that gap as well.

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Posted: 25 May 2011 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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RHB, as requested I have come to this thread.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument:
(1)Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2)The universe has a beginning of its existence.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.

(1) At the quantum level things happen without cause all the time. Photons spontaneously decay out of atoms, a process known as radioactive decay. The latest cosmological theories postulate our universe spontaneously appeared out of a much larger multiverse, with the possiblity of 10^500 universes existing.

So where did this stuff come from, you ask? That’s like asking what is south of the South Pole. From Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design

“...when one combines the general theory of relativity with quantum theory, the question of what happened before the beginning of the universe is rendered meaningless. The idea that histories should be closed surfaces without boundary is called the no-boundary condition.

(2) Agreed

(3) See the Hawking quote above. Many cosmologists are coming to the conclusion that, just as in radioative decay, there did not have to be a cause for our universe to spontaneously appear in a Bing Bang. This is a hard concept to accept because all our senses and experiences tell us everything has to have a cause.

(4) Does not follow from the first three assertions, and is rendered meaningless by previous arguments anyway.

(5) We have no need of that hypothesis.

Furthermore, many people argue the universe could not have just appeared out of nothing. Well, actually that is possible. If you sum all the matter and energy in the universe, then add the gravitational potential energy (a negative quantity), the total is zero. That’s right. The total amount of energy in the universe is zero. The universe is merely a special case of nothing.

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Posted: 26 May 2011 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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DarronS - 25 May 2011 05:20 PM

The latest cosmological theories postulate our universe spontaneously appeared out of a much larger multiverse, with the possiblity of 10^500 universes existing.

Just want to remark that this makes no difference for the KCA. The meaning of ‘universe’ has shifted from ‘all there is’ to e.g. one bubble in the multiverse. But if we take the original meaning then our universe would be much bigger than we originally thought. So we must ask for the beginning of the multiverse, and the whole argument repeats. Just as silly as it was already… Is there a proof already that when every even in the universe would have a cause, that there must be a cause for the universe as a whole?

If I may make another parallel:

a. 2 x endless still equals endless (per definition of what endless is)
Divide both side through endless:
b. 2 equals 1

How do we know the same questions that are good questions for single events, are meaningful questions for the universe as a whole?

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Posted: 26 May 2011 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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RevHeadBanger - 24 May 2011 02:39 PM

However the premises are true, and that is all that is required. The KCA has not been shown to be invalid, nor has it been defeated in any professional venue I can know of (see more below)

I’m no philospher, but I do know that a premise can be valid (that is, non-contradictory) and still be false (that is, it just so happens to not be true).

I could be wrong about everything, maybe God does not exist, maybe the KCA is just a philosophical ad hoc word salad.

As you seem to recognize yourself, however briefly.  smile

That said I realize that its much easier for theists and philosophers etc to claim that the KCAs premises are true. Especially considering its philosophical/metaphysical content.

Well duh!  Because you already believe in the conclusion, and you want it to be true!  smile

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Posted: 26 May 2011 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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RevHeadBanger - 25 May 2011 03:37 AM

I agree. However the prevailing theory is interpreted to say that this is the only universe. Meta universes and quantum gravity are speculative theories and are not validated and they do not have any empirical evidence unlike the traditional BB theory which has much empirical evdience to support its contentions.

Sure no more, no less evidence for any particular religious theory. So IMO one is free to imagine whatever cause for the universe they take a liking to until otherwise shown to be false.

I agree 100%, and have said that here in this forum. I simply like it because it provides a logical explanation and evidence for the cause. Its much better than saying ; “I beleive that God created the universe by faith.” I wish I had that capacity of pure faith! I don’t. I do have much more faith that I did ten years ago, however it remains a component that I use to construct my paradigm. If I lost the KCA entirely it would not be like losing the foundation or even a supporting wall to my pardigm, its more like losing half the roof! Highly uncomfortable but not structurally threatening.

The problem is as far as getting others to accept this definition of God is the inherent assumed properties of he word God. Those assumed properties i.e. intelligence, consciousness are taking on faith. That is a clear distinction between god as perhaps a metaphysical process and God as a supreme, divine entity.

You dont? What I like about it is that it gets God or a creative agent into the universe. If one agrees with the KCA one agrees that God or an eternal atemporal being or force   exists! Thats HUGE.

What we know of the universe is from the point of its initial creation. There’s no evidence of anything existent prior to that. The universe as we know it began to exist at this point. Time as we know it began to exist at this point. I don’t know that that means anything other then we are limited to the universe in it’s current form as to what we can know of. If your are going to step outside of that you have to accept the existence of the supernatural in some form. Science because of self imposed requirement for evidence, validation and justification can’t accept an argument from the supernatural.

