An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
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23-03-2014, 07:38 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2014 08:00 PM by cjlr.)
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 06:55 PM)cjlr Wrote:  No, I'm saying I'll grant premise 1 for things within the universe for the sake of argument.

Good. Now on to premise 2. Do you object to it?

Hold on there, champ.

I said I would grant it for the sake of argument for things within the universe.

The universe is not within the universe. Nice try!

If you remain unable to substantiate your assertions or even define your terms, no further discussion is possible.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 06:55 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Recognizing that causality as we understand it is a property of the universe, and therefore cannot be generalised to apply to the universe itself, is not fallacy.

Yes it is because you arbitrarily make the universe itself an exception to the principle without justification, thus committing the taxicab fallacy.

That is not a fallacious statement. And yet more assertion to the effect that it is does not change things.

Natural laws as we understand them - including causality - are applicable only within the universe after the Big Bang.

The universe is not arbitrarily an exception to properties of things within the universe. It is necessarily an exception to properties of things within the universe.

Do you understand the distinction?

You are taking an observation (that "everything we know of which exists within the universe is bound by rules of causality"), and you are generalising it - on no basis besides wishful thinking - to "everything including the universe is bound by rules of causality which are therefore necessarily external to the universe itself". That does not follow. It is a fallacious generalisation; it is mere assertion.

I remind you here that the strict initial premises and conclusion you presented in this thread make no statement as to the nature of any purported 'cause'.
(but we both know you really do claim subjective personal experience on the matter)

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In fact you do it again here:

(23-03-2014 06:55 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The universe is necessarily an exception to a rule which applies within the limits of the universe itself.

See above. Learn what 'exception' means.

A set, as an object, is not bound by the rules under which members of a set operate.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You're also arguing in a circle. Why does the principle of causality only apply to events within the universe and not the universe itself?

Your answer: Because it applies within the limits of the universe itself.

No, that isn't what I said. But I realize that misrepresentation is easier for you to dismiss.

Causality is accepted as a facet of observable natural laws because it can be demonstrated and described when applied to observable external reality as we know it.

Our models of physical interaction are limited to a post-Big Bang universe.

Your unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary, they cannot be blindly assumed to apply in any further context.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 06:55 PM)cjlr Wrote:  This is a strawman you just made up. I defy you to show where - anywhere in my words - anything I said can be honestly construed as denigrating investigation.

You denigrate the investigation of cosmologists because you would have them believe that the universe does not have a cause. That it "just popped into existence uncaused!" But cosmologists make their bones by investigating this very matter! Weeping

I said no such thing. That is not something contained anywhere within the words I've written in this thread. You are inventing a mischaracterisation.

That's quite disingenuous, as it happens - preferring to argue against a bizarre straw man rather than substantiate any of your own baseless assertions.

If you are not prepared to even define your terms, let alone provide any substantiation for your premises beyond naive physical intuition, then there is nothing to discuss; so far that is all you have provided.

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23-03-2014, 07:43 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 07:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Good. Now on to premise 2. Do you object to it?

Hold on there, champ.

I said I would grant it for the sake of argument for things within the universe.

The universe is not within the universe. Nice try!

If you remain unable to substantiate your assertions or even define your terms, no further discussion is possible.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Yes it is because you arbitrarily make the universe itself an exception to the principle without justification, thus committing the taxicab fallacy.

That is not a fallacious statement. And yet more assertion to the effect that it is does not change things.

Natural laws as we understand them - including causality - are applicable only within the universe after the Big Bang.

The universe is not arbitrarily an exception to properties of things within the universe. It is necessarily an exception to properties of things within the universe.

Do you understand the distinction?

You are taking an observation (that "everything we know of which exists within the universe is bound by rules of causality"), and you are generalising it - on no basis besides wishful thinking - to "everything including the universe is bound by rules of causality which are therefore necessarily external to the universe itself". That does not follow. It is a fallacious generalisation; it is mere assertion.

