An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
Thread Closed 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
23-03-2014, 12:23 PM
An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
I invite Stevil to debate on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I will be the proponent of the argument.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 1 user Likes Jeremy E Walker's post
23-03-2014, 12:33 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 12:23 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I invite Stevil to debate on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I will be the proponent of the argument.
OK, I'm here. Make your claims, draw your conclusions and we will discuss its merits or gaps.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 2 users Like Stevil's post
23-03-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 12:33 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 12:23 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I invite Stevil to debate on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I will be the proponent of the argument.
OK, I'm here. Make your claims, draw your conclusions and we will discuss its merits or gaps.

I claim that the Kalam Cosmological argument is a philosophical syllogism whose conclusion calls for a cause of the universe.

The Kalam is provided below:

1. Everything that begins to exist, has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause

The argument is valid because the conclusion follows from the premises. The question is, are the premises true? What is the evidence?

The following was taken from a post of mine on another forum.

Premise 1

The Law of causality, which is the fundamental principle of science establishes premise one as true. Without the Law of Causality, science would be rendered impossible. Science is a search for causes. If we know anything about reality, it is that things don't happen without a cause.
Francis Bacon, the father of modern science says: "True knowledge is knowledge by causes."(The New Organon 1620; reprint, Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1960), 121

Skeptic David Hume admits: " I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." (in J.Y.T. Greig, ed., The Letters of David Hume, 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1983), 1:187.

Premise 2

Einstein's discovery of General Relativity is well known to those in the scientific community. It was the beginning of a string of events that led to a greater understanding of our universe. Einstein's calculations revealed that there was actually a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. Being irritated by this discovery he later introduced a cosmological constant into his equations to make them seem to point to the fact that the universe was static. This deception, which was discovered by another scientist, Alexander Friedmann, was what Einstein called: "the greatest blunder of my life".( From George Gamow, My World Line, 1970)

British cosmologist Arthur Eddington sympathized with Einstein. He stated: "Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me...I should like to find a loophole."( Quoted in Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1995, 57)

Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter and astronomer Edwin Hubble subsequently confirmed through observation that the universe indeed was expanding and that therefore the General Relativity of Einstein was true.

Lets look at some of the corroborating evidence.

1. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states among other things, that the universe is running out of usable energy. We experience it everyday when we drive our cars. We put fuel in the tank and as the engine runs, fuel is used. When the fuel runs out the engines shuts off. Unless fuel is put in the tank, the engine will not run. The universe is this way. One day it will run out of energy. Like a flashlight loses its power if left on overnight. Since the universe is using energy that it has, it must have had a beginning, if not, it would have been eternal, but if it had been eternal, it would have run out of usable energy. The second law is tied to the first which states that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. In other words it has only a finite amount of energy.

The Law of Entropy is associated with this as well. This law states that over time, nature tends to bring things to disorder, not order. Cars rust, trees rot, clothes tear and wear out, human bodies age etc. etc.
If a wound up clock is running down, then someone must have wound it up. Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow likens the universe to such a wound up clock. (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, New York, Norton, 1978, 48)

Arthur Eddington understands all to well the implications of this and anyone who would attempt to refute the Second Law when he states:
"The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." (Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World 1928, chapter 4)

2. The universe is expanding. The recent discoveries categorized in the "Big Bang" show us that the universe is expanding. Astronomer Edwin Hubble confirmed what astronomer Vesto Melvin Slipher had been researching in the early 1900's. That space itself is expanding is a scientifically proven fact confirmed by atheist British author Anthony Kenny. He wrote: " According to the Big Bang Theory, the whole matter of the universe began to exist at a particular time in the remote past. A proponent of such a theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the matter of the universe came from nothing and by nothing. (Anthony Kenny, The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas' Proofs of God's Existence, New York: Shocken, 1969, 66)

3. Radiation from the afterglow of the explosion of the Big Bang was detected in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of Bell Labs in New Jersey. This is technically called cosmic background radiation.
Agnostic Astronomer Robert Jastrow states: "No explanation other than the big bang has been found for the fireball radiation. The clincher, which has convinced almost the last Doubting Thomas, is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion. Supporters of the steady state theory have tried desperately to find an alternative explanation, but they have failed."(Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 15-16)

