Author Topic: WLC Style Apologetics Debate  (Read 6481 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Inactive_1

  • Emergency Room
  • ******
  • Posts: 2242
  • Darwins +10/-2
  • Gender: Male
WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« on: December 15, 2009, 04:15:50 PM »
Only the invited debaters are allowed to post here to keep out the snarky comments and jokes.

All other comments will be moved to the commentary thread.

Commentary thread

There will now only be two debaters

The debaters are

Majesty
kcrady


I will set this sticky for the time being so it will be easier to find.
Thank you.

The debate is now open.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 10:19:34 PM by Admin 1 »

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 05:15:08 AM »
Opening Statement

My majestic opponent will be attempting to build a plausible case for the existence of some sort of divine agency (presumably the Christian deity) by means of arguments presented by apologist William Lane Craig, in particular the Kalam Cosmological Argument: 

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

He has stated that he will also be presenting reasons that this cause must be personal in nature.  He may also choose to employ other arguments from Craig, such as the argument from cosmological "fine-tuning" as further evidence for supernatural personal agency.

For the purposes of my Opening Statement, I will be arguing the case that:

1. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) cannot provide evidence for any particular supernatural agency, even if it were entirely valid.

2. Given the enormously successful track record of the scientific method in revealing a Cosmos that operates according to naturalistic principles, naturalism is legitimately the default explanatory mechanism, and supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof.

3. Supernatural agency is an "answer" that raises more questions than it solves.

4. Anyone reading the Bible before the advent of the Scientific Revolution could not have predicted the success of science or the existence of naturalistic explanations for the workings of the Cosmos.  Read without retroactive interpretation, the Bible predicts a "Demon-Haunted World" where magic works, sickness and mental illness are caused by evil spirits, and animals sometimes talk.  Therefore, the widespread success of naturalistic science and the Cosmos it reveals represent evidence against the Biblical deity as a causal agent.

I will address the Kalam Cosmological Argument and any other arguments Majesty makes ("fine-tuning," etc.) directly in my first Rebuttal to Majesty's Opening Statement.

1. Kalam?

Kalam...kalam...hmm, that doesn't sound like something that was invented in Texas now, does it?  That's because it has its origins in the Kalam school of Islamic discursive philosophy.  In other words, it was originated as an argument for the existence of Allah and the truth of Islam.  That Christians find it equally handy is a demonstration that the KCA does not and cannot provide validation for the existence of any particular supernatural agency.  It could just as easily be used to argue for the existence of Brahman or Atna Potnia or the Heliopolitan Ennead.  In short, it is a vehicle that cannot take the apologist where s/he wants to go.

2. Retreat of the IMPire

There was a time not so long ago when the entire Cosmos and everything in it was (believed to be) pervaded and governed by Invisible Magic Persons (IMPs) of one sort or another.  The default explanation for any phenomenon was that somebody was responsible, some supernatural personal agent.  Weather, feast or famine, bountiful hunt or none, victory in battle or defeat, fertility or barrenness, sickness or health were all caused by the generosity or wrath of gods or spirits.  The heavenly bodies were either gods and goddesses in their own right, or supernaturally controlled by a divine hand.

The consensus of humanity was that magic was a real and powerful force, so that magic-wielders were either employed by the State or burned at the stake as a threat.  Demons, nature-spirits, or the ghosts of ancestors prowled the land, and needed to be either placated or exorcised.  Presiding in glory over it all were the Gods, or God.  Universe was a haunted house, abundantly populated by supernatural beings.  The IMPire, the reign of Invisible Magic Persons spanned the whole of existence. 

Starting with the construction of Galileo's telescope and ending with Newton's theory of universal gravitation, a great battle was waged.  This battle wrested the very heavens from the IMPire, providing a natural explanation for the behavior of the heavenly spheres by means of physical principles that were equally operative on Earth.  Where once there had been a supernatural[1] heavenly realm presiding over a metaphysically inferior earthly realm, now there was a single Cosmos in which Earth itself was a heavenly body, and the same natural principles applied everywhere.  The force governing the fall of an apple was the same force that controlled the motions of the planets.

Since that time, the IMPire has suffered one devastating rout after another.  Sickness?  Germs, not demons or divine wrath.  Storms?  Natural atmospheric forces powered by the sun.  The sun itself?  Not a god, but a naturally-occurring fusion reactor.  For the last several centuries, science and naturalism have scored an unbroken series of triumphs.  Not once has any phenomenon that we have come to understand proven to be the action of any kind of IMP.  Every single phenomenon that we understand has turned out to be: Not Magic.

Imagine if any stock had done as well as science, going up, up, up, for five hundred years without setback.  Or a racehorse that won thousands of races remained undefeated, and is radiant with still-growing health and strength.  Who would not want to invest or place their bet on such a winning track record?  Now think of a rival company's stock, or a racehorse that had fared as badly as religion-as-explanatory-mechanism has over the same time period.  A track record of 100% failure.

Now you are called upon to invest your money in one of the two companies, or racehorses as they enter into competition once again.  What would any sensible person do with their hard-earned money?  There is only one answer.

This is the situation we find ourselves in when confronted with some new mystery, like the question of the "cause" of our Cosmos, or the precise balance of its cosmological constants.  On the basis of track record alone, we have every reason to expect that, when we do discover and validate an answer, that we will find exactly what we've found every other time we've solved a mystery: more of the natural.  In other words, naturalism is the default basis of explanation backed by the evidence of every single thing in our Universe we have ever discovered and explained.  The supernaturalist who wants to claim that, at last, they have found a reversal of the centuries-long, unbroken trend of naturalism's explanatory success, holds the burden of proof. 

It is not enough to simply find some area science has not yet understood and say, "This has to have a supernatural explanation!"  The supernaturalist has to validate, using positive evidence that, for once, we have compelling reason to believe that an IMP exists and is the best explanatory mechanism for a given phenomenon.  A miraculous, magical, or paranormal "explanation" now represents an extraordinary claim, which requires extraordinary evidence.

The fall of the IMPire has shown us that it is not sufficient nor legitimate to find some patch of terra incognita and, like a medieval mapmaker, scrawl in "Here Be Dragons"--or "Here Be Gods" or "Here Be Demons" or any other IMP-based "explanation."

3. The Solution That Isn't

Not only do IMPs fail as an "explanation" when used as an IMP-of-the-Gaps, such creatures actually raise more questions than they answer.  Let us say we're trying to figure out how a bacterial flagellum came to exist.  It is a highly complex mechanism, and we don't yet know how it could have evolved gradually.  We could, based on the enormously successful track record of naturalism in general and evolutionary theory in particular, act on the premise that there is a natural, evolutionary answer and go in search of it.  Or, we could propose that an IMP Intelligently Designed the flagellum and engineered it into bacteria.

The naturalistic explanation is automatically parsimonious.  We already have a pretty good idea of the mechanisms that would be involved: physics, chemistry, and natural selection.  These mechanisms have already succeeded in providing explanations for a vast panoply of other questions.  All that is needed is to find and validate a specific evolutionary process by which the flagellum could have originated (this has, in fact, been done).

But what about the IMP explanation?  An IMP would represent a far greater mystery than that which it has been invoked to solve, the problem of the bacterial flagellum.  What, exactly is this IMP?  What is it made of?  How does IMP-stuff interact with matter and time?  What equations govern its behavior?  Where did the irreducible complexity of the IMP come from?  If the IMP lives in a "supernatural realm" of some kind that is different from our Cosmos, how could it learn to Intelligently Design something to work in a Cosmos foreign How Stuff Works in its world?[2]  How does it cross the boundary between its realm and ours?  And so on.     

Confronted with such questions, the IMP advocate will just say, "No, no, you can't ask questions like that!  There is no 'how.'  The Intelligent Designer[3] just...you know, does it.  You have to demonstrate every step of your explanation and answer all conceivable questions about your theory, but I don't have to demonstrate or answer anything about mine."

It should be obvious that this is special pleading, and an illegitimate tactic for the supernaturalist to employ.  Without it though, the supernaturalist's "explanation" "solves" a small riddle by introducing a horde of much larger and more difficult riddles.  It's a cure worse than the disease.

Yahweh to Scientists: "Who Ordered That?!"   

If you knew nothing about how Universe works, but were handed a Bible and told that it is a communication from an infallible Source, you would not come remotely close to an understanding of the Cosmos revealed to us by science if you gathered your understanding from its pages.  Instead, you would come to believe that snakes talk (or did once--with perfect diction, no less!), and eat dirt.  Rain comes through windows in a solid sky (Genesis 7:11, 8:2), sorcery is real, powerful, and sufficiently dangerous that it ought to be forbidden on pain of death, and so on.

If the Biblical descriptions of the workings of the world and the Cosmos are treated as a hypothesis, it is self-evident that those descriptions have been comprehensively falsified by our observations of the Cosmos.  Of course, modern theologians have found plenty of ways to creatively dismiss these Biblical descriptions, and assert that they were never supposed to be interpreted as descriptions.  However, it is worth noting once again which side has been forced to give ground, and which side has been irresistibly advancing.  The Catholic Church recently floated the idea that there could be alien civilizations on other planets throughout the Cosmos.  This is the "heresy" for which this same institution burned Giordano Bruno at the stake.

Given the past predictive failure of the Bible (and ecclesiastical authority) as a source of answers about the workings of our Cosmos, it makes no sense to turn to it in search of an explanation for the cause of the Big Bang or "fine-tuned" cosmological constants. 

Edit: To change my #3 statement to match what I ended up writing. :)
 1. The word "supernatural" means "above the natural"
 2. Try to design a motor that will work in a Cosmos where pi = 5.721903 and the local equivalent of fundamental particles are seven-dimensional Klein bottles with 7.3-fold symmetry.
 3. And we all know who He is, snap snap wink wink grin grin, knowhatImean, knowwhatImean...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 05:35:59 AM by kcrady »
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Part 1
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 01:48:47 PM »
Greetings  you  all.  First  of  all,  let  me  say  thank  you  guys  for  allowing  me  to  come  on  here  and  discuss  these  kind  of  issues  with  you  guys.  I  assume  that  everyone  in  here  are  truth  seekers,  and  open  minded.  I  am  very delighted  that  I  am  in  a  great  position  to  defend  my  faith,  and  i  pray  that  with  the guidance  of  the  Holy Spirit  that  I  will  be  successfully  able  to  do  so.  I  give  all  glory  to  God,  it  is  because  of him  that  i  am  doing  this,  without  him,  this  conversation  will  be  meaningless.

