WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Craig's arguments for God, Pt 2

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#21  Postby colubridae » Apr 07, 2011 10:11 pm



That's the dumbest fucking link in the history of dumb fucking links. It's to their metaphysics ... "lab". :tehe:

Try this instead

"Plato is unquestionably entitled to our esteem as a powerful mind and a remarkable talent. The colossal mistakes this talent made in the sphere of abstract thought derived not from weakness of mind, shortness of sight, or timidity of thought, but from the predominance of the poetic element, from deliberate contempt of the testimony of experience, and from an overweening desire, common in powerful minds, to extract the truth from the depths of one’s own creative spirit instead of examining and studying it in particular phenomena."

sounds just like little willy to me. :rofl:

from http://www.marxists.org/subject/art/lit_crit/works/pisarev/plato.htm



edit sorry forgot to say. :oops: for "powerful mind etc" in the above, for willy read "colossal wanker"
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#22  Postby Oldskeptic » Apr 08, 2011 12:47 am

Teuton wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Craig needs to define what he means by, "begins to exist."


See: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=8243

"The kalam cosmological argument uses the phrase 'begins to exist.' For those who wonder what that means I sometimes use the expression 'comes into being' as a synonym. We can explicate this last notion 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."


I don't care what you mean. I want Craig to clarify exactly what he means in clear and concise language that everyone can understand. He doesn't do that. What he does is use what he thinks is an accepted scientific hypothesis that some cosmologists used to give a lot of credit to in order to say that the universe began to exist where absolutely no thing ever existed before.

If the universe as we know it began to exist out of a rearrangement of stuff that already existed then that is not what Craig is talking about, but it is what the science that he is relying on says. And if Craig is talking about the universe as we know it being created out of absolutely no thing where no thing ever existed then he runs into a big problem. The first law of thermodynamics says that this can't happen.

To recap: If Craig means that the universe as we know it began to exist, but was the rearrangement of stuff that already exists his god is not needed because there are very good explanations of how this could happen that don't include God. On the other hand if Craig means that the universe as we know it was created out of absolutely no thing he needs to show how this is possible without invoking the god that his argument is attempting to prove.

Oldskeptic wrote:
2. The universe began to exist.

Again Craig needs to define what he means. Began to exist in what way? As a rearrangement of existing stuff, or again out of an absolute absence of everything? If he means a rearrangement then his "creator" god is unnecessary. If he means out of an absolute lack of anything then he needs to confront the first law of thermodynamics.

Teuton wrote:
If the physical universe as a whole began to exist, then it must have come into being out of nothing, i.e. not out of any pre-existing physical stuff.


No one is saying that the universe as a whole began to exist except Craig and those like him. And the idea that the universe is eternal is less of a problem that it coming into being out of absolutely no thing.

Teuton wrote:
Such an existence beginning ex nulla materia is not restricted by any physical laws, since there were no such laws before the physical universe began to exist.


First you have to show that it is possible for something/anything to begin from absolutely no thing before you claim that there is or was such a thing and then go on to claim what laws did or didn't exist.

Oldskeptic wrote:
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

This is just jumping to a conclusion without a good reason to do so other than having set the premises to lead to the conclusion desired.

Teuton wrote:
The simple argument is logically valid, and Craig has argued at length why he thinks that its premises are true or at least much more plausible than their negations.


The argument may be deemed logical in philosophy land, as has been shown many times a logical argument does not make anything true unless it is supported by evidence. furthermore it doesn't matter why Craig thinks that his premises are true if he has nothing to back it up with except philosophy and theology. And as for Craig thinking that his premises are much more plausible than their negation, that is easy to do if he does not understand the implications of his premises.

I am not familiar with any science that says: 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause. Or 2) The universe began to exist. Not in anyway that Craig means it. Yet he continues to use them as if they were scientifically accepted and proven facts.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#23  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Apr 08, 2011 1:29 am

Oldskeptic wrote:
No one is saying that the universe as a whole began to exist except Craig and those like him. And the idea that the universe is eternal is less of a problem that it coming into being out of absolutely no thing.


:clap: This sums up my thoughts on this laughable argument.

There is a reason scientists don't use this kind method (solely) to prove any observation. You can prove the existence of anything just by throwing in an unfalsifiable statement or two. Or in this case, just lie.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#24  Postby John P. M. » Apr 08, 2011 5:16 am

When he says the universe 'began to exist', he means from absolutely nothing.