4. Variations in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation which enable matter to come together by gravitational attraction into galaxies was discovered by COBE, a satellite that in 1992 startled the scientific world by showing that the explosion and expansion of the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation, but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself. Any slight variation one way or the other, and none of us would be here to tell about it. In fact, the ripples are so exact (down to one part in one hundred thousand) that astronomer George Smoot called them the "machining marks from the creation of the universe" and the "finger-prints of the maker."(Heeren, Show Me God, 168)

Stephen Hawking says of this discovery that it is: "the most important discovery of the century, if not all time."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

George Smoot again states with regards to these findings: "If you're religious, it's like looking at God."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

Astrophysicist Michael Turner claims: "The significance of this cannot be overstated. They have found the Holy Grail of Cosmology."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

The infrared pictures taken by COBE point to the existence of matter from the very early universe that would ultimately form into the galaxies as they exist today. Smoot called this matter "seeds". Pictures of these Galaxy Seeds can be found at COBE's website: http://lambda.gsfc.nasa.gov/

These "seeds" are the largest structures ever detected, with the biggest extending across 1/3 of the known universe. That is approximately 10,000,000,000 light years across!

5. Einstein's General Relativity has been verified to an accuracy of five decimal places. General Relativity demands an absolute beginning for time, space, and matter and shows that the three are co-relative.
Before speaking of the conclusion of the Cosmological argument, let us take a look at some of the views of scientists today on the beginning of the universe.

From atheistic physicist Stephen Hawking:

"All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted." (The Beginning of Time Lecture, Stephen Hawking British Theoretical Physicist and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Subsequently, he became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.)


From agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow:

"Recent developments in astronomy have implications that may go beyond their contribution to science itself. In a nutshell, astronomers, studying the Universe through their telescopes, have been forced to the conclusion that the world began suddenly, in a moment of creation, as the product of unknown forces." ( Excerpt from Truth Journal by Professor Robert Jastrow-Ph.D. (1948), from Columbia University; Chief of the Theoretical Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1958-61) and Founder/Director of NASA 's Goddard Institute; Professor of Geophysics at Columbia University; Professor of Space Studies-Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College)


"Scientists generally agree that "the Big Bang" birthed the universe about 15 billion years ago."( Tom Parisi, Northern Illinois University)


"As a result of the Big Bang (the tremendous explosion which marked the beginning of our Universe), the universe is expanding and most of the galaxies within it are moving away from each other." (CalTech)


"The Big Bang model of the universe's birth is the most widely accepted model that has ever been conceived for the scientific origin of everything." (Stuart Robbins, Case Western Reserve University)


"Many once believed that the universe had no beginning or end and was truly infinite. Through the inception of the Big Bang theory, however, no longer could the universe be considered infinite. The universe was forced to take on the properties of a finite phenomenon, possessing a history and a beginning." (Chris LaRocco and Blair Rothstein, University of Michigan)


"The scientific evidence is now overwhelming that the Universe began with a "Big Bang" ~15 billion (15,000,000,000 or 15E9) years ago." "The Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted theory of the creation of the Universe." (Dr. van der Pluijm, University of Michigan)


"Most scientists agree that the universe began some 12 to 20 billion years ago in what has come to be known as the Big Bang (a term coined by the English astrophysicist Fred Hoyle in 1950." (University of Illinois)


"The universe cannot be infinitely large or infinitely old (it evolves in time)." (Nilakshi Veerabathina, Georgia State University)


"The universe had a beginning. There was once nothing and now there is something." (Janna Levin, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University)


"Today scientists generally believe the universe was created in a violent explosion called the Big Bang." (Susan Terebey, Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University Los Angeles)


"Evidence suggests that our universe began as an incredibly hot and dense region referred to as a singularity." (Stephen T. Abedon, Ohio State University)


"A large body of astrophysical observations now clearly points to a beginning for our universe about 15 billion years ago in a cataclysmic outpouring of elementary particles. There is, in fact, no evidence that any of the particles of matter with which we are now familiar existed before this great event." (Louis J. Clavelli, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, University of Alabama)


From the above, we see that there is ample evidence to maintain that premise 2 of the cosmological argument is true.