I  was  actually  hoping  to  be  the  first  to  give  my  arguments  in  this  debate,  but  KC  beat  me  to  the  punch,  so  i  will  work  in  reverse  order.  First,  i  will  attempt  to  make  my  case  in  FAVOR  of  the  kalam  argument,  and  then  i  will  observe  KC's  arguments  and  see  whether  they  hold  any  weight.  Well  then,  lets  begin...

As  i  stated  before,  my  case  goes  like  this...

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

Lets  examine  the  first  premise...

Everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

A. To  suggest  that  everything  begins  to  exist  has a  cause  is  to  say  that  things  don't  just  pop  into  being  uncaused,  and  out  of  nothing,  and  by  nothing.  To  suggest  that  things  pop  into  being  out  of  nothing  is  to  stop  using  reason  and  logic  and  resort  to  magic.

B. If  anything  does  pop  into  being  uncaused  and  out  of  nothing,  then  how  come  anything  and  everything  doesn't  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of  nothing?  How  come  a  H2 Hummer  wont  pop  into  my  driveway  from  nothing,  out  of nothing,  and  by  nothing?

C. I  won't  say  any  more  on  this  first  premise,  and  if  KC  wishes  to  deny  this  first  premise,  then  i  will  wait  to  hear  his  refutation  of  it.

Now  for  the  second  and  third  premise

The  universe  began  to  exist,  therefore,  the  universe  has  a  cause

We  have  both  philosophical  AND  scientific  reasons  to  believe  both  premise  1  and  2,  lets  first  examine  the  philosophical  reasons.

1. The  impossibility  of  an  actual  infinite  number  of  things:

1. An  actual  infinite  amount  of  number  of  things  cannot  exist
2. A  beginning's  series  of  events  in  time  suggest  an  actual  number  of  things
3. Therefore,  a  beginning's  series  of  events  in  time  cannot  exist

But  what  does  infinity  mean?  There  are  two  types  of  infinity.

1. Potential  infinity:  a  set  of  numbers  or  events  that  will  continue  to  increase  by  adding  one  more  number,  or  series,  for  example,  if  i  tell  you  to  count  up  to infinity,  you  will never  reach  infinity,  because  you  can  always  add  one  more number,  and  you  will never  get  there.

2. Actual  infinity:  Are  set  of  numbers  or  events  that  cant  be  added  to,  because  it  is  already  set.  There is  nothing  to  add  to.  For  example,  you  cant  add  more  space  to  an  actual  infinite  amount  of  space,  because  there  is  nothing  to  add  to,  it  is  already  set.

An  actual  infinity  cannot  exist  in  the  natural  world,  because  it  would  lead  to  all  sorts  of  absurdities  and  contradictions.  There  are  many  different  examples  i  can  use  to  demonstrate  this.  The  paradox  of  Hilbert’s  hotel  is  a  classic  example.  But  i  will  give  another  one.  Lets  say  i  had  an  infinite  amount  of  cars,  and  i  gave  you  the  entire  infinite  amount.  I  would  have  none  for  myself,  right?  But  lets  say  i  have  an  infinite  amount  of  cars,  and  i  gave  you  an  infinite  amount  from  my  collection,  but  this  time,  i  gave  you  just  the  EVEN  numbered  cars.  Then  I  will  STILL  have  an  infinite  amount  of the odd  numbered  cars,  and  you  will  have  an  infinite  amount  of  even  numbered  cars.  But  again,  lets  say  i  have  an  infinite  amount  of  cars,  and  i  gave  you  my  entire  collection  of  cars,  but  this  time  i  only  gave  you  the  ones  that  are  number  4  and  higher.  You  will  STILL  have  an  infinite  amount  of  cars,  and  i  will  only  have  3  left.  So  what  does  that  mean?  That  means  that  an  actual  infinity leads  to  all  sorts  of  contradiction.  In  the  first  example,  infinity - infinity = 0...in  the  second  example,  i  gave  you  all  of  the odd  numbered  cars,  so  infinity - infinity = infinity.  In  the  third  example,  infinity - infinity = 3.  Those  are  the  kinds  of  absurdities  that  we  deal  with  when  we  speak  on  infinity.  Mathematicians  and  philosophers  alike  all  agree  that  an  actual  infinity  cant  exist  in the  natural  world,  because  if  you  subtract  from  something,  you  are  supposed  to  have  less  than  what  you  previously  had.  And  if  you  add  to  something,  you  are  supposed  to  have  MORE  than  what  you  previously  had.  But  this  is  not  the  cause  when  dealing  with  infinity.  It  leads  to  logical  absurdities.

2. The  impossibility  of  successful  addition: (This  involves  the concept  of  Time)

1. The  "present"  moment  cannot  arrive  if  time  is  infinite
2. The  "present"  moment  has  arrived
3. Therefore,  time  isn't  infinite

This  argument  is  key,  because  if  the  universe  never  had  a  beginning,  then  time  never  had  a  beginning. The  universe  consist of  space,  without  space  there  is  no  time.  Now  the  philosophical  argument  #2  states  that  there  cannot  be  an  infinite  amount  of  regressions  in  time.  Time  is constantly  going  in  a  forward  motion,  and  series  of  events  in  time  are  formed  by adding  one  member  after  another.  Time  can  only  go  forward,  and  we  know  this  because  we  can't  go  back  in  time.  For  example,  lets  say  KC  went  back  in  time  to  change  the  outcome  of  the  civil  war,  and  yet  i  remained  in  the  present.  How  can  he  go  back  and  successfully  change  the  events,  if  i  am  already  in  the  present  and  living  the  consequences  of  what  already  happened?  It  is  completely  absurd.

We  know  also  know  that  time  had  a  beginning,  because  if  time  is  infinite,  then  there  would  be  no  "present"  moment,  as  my  premise  indicates  above.  To  demonstrate  why  this  is  the  case,  let  me  give  an  example  that  was  given  to  me.  Lets  say,  KC  was  standing  above  a  bottomless  hole  in  the  ground.  And  around  him,  he  has  an  infinite  amount  of  sand,  and  one  shovel.  Lets  say  KC  started  shoveling  the  sand  into  the  bottomless  hole.  Since  the  hole  is  bottomless,  he  will  never  be  able  to  fill  the  hole  all  the  way  to  the  top,  where  he  is  currently  standing,  even  if  he  was  shoveling  the  sand  in  the  hole  for  an  INFINITE  amount  of  time!!!  It  would  never  reach  the  bottom,  nor  will  it  reach  the  top.  This  is  exactly  the  case  when  you  think  about  the  concept  of  an  infinite  amount  of  time.  If  time  is  infinite,  then  the  past  is  infinite.  It  would  take  an  infinite  amount  of  time  to  reach  the  present  moment.  But  yet,  the  present is  HERE.  The  only  way  to  reach  the  present  moment  is  to  have  a  starting  point,  but  with  an  infinite  past,  there  is  no  starting  point.  It  is  absurd.

Conclusion:  These  two  are  both  philosophical  arguments  that  the  universe  came into  being.  As  demonstrated,  there  cannot  be  an  infinite  number  of  regressions  that  proceeded  the  universe  before  it  came  into  existence,  because  that  would  take  an  infinite  amount  of  time,  and  as  demonstrated,  the  concept  of  time  being  infinite  is  absurd.  So  since  an  infinite number  of  regressions  lead  to  contradictions,  it  logically  follows  that  there  had  to  be  ONE  uncaused  CAUSE.






Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Part 2
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 01:53:29 PM »
Now  what  about  the  scientific  evidence  that  supports  the  Kalam?

The  Red  Shift

In  the  late  1920's, the  famous  American  Astronomer  Edwin Hubble  showed  that  with  the  red  shift  the  universe  is  expanding.  He  was  studying  light  from  the  distant  galaxies  and  what  he  seen  is  not  what  he  expected.  He  noticed  that  the  light  that  he  saw  was  not  consistent  with  any  known  element  or  combination  of  elements.  Based  on  his  observation,  the  light  was  shifted  to  the  red  part  of  the  spectrum.  They  call  it  the  "Red Shift"  for  that  very  reason.  Hubble  used  the  Doppler   Effect.  The  Doppler  Effect  states  that  sound  wave  frequencies  are  higher  as  it  approaches  you  and  lower  when  it  passes  you.  For example,  if  a  fire  truck  is  coming  your  way  from  a  distance,  the  closer  that  it  gets  the  higher  the  sound  frequency,  and  as  it  passes  you  and move  along,  the  lower  the  sound  frequency.  That  SAME  Doppler  Effect  can  be  applied  with  light  waves  as  well.  The  blue  end  of  the  light  spectrum  has  shorter  wave lengths,  and  the  red  end  has  longer  wave lengths.  Everywhere  that  he  looked,  he  saw  a  red  shift  in  the  light

His  conclusion,  by  the  way,  was  even  recognized  by  Einstein,  meant  that  the  objects  that  the  light  came  from  are  moving  away  from  each  other,  which  means  that  the  universe  is  expanding.  If  the  universe  is  expanding,  it  must  have  a  point  of  origin  to where  it  expanded  from,  therefore  the  universe  is  not  infinite  in  space.  Hubble's  discovery  shed  a lot  of  light  in  the  cosmic  world and  other  discoveries  shows  us  that  the universe  is  expanding  slower  now  than  it  did  when  it  first  began,  like  an  EXPLOSION.  That  is where  the  big  bang  theory  came  from.  Now  whether  we  call  the  big  bang  an  expansion,  or  explosion,  or  an  expansion  BECAUSE  of  a  explosion,  modern  cosmologist  agree  that  with  this  expansion/explosion,  came  the  existence  of  space,  time,  and  matter.  Before  the  big  bang,  none  of  that  existed,  there  was  absolutely  nothing.  This  cries  out  for  an  explanation.  But  by  using  logic  and  reason,  whatever  caused  this  great  incident  to  occur,  could  not  be natural,  because  nature  is exactly  what  came  into  being  after  the  event.  As  the  cause  of  space,  time,  and  matter,  the  cause  had  to  transcend,  or  exist  beyond  space,  time,  and  matter.  Again,  the   cause  of  the  big  bang  COULD  NOT  be  a  natural  cause,  it  could  only  be  supernatural,  because  there  was  no  nature  before  the  big  bang.  NOTHING  NATURAL  EXISTED  BEFORE  THE  BIG  BANG.