That is a different and long argument. I was attempting to preempt an argument that most atheists bring up about the ‘cause’ being eternal and atemproal uses 90% of the time. You didn’t! Ha ha. The argument is that how can an atemporal agent (God etc) do anything independent of time since causality is dependent on time.

Time as we know it, time began for the universe. Time is simply a measurement of change. Anytype of movement, difference, change a concept of time can be developed for. Since we don’t have evidence of anything prior to the universe how can we develop a concept of time for it? We have no idea what existed or the properties of what existed. That doesn’t mean nothing existed nor there wasn’t any change.

Time for the universe began at it’s creation. It’s a system unto itself. Doesn’t mean there isn’t anything external to that system.

Yes much like the theory of evolution, which changes with the emergence of new evidence. Metaphysics are very similar. The only things that do not change is scripture.

What makes you think scripture does not change? Obviously there are many versions of the Bible. Maybe you consider these alterations minor but even small variations can change a person’s understanding. With any scripture there is a whole slew of people you are relying on that you don’t know that you are choosing to place your faith in. Not saying you can’t but any justification comes from authority. Why should I accept anyone else’s authority on God?

Nice quote however that is what the fine tuned universe is ; circumstantial evidence for the existence of God, along with about fifty at last count more. In this country one can be toasted using circumstantial evidence that proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I use the same method to prove Gods existence beyond a reasonable doubt. So much so that a rational reasonable person would not or could not deny it.

There’s no evidence for anything external to the current universe. You can infer such from what is known but there is no validation for what’s being inferred. A proof a God has to accept without justification the supernatural. As far as I’m concerned you are free to do so but can’t expect scientific minded individuals to accept its existence without validation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_on_intelligent_design

The above is a list of books etc that support intelligent design. Some are better than others. So I do not endorse all of them. There are just so many evdiences, another that I like is paraphrased in the quote below

“Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind.  No one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind.”
Nature can create fascinating patterns – snowflakes, sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites.  Tornadoes and turbulence and cloud formations.
But non-living things cannot create language. They *cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.”

I have seen this argument presented in other forms and such but the hyperlink expands on why Nature can nor and does not produce Code.

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/prove-god-exists/

Sorry I don’t have audio available to me. However I will try to review your site at some point.

No it forces you by logical deduction to accept that the cause existed before (outside) time.

I more or less accept causality because of my experience with the universe. However relying on my experience has sometimes been faulty. The question for me is why should I accept any particular religion has any answers.

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Posted: 27 May 2011 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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DarronS - 25 May 2011 05:20 PM

RHB, as requested I have come to this thread.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument:
(1)Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2)The universe has a beginning of its existence.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.


Hi Darron sorry to all for the semi absence…my non profits are beginning to show some life (I closed the doors last year due to no op funds). And construction on a office/church is also beginning on our land, I have too many irons in the fire!

That said,  I usually only debate the first three premises but I will attempt to answer all, thanks for coming!

(1) At the quantum level things happen without cause all the time. Photons spontaneously decay out of atoms, a process known as radioactive decay.

Well that is the best answer that anyone has come up with in quite a while. Even virtual particles have a cause for their existence, however the original photons are not the same as the virtual particles of quantum physics. No one knows where the original photons came from. One theory is that the ‘original’ photons comes from the energy the quantum foam. Of course we (think) know how new photons are created. So since there is no consensus of where the original photons are created I suggest we call that example a draw?  Congrats that is a new one on me! And that is why I like experiencing different forums. Its easy to get comfortable and stagnant from staying in one place too long.

The latest cosmological theories postulate our universe spontaneously appeared out of a much larger multiverse, with the possibility of 10^500 universes existing.

Yes I read everything I can to keep current and of course cosmology runs neck and neck with my love of astronomy. Actually some metaverse theories tells us that there may be infinite universes. However these theories have no empirical evidence such as the standard big bang model. ( I can not be specific because there are several). They are mathematical models that use constructs such as imaginary numbers etc to fudge them enough to work. Nevertheless they are interesting and may be correct. However I remain convinced that the current big bang model which is overwhelmingly accepted is the correct one. Secular scientists are working hard to get that singularity of the BB out of theories, I may be wrong but I think the reason being has nothing to do with new empirical evidences and everything to do with the theistic implications of a universe with a starting point. The new theories picked up credibility and steam about the same time highly educated theists began using the KCA and other theories that depended on a universe that began in some point in time. Or maybe I am just paranoid and suspicious, ha ha!