When Stevil finishes interacting with the above we can move on to the conclusion of the argument.
Find all posts by this user
23-03-2014, 03:46 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2014 03:53 PM by Stevil.)
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
Let's begin with an opening statement.
The case presented by Jeremy E Walker as the Kalam Cosmological Argument, is actually a simplified version as it does not address infinite regression and it does not claim a non natural cause. But it does fall for some of the same logical fallacies as the full Kalam Cosmological Argument. The strength of this argument lies upon its appeal to scientific knowledge as well as application of consistent logic.
In order for Jeremy to successfully present a logically coherent and evidential based conclusion he must prove that his premises are evidential based, do not incite special pleading and do not beg the question.
In order for me to successfully rebut Jeremy's conclusion I need to show that either his premises incite special pleading, include beg the question assumptions or that the premises do not logically flow to the conclusion.

Now onto my rebuttal of the first premise.
The first premise presented
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause."
Jeremy cited the Law of causality.

Let's define "effect" as being "change". Science has shown that effects at the macro level such as change in velocity or change in temperature do require a cause. In order for an object to change direction or to change speed it must be acted upon by a force. This is Classical physics.
Quote:A physical system can be considered in the classical limit when they satisfy conditions such that the laws of classical physics are approximately valid. In practice, physical objects larger than atoms and molecules can be well-understood with classical mechanics, including the objects in the macroscopic and astronomical realm. Beginning at the atomic level, the laws of classical physics break down and generally do not provide a correct description of nature.

Things get more intriguing when we consider Modern physics (General relativity and quantum mechanics).
Quote:The term "modern physics" implies that classical descriptions of phenomena are lacking, and that an accurate, "modern", description of reality requires theories to incorporate elements of quantum mechanics or Einsteinian relativity, or both.
Under the classical physics model gravity is a force. This force causes an object to accelerate towards the center of gravity of a body of mass. This acceleration is a change of speed and (possibly) change of direction of the object. Under the modern physics model gravity isn't a force, it is perceived as a virtual force. Instead Space-time is warped and the object (without a force acting upon it) continues to move through Space-time in a constant velocity (speed and direction).
The consequences of the modern physics model is that two objects moving parallel to each other, without having any force acting on them, can over time be moving non parallel to each other. Two objects without any relative motion (i.e. they are both standing still relative to each other), can actually collide into each other, without having ever had any force applied to either of them.
What this demonstrates is that it is crucial to understand that our observed universe can be viewed from multiple perspectives. That an event (such as two objects colliding) can occur without any causal force.
So I propose that the type of event is important, we cannot simply lump all events into an "event" category and state that all events require a cause.

The particular event that the Kalam Cosmological argument is considering is a "begins to exist" event. So lets clarify what is meant by "begins to exist".
In the context of this argument we are not discussing the change from one form to another as being a "begins to exist" event. This is merely a "change of form" event. e.g. I throw a ball up into the air. As the potential energy of the ball increases its kinetic energy decreases. In this way total energy remains constant (refer to conservation of energy). From the surface of the Earth this rate of change of kinetic energy to potential energy is 9.81 N/kg. Within the classical physics model we view this as a constant deceleration (change in speed) of 9.81 m/s^2. At some stage potential energy is maximised when kinetic energy becomes 0 as all the kinetic energy has been transferred into potential energy. When kinetic energy = 0 then the instantaneous velocity also = 0. However given that deceleration remains constant, we then get negative values of velocity (where positive values denote direction away from Earth and negative values denote direction towards the Earth). We eventually return back to the position where potential energy = 0 and kinetic energy is maximised. Throughout this journey total energy levels have remained constant, nether being created or nor destroyed, thus nothing begun to exist.
Science shows us lots of empirically proven formula with regards to the cause and effect of change events be they "change of form" or "change of velocity".
Jeremy can you please:
- clarify scientifically what you mean by the "begins to exist" event
- show scientific evidence as to how this event is caused?
- show scientific evidence supporting the assertion that the cause of the "begins to exist" event you cite above is the only cause that is possible for this type of event.
- present a scientific reference (rather than quips) that show the big bang was a "begins to exist" event rather than simply the beginning of the expansion cycle of our observable universe
Find all posts by this user
[+] 5 users Like Stevil's post
23-03-2014, 04:44 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  In order for Jeremy to successfully present a logically coherent and evidential based conclusion he must prove that his premises are evidential based, do not incite special pleading and do not beg the question.