2. Thermodynamics

The  universe  is  a  "closed  system".  The  second  law  of  thermodynamics  tells  us  that  the  amount  of  energy  in a  system  that  is  available  to  do  work  is  decreasing.  If  the universe  is  infinitely  old,  then  it  would  of  ran  out  of  energy  a  long  time  ago.  The  very  fact  that  the universe  has  not  ran  out  of  energy  yet  is  evidence  that  the  universe  is  finite,  it  had  a  beginning.  And  this  very  fact  deserves  an  explanation.  Thermodynamics  tells  us  that the  universe  had  a  beginning.

"Ok,  even  though  you  claim  there  had  to  be  a  first  cause,  how  do  you  know  that  the  cause  was  God?"

Good  question...

Here  are  some  characteristics  that  the  first  cause  MUST  have...the  first  cause  must  be...

A. Changeless
B. Beginning-less
C. Time-less
D. Immaterial
E. Personal

1. Changeless:  There  can  be  no  change  without  time,  and  since  the  first  cause  is  timeless,  it  cannot  change.  For  example,  the  first  cause  cant  get old,  because  getting  old  is  a  change  of  physical  state,  that  happens  only  with  time,  and  the  first  cause  is  timeless,  therefore  it  is  not  bound  by  time,  therefore  its  nature  cannot  change.

2. Timeless: As  the  creator  of  time,  the first  cause  has  to  transcend  time.  Time  had  a  beginning  as  demonstrated  above.  The  first  cause  may  "step  in  to",  or  act  in  time,  but  the  first  cause  cannot  be  bound  by  time.  Since the  first  cause  created  time  (time  did  not  exist  before  the  first  cause  created  it),  the  first  cause  had  to  exist  BEYOND  TIME.

3. Immaterial:  Whatever  that  is  timeless  and  changeless  cannot  be  material,  since  matter  involves  change  in  protons,  electrons,  and  any other  "tron"  lol.

4. Personal:  The  first  cause  would  have  to  be  very  powerful.  It  would  have  to  have  the  ability  to  create  the  universe  out  of  nothing.  Without  that  ability,  nothing  would  be  created.  The  first  cause  would  also  have  the  WILL  to  create.  We  can  conclude  that  the  first  cause  has  a  will  to  create  because...

There are  two  types  of  explanations,  scientific explanation  and  personal  explanation.

The  cause  of  the universe  cannot  be  a  scientific  explanation  because  there  was  absolutely  nothing  before  it,  as  modern  cosmology  indicates.  There  were  no  natural  initial  conditions  that  could  be  the  cause,  because  before  the  universe,  nothing  naturally  existed.  As  i  mentioned  above,  the  first  cause  has  to  be  both  timeless  and  immaterial.  In  our  reality,  we  know  of  only  two  entities  that  have  those  kind  of  properties...

1. Minds
2. Abstract objects,  like  numbers

But  abstract  objects  doesn't  cause  anything.  For  example,  when  was  the  last  time  you  tripped  over  the  number  7.  Or  bumped  into  the  number  5?  Abstract  objects  dont  stand  in  casual  relations.  The  only  thing  left  is  #1,  the  mind.  And  a  mind  is  personal.  Only  someone  with  a  mind  can  have  the  will  or  intentions  to  do  something.

Conclusion  for  a  personal  cause:
1. The  first  cause  relies  on  nothing  for  its  existence
2. The  first  cause  has  the  power  to  create  something  from  nothing
3. The  first  cause  has  the  win  to create
4. The  first  cause  exist  outside  of  creation

Conclusion  for  my  case:
I  have  provided  both  two  philosophical  and  scientific  arguments  in  favor  of  the  kalam,  which  states,  "there  had  to  have  been  a first  cause,  a  first  cause  that  was  the  cause  of  all  other  causes".  I  have  also  provided  arguments in  favor  of  the  first  cause  being  a  personal  entity,  with  a  mind.  I  will  now  wait  with  great  anticipation  for  KC  to  make  an  attempt  to  refute  all  of  my  arguments.  It  is  not  enough  to  refute  one,  he  has  to  refute  all  of  them.  Even  if  he  refutes  one,  the  other  four  still  remain.  Now  this  argument  does  not  state  which  God  was  the  cause.  This  argument  states  there  are  more  reasons  to  believe  in  a  supernatural  Deity  than  not.  On  a  later  day,  we  will  discuss  why  the  first  cause  is  the  Christian God. 

I  will  now  examine my  opponents  opening  statement  and  respond  accordingly...




Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Part 3
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 01:55:11 PM »
What  about  KCs  presentation  AGAINST  the  credibility  of  the  kalam  argument?  Does  his  argument  hold  weight?  Lets  see...

Quote
1. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) cannot provide evidence for any particular supernatural agency, even if it were entirely valid.

Well,  that  is  quite  true.  Even  though  i  am  a  Christian,  i  am  not using  this  argument  in  favor  of  the  God  that  i  worship,  because  i  agree  with  you,  that  it  doesn't.  This  argument  does,  however,  in  my opinion,  proves  the  existence  of  A  GOD.  To  me  this  argument  tells  us  that  it is  not  a  matter  of  does  God  exist....but  which  God  exist.  For  example,  if  you are  walking  through  a  snowy  field  and  you  see  some  very  large  footprints,  with  very  sharp  claws  in  the  snow,  you  don’t  have  to  know  where  the  footprints  came  from,  or  what  kind  or  type  of  thing  caused  the  footprints,  but  its  safe  to  say  that  whatever  caused  the  footprints  was  not  human.  That’s  the  very  LEAST  thing  you  can  conclude  with  your  finding.  And  that’s  my  approach  with  this  argument.

Quote
2. Given the enormously successful track record of the scientific method in revealing a Cosmos that operates according to naturalistic principles, naturalism is legitimately the default explanatory mechanism, and supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof.

Exactly  my  point.  "Ockham's Razor"  is  a  philosophical  and  scientific  rule  that  states  that simple  explanations  should  be  preferred  before  complicated  explanations  are to  be  preferred.  And  i  completely  agree.  The  problem  is,  science  cannot  tell  us  what  happened  prior  to  the  big  bang  (technically,  since  modern  cosmology  indicates  that  time  came  into  with  the  big  bang,  there  was  no  "prior").  So  science  can  only  tell  us  what  we  know  AFTER  the  big  bang,  because  science  can  only  study  the  natural,  and  the  cause  of  the  big  bang  had  to  be  supernatural,  because  the  natural  is  EXACTLY  what  came  into  being  with  the  big  bang.  So  i  agree  with  you,  but  it  is  not  true  that  a  scientific  method  can  reveal  anything  that  happened  before  the  bang.  And  where  science  stops,  philosophy  starts.

Quote
3. Supernatural agency is an "answer" that raises more questions than it solves

Well,  i  can  say the  same  for  the  "natural"  agency.  Everyone  can  admit  that  there  are  some  things  that  science/scientist  cant  answer.  In  fact,  in  my  many  discussion  with  atheist  they  say  things  like  "well,  what  is  wrong  with  saying  we  don’t  know?"  So  your  #3  applies  to  you  as  well.  Some  things  in  nature  raises  more  questions  than  answers.  Science  itself  is  based   on  theories  and  presuppositions,  and  some  of  it  raises  more  questions  than  answers.

Quote
There was a time not so long ago when the entire Cosmos and everything in it was (believed to be) pervaded and governed by Invisible Magic Persons (IMPs) of one sort or another. The default explanation for any phenomenon was that somebody was responsible, some supernatural personal agent. Weather, feast or famine, bountiful hunt or none, victory in battle or defeat, fertility or barrenness, sickness or health were all caused by the generosity or wrath of gods or spirits. The heavenly bodies were either gods and goddesses in their own right, or supernaturally controlled by a divine hand.

This  is  committing  what  philosophers  call  "The  Genetic Fallacy",  which  is  basically  trying  to  discredit  a  belief  based  on  where  that  belief  originated.  It  is  a  fallacy  because  even  if  the people  of  the  ancient  days  believed  that  famine,  natural  disasters,  war,  sickness  came  from  their  belief  in  a  IMP,  that  in  no  way  discredit  their  belief.  While  it  is  true  that  we  have  found  out  that  Zeus  is  not  striking  people  down  with  lightning  bolts,  we  have  not  found  out  whether  the  God  Zeus  actually  exists  at  all.  You  assume  that  just  because  they  are  wrong  about  there  God  in  one  area,  that  they  are  wrong  about  their  God  in  all  areas.  If  this  is  your  logic  on  that  issue,  then  you  are  also  committing  Fallacy  of  Composition,  because  you  assume  that  since  they  are  wrong  about  one  part  of  their  religion,  that  the  WHOLE  religion  in  itself  is  wrong.


Basically,  my  opponent proceeded  to  commit  the  Genetic  Fallacy  throughout  the  early part  of  his  presentation,  stating  the  origin  of  what  the  ancient  ones  believed  instead  of  addressing  the  fundamentals  of  the  kalam  argument  itself.

Quote
Imagine if any stock had done as well as science, going up, up, up, for five hundred years without setback

This  is  not  entirely  true.  Above  in  my  presentation  i  mentioned  Edwin Hubble's  discovery  of  the  red  shift.  This  discovery  was  so  amazing,  that  it  caused  Einstein  to modify  his  theory  of  relativity.  See,  science  is  constantly  finding  out  new  "truths".  This  is  just  one  example  of  science  not  "going  up"  as  my  opponent  suggested  it  did.  And  when  it  does  go up,  how many  previous  theories  has  it  proved  wrong  as  it went  up?

Quote
In other words, naturalism is the default basis of explanation backed by the evidence of every single thing in our Universe we have ever discovered and explained

Naturalism  cannot  even  explain  its  own  origin,  it  can only  explain  what  is  natural.  It  cannot  even  come  close  to  explaining  the  supernatural.  Science  cannot  explain  the  supernatural,  and  since  nature  came  into  existence  at  some point  in  the  finite  past,  its  origins  can  only  be  explained  by  a  supernatural  occurrence.

Quote
It is not enough to simply find some area science has not yet understood and say, "This has to have a supernatural explanation!"

I  don’t understand  this  statement.  If  science  has  not yet  understood  a  specific  area,  then  how  is  it  not  enough  to  give  forth  the  possibility  of  a  supernatural  explanation?  My  opponent  is  assuming  that  nature  is  all  that  exist,  and  that  there  is  nothing  beyond  nature,  or  no  explanation  can  be  given  besides  a  natural  one.  If  he  assumes  that  nature  is  all  that  exist  in  reality,  and  that  there  is  no  other  explanation  besides  a  natural  one,  i  will  ask him,  how  does he  know?  He  simply  have  to  withhold  judgment,  because  if  if  person  makes  the  claim  "this  has  to  have  a  supernatural  explanation",  is  no  more  worse  than  my  opponent  saying  "this  has  to  have  a  natural  explanation".  I  think  they  are  both equally  logically  invalid.