I remind you here that the strict initial premises and conclusion you presented in this thread make no statement as to the nature of any purported 'cause'.
(but we both know you really do claim subjective personal experience on the matter)

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In fact you do it again here:

See above. Learn what 'exception' means.

A set, as an object, is not bound the rules under which members of a set operate.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You're also arguing in a circle. Why does the principle of causality only apply to events within the universe and not the universe itself?

Your answer: Because it applies within the limits of the universe itself.

No, that isn't what I said. But I realize that misrepresentation is easier for you to dismiss.

Causality is accepted as a facet of observable natural laws because it can be demonstrated and described when applied to observable external reality as we know it.

Our models of physical interaction are limited to a post-Big Bang universe.

Your unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary, they cannot be blindly assumed to apply in any further context.

(23-03-2014 07:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You denigrate the investigation of cosmologists because you would have them believe that the universe does not have a cause. That it "just popped into existence uncaused!" But cosmologists make their bones by investigating this very matter! Weeping

I said no such thing. That is not something contained anywhere within the words I've written in this thread. You are inventing a mischaracterisation.

That's quite disingenuous, as it happens - preferring to argue against a bizarre straw man rather than substantiate any of your own baseless assertions.

If you are not prepared to even define your terms, let alone provide any substantiation for your premises beyond naive physical intuition, then there is nothing to discuss; so far that is all you have provided.

Uhh champ....the causal principle is not a natural principle at all. It is a metaphysical principle.

Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it,[1] although the term is not easily defined.[2] Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:[3]
What is ultimately there?
What is it like?
A person who studies metaphysics is called a metaphysicist [4] or a metaphysician.[5] The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other. Another central branch of metaphysics is cosmology, the study of the origin, fundamental structure, nature, and dynamics of the universe. Some include Epistemology as another central tenet of metaphysics but this can be questioned.
Prior to the modern history of science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as natural philosophy. Originally, the term "science" (Latin scientia) simply meant "knowledge". The scientific method, however, transformed natural philosophy into an empirical activity deriving from experiment unlike the rest of philosophy. By the end of the 18th century, it had begun to be called "science" to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics denoted philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.[6] Some philosophers of science, such as the neo-positivists, say that natural science rejects the study of metaphysics, while other philosophers of science strongly disagree.
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23-03-2014, 07:48 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I find it quite revealing, quite telling, that you would go to such great lengths to deny something so undeniable.

Just because you are not willing to confront the limits of your own knowledge does not mean nobody is.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  For you to sit up here and really try to cast doubt on something so undeniable as the principle of causation is amazing. The only reason you are doing this is because this is an argument about the existence of something that created the universe.

Um, no.

Asserting "self-evidence" is not an argument.

Naive physical intuition is not substantiation.

If you do not understand those statements then you do not understand your own interaction with the universe, much less anyone else's. And that's too bad.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  If it were anything else you would gladly agree that premise one is at least more plausible than its negation.

Where does its negation become relevant? That is constructing a false dichotomy.

Notwithstanding that the premise itself is not a valid construction.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So tell me, since you disagree with premise one, tell me, why do things like bicycles, and cars, and houses, and people not just pop into existence uncaused?

And now you're resorting to a non sequitur reductio ad absurdum.

Protip: asserting things isn't demonstrating things.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Why is it that everywhere we see an effect, we see a cause for it? Without ceasing. You cannot even furnish one example of something coming into existence without a cause and yet you adamantly deny this premise!!!!Facepalm

This is an observation born of interaction within the confines of the universe.

It cannot be generalised to include the universe itself.

That is a non sequitur.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I am utterly astonished that one who would appear to be so smart could be so willfully blind.

In our current state of affairs it is safe and reasonable to assume something exists - be it a universe, pure conciousness, illusion or other designations. If some readers nevertheless assume something does not exist right now, then this question effectively becomes meaningless to them but to us "cogito ergo sum" should suffice.

So let us assume right now something exists.