The form of the argument is logically valid. So attacking the form is useless.

The premises need to be shown to be more plausible than their negations. That is it. This is in accordance with standard criteria for a good argument in philosophy.

(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  In order for me to successfully rebut Jeremy's conclusion I need to show that either his premises incite special pleading, include beg the question assumptions or that the premises do not logically flow to the conclusion.

Or you need to show that the premises are not more plausible than their negation by offering either undercutting or rebutting defeaters to them.


(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Jeremy can you please:
- clarify scientifically what you mean by the "begins to exist" event
Thus far my opponent Stevil has neither offered an undercutting defeater nor a rebutting defeater for either of the two premises of the argument.

So as of this moment, the argument stands.

He has asked me to clarify what is meant by the phrase "begins to exist". When the proponent of the Kalam uses this phrase he simply means to convey the concept of something that “comes into being”. This can be explicated as follows: for any entity e and time t, e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact.

(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  - show scientific evidence as to how this event is caused?

My opponent then asks me to show how this event is caused. By this event, I assume he means the coming into existence of the universe. But explaining how the universe came into existence is not a burden the proponent of the Kalam has to bear, rather only that it did come into existence. For premise two reads: The universe began to exist. So proving premise two to be more plausible than its negation requires me to provide evidence that the universe did indeed come into existence, not how it came into existence. You are asking for something I do not need to provide for the premise to be more plausible than its negation.

(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  - show scientific evidence supporting the assertion that the cause of the "begins to exist" event you cite above is the only cause that is possible for this type of event.

If this question is regarding the nature of the cause which the argument concludes caused the universe to come into existence then I will be obliged to answer. But if you do not accept the first two premises then talking about the conclusion of the argument is not appropriate. So do you accept the two premises and wish me to speak on the conclusion of the argument? If not then I do not understand your question.


(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  - present a scientific reference (rather than quips) that show the big bang was a "begins to exist" event rather than simply the beginning of the expansion cycle of our observable universe

Note* For brevity, I have not included the philosophical argument against the existence of an actually infinite number of past events which would also demonstrate that the universe began to exist.

Einstein's discovery of General Relativity is well known to those in the scientific community. It was the beginning of a string of events that led to a greater understanding of our universe. Einstein's calculations revealed that there was actually a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. Being irritated by this discovery he later introduced a cosmological constant into his equations to make them seem to point to the fact that the universe was static. This deception, which was discovered by another scientist, Alexander Friedmann, was what Einstein called: "the greatest blunder of my life".( From George Gamow, My World Line, 1970)

British cosmologist Arthur Eddington sympathized with Einstein. He stated: "Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me...I should like to find a loophole."( Quoted in Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1995, 57)

Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter and astronomer Edwin Hubble subsequently confirmed through observation that the universe indeed was expanding and that therefore the General Relativity of Einstein was true.

Lets look at some of the corroborating evidence.

1. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states among other things, that the universe is running out of usable energy. We experience it everyday when we drive our cars. We put fuel in the tank and as the engine runs, fuel is used. When the fuel runs out the engines shuts off. Unless fuel is put in the tank, the engine will not run. The universe is this way. One day it will run out of energy. Like a flashlight loses its power if left on overnight. Since the universe is using energy that it has, it must have had a beginning, if not, it would have been eternal, but if it had been eternal, it would have run out of usable energy. The second law is tied to the first which states that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. In other words it has only a finite amount of energy.