My  opponent  then  went  on  about  how  we  should  accept  natural  laws  over  supernatural  ones.  Once  again,  i  agree,  but  only  when  it  gets  to  the  point  where  natural  laws  fail.  That’s  when  you  have  to  go  with  the  supernatural  one. 

Quote
If you knew nothing about how Universe works, but were handed a Bible and told that it is a communication from an infallible Source, you would not come remotely close to an understanding of the Cosmos revealed to us by science if you gathered your understanding from its pages. Instead, you would come to believe that snakes talk (or did once--with perfect diction, no less!), and eat dirt. Rain comes through windows in a solid sky (Genesis 7:11, 8:2), sorcery is real, powerful, and sufficiently dangerous that it ought to be forbidden on pain of death, and so on.

Well,  if  you  open  the  bible  and  you  expect  to  get  taught  Chemistry  or  Physics  101,  then  i  think  you  will  be  highly  upset. The  bible  is  not  a  science  book.  The  things  that  my  opponent  mentions  does  not  refute  the  kalam  argument  whatsoever,  it  does  not  even  refute  the  possibility  of  the  existence  of  God.  I  see  no  relevance  to  it  whatsoever.

Quote

If the Biblical descriptions of the workings of the world and the Cosmos are treated as a hypothesis, it is self-evident that those descriptions have been comprehensively falsified by our observations of the Cosmos

Apparently  my  opponent  is  not  up  to  speed  on  the  latest  of  modern cosmology.  In fact,  we  have  evidence  that  the  universe  came in  to  being,  which  completely  harmonizes  with  Gen 1:1  "in  the  beginning  God  created  the  heavens  and  the  earth".  So  the  bible's  descriptions  of  the  workings  of  the  world  and  Cosmos  are  NOT  falsified  by  our  observations  of  the  Cosmos,  in  fact,  they  are  CONFIRMED.


Closing  statement:  So,  i  have  gave  four  good  reasons  to  believe  that  the  cosmological  argument  is  worth  considering.  I  cant  wait  to  see  what  my  opponent  has  to  say  about  my  arguments.  Did  my  opponent  present  us  with  good  reasons  to  not  consider  the  kalam  argument?  I  don’t  think  so.  Notice  in  his  opening  statement  that  he  didn’t  address  any  of  the  fundamentals  of what  the kalam  argument  is  about,  and  i  remain  unconvinced.  Lets  see  what  he  has  to  say.






Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Rebuttal to Opening Statement, Part I
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 05:35:50 AM »
Rebuttal

A Note on Terminology:  For the purposes of my argument from here forward, I will be using the term "Universe" (capital U, no "the") to refer to "everything that exists," and "Cosmos" to refer to "that which emerged from the Big Bang.  I do not intend to imply that my opponent is required to abide by this terminology.  He is using "universe" as I use "Cosmos."  The reason for my use of this terminology will become clear as my argument proceeds.

Quote
Everything that begins to exist has a cause

A. To suggest that everything begins to exist has a cause is to say that things don't just pop into being uncaused, and out of nothing, and by nothing. To suggest that things pop into being out of nothing is to stop using reason and logic and resort to magic.

And what argument could you possibly have against resorting to magic?  The whole point of the KCA is to try to get to a place where you can do just that, by appealing to the supernatural.  If it is indeed improper to resort to magic, then you are engaging in poor argumentation by trying to use the KCA to argue for the existence of your preferred supernatural Wizard.

Quote
B. If anything does pop into being uncaused and out of nothing, then how come anything and everything doesn't pop into being uncaused out of nothing? How come a H2 Hummer wont pop into my driveway from nothing, out of nothing, and by nothing?
   

Why not indeed?  Your argument rests on an appeal to supernatural miracle--which, by definition is not constrained by any sort of "natural" principles.  If it is constrained by principles derived from its nature (e.g. a miracle can't happen apart from the right sort of miracle-working entity, which has to do certain things like speak certain words or wave a wand in a certain way to direct the miracle-energies), then it is just more of the natural, operating according to natural principles we haven't discovered yet.
In that case, instead of a true supernatural realm/entities that are free from natural constraints, what you've got is a parallel Cosmos with its own natural constraints that apply to entities within it. 

The whole point of saying "and then a miracle happens!" is to get an escape-clause to the generalized operating principles of Universe.[1]  Your argument is riddled with such appeals to escape-clause.  "There can be nothing real that is infinite--except my god."  "There can be nothing that exists eternally--except my god."  And so on.  Once a Supernatural Exception Card is played, then it's no longer possible to say a Hummer can't "just appear out of nothing."  It can, if it's a magic Hummer.  Which is why an appeal to the supernatural is a non-starter.

Quote
The universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause

By "the universe" here, my opponent refers to what I am defining as "the Cosmos" for the purposes of this discussion.  When it comes to Universe as I'm using the term, we both agree that it is eternally existent, we just disagree as to its contents.  My opponent's conception of Universe would look something like this:

   {[Supernatural realm: Yahweh + whatever else supernatural exists]----->Cosmos (or "the universe")}

where these brackets { } enclose the set of everything that exists and these [ ] enclose all supernatural existents.  In his view, the Cosmos is something like a projection from Yahweh, whose own existence is eternal.  Either creation of the Cosmos is a use of Yahweh's power, or it isn't.  If it is, then the matter/energy content of the Cosmos existed eternally, in Yahweh.  In other words:

   {[Yahweh]} = {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the Cosmos} 

In this scenario, the matter/energy of the Cosmos merely changed form from a supply of supernatural Yahweh-power, into natural matter/energy. If Majesty adopts this scenario, then he can have no quarrel with the idea that the matter/energy of our Cosmos has existed eternally in some form.  All that remains is to compare the probability of naturalistic versions of this (like sequential Big Bangs arising from vacuum fluctuations or black hole formation in an existing Cosmos) against the "It's magic!" "explanation."

If the creation of the Cosmos is not a use of Yahweh's power (so that conservation of energy does not hold in its creation), we get something like this:

   {[Yahweh]} < {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the Cosmos} 

In this scenario, the creation is truly ex nihilo, so that a "Yahweh + Created Stuff" Universe is greater than a "Yahweh Without Created Stuff" Universe.  The Cosmos is appearing out of nothing, without Yahweh having to exert or transform any power to do it.  The sum total of all that exists has increased.  Were we to ask, "How does Yahweh do this?" my opponent would undoubtedly say, "It's a miracle" and expect inquiry to stop.  While he may try to deny that a Hummer could just appear out of nothing in his driveway, he has no problem with the idea of a Hummer just appearing out of nothing in his driveway if Yahweh says so.

But what exactly is Yahweh doing here?  He's not exerting energy to create the Hummer like a Star Trek replicator would.  He says "Let there be a Hummer," and *poof* the Hummer appears.  If the Hummer truly appears ex nihilo, then there is no relationship between Yahweh's magic words and the Hummer.  How can there be?  At the time Yahweh is saying his magic words, there is no Hummer to hear them.  The Hummer is just popping into being out of nothing--out of nothing, not out of the power of Yahweh's magic (that would be the first scenario above). 

When we talk about causality, we're talking about a transfer of energy from one thing to another.  If a billiard ball "causes" another billiard ball to move by hitting it, that's because the first billiard ball has transferred kinetic energy to the second.  So far as we know, there is no way to cause an effect without transferring an equivalent or greater amount of energy from the cause to the effect.  To cause a billiard ball to accelerate without exerting any force on it would violate the principle of conservation of matter and energy.  We know of no verified violations of this principle, so any claim that there is one has a very high burden of proof.  Extraordinary claim.  Extraordinary evidence.

So if Yahweh is not transferring and transforming energy in order to create the Hummer, there's no link of causal force between him and its appearance.  He's superfluous.  "It just appeared supernaturally" is no more or less absurd than "It just appeared supernaturally because somebody said some words."  The "supernaturally" in both sentences erases logic and reason from the claim.  On the other hand, if Yahweh is transferring and transforming energy to create the Hummer, then he is not changeless, since some of his energy has been spent and/or transformed to create the Hummer.

Quote
An actual infinity cannot exist in the natural world, because it would lead to all sorts of absurdities and contradictions.

Note the escape clause here: "in the natural world."  My opponent thinks an actual infinity (his omnimax Yahweh) does exist in the supernatural world.  This is special pleading.  He wants to argue that nothing can be infinite or exist eternally--and then create an exception for himself. 

Quote
In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

--John 14:12

Since Jesus' "Father's house" is in the supernatural realm, does that mean it could be a real Hilbert's Hotel?
Either actual infinities can exist, or they can't.  If my opponent wishes to argue that they can't, then he doesn't get to turn around and say, "except this one."

Quote
2. The impossibility of successful addition: (This involves the concept of Time)

1. The "present" moment cannot arrive if time is infinite
2. The "present" moment has arrived
3. Therefore, time isn't infinite

This argument assumes that "infinity" is some particular starting point from whence one can try (and necessarily fail) to reach the present.  By that logic, it ought to be impossible to count to 4, since there are an infinite number of numbers less than 4.  Pick a starting point, any starting point.  Any actual starting point you might choose (say, the Big Bang) is only a finite amount of time in the past.  Since the Big Bang represents a temporal barrier (we cannot continue counting backward "before" it within the same temporal sequence), we don't have to get here from infinity.  Do we have to appeal to the supernatural to explain the Big Bang?  No.

First of all, the appeal to the supernatural doesn't actually solve the problem.  The questions "What was nature doing before the Big Bang" and "What was Yahweh doing before the Big Bang" are equivalent.  If it is impossible for nature (in whatever form) to have an infinite regress of events prior to the Big Bang, it is also impossible for Yahweh to have an infinite regress of thoughts, actions, feelings, etc. before the Big Bang.  Yahweh is portrayed in the Bible as a thinking, talking, feeling, choosing person.  That's what we mean when we talk about a personal being.  My opponent's argument (as I'm sure he would be the first to agree) requires an eternally-existent personal being.

If we take Yahweh's thought, "Hey!  I think I'll create a Cosmos!" there must have been a thought in some sense prior to that.  Otherwise, Yahweh was not a thinking being before he decided to create, and since he is supposed to be a thinking being now (and, my opponent asserts, he cannot change), he must have always been a thinking being.  Since Yahweh is infinite, his thinking would also be infinite and there would be no way he could ever get to "Hey! I think I'll create a Cosmos!" 

Once again, Majesty is using "the supernatural" for the purposes of special pleading.  "There can be no such thing as an infinite regress--except the one that I want."  If Yahweh can exist infinitely as a personal being, and have his choirs of angels singing infinite numbers of praises to him, while sinners endure an infinite duration of suffering in Hell, then my opponent's assertion that infinite durations are impossible must fail, even in his own world view.

Since we know through relativity physics that time can be bent and twisted and come to a halt within the event horizon of a black hole and perhaps even turn back on itself, time is not as simple as this philosophical paradox suggests.  The question of "what caused the Big Bang" is still an open question in physics, and there are a number of different models.  None of them, however, make any appeals to the supernatural.  "It's a miracle!" is not the default answer to any unknown question. 

To Be Continued...
 1. "Generalized operating principles of Universe" includes all known and unknown generalized operating principles and is not necessarily limited to "the laws of physics" as we currently know them.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Rebuttal to Opening Statement, Part II
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 05:36:56 AM »
The KCA attempts to demonstrate that no naturalistic explanation of Cosmic origins can ever be valid, and that recourse to the supernatural is inescapably necessary.  If it can be demonstrated that a fully natural model can account for the existence of our Cosmos, then the Kalam argument fails.  The model doesn't have to be the answer.  It just needs to demonstrate that a natural answer is possible in order to destroy the KCA.   

Here is such a model.

This is a much more sensible and parsimonious approach than Majesty's, since it can all be derived from known physics.  There is no need to appeal to magic or to any infinitely complex supernatural persons.  With the KCA disposed of, I can now move on to clean up some of the fallacies and false claims it is based on.

Quote
So since an infinite number of regressions lead to contradictions, it logically follows that there had to be ONE uncaused CAUSE. 

Non-sequitor.  There is no reason there should be only one uncaused cause.  Why not a pantheon?  Why not cyclical time?  And, if the proposed uncaused cause is itself vulnerable to infinite regress, as eternal personal beings would be, it is not an answer.

Quote
Again, the  cause of the big bang COULD NOT be a natural cause, it could only be supernatural, because there was no nature before the big bang. NOTHING NATURAL EXISTED BEFORE THE BIG BANG.

This is an unsubstantiated assertion.  Brane cosmologyChaotic inflation cosmology.  While the merits of these theories are debatable, there is no basis for an absolutist, all-caps claim that there was nothing natural before the Big Bang (if "before" is even meaningful in that context).  If you have in fact discovered a conclusive refutation of all existing cosmological theories and ironclad, 100%, all-caps-worthy proof of the supernatural as the only possible explanation, I suggest you publish in a physics journal.  There's a Nobel Prize in it for you.

Quote
Here are some characteristics that the first cause MUST have...the first cause must be...

A. Changeless
B. Beginning-less
C. Time-less
D. Immaterial
E. Personal

The first four proposed attributes logically contradict the last.  To say something is "personal" and that it can feel and will and act, is to attribute temporal, changeable nature to it.  A "person" is something specific.  We know what a "person" is because we live in a world with over six billion of them.  A "person" is an entity that is a complex arrangement of component parts, which expresses its personality through time.  A "changeless" "timeless" entity that's not made of anything is not a "person" any more than it is a "car."

Note that attributes A through D are all negations.  They say what the thing is not, rather than anything about what it is.  It is changeless, beginningless, timeless, not material.  All of those "attributes" are shared with non-existence.  That leaves "personal" as a floating abstraction, deprived of any of the things that make up an actual person.

Quote
1. Changeless: There can be no change without time, and since the first cause is timeless, it cannot change. For example, the first cause cant get old, because getting old is a change of physical state, that happens only with time, and the first cause is timeless, therefore it is not bound by time, therefore its nature cannot change.

Mental acts, like perception, thought, feeling, and choice all take place within a temporal context.  A changeless, timeless entity could not think about creating, decide to create, design its creation, and then will itself to act.  Nor could it react to anything within its creation with love or hate.  It could not hold a conversation, or utter a sequential sentence like "Let there be light."  If you observe it while it's saying "Let" then again after it's done speaking, it will be different in those two circumstances.  In one case it's making noise. 

"But...but it's a supernatural person!  It's not like any actual person that we know and it doesn't have to follow the rules!"  That would be just more special pleading.  If it's not a person as we know persons, then it's something else and can't be referred to as "personal" any more than we can say it's "wet without any fluid involved" or "blue, but without reflected light waves."

Quote
2. Timeless: As the creator of time, the first cause has to transcend time. Time had a beginning as demonstrated above. The first cause may "step in to", or act in time, but the first cause cannot be bound by time. Since the first cause created time (time did not exist before the first cause created it), the first cause had to exist BEYOND TIME.

"Stepping into" time or "acting" in time are themselves temporal acts.  While it's "stepped into time" it would be different than it was when it wasn't "stepped into time," and thus, not changeless.  Furthermore, a cause for our Cosmos could exist "beyond" the time within our Cosmos, but still be something with a time of its own, such as a "parent" Cosmos.  This must be the case even for Yahweh.  For example, when did the angels rebel?  If they're inhabiting Yahweh's timeless realm, there would be no "time" for them to rebel.  After the angelic rebellion, Yahweh was at enmity with them.  Unless they rebelled instantaneously upon their creation, there must have been some period where Yahweh was not at enmity with them, which means his emotional state changes.  Unless he hated them from the start--in which case, no wonder they rebelled! 

Quote
3. Immaterial: Whatever that is timeless and changeless cannot be material, since matter involves change in protons, electrons, and any other "tron" lol.

How would something "immaterial" interact with something material?  Being immaterial (with "material" being condensed energy, E=MC2), it could not exert a force or release energy (being immaterial it has no energy to release).  Unless Majesty can solve this problem, his cosmology can't get off the ground.   

Quote
4. Personal: The first cause would have to be very powerful. It would have to have the ability to create the universe out of nothing. Without that ability, nothing would be created.

If the Cosmos is leaping into being out of "nothing," then it wouldn't take any "power."  Provided that the negative gravitational energy of the Cosmos balances out the positive energy of its constituent matter and energy of expansion, its total energy would be zero (within the tolerances of the Uncertainty Principle), so its emergence wouldn't even break the principle of conservation.  In this case, as shown above (see link), no Invisible Magic Person is necessary.

Quote
The first cause would also have the WILL to create.

Since your proposed timeless, changeless entity cannot have a time before it had a will to create, or a time before it created (that would entail change, a before-and-after), it could not exist apart from and independent of the Cosmos.  It would be a kind of Siamese twin to the Cosmos.  It would not have a choice in the matter, since choice necessarily requires differing potential states (Yahweh alone after having decided not to create vs. Yahweh accompanied by angels, demons, and a Cosmos), and the possession of different potential states requires a capacity for change.

So we have a "something" that is inherently co-joined to the Cosmos, from which the Cosmos emerges, but which has no choice in the matter, no free will and no time in which to exercise a will.  This sounds rather more like a "singularity" or a "spacetime foam" than a "person." 

Quote
The cause of the universe cannot be a scientific explanation because there was absolutely nothing before it, as modern cosmology indicates.

This is simply false, as I have shown that modern cosmology indicates nothing of the sort.

Quote
As i mentioned above, the first cause has to be both timeless and immaterial. In our reality, we know of only two entities that have those kind of properties...

1. Minds

Minds are not timeless and immaterial.  A "mind" is what a brain does.  It is the emergent property of a material system (brain) in action.  This is supported by the overwhelming evidence of cognitive neuroscience.  All mental acts (thought, feeling, decision, etc.) take place in time.  We have discovered no evidence for any timeless and/or immaterial mind.  You must demonstrate the existence of such a thing before you can propose it as an explanatory mechanism for the existence of the Cosmos.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Rebuttal to Opening Statement, Part III
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 07:03:36 AM »
What about KCs presentation AGAINST the credibility of the kalam argument? Does his argument hold weight? Lets see...

Quote
1. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) cannot provide evidence for any particular supernatural agency, even if it were entirely valid.

Well, that is quite true. Even though i am a Christian, i am not using this argument in favor of the God that i worship, because i agree with you, that it doesn't.

Thank you.  Concession of the point accepted.

Quote
This argument does, however, in my opinion, proves the existence of A GOD. To me this argument tells us that it is not a matter of does God exist....but which God exist.

As I have demonstrated, the KCA does not prove the existence of any deities or any need of the supernatural to explain Cosmic origins.  Nor can it even be used to argue for “A GOD” rather than “A HUNDRED GODS.”

Quote
For example, if you are walking through a snowy field and you see some very large footprints, with very sharp claws in the snow, you don’t have to know where the footprints came from, or what kind or type of thing caused the footprints, but its safe to say that whatever caused the footprints was not human. That’s the very LEAST thing you can conclude with your finding. And that’s my approach with this argument.

Let’s use an example that's closer to what we're dealing with here:  A man claims to have found what look like very large, bare footprints, larger than any human footprint.  He’s got some photos and plaster casts.  Going to the area, we see that the footprints are, in fact, there.  Does this mean we should immediately leap to the conclusion that Sasquatch exists?  No.  It’s possible the footprints were hoaxed.  Given the considerable amount of counter-evidence against Sasquatch (no corpses or bones ever found, no Sasquatches shot by hunters, demonstrable proof—such as confessions—of previous Sasquatch hoaxes, etc.), it makes sense to assume a more prosaic explanation until more convincing evidence for Sasquatch comes in.

In the case of IMP’s as explanations for natural phenomena, the counter evidence is: every single thing we have ever discovered about the Cosmos.

Quote
Quote
2. Given the enormously successful track record of the scientific method in revealing a Cosmos that operates according to naturalistic principles, naturalism is legitimately the default explanatory mechanism, and supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof.

Exactly my point. "Ockham's Razor" is a philosophical and scientific rule that states that simple explanations should be preferred before complicated explanations are to be preferred. And i completely agree. The problem is, science cannot tell us what happened prior to the big bang (technically, since modern cosmology indicates that time came into with the big bang, there was no "prior").

False.  There are a number of theories in modern cosmology that seek to do just that: explain what’s on the other side of the Big Bang.

However, since you’ve expressed such eager agreement with my argument (“Exactly my point”), can I assume that you do accept that naturalism is the default explanation for unknown questions and that supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof?

Quote
Quote
3. Supernatural agency is an "answer" that raises more questions than it solves

Well, i can say the same for the "natural" agency. Everyone can admit that there are some things that science/scientist cant answer. In fact, in my many discussion with atheist they say things like "well, what is wrong with saying we don’t know?" So your #3 applies to you as well. Some things in nature raises more questions than answers. Science itself is based  on theories and presuppositions, and some of it raises more questions than answers.

Examples? 

A proposed scientific theory will not be considered valid if it “answers” one question by a proposal that conjures ten, or a thousand more unanswered questions that exist only because of the flaws of the theory.  A good theory can lead to new hypotheses that would further expand the domain of the known if validated (hence "raising questions"), but that's not the same thing as questions that arise because the theory itself is full of holes.  The primary explanatory mechanism of your hypothesis is a “person” whose other attributes (besides “personhood”) are all synonymous with non-existence and contradictory to the concept of personhood itself.  Its actual mechanism of doing anything with or to matter/energy is a blank. It is not superior to naturalism in relation to the other problems you raise (infinities, infinite regress, etc.) because it is equally subject to them.

Quote
Quote
There was a time not so long ago when the entire Cosmos and everything in it was (believed to be) pervaded and governed by Invisible Magic Persons (IMPs) of one sort or another. The default explanation for any phenomenon was that somebody was responsible, some supernatural personal agent. Weather, feast or famine, bountiful hunt or none, victory in battle or defeat, fertility or barrenness, sickness or health were all caused by the generosity or wrath of gods or spirits. The heavenly bodies were either gods and goddesses in their own right, or supernaturally controlled by a divine hand.

This is committing what philosophers call "The Genetic Fallacy", which is basically trying to discredit a belief based on where that belief originated.

No, my argument is not talking about the “origins” of belief in IMPs, but about the fact that claims of IMPs as causal agents have been debunked in favor of naturalistic explanations over and over and over again.

Quote
It is a fallacy because even if the people of the ancient days believed that famine, natural disasters, war, sickness came from their belief in a IMP, that in no way discredit their belief. While it is true that we have found out that Zeus is not striking people down with lightning bolts, we have not found out whether the God Zeus actually exists at all.

Yes it does, because their claims of IMP causation have been falsified.  Perhaps it doesn’t completely discredit their belief in IMPs in some absolute, 100% mathematical or philosophical sense—which is not what I was arguing for in the first place—but it does in terms of probability.  Or do you really think that alchemy is just as likely to be right as aerodynamics?  “Well, sure every single attempt by alchemists to synthesize gold from lead has failed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!”  OK, sure, it’s possible in a philosophical sense that someday somebody could get the right alchemical formula down and turn lead into gold.

But it’s highly unlikely.  If someone came up to you and told you that he’d discovered the secrets of alchemy, and for the low, low price of $5,000 he’d give you the formula, would you take the deal?  I’m thinking, probably not.  Now, why would you be skeptical?  After all, the repeated failures of alchemy in the past don’t discredit alchemy, right?

Quote
You assume that just because they are wrong about there God in one area, that they are wrong about their God in all areas.

No, I am assuming, on a probabilistic basis, that if someone makes the claim “IMPs cause A,” which is falsified, then their claim that IMPs cause B is falsified, and likewise for C and D and onward, so that by the time they get to “IMPs cause ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ,” I can legitimately assign a very low probability for them being right in this instance.  This doesn’t mean they absolutely couldn’t be right, just that the probability is vanishingly small.  And if I’ve got the person who’s been getting the causes for A – YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY right every time proposing a natural explanation for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, and they can back it up with evidence and equations, I have very good reason to assign them a high probability of being right.  I’m talking about probability, not Philosophical Absolutes, which should have been obvious from the stock and racehorse analogies I used.

Quote
If this is your logic on that issue, then you are also committing Fallacy of Composition, because you assume that since they are wrong about one part of their religion, that the WHOLE religion in itself is wrong.

Damn, I wish I was your stockbroker.  “Well, Majesty, I know that every stock pick I chose for you has been wrong so far, for the last ten years, but you’d be committing the Genetic Fallacy and/or the Fallacy of Composition if you were to assume that my next pick is probably wrong too.  So why don’t you go ahead and hand over that retirement fund and I’ll invest it for you?  Thanks!  See you next week.”

Furthermore, I wasn’t even talking about “the whole religion in itself” being wrong.  I was just talking about the next claim that an IMP is the cause of some natural phenomenon.   

Quote
Quote
Imagine if any stock had done as well as science, going up, up, up, for five hundred years without setback

This is not entirely true. Above in my presentation i mentioned Edwin Hubble's discovery of the red shift. This discovery was so amazing, that it caused Einstein to modify his theory of relativity. See, science is constantly finding out new "truths". This is just one example of science not "going up" as my opponent suggested it did. And when it does go up, how many previous theories has it proved wrong as it went up?

This is not an example of science failing, it’s an example of science working exactly as it’s designed to.  Science is a self-correcting mechanism designed to root out errors in our understanding of reality.  Einstein’s modification of relativity was an improvement in the theory.  Even when some highly important scientific theory gets blown to tiny pieces and replaced by one that fits the original evidence better and answers questions the old one couldn’t, this is progress in science, and science’s “stock” goes up again. 

By “setback” to science (vis a vis supernaturalism) I meant something like this:

“Father O’Malley won the Nobel Prize today for demonstrating that cancer is, in fact, caused by demons, refuting the natural explanations we once had for the disease.  The O’Malley Cancer-Demon Exorcism Ritual has already saved tens of thousands of lives, and promises to save millions more.  The Nobel Prize Committee has now added categories for Astrology, Theurgy, Alchemy, and Magic to reward further notable achievements in the realm of our understanding of the supernatural.”

Quote
Quote
In other words, naturalism is the default basis of explanation backed by the evidence of every single thing in our Universe we have ever discovered and explained

Naturalism cannot even explain its own origin, it can only explain what is natural.

Naturalism can explain the origins and evolution of everything from humans to galaxies, going back to about 10-43 seconds.  That’s a pretty small cave of ignorance in which to hide a god.

Quote
It cannot even come close to explaining the supernatural.

What “supernatural?”  You’ve got to demonstrate the existence of a “supernatural” before science has any responsibility to explain it.  So far you have failed miserably.  Can you even define "supernatural?"  Remember, you have the burden of proof.

Quote
Science cannot explain the supernatural, and since nature came into existence at some point in the finite past, its origins can only be explained by a supernatural occurrence.

You have not demonstrated that “nature” (as opposed to a subset of nature, our Cosmos) came into existence at some point in the finite past.  Your claims to that effect fly in the face of modern cosmology.

Quote
Quote
It is not enough to simply find some area science has not yet understood and say, "This has to have a supernatural explanation!"

I don’t understand this statement. If science has not yet understood a specific area, then how is it not enough to give forth the possibility of a supernatural explanation?

Notice the disparity of language between what I said in my quote and what my opponent is saying.  I stated that the presence of an unknown is not sufficient to assume that it has to have a supernatural explanation.  That’s not the same thing as to “give forth the possibility” of a supernatural explanation.

We’re standing together looking at the night sky.  We see a light that’s moving, and we don’t know what it is.  Somebody points and says “Look!  It’s an unknown light!  It has to be an angel in a flaming chariot!”  I respond with skepticism.  Every other unknown we’ve ever encountered and actually come to understand has proven not to be supernatural, so I consider the possibility of this light being an angel in a flaming chariot to be highly unlikely.  In a philosophical sense we could still “give forth the possibility” that it could be an angel in a flaming chariot, but on a probabilistic basis, it’s very unlikely, so much so as to be zero for all practical intents and purposes.  After all, we don’t even have the level of evidence for angels in flaming chariots that we have for flying saucers.  It’s much more likely that it’ll be an airplane or the Space Station or some other natural object. 

Quote
My opponent is assuming that nature is all that exist, and that there is nothing beyond nature, or no explanation can be given besides a natural one.

You’re attributing a level of absolutism to me that I did not state.  In Dawkins’ parlance, I’m at 6.8 out of 7, while you’re attributing a full 7 to me.  When faced with an unknown, the likelihood that the answer will be natural is much, much higher than that it will be supernatural simply because not one thing out of all the things we have ever come to understand has proven to have a supernatural explanation.  Not.  One.

You have the burden of proof for a supernatural explanation, and you have not met it.

Quote
If he assumes that nature is all that exist in reality, and that there is no other explanation besides a natural one, i will ask him, how does he know?

I base my assessment of probability of naturalistic vs. supernatural causation on the fact that…  Every.  Single. Thing. We. Have. Ever. Come. To. Understand. Has. Proven. To. Be. Not. Magic!  Naturalism is batting 1000, Supernaturalism is batting 0.  When I go to the bookie, I’m betting on naturalism. 

Quote
He simply have to withhold judgment, because if if person makes the claim "this has to have a supernatural explanation", is no more worse than my opponent saying "this has to have a natural explanation". I think they are both equally logically invalid.

What about the claim that “this is far, far, far more likely to have a natural explanation,” which is the claim I’m actually making?  I’m not speaking in dogmatic 100% absolutes.  Sure, 100% of the things we’ve discovered and explained have turned out to have natural explanations rather than supernatural ones, but who knows, maybe tomorrow someone will find out they really do have faeries at the bottom of their garden.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.  And neither should you, if you have any sense.

Quote
Quote
If you knew nothing about how Universe works, but were handed a Bible and told that it is a communication from an infallible Source, you would not come remotely close to an understanding of the Cosmos revealed to us by science if you gathered your understanding from its pages. Instead, you would come to believe that snakes talk (or did once--with perfect diction, no less!), and eat dirt. Rain comes through windows in a solid sky (Genesis 7:11, 8:2), sorcery is real, powerful, and sufficiently dangerous that it ought to be forbidden on pain of death, and so on.

Well, if you open the bible and you expect to get taught Chemistry or Physics 101, then i think you will be highly upset. The bible is not a science book.

True, but so what?  Where it does speak on issues where science has something to say, the Bible is very frequently wrong.  If you’re a juror in court and there’s a witness who is repeatedly wrong about the facts of the case either through ignorance or perjury, that witness will lose credibility, will they not?  Or would you just automatically trust them?  As a place to go looking for answers to cosmological mysteries, the Bible is not a credible witness.  Whether you like it or not, it’s your sourcebook.  It’s where you get  your purported explanation for cosmic origins.  It’s not my fault you have such a heavy millstone around your neck.  You put it there.

Quote
The things that my opponent mentions does not refute the kalam argument whatsoever, it does not even refute the possibility of the existence of God. I see no relevance to it whatsoever.

The KCA points to an unknown: “What caused the Big Bang?”  That’s it.  That’s all it does.  So if we seek to compare the validity of a natural explanation with the validity of the Biblical god as an explanation, the Bible’s record of inaccurate information about the Cosmos counts.

Quote
Quote

If the Biblical descriptions of the workings of the world and the Cosmos are treated as a hypothesis, it is self-evident that those descriptions have been comprehensively falsified by our observations of the Cosmos

Apparently my opponent is not up to speed on the latest of modern cosmology.

Funny, I could say the same thing about you, since you seem to be unaware of brane cosmology, Lee Smolin’s fecund cosmoses, chaotic inflation, multiverse theories, and Stenger’s model above, which all provide for the existence of natural things before/on the other side of the Big Bang, something you claimed “modern cosmology” did not do.

Quote
In fact, we have evidence that the universe came in to being, which completely harmonizes with Gen 1:1 "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". So the bible's descriptions of the workings of the world and Cosmos are NOT falsified by our observations of the Cosmos, in fact, they are CONFIRMED.

Sorry,  but that’s just funny.  Aren’t you Christians the ones who are always saying not to take a verse out of context?  The context of Genesis 1 is not compatible with what science has discovered about Cosmic origins.  Even if I were to capitulate completely and swallow the KCA lock, stock, and barrel, the most it gives us is the first part of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens,” because the “and the Earth” part is explained by the naturalistic model of solar system formation. Even that would be stretching things, because at most God would get credit for triggering the Big Bang, for the first 10-43 seconds.  After that, "the heavens" form naturally.  Then we get into rank absurdities like plants existing before the Sun.

Your several false and fallacious statements have failed to rebut my case for Naturalism.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 05:50:29 PM »
Second Statement:

Now that I have offered a rebuttal to my opponent's arguments, I would like to proceed further to compare the naturalist and supernaturalist models for explanatory scope and power.

One of the ways we have to decide between competing models of reality is to compare their explanatory scope and power.  The model that is able to explain and integrate the greater amount of data and phenomena into a single whole with the fewest ad-hoc propositions is the better model, all other things being equal. 

The "Goddidit!" model proposed by the KCA purports to explain the first 10-43 seconds of the Big Bang, and what caused it.  As I have shown previously, and as the full weight of peer-reviewed work by professional cosmologists establishes, naturalism can also explain these things.  But what about the rest?  What about everything that happens after that first 10-43 seconds?  Since the KCA argument essentially borrows the whole of Big Bang theory and naturalistic phsyics after that point lock, stock and barrel, it admittedly has no rival explanations of its own for the Cosmos as we see it in the present.  Let's look at just a few facts about the Cosmic present and compare the explanatory scope and power of the rival models:

  • Big Bang
  • Old, incredibly vast Cosmos
  • Large "zoo" of fundamental particles
  • Neutrinos
  • Cosmos almost entirely inimical to human life
  • Cosmos a vast machine, indifferent to humans
  • No observable IMP activity
  • Human consciousness a natural brain mechanism - no evidence of "spirits" or "souls"

All of these things emerge naturally from fundamental physics without a need for any ad-hoc "Make Shit Up" (MSU) assertions.  They are exactly the sort of things we would expect to see in a naturalistic Cosmos.  The "Goddidit!" model advanced by the KCA has no explanation for these phenomena.  It can either just plagiarize the explanations provided by naturalistic physics, or resort to MSU.

Big Bang

To paraphrase Captain Kirk: What need does God have, for a Big Bang?  An omni-intelligent, omni-capable supernatural being could surely think of a quicker, more efficient way to make a Cosmos as a habitat for humans.[1]  Since "the supernatural" is not constrained by natural limits, there is no reason gods could not create a human-habitable Cosmos in a few days or years by zapping it into being, instead of resorting to a nearly 14 billion year process of naturalistic Cosmic evolution.

Old, incredibly vast Cosmos

Form follows function.  The more intelligent, capable, and advanced a designer is, the more elegant and efficient their design.  We would not expect a Cosmos that is the product of an omni-intelligent, omni-capable and omni-advanced Designer, created as a habitat for humans, to consist almost entirely of wasted space (areas uninhabitable by humans and far out of their reach), with nearly all of its ~14 billion year history barren of human life. 

Large "zoo" of fundamental particles

Why are there well over a hundred fundamental particles?  Surely an omni-capable Designer could have streamlined the process, producing matter made solely of protons, neutrons, electrons, and two or three other particle types to hold them together (photons for electromagnetic charge, plus some gluons to hold atomic nuclei together).  What are muons and pi mesons for?  Why have a family of quarks with their weird little colors and flavors, instead of just making protons, neutrons, electrons, and photons as the material base?

Neutrinos

What use could neutrinos possibly serve?  They hardly interact with other matter at all!

Cosmos almost entirely inimical to human life

If the Cosmos is supposed to be a human-habitat, why is virtually all of it instantly fatal to human life?  Humans can survive, barely, on the minority of the surface of one tiny little planet that is no more than a microscopic dust mote in an inconceivably vast cosmic dark.  All of the other planets in our own neighborhood are uninhabitable to humans without high-tech special protection.  Compare this vast waste to something that is actually designed by intelligence as a human-habitat: the International Space Station.  Most of its internal volume is directly human-habitable, and the rest (storage tanks, generators, air circulation system, solar panels, etc.) is all precisely designed to further the purpose of supporting human life and providing a platform for humans to engage in scientific research in outer space.  What waste can be found in its design is the result of limitations of intelligence, capability, and advancement of the designers (humans).

Cosmos a vast machine, indifferent to humans

Why does the Cosmos behave exactly as it would if it were a vast, naturalistic machine whose workings were entirely indifferent to humans? 

No observable IMP activity

How is it that physicists can accurately model the behavior of the tiniest sub-atomic particles without ever having to include a factor in their equations to account for the existence or activity of any IMP?  Not just gods, but the entire panoply of possible IMPs (lesser deities, angels, demons, djinn, faeries, pixies, gremlins, wights, sprites, etc., etc.)?  Why would they all choose to be so secretive, so good at hiding themselves that their existence is indistinguishable from their non-existence, even in principle?

Human consciousness a natural brain mechanism - no evidence of "spirits" or "souls"

The overwhelming preponderance of evidence from cognitive neuroscience validates the theory that "mind" is what brains do, and cannot exist independent of a brain or some similar material substrate (such as a computer containing an A.I.).  Damage to the brain (e.g. Alzheimer's disease) damages the mind/consciousness.  Chemicals introduced into the brain (alcohol, Prozac, DMT, LSD, marijuana, etc.) alter the mind/consciousness by altering the brain chemistry.  We have never detected an immaterial mind.  Why should this be the case in an IMP-designed, IMP-haunted Cosmos?

All of these things are predictions of the naturalistic model, and problems for the "Goddidit!" model, for which the latter has no predictive explanations (i.e., explanations which follow naturally from its premises and predict that these phenomena should be as they are).  The KCA does not even address these issues.

All that I need to do to destroy the KCA is:

1) Show that a naturalistic explanation of Cosmic origins is possible
2) Show that a naturalistic explanation is more plausible and more likely to be true than a supernaturalistic explanation.

I have done that in my previous posts, and I am backed by the full weight of modern cosmology and the qualified professionals in the field.  Now I have demonstrated a third fact which delivers the coup de grace:

3) The naturalistic model has far more explanatory scope and power, as it can explain and integrate the Cosmos we actually see in the present as a prediction of its fundamental physics, without resort to MSU "explanations," whereas the "Goddidit!" model neither coherently explains and integrates, nor even addresses the nature of the Cosmos as we find it.

Naturalism, FTW!
 
 1. This is the purpose every version of the "Goddidit!" model I know of, including Christianity, asserts for the existence of the Cosmos.  Unless my opponent wishes to assert that Yahweh had some other purpose, I think it is safe to assume that this is his view.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Rebuttal Round Part 1
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 06:20:01 PM »


Greetings.  KC,  thanks  for  the  timely  response.  Now,  if  you  remember  yesterday,  i  gave  both  two  philosophical  reasons  and  two  scientific  reasons  that  i  believe  will  give  credibility to  the  Kalam  argument.  KC shared  with  us  his  response  to  my  argument.  Lets  see  if  his  rebuttal  can  do  the  task of  refuting my  arguments...

I  started  off with  my  first  premise..
Quote
Everything  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause

And  KC  responded  to this  by  saying...
Quote
And what argument could you possibly have against resorting to magic? The whole point of the KCA is to try to get to a place where you can do just that, by appealing to the supernatural. If it is indeed improper to resort to magic, then you are engaging in poor argumentation by trying to use the KCA to argue for the existence of your preferred supernatural Wizard.

Well,  in  my  first  premise  i  didn't  resort  to  magic.  This,  is  at  least  the  only  thing  that  me  and  you  can  agree  about,  that  nothing  can  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of  nothing.  This  first premise  harmonizes  with  every  day  observation.  And  once  again,  if  you  can  give  an  example  of  something popping  into  being  uncaused  and  out  of  nothing,  i  will  be  more  than  delighted  to  see  what  you  claim  it  is.

I  went  on  to  say...
Quote
If anything does pop into being uncaused and out of nothing, then how come anything and everything doesn't pop into being uncaused out of nothing? How come a H2 Hummer wont pop into my driveway from nothing, out of nothing, and by nothing?

KC's  response  was...
Quote
Why not indeed? Your argument rests on an appeal to supernatural miracle--which, by definition is not constrained by any sort of "natural" principles. If it is constrained by principles derived from its nature (e.g. a miracle can't happen apart from the right sort of miracle-working entity, which has to do certain things like speak certain words or wave a wand in a certain way to direct the miracle-energies), then it is just more of the natural, operating according to natural principles we haven't discovered yet.
In that case, instead of a true supernatural realm/entities that are free from natural constraints, what you've got is a parallel Cosmos with its own natural constraints that apply to entities within it.

I  really  don’t  understand  what  he  is  saying  here.  He  is  basically  distinguishing  the  supernatural  from  the  natural,  which  does  not  address  the  question  of  if  things  pop  into  being  uncaused  out  of nothing,  then  why  doesn't  any  and  everything pop  into  being  uncaused  out of  nothing.  I  can  assure  you,  that  while  i  am  sitting  here,  if  hundred  dollar  bills  starting  coming  through  my ceiling  and  walls  as  it  it  were  transparent,  i  can  GARANTEE  you  that  there  would  not  be  a  natural  explanation  for  it.  And  that is  exactly  Physics  limitations  on  explaining  how  the  universe  came  into  existence.  It  either  popped into  being  uncaused  out  of nothing,  or  something  beyond  it  gave  it  its  beginning.  Those  are  the  ONLY  two  options.  And  if  KC  believes  that  there  are  more  options,  he  needs  to  present  it  to  us.

KC  also  said...on  this  issue...
Quote
The whole point of saying "and then a miracle happens!" is to get an escape-clause to the generalized operating principles of Universe.[1]  Your argument is riddled with such appeals to escape-clause.  "There can be nothing real that is infinite--except my god."  "There can be nothing that exists eternally--except my god."  And so on.  Once a Supernatural Exception Card is played, then it's no longer possible to say a Hummer can't "just appear out of nothing."  It can, if it's a magic Hummer.  Which is why an appeal to the supernatural is a non-starter.

We  should  go  where  the  evidence  takes  us.  We  exempt  God  from  the  infinite  rule  because  it  is  necessary  that  we  do  so.  There  is  a  thing  in  philosophy  called  "if  and  only  if".  We  know  that  it  is  metaphysically  impossible  for  the  universe  to  be  infinite,  and  it  is  also  metaphysically  impossible  for  an  infinite  amount  of  events  leading  up  to  the universes  existence,  so  it  logically  follows  that  whatever  gave  it  that  beginning  had  to  transcend  it,  and  be  eternal.  So  the universe  can  only  exist  "if  and  only  if"  the  cause  of  it  is  eternal.  If  the  cause  of  it  is  not  eternal,  the  cause  has  a  beginning,  and  using  that  logic  you  will  resort  to  an  infinite  amount  of  regressions  leading  up  to  the  present  moment,  which  i  already  demonstrated  is  logically  absurd.  If  my  opponent  doesn't  believe  that,  then  he needs  to present  arguments  against  that  case.

I  said..
Quote
The universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause

KC  said..
Quote
By "the universe" here, my opponent refers to what I am defining as "the Cosmos" for the purposes of this discussion. When it comes to Universe as I'm using the term, we both agree that it is eternally existent, we just disagree as to its contents. My opponent's conception of Universe would look something like this:

{[Supernatural realm: Yahweh + whatever else supernatural exists]----->Cosmos (or "the universe")}

where these brackets { } enclose the set of everything that exists and these [ ] enclose all supernatural existents. In his view, the Cosmos is something like a projection from Yahweh, whose own existence is eternal. Either creation of the Cosmos is a use of Yahweh's power, or it isn't. If it is, then the matter/energy content of the Cosmos existed eternally, in Yahweh. In other words:

Not  so  fast.  When  i  use  "universe",  my  definition  is  "all  matter  and  energy  in  space  that  exist  in  the  vastness  of  space"  And  by  the  definition  that  I  am  using  it  as,  i  don't  believe  it  is  eternal  as  my  opponent  said  that  I  did  (because  science  tells  us  that  it  isn't  eternal).  I  am  going  along  with  modern  cosmology,  that  all  matter  and  energy  came  into  being  and  was  the  effect  of  the  big  bang.

KC  also  said...
Quote
{[Yahweh]} = {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the Cosmos}
In this scenario, the matter/energy of the Cosmos merely changed form from a supply of supernatural Yahweh-power, into natural matter/energy. If Majesty adopts this scenario, then he can have no quarrel with the idea that the matter/energy of our Cosmos has existed eternally in some form. All that remains is to compare the probability of naturalistic versions of this (like sequential Big Bangs arising from vacuum fluctuations or black hole formation in an existing Cosmos) against the "It's magic!" "explanation."

Nice  try.  My  opponent  is  using  matter  and  energy  as  interchangeable  terms.  The  term  "matter"  in  physics  is  defined  as  "the material  substance  of  the  universe that  has  mass,  occupies  space,  and  is  convertible  to  energy".  Here  KC  is  using  natural  terms  and  making  an  attempt  to  relate  it  to  the  supernatural.  The  Spirit  of  God,  (or  any  spirit)  is not  a  physical  entity,  so  matter  as  defined  by  physics,  has  NO  barren  over  a  spirit,  which  is  what  God  is.  Now  what  about  energy?  If  we  define  energy  (as  related  to  God),  as  the  "power"  of  God,  then  yes,  I  am  willing  to  grant  that.  The  power  of  God  is  amazing,  and  I  don’t  pretend  to  know  how  God  can  do  some  of  the  things  that  he  does  (if  he exist).  So  I  am  willing  to  agree  that  energy (God's  power)  has  existed  for  eternity,  but  not  matter  (as  defined  by  physics).

KC  went  on  to  say..
Quote
{[Yahweh]} < {[Yahweh + created supernatural stuff] + the Cosmos} 
In this scenario, the creation is truly ex nihilo, so that a "Yahweh + Created Stuff" Universe is greater than a "Yahweh Without Created Stuff" Universe.  The Cosmos is appearing out of nothing, without Yahweh having to exert or transform any power to do it.  The sum total of all that exists has increased.  Were we to ask, "How does Yahweh do this?" my opponent would undoubtedly say, "It's a miracle" and expect inquiry to stop.  While he may try to deny that a Hummer could just appear out of nothing in his driveway, he has no problem with the idea of a Hummer just appearing out of nothing in his driveway if Yahweh says so. 

My  point  exactly,  you  have  a  creation  ex nihilo.  Either  the universe  popped into  being  out  of  nothing,  or  something  with  unimaginable  power  created  it  out  of  nothing.  God,  at  least  the one  that  i  worship,  is  a  being  with  unlimited  power  and  unlimited  resources,  and  I  don’t  see  the  problem  with  a  Deity  with  unlimited  power/resources  being  able  to  create  the universe  out  of  nothing.  And  for  the  hummer  example,  you  made my  point  for  me,  i  think  ANYONE  would  deny  that  a hummer  can  appear  in  ones  driveway  out  of  nothing,  but  no  one  will  deny  that  God,  IF  such  a  Deity  exist,  could  cause  such  a  thing  to happen.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now  what  about  my  arguments  against  the  impossibility  of  an  actual  infinite...my opponent  quoted  me  by..

I  said..
Quote
An actual infinity cannot exist in the natural world, because it would lead to all sorts of absurdities and contradictions.


He  responded  by  saying...
Quote
Note the escape clause here: "in the natural world." My opponent thinks an actual infinity (his omnimax Yahweh) does exist in the supernatural world. This is special pleading. He wants to argue that nothing can be infinite or exist eternally--and then create an exception for himself.

I  have  a  few  things  to  say  about  this.  First  of  all,  this  is  not  a  special  plea  for  God.  People  for  thousands  of  years  has  always  said  that  the  universe  was  infinite,  that  includes  atheist  and  believers  of  other  deities  alike.  Second,  the  terms  "infinite",  and "finite"  are both temporal  terms.  Without  the  concept  of  time  there  would  be  no  such  thing. But, since  God  is  outside  of  time,  there  is  no  "infinite"  in  his  "world".  His  omniscience  transcend  time  itself.  When  we  think  of  God  as  being  infinite  it  is  not  as  if  the  time  line  will  continue  forever,  but  we  speak  of  his  infinity  in  the  sense  that  time  isn’t  even  a factor  at  ALL.  And  third,  this  exemption  from  the  infinity  rule  would  apply  not  just  to  my  God,  but  for  ANY  God,  Deity,  or  entity.  Whatever  the  first  cause  was, it  would  have  to  fit  the  bill.

KC  then  quoted  a  verse  from  the  bible...

He  quoted  this  John 14:12  scripture
Quote
In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

He  said  this  about  that  scripture..
Quote
Since Jesus' "Father's house" is in the supernatural realm, does that mean it could be a real Hilbert's Hotel?
Either actual infinities can exist, or they can't. If my opponent wishes to argue that they can't, then he doesn't get to turn around and say, "except this one."

I  am  not  sure  where  he  is  going  with  this.  Jesus  said  that  his  father  has  "many"  houses,  but  did  he  say  "My  father  has  an  actual  infinite  amount  of  houses"??  lol.  No  he  didn't.  In  there  scripture,  no  quantity  was  given.  Not  sure  where  my  opponent  was  taking  this  one.























 








Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Rebuttal Part 2
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2009, 06:26:02 PM »


KC  quoted  me...
Quote
2. The impossibility of successful addition: (This involves the concept of Time)
1. The "present" moment cannot arrive if time is infinite
2. The "present" moment has arrived
3. Therefore, time isn't infinite 

His  response  to  this  was...
Quote
This argument assumes that "infinity" is some particular starting point from whence one can try (and necessarily fail) to reach the present.

Actually  the  argument  doesn't  "assume"  that  infinity  is  some  starting  point.  I  acknowledge  that  with  the  concept  of  having  an infinite  past,  there  IS  no  starting  point.  In the  example  i  gave  with  KC  shoveling  the  sand  in the  bottomless  hole,  the  bottomless  hole  represented  the  past.  The  "bottom"  of  the  hole  would  represent  the  starting  point  of  the  past,  but  since  the  hole  is  bottomless,  there  IS  no  starting  point.  So  i  acknowledge  that  there  is  no  starting  point  in  an  actual  infinite.

He  said..
Quote
Since the Big Bang represents a temporal barrier (we cannot continue counting backward "before" it within the same temporal sequence), we don't have to get here from infinity.  Do we have to appeal to the supernatural to explain the Big Bang?  No.

The  Big  Bang  represents  a  temporal  beginning  also.  Nothing  natural  existed  before  the  big  bang.  So  therefore,  only  a  SUPERNATURAL  entity  could  of  caused  it.  I  would  like  for  my  opponent  to  explain  how  something  natural  could  give  universe  its  beginning,  when  in  fact  nothing  natural  EXISTED  before  that  beginning.  I  don’t  think  he  can  do  that.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


KC  said...
Quote
First of all, the appeal to the supernatural doesn't actually solve the problem.  The questions "What was nature doing before the Big Bang" and "What was Yahweh doing before the Big Bang" are equivalent.

I'm  my  opponent  still  doesn't  get  it. The  question  "What  was  nature  doing  before  the  big  bang"  pretty  much  tells  it  all.  There  was  no  nature  before  the  big  bang.  Nature  came  into  being  AFTER  the  big  bang.  And  I  can't  stress  this  enough.  It's  like  asking  what  is  north  of  the  North  pole.  And  asking  "What was  Yahweh  doing  before  the  Big  Bang"  is  completely  irrelevant.  He  could  of  been  eating  grapes  for  all  we  know.  The  fact  that  my opponent  is  asking  these  type  of  questions  is  indication  that