This has no bearing on the inadequacy of your presented premises.

"Existence exists" is tautological.

(23-03-2014 07:24 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Therefore, when something cannot come from nothing then something must have always existed and cannot have a beginning. The universe began to exist, logically it follows that something other than the universe which has always existed, exists.

Let me try once more to explain to you the problems with those statements.

First - that the universe began to exist (and let us forget for now that you can define neither "began" nor "exist") is not substantiated. It is highly reasonable to conclude that the Big Bang occurred. This is not equivalent to "the universe began to exist". Do yo understand this?

Second - "something other than the universe" can mean literally anything, and therefore means nothing. Do you understand this?

Third - "always" has no meaning in that context, as time refers to causal separation of observable interactions within the confines of our universe. Do you understand this?

Fourth - it does not follow that "something" other than the universe has "always" exited, even ignoring the problems with defining either of those terms. If one can conceive of a naively infinite temporal regress, one can conceive of a naively infinite causal regress. Do you understand this?

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23-03-2014, 07:53 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 07:43 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Uhh champ....the causal principle is not a natural principle at all. It is a metaphysical principle.

... which is entirely fiat and rests on naive physical intuiton. Which is invalid in cosmological contexts.

Do you understand what causality means within a physical context?

A causal interaction is one which will be perceived in the same order by all observers, as per the postulates of our best physical theories.

(23-03-2014 07:43 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  ...

Copy and paste infodumps do not particularly add anything to the discussion.

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23-03-2014, 07:58 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
If the universe is eternal in the past, then how are we here at this point in time?

If you can answer that then you deserve a cookie.
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23-03-2014, 08:04 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 07:58 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  If the universe is eternal in the past, then how are we here at this point in time?

The question is meaningless.

I have already described how the Big Bang is a well-attested theory of cosmological history. Since time is only a meaningful construct with respect to that instant, that is the only context in which the question may be answered, and it is then eminently answerable.

No conclusions about the universe prior to its first Planck instant can be made. Although plenty of groundless assertions can, as you here demonstrate.

(23-03-2014 07:58 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  If you can answer that then you deserve a cookie.

You are the one who thinks he can answer it.

I am merely rejecting your answer as woefully shallow and inadequately explored.

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23-03-2014, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 23-03-2014 08:19 PM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
The question is meaningless?

That is a great response.

Not very scientific either.

No cookie for you.

The question is very meaningful. You see, you either have to maintain the universe is eternal, uncaused, self-caused, or caused.

You seem hesitant to affirm the latter, would be seen as a fool to think it caused itself, an even bigger fool to think it just popped into existence uncaused whatsoever, so it seems you are stuck with eternal despite the evidence to the contrary.

This means you are placing faith in science that it will one day tell you the universe is eternal. You hope it is eternal. But you do not know. Your position ultimately is one of faith.

The truth of the matter is that every discovery made up until this point confirms the standard model predictions i.e. that there is an absolute beginning of the universe. This must trouble you as it has many atheists in the past. I actually pity you because you on one hand place your faith in science and on the other are forced to sit back and watch as each discovery simply chips away at your belief in an eternal universe.

It must be like watching yourself slowly die while hoping for a cure you know will never come.
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23-03-2014, 08:32 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The question is meaningless?

That is a great response.

Not very scientific either.

No cookie for you.

Since I explained to you why it was meaningless and in fact gave you an answer in the only coherent context, I'm not sure how you can still pretend I didn't answer.

But okay. Suit yourself?

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The question is very meaningful. You see, you either have to maintain the universe is eternal, uncaused, self-caused, or caused.

Your paradigm of 'causality' itself cannot be applied.

That is the fundamental problem with your unsupported assertions.

You are asserting certain conditions by appealing to naive intuition in situations where that is inapplicable and invalid, and you have the temerity to recourse to "b..b..but it's self-evident" when pressed on the matter. That's not corroboration. That's desperation.

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You seem hesitant to affirm the latter, would be seen as a fool to think it caused itself, an even bigger fool to think it just popped into existence uncaused whatsoever, so it seems you are stuck with eternal despite the evidence to the contrary.

This is not an honest interpretation of my comments. It is a dishonest straw man.

I have freely admitted that I do not know.

You are the one claiming knowledge.

Our understanding of physics, up to and including causality, cannot be applied prior to the Big Bang, whatever may or may not have existed under such conditions.

I have already allowed for a universe existing as part of a different framework (I alluded to several modern cosmological proposals earlier, and mentioned M-theory by name).

By no means might one call this "before" or "within" according to a naive macroscopic understanding of such terms as predicated on an understanding of conditions within the universe. That is indeed meaningless.

I remind again you that even granting the precise premises you present here, your conclusion contains nothing as to the nature of the purported cause.

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  This means you are placing faith in science that it will one day tell you the universe is eternal. You hope it is eternal. But you do not know. Your position ultimately is one of faith.

Now you're really just making things up. I said no such thing. But I do realize it makes you feel better to say I'm the one appealing to faith.

I have said multiple times that I do not know what happened prior to the Big Bang. Unlike you I am aware of the limitations of my own knowledge. Unlike you I do not use my own ignorance as justification for inventing baseless explanations.

You have failed to justify your initial premises. You have provided no substantiation beyond "I feel they are true". You have deliberately misrepresented my statements.

Shucks howdy, pardner, but that ain't sufficient in these here parts.

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23-03-2014, 09:01 PM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
In response to your edit:

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The truth of the matter is that every discovery made up until this point confirms the standard model predictions i.e. that there is an absolute beginning of the universe.

This only further demonstrates that you do not understand cosmology.

At all. In any way whatsoever. You latch onto a few keywords, misunderstand them, and gallop off to misapply them elsewhere.

The starting point for existing physical models is the Big Bang. They are fundamentally inapplicable to anything beyond that point.

Do you understand this distinction?

The rules of the universe as we know it began to exist at that point. One cannot retroactively apply those same rules. One cannot assert those rules to have any applicability whatsoever in any other context. That is utterly incoherent.

I'd say do you understand the difference, but you've amply demonstrated you don't.

One only hopes that that isn't because you can't.

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  This must trouble you as it has many atheists in the past.

It does not. Unlike you, I am quite capable acknowledging the limits of my own knowledge. I welcome learning new things, whatever they may be.

Why do you cling to unsupported premises so?

I can think of two reasons:
You do not possess the perspective to realize that your own naive macroscopic physical intuition is not reflective of anything beyond your own limited perception.
You realize that you cannot parlay a deistic foundation into your specific personal theistic worldview without first establishing deism by any means necessary.

Is it one of those?

(23-03-2014 08:13 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I actually pity you because you on one hand place your faith in science and on the other are forced to sit back and watch as each discovery simply chips away at your belief in an eternal universe.

I have nowhere in this thread attested a belief in an eternal universe. That is a thing you made up. I have freely admitted that I do not know. It is only you who have claimed otherwise.

You are not engaging with what I type. You are having a phantasmal discourse with a straw man who lives in your head.

That is not a productive avenue of discussion.

It's a special kind of special to misconstrue "I don't know, and I reject your premise that you do" to mean "I reject your premise that you do, therefore I assert the contrary". Such misrepresentation is either deliberate (and thus dishonest) or it is inadvertent (and thus stupid).

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24-03-2014, 04:22 AM
RE: An invitation to debate cjlr on the Kalam Cosmological Argument
You have yet to provide either a rebutting defeater or an undercutting defeater for the warrant of maintaining premise one or two to be more plausible than their negations.

This is something you must do in order to avoid the conclusion of the argument.

Saying that the metaphysical principle applies only to events within the universe but not of the universe is unjustified question begging.

You have yet to demonstrate premise two's negation is more plausible than its affirmation.

I will no longer be engaging in tangent discussions that have no direct bearing on the two premises of the argument.
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