The Law of Entropy is associated with this as well. This law states that over time, nature tends to bring things to disorder, not order. Cars rust, trees rot, clothes tear and wear out, human bodies age etc. etc.
If a wound up clock is running down, then someone must have wound it up. Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow likens the universe to such a wound up clock. (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, New York, Norton, 1978, 48)

Arthur Eddington understands all to well the implications of this and anyone who would attempt to refute the Second Law when he states:
"The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." (Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World 1928, chapter 4)

2. The universe is expanding. The recent discoveries categorized in the "Big Bang" show us that the universe is expanding. Astronomer Edwin Hubble confirmed what astronomer Vesto Melvin Slipher had been researching in the early 1900's. That space itself is expanding is a scientifically proven fact confirmed by atheist British author Anthony Kenny. He wrote: " According to the Big Bang Theory, the whole matter of the universe began to exist at a particular time in the remote past. A proponent of such a theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the matter of the universe came from nothing and by nothing. (Anthony Kenny, The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas' Proofs of God's Existence, New York: Shocken, 1969, 66)

3. Radiation from the afterglow of the explosion of the Big Bang was detected in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of Bell Labs in New Jersey. This is technically called cosmic background radiation.
Agnostic Astronomer Robert Jastrow states: "No explanation other than the big bang has been found for the fireball radiation. The clincher, which has convinced almost the last Doubting Thomas, is that the radiation discovered by Penzias and Wilson has exactly the pattern of wavelengths expected for the light and heat produced in a great explosion. Supporters of the steady state theory have tried desperately to find an alternative explanation, but they have failed."(Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, 15-16)

4. Variations in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation which enable matter to come together by gravitational attraction into galaxies was discovered by COBE, a satellite that in 1992 startled the scientific world by showing that the explosion and expansion of the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation, but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself. Any slight variation one way or the other, and none of us would be here to tell about it. In fact, the ripples are so exact (down to one part in one hundred thousand) that astronomer George Smoot called them the "machining marks from the creation of the universe" and the "finger-prints of the maker."(Heeren, Show Me God, 168)

Stephen Hawking says of this discovery that it is: "the most important discovery of the century, if not all time."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

George Smoot again states with regards to these findings: "If you're religious, it's like looking at God."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

Astrophysicist Michael Turner claims: "The significance of this cannot be overstated. They have found the Holy Grail of Cosmology."(See Fred Heeren, Show Me God, 163-168; and Ross, Creator and the Cosmos, 19)

The infrared pictures taken by COBE point to the existence of matter from the very early universe that would ultimately form into the galaxies as they exist today. Smoot called this matter "seeds". Pictures of these Galaxy Seeds can be found at COBE's website: http://lambda.gsfc.nasa.gov/

These "seeds" are the largest structures ever detected, with the biggest extending across 1/3 of the known universe. That is approximately 10,000,000,000 light years across!

5. Einstein's General Relativity has been verified to an accuracy of five decimal places. General Relativity demands an absolute beginning for time, space, and matter and shows that the three are co-relative.
Before speaking of the conclusion of the Cosmological argument, let us take a look at some of the views of scientists today on the beginning of the universe.

From atheistic physicist Stephen Hawking:

"All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology. Yet it is now taken for granted." (The Beginning of Time Lecture, Stephen Hawking British Theoretical Physicist and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and in 2009 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. Subsequently, he became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.)


From agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow:

"Recent developments in astronomy have implications that may go beyond their contribution to science itself. In a nutshell, astronomers, studying the Universe through their telescopes, have been forced to the conclusion that the world began suddenly, in a moment of creation, as the product of unknown forces." ( Excerpt from Truth Journal by Professor Robert Jastrow-Ph.D. (1948), from Columbia University; Chief of the Theoretical Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1958-61) and Founder/Director of NASA 's Goddard Institute; Professor of Geophysics at Columbia University; Professor of Space Studies-Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College)
Find all posts by this user
23-03-2014, 05:36 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2014 05:46 PM by Stevil.)
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 04:44 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The premises need to be shown to be more plausible than their negations. That is it. This is in accordance with standard criteria for a good argument in philosophy.
We are in debate regarding a logical conclusion drawn from premise that are rooted in science.
In science they don't say well it is more likely to be X rather than Y therefore X is true.
This is unscientific, it is asserting a truth rather than empirically testing it for validity.
The statement "it is more likely to be X rather than Y" is a personal conjecture, unsupported and unscientific.
You are using science as a base for your premises, please adhere to the scientific method.
The philosophy only kicks in when using the logic to tie the premises together and to arrive at the conclusion.
(23-03-2014 04:44 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  [b]Jeremy can you please:
- clarify scientifically what you mean by the "begins to exist" event
When the proponent of the Kalam uses this phrase he simply means to convey the concept of something that “comes into being”. This can be explicated as follows: for any entity e and time t, e comes into being at t if and only if (i) e exists at t, (ii) t is the first time at which e exists, (iii) there is no state of affairs in the actual world in which e exists timelessly, and (iv) e’s existing at t is a tensed fact.
You haven't offered scientific clarity here.
What I am looking for is a clear distinction between "change of form" e.g. building a chair out of a tree"
as opposed to "the sudden appearance of energy/matter where previously there was none"
When you refer to "begins to exist" do you specifically mean the latter?
(23-03-2014 04:44 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 03:46 PM)Stevil Wrote:  - show scientific evidence as to how this event is caused?
By this event, I assume he means the coming into existence of the universe.
No.
I mean any "begins to exist" event. Not specifically the beginning of the existence of our universe.
Your 1st premise was
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause."
Can you please provide at least one instance where scientists have shown that the beginning of existence of something had a cause?
Then show how this means that everything that begins to exist, has a cause.
Remember that premise 1 is a scientific statement. But you are begging the question here.
Quote:In modern vernacular usage, "to beg the question" is sometimes used to mean "to raise the question" (as in "This begs the question of whether …")
Premise 1 begs the questions:
Do we know how things begin to exist?
Do some things that begin to exist require a cause?
Does everything that begins to exist require a cause?

I can't accept premise 1 until you resolve these obvious questions.
I feel that you are making assertions rather than stating a verified empirical scientific truth.

Once we have agreed on the validity of premise 1 then we can tackle premise 2 which introduces the concept of the universe.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 6 users Like Stevil's post
23-03-2014, 06:08 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  We are in debate regarding a logical conclusion drawn from premise that are rooted in science.

We are in a debate regarding a philosophical syllogism which concludes that the universe has a cause. The first premise is not rooted in science at all, rather, it is a metaphysical principle.

The second premise also can be substantiated via philosophical arguments against the existence of an actually infinite number of past events. I have used the findings of cosmology to appeal to those who are more apt to accept said findings over purely philosophical argumentation.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  In science they don't say well it is more likely to be X rather than Y therefore X is true.

Scientific methodology has no bearing on what constitutes a good philosophical argument for the existence of God. Bringing science up in this respect is simply irrelevant.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  This is unscientific, it is asserting a truth rather than empirically testing it for validity.

Philosophical arguments are just that, they are arguments. You have yet to justify utilizing empiricism to object to a syllogism.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The statement "it is more likely to be X rather than Y" is a personal conjecture, unsupported and unscientific.

It appears you are in over your head and know little to nothing about what constitutes a good argument in philosophy.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You are using science as a base for your premises, please adhere to the scientific method.

LOL.....Rolleyes

Ok, I see now you think this is some kind of science experiment. It is not. This is a syllogism which has two premises. If the premises are more plausible than their negation and the conclusion follows by the laws of logic, then the argument is sound and valid and therefore good, irrespective of the nature of the evidence used to support said premises.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  The philosophy only kicks in when using the logic to tie the premises together and to arrive at the conclusion.

Actually, this whole argument is a philosophical one with premises supported by scientific research.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  You haven't offered scientific clarity here.