But when he says 'everything that begins to exist', he means... anything, like himself, a car, a house, a planet etc.

Craig for obvious reasons wouldn't say that he himself spontaneously poofed into existence, or that his car did, or his house, or this planet.

So, 'everything that changes form over time, does so due to several causes', he could have said.

But then he couldn't extrapolate it to the universe anymore. He wants his God to have caused that from nothing; poof.
If the universe can be said to have only 'changed form' instead of coming into being from nothing, then perhaps Craig's God is not needed. Infinite regress then, perhaps, but infinite intelligent God - same difference.

The argument is also built on what is intuitively compelling to some. Which is not something you can always trust.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#25  Postby Scar » Apr 08, 2011 5:27 am

The argument solely rests on Craig misrepresenting the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe (and consecutively, misrepresenting the cosmos as the universe). Without that, he wouldn't be able to identify a beginning for it and thus his argument would fall apart (as it does).

We have no clue when and more importantly if "everything" came into existence and we could just as well grant it to have been there forever, instead of god.

Actually, god is obviously part of the universe (="everything that exists") itself and thus, postulating an eternal god is granting the universe to be eternal. God is then simply the mechanism by which everything else got in the shape we know today. Evidently, though, things in the known part of the universe (the cosmos) seem to be able to sort themselves out by solely natural means perfectly fine. This is evidence against there being a need for some super complex intelligent entity managing them on some fundamental scale.

If we a) accept an eternal universe and b) accept that within the scope we can inquire into (the cosmos) unintelligent, simple, natural mechanism suffice governing it, then there is no reason to insert a god at any point further along the road.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#26  Postby Teuton » Apr 08, 2011 5:30 am

Oldskeptic wrote:
Teuton wrote:
See: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=8243

"The kalam cosmological argument uses the phrase 'begins to exist.' For those who wonder what that means I sometimes use the expression 'comes into being' as a synonym. We can explicate this last notion 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."


I don't care what you mean. I want Craig to clarify exactly what he means in clear and concise language that everyone can understand. He doesn't do that.


? – See the quote above!
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#27  Postby Paul Almond » Apr 08, 2011 5:35 am

Scar wrote:The argument solely rests on Craig misrepresenting the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe (and consecutively, misrepresenting the cosmos as the universe). Without that, he wouldn't be able to identify a beginning for it and thus his argument would fall apart (as it does).

I don't agree with that. Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds. Even if it were proved, tomorrow, that the Big Bang had something preceding it, Craig would probably just say that there must be a start back there somehow. Craig's argument attempt to prove that the universe had a beginning uses arguments about traversing an infinite span of time to try to show that the present could never have been reached in an infinitely old universe, and Hilbert's hotel - a thought experiment involving an infinite hotel - to try to show that the existence of an actual infinity is absurd. I'm not supporting Craig here. His arguments are terrible, and the arguments I've just mentioned here are extremely unconvincing and flawed - but he isn't really just relying on the Big Bang: in fact the argument he is using is a variation on an argument that predates the Big Bang theory.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#28  Postby Teuton » Apr 08, 2011 5:37 am

Oldskeptic wrote:
No one is saying that the universe as a whole began to exist except Craig and those like him. And the idea that the universe is eternal is less of a problem that it coming into being out of absolutely no thing.


I'm inclined to believe that Mother Nature, i.e. the matter-energy-space-time world(s), is eternal and uncreated. But I'm aware that this is an article of materialist faith lacking any scientific confirmation.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#29  Postby Teuton » Apr 08, 2011 5:40 am

Paul Almond wrote:Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds.


He also claims to show that on scientific grounds!
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#30  Postby Paul Almond » Apr 08, 2011 5:48 am

Teuton wrote:
Paul Almond wrote:Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds.


He also claims to show that on scientific grounds!

Okay, I accept that he misuses science - but I wouldn't say his (stupid) proof is reliant on that. You could take the scientific stuff out and you would still have a (stupid) proof there.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#31  Postby Mononoke » Apr 08, 2011 6:20 am

Paul Almond wrote:
Scar wrote:The argument solely rests on Craig misrepresenting the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe (and consecutively, misrepresenting the cosmos as the universe). Without that, he wouldn't be able to identify a beginning for it and thus his argument would fall apart (as it does).

I don't agree with that. Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds. Even if it were proved, tomorrow, that the Big Bang had something preceding it, Craig would probably just say that there must be a start back there somehow. Craig's argument attempt to prove that the universe had a beginning uses arguments about traversing an infinite span of time to try to show that the present could never have been reached in an infinitely old universe, and Hilbert's hotel - a thought experiment involving an infinite hotel - to try to show that the existence of an actual infinity is absurd. I'm not supporting Craig here. His arguments are terrible, and the arguments I've just mentioned here are extremely unconvincing and flawed - but he isn't really just relying on the Big Bang: in fact the argument he is using is a variation on an argument that predates the Big Bang theory.


listening to craig is like doing phil 101 again. but with a bad prof. So he invokes zeno's paradox( or at least a varient of it)
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#32  Postby Teuton » Apr 08, 2011 7:06 am

Paul Almond wrote:
Teuton wrote:
Paul Almond wrote:Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds.

He also claims to show that on scientific grounds!

Okay, I accept that he misuses science - but I wouldn't say his (stupid) proof is reliant on that. You could take the scientific stuff out and you would still have a (stupid) proof there.


"The standard big bang model thus predicts an absolute beginning of the universe. If this model is correct, then we have amazing scientific confirmation of the second premise of the kalam cosmological argument. …
[P]hysicists have proposed scores of alternative models over the decades since Friedman and Lemaitre's work, and those that do not have an absolute beginning have been repeatedly shown to be unworkable. Put more positively, the only viable nonstandard models are those that involve an absolute beginning to the universe. That beginning may or may not involve a beginning point. But theories (such as Stephen Hawking's 'no boundary' proposal) that do not have a pointlike beginning still have a finite past. The universe has not existed forever, according to such theories, but came into existence, even if it didn't do so at a sharply defined point.
In a sense, the history of twentieth-century cosmology can be seen as a series of one failed attempt after another to avoid the absolute beginning predicted by the standard big bang model. Unfortunately, the impression arises in the minds of laymen that the field of cosmology is in constant turnover, with no lasting results. What the layman doesn't understand is that this parade of failed theories only serves to confirm the prediction of the standard model that the universe began to exist. That prediction has now stood for over eighty years throughout a period of enormous advances in observational astronomy and creative theoretical work in astrophysics. …
Today the proponent of the kalam cosmological argument stands comfortably within the scientific mainstream in holding that the universe began to exist."

(pp. 90-3)

"[T]he scientific evidence of thermodynamics confirms the truth of the second premise of the kalam cosmological argument. This evidence is especially impressive because thermodynamics is so well understood by physicists that it is practically a completed field of science. This makes it highly unlikely that these findings will be reversed."
(p. 98)

(Craig, William Lane. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010.)


So Craig's "scientific" arguments for KCA are:

1. The big bang model predicts an absolute beginning of spacetime and is correct.

2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#33  Postby Matt_B » Apr 08, 2011 7:12 am

Teuton wrote:
Oldskeptic wrote:
No one is saying that the universe as a whole began to exist except Craig and those like him. And the idea that the universe is eternal is less of a problem that it coming into being out of absolutely no thing.


I'm inclined to believe that Mother Nature, i.e. the matter-energy-space-time world(s), is eternal and uncreated. But I'm aware that this is an article of materialist faith lacking any scientific confirmation.


It's confirmed by the first law of thermodynamics, a physical principle for which we know of no exceptions.

Obviously we don't know for certain that this law holds eternally under all circumstances, but the onus is those who believe that it doesn't to find the first exception.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#34  Postby tnjrp » Apr 08, 2011 7:16 am

Teuton wrote:So Craig's "scientific" arguments for KCA are:

1. The big bang model predicts an absolute beginning of spacetime and is correct.

2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.
So Kalamity's so-called scientific arguments consist of misinterpreting the bing bang model and making assertions from personal incredulity?
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#35  Postby byofrcs » Apr 08, 2011 7:25 am

Yes, I agree that the Kalam does seem to be a form of a Zeno's paradox in that it is dividing something into caused and causes until it gets to a point of absurdity. These paradoxes are also hard to fault and to this day provide rich fodder to feed on.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#36  Postby Mononoke » Apr 08, 2011 7:45 am

Teuton wrote:
2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.[/b]


the 2nd law is a bosonic theory it doesn't apply to stuff like gravity which form the catalytical inital conditions of most of these alternatives.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#37  Postby Teuton » Apr 08, 2011 9:02 am

Teuton wrote:
So Craig's "scientific" arguments for KCA are:

1. The big bang model predicts an absolute beginning of spacetime and is correct.

2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.


Did the physicist Lawrence Krauss attack these arguments in his recent debate with Craig? (I hope he did.)
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#38  Postby Matt_B » Apr 08, 2011 9:32 am

Teuton wrote:
Teuton wrote:
So Craig's "scientific" arguments for KCA are:

1. The big bang model predicts an absolute beginning of spacetime and is correct.

2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.


Did the physicist Lawrence Krauss attack these arguments in his recent debate with Craig? (I hope he did.)


He certainly did; he explains how Craig is misrepresenting both Guth and Hawking about a minute and a half into this bit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NFVgflLp1Q

If you can bear to keep watching, you can also see how Craig starts misrepresenting Krauss himself there and then!
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#39  Postby Scar » Apr 08, 2011 12:14 pm

Paul Almond wrote:
Scar wrote:The argument solely rests on Craig misrepresenting the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe (and consecutively, misrepresenting the cosmos as the universe). Without that, he wouldn't be able to identify a beginning for it and thus his argument would fall apart (as it does).

I don't agree with that. Craig claims to show that there must be a start to the universe on philosophical/mathematical grounds. Even if it were proved, tomorrow, that the Big Bang had something preceding it, Craig would probably just say that there must be a start back there somehow. Craig's argument attempt to prove that the universe had a beginning uses arguments about traversing an infinite span of time to try to show that the present could never have been reached in an infinitely old universe, and Hilbert's hotel - a thought experiment involving an infinite hotel - to try to show that the existence of an actual infinity is absurd. I'm not supporting Craig here. His arguments are terrible, and the arguments I've just mentioned here are extremely unconvincing and flawed - but he isn't really just relying on the Big Bang: in fact the argument he is using is a variation on an argument that predates the Big Bang theory.



But this is just ignorance. Apart from that this nonsense about infinities is bogus, we can not make any informed statements about what "precedes" the Big Bang, which is so far a pretty strong barrier for further scientific inquiry and we do not even know whether time actually exists outside of the scope of the cosmos. He's talking straight out of his arse.
Teuton wrote:

*snip*

So Craig's "scientific" arguments for KCA are:

1. The big bang model predicts an absolute beginning of spacetime and is correct.

2. All alternative cosmological models lacking an absolute beginning of spacetime (cyclical/oscillating, baby or bubble universes/multiverses) are unworkable, not viable, or even physically impossible because inconsistent with the second law of thermodynamics.


Guess I was right after all; and I have no reason to think that Craig is simply innocently arrogant. He's surely been lectured on this more than once, disregarding that it's his responsibility to educate himself on science before using it in his arguments anyway.
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Re: WL Craig: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

#40  Postby Will S » Apr 09, 2011 11:15 am

Isn't it the problem that theists, innocently or artfully, vacillate between two versions of the same argument? Suppose the theist argues as follows:

'Everything that exists has a cause .... (insert other facts and deductions here) .... Therefore, there exists a God, and he has no cause'

Obviously, there's something wrong with this argument, because the conclusion flatly contradicts one of the assumptions on which the argument is based. You can't make the assumption 'X is always the case' and use it to deliver the conclusion 'But sometimes X isn't the case'! :(

So it's easy to see why some theists use a weaker, alternative starting point and say:

'Everything that begins to exist has a cause.'

If you say that, you're admitting the possibility that there might exist things which always existed, and never, ever began to exist. By allowing for the possibility of a God who never began to exist, it may look as if you're removing the objection to the first version of the argument.

But, unfortunately for the theist, this also lets in the possibility that the universe (or some multiverse or megaverse which includes what we call the universe) is one of these possible things which have always existed and never began to exist. So the theist's argument ploughs into the sand because it's no longer necessary to invoke God as the cause of the universe /multiverse / megaverse.

The only way out is to argue that even things which never began to exist must also have a cause - which lands the theist right back with the first, and obviously incorrect, version of the argument. :(

And so the long day wears on ....
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