So where did this stuff come from, you ask? That’s like asking what is south of the South Pole. From Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design
“...when one combines the general theory of relativity with quantum theory, the question of what happened before the beginning of the universe is rendered meaningless. The idea that histories should be closed surfaces without boundary is called the no-boundary condition.

Yes Hawking is an atheist which makes a difference in his theories. Yes that is a subjective and fantastic claim but I believe it to be true. I have read most of his books except for the grand design, but have read many excerpts from it. I enjoy his books and respect the man. Nevertheless, I worry about his motives. I am sure his first is to explain how the universe began. In addition I also think he and other secular scientists are actively attempting to eliminate God from the universe by some of these new theories. I am sure he would be exceedingly happy if his ‘new’ theory* of how the universe didn’t begin and if vindicated and was accepted as thoroughly as the standard (hot) model of the BB.  But the empirical evidence is not there. Again, I never would eliminate anything from the realm of possibilities. To be sure, I personally feel the BB has serious problems, and probably will be overturned or modified as empirical evidence emerges. Hawking and the other secular theoretical physicists astro and otherwise may be correct.

*Classical BB theory graphs the universe that looks like a ‘V’ where the sharp point is the universe beginning.  Hawking and some other new theories look something like a ‘U’ where there is no beginning.

(2) Agreed

Yea!

(3) See the Hawking quote above. Many cosmologists are coming to the conclusion that, just as in radioative decay, there did not have to be a cause for our universe to spontaneously appear in a Bing Bang. This is a hard concept to accept because all our senses and experiences tell us everything has to have a cause.

Agree that the new theories may be correct. However I must use the traditional BB until more information or evidence emerges. I might add that there is indeed a cause for radioactive decay but the (original) *photon is a different animal.

* We know where the bulk of photons come from and they too have a cause for their beginning.

(4) Does not follow from the first three assertions, and is rendered meaningless by previous arguments anyway.

I do not usually debate the KCA’s fourth and additional premises in the same that Craig does.  Only the first three premise form the logical syllogism. I only go so far to say that the fourth premise shows that a reasonable assumption is that a universe causing, atemporal/eternal being is a creator and fits the attributes of God. I use other methods and evidences to make my case for a personal sentient Hebrew bible God. So we are very close in agreement here as well.

(5) We have no need of that hypothesis. Furthermore, many people argue the universe could not have just appeared out of nothing. Well, actually that is possible. If you sum all the matter and energy in the universe, then add the gravitational potential energy (a negative quantity), the total is zero. That’s right. The total amount of energy in the universe is zero. The universe is merely a special case of nothing.

Yes I am aware of that highly speculative hypothesis, however, with all due respect one must take HUGE leaps of faith to believe it. I reserve my faith as a component in my belief system for the existence of God. 

Thanks for your interesting reply ;

rhb

[ Edited: 27 May 2011 05:55 AM by RevHeadBanger ]
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Posted: 27 May 2011 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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RevHeadBanger - 27 May 2011 05:43 AM

Hi Darron sorry to all for the semi absence…my non profits are beginning to show some life (I closed the doors last year due to no op funds). And construction on a office/church is also beginning on our land, I have too many irons in the fire!

Not a problem. I don’t expect people to sit by their computers waiting for my posts.

They are mathematical models that use constructs such as imaginary numbers etc to fudge them enough to work.

Imaginary numbers are not “constructs.” I think the confusion comes from the unfortunate appellation. Imaginary numbers explain all kids of phenomena, including alternating current.

Yes Hawking is an atheist which makes a difference in his theories. Yes that is a subjective and fantastic claim but I believe it to be true. I have read most of his books except for the grand design, but have read many excerpts from it. I enjoy his books and respect the man. Nevertheless, I worry about his motives.

I agree that scientist’s motives shape their thinking, which in turn shapes the models they build to explain observations. One of my areas of interest is what influences scientists to develop their ideas. Since at least Galileo scientists have been very careful to not develop theories that put Earth in a special place in the universe. This is a subtly different mindset than trying to disprove god; it simply ignores god, for if one introduces a supernatural agent into a theory one is no longer practicing science (see Michael Behe).

I only go so far to say that the fourth premise shows that a reasonable assumption is that a universe causing, atemporal/eternal being is a creator and fits the attributes of God. I use other methods and evidences to make my case for a personal sentient Hebrew bible God. So we are very close in agreement here as well.

Actually, this is where we diverge the most. If you are going to postulate god as creator of the universe you need to define your god and explain how it originated.

Edit: corrected a typo

[ Edited: 27 May 2011 07:09 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 27 May 2011 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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GdB - 26 May 2011 12:51 AM
DarronS - 25 May 2011 05:20 PM

The latest cosmological theories postulate our universe spontaneously appeared out of a much larger multiverse, with the possiblity of 10^500 universes existing.

Just want to remark that this makes no difference for the KCA. The meaning of ‘universe’ has shifted from ‘all there is’ to e.g. one bubble in the multiverse. But if we take the original meaning then our universe would be much bigger than we originally thought. So we must ask for the beginning of the multiverse, and the whole argument repeats. Just as silly as it was already… Is there a proof already that when every even in the universe would have a cause, that there must be a cause for the universe as a whole?

If I may make another parallel:

a. 2 x endless still equals endless (per definition of what endless is)
Divide both side through endless:
b. 2 equals 1

How do we know the same questions that are good questions for single events, are meaningful questions for the universe as a whole?

The reason I do not entertain the infinite universe theory is because it hasn’t empirical evidence to back it up. I am not saying its impossible but its not as probable as the SBB (standard Big Bang).  I would suggest the standard model (BB) while being attacked by secular science remains the best description for what we see today and its the theory with all the empirical evidence. Lucky for theists it also best fits modern christian apologists and philosophers theories claims etc.

Is anyone here familiar with Kurt Gödel’s and his ontological argument for the existence of God? Not to be confused with his elegance and upsetting incompleteness theorem ?

rhb

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Posted: 27 May 2011 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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DarronS - 27 May 2011 06:27 AM
RevHeadBanger - 27 May 2011 05:43 AM

Hi Darron sorry to all for the semi absence…my non profits are beginning to show some life (I closed the doors last year due to no op funds). And construction on a office/church is also beginning on our land, I have too many irons in the fire!

Not a problem. I don’t expect people to sit by their computers waiting for my posts.

They are mathematical models that use constructs such as imaginary numbers etc to fudge them enough to work.

Imaginary numbers are not “constructs.” I think the confusion comes from the unfortunate appellation. Imaginary numbers explain all kids of phenomena, including alternating current.

With all due respect Mr Darron, I beg to differ! While I am no expert in quantum Gravity models (of how and why the universe did or did not begin to exist), I do know the basics. There are now seven current main theories including QG models and the standard BB model which I subscribe to. The QG model does use of imaginary numbers and they are constructs IMO, I see no other way to describe them. The two QG models ie Hartle-Hawking and the Vilenkin models eliminate the initial singularity (the big bang singularity, not to be confused with a stellar singularity) by changing the conical hyper-surface of classical space-time ( the ‘V’ and ‘U’ examples I used earlier),  into a smooth, edgeless curved hyper-surface. Guess what? That is where the introduction of imaginary numbers for the time variable in Einstein’s gravitational equations are fabricated and entered into the mix. Therein is the rub! Those imaginary numbers eliminates the singularity, and there a need for a beginning and therefore for ‘God’ . As I said, Hawking intentionally produces theological implications in the model. He says ;

” The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary . . . has profound implications for the role of God in the affairs of the universe . . . . So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end. What place, then, for a creator?”

Hmmm! Ha ha how neatly that real need for a cause (the cause of the KCA) AKA pesky creator God is eliminated by the assassin of (constructed) imaginary numbers!  We could go on and I could go much deeper in explaining why this device is a better argument for the creator than against the creator, however if we leave this interesting debate here I will summarize that there can be little question that the use of imaginary numbers, time, etc is simply an mathematical device without ontological bearing.

One of my favorite scientists John Barrow has this to say about constructs such as imaginary numbers, and imaginary time etc, “physicists have often carried out this ‘change time into space’ procedure as a useful trick for doing certain problems in ordinary quantum mechanics, although they did not imagine that time was really like space.”

following paragraph added in edit on Fri may 27 3:27 PM

Likewise for real numbers vs imaginary numbers. It should be said that the use of imaginary quantities for time is an inherent feature of all Quantum Gravity Models. This rules out their being interpreted as an realistic account of the origin of our space-time universe in a timelessly existing ‘space’. Instead, they are ways of modeling the real beginning of the universe from something other than nothing (ex nihilo) as not to involve a singularity.

end of edit

As I said if this explanation is not satisfactory I can begin where I left off and explain why Hawking himself recently said explicitly that he interprets his Hartle-Hawking model non-realistically. In other words he does not think the universe is really like his model, spoken like the positive he is eh? I am going to answer the rest of your reply on another page just in case we have to split it. I will be happy to clarify anything, thanks for your reply!

rhb

[ Edited: 27 May 2011 12:28 PM by RevHeadBanger ]
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