Did not intend to.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  What I am looking for is a clear distinction between "change of form" e.g. building a chair out of a tree"
as opposed to "the sudden appearance of energy/matter where previously there was none"

There was no change of form when the universe came into existence. It came into existence literally out of nothing. There was nothing existing prior to the universe that it could have changed from. This is as I have stated twice, supported by several different lines of evidence, philosophic as well as evidence from contemporary cosmology.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  When you refer to "begins to exist" do you specifically mean the latter?

I mean begins to exist. It is simple. Not that difficult to understand.


(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  No.
I mean any "begins to exist" event. Not specifically the beginning of the existence of our universe.
Your 1st premise was
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause."
Can you please provide at least one instance where scientists have shown that the beginning of existence of something had a cause?

You began to exist. You had a cause. Facepalm

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Then show how this means that everything that begins to exist, has a cause.
Remember that premise 1 is a scientific statement.

Wrong again. It is a metaphysical statement.

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Premise 1 begs the questions:
Do we know how things begin to exist?

How?

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Do some things that begin to exist require a cause?

Uhh....yea.... Facepalm

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Does everything that begins to exist require a cause?

Uhhh.....yea....unless you think things can just pop into existence out of thin air with no cause! FacepalmFacepalm

(23-03-2014 05:36 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I can't accept premise 1 until you resolve these obvious questions.
I feel that you are making assertions rather than stating a verified empirical scientific truth.

Once we have agreed on the validity of premise 1 then we can tackle premise 2 which introduces the concept of the universe.

You have really no clue as to what you have gotten yourself into here.

In order to deny premise one you have to accept that things can just pop into existence uncaused! Thumbsup

But I know you do not really think that. You are just throwing out stuff hoping it will stick. Whenever you are ready to close this, I will allow you to throw in the towel.Drinking Beverage
Find all posts by this user
23-03-2014, 06:40 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 06:08 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Actually, this whole argument is a philosophical one with premises supported by scientific research.
Please provide the links to scientific research which supports premise 1.
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause."

I have never seen any scientific textbook or paper that supports a cause for a "begins to exist" event.
Be aware that I am not talking about a "change of form" event. Turning a tree into a chair is a change of form. Turning egg, sperm, food, water into a baby is a "change of form" rather than a "begins to exist".

A "begins to exist" event is the sudden appearance of energy/matter where none previously existed.
Please provide links, quotes supporting your claim that your premise 1 is supported by scientific research.
Find all posts by this user
[+] 2 users Like Stevil's post
23-03-2014, 06:42 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 06:08 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In order to deny premise one you have to accept that things can just pop into existence uncaused! Thumbsup
Quantum Fluctuations.
Find all posts by this user
23-03-2014, 06:55 PM
RE: An invitation to debate Stevil on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 06:40 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 06:08 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Actually, this whole argument is a philosophical one with premises supported by scientific research.
Please provide the links to scientific research which supports premise 1.
"Everything that begins to exist, has a cause."

I have never seen any scientific textbook or paper that supports a cause for a "begins to exist" event.
Be aware that I am not talking about a "change of form" event. Turning a tree into a chair is a change of form. Turning egg, sperm, food, water into a baby is a "change of form" rather than a "begins to exist".

A "begins to exist" event is the sudden appearance of energy/matter where none previously existed.
Please provide links, quotes supporting your claim that your premise 1 is supported by scientific research.

You can purchase volume 12, #8 of Management Sciencewhich contains the following research article entitled:


The Principle of Causation as a Basis of Scientific Method
M. Regopoulos
Management Science
Vol. 12, No. 8, Series C, Bulletin (Apr., 1966), pp. C135-C139
Published by: INFORMS
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2627756


You see my friend, the metaphysical principle of causality is the very driving force behind the whole pursuit of science itself. Science is undertaken because scientists hold the metaphysical principle that from nothing, nothing comes to be true. They observe a phenomenon in nature and immediately ask: What is the cause of this?

To deny this principle is to destroy the impetus that propels scientists in their pursuit of knowledge of the universe.
Find all posts by this user
Thread Closed 
Forum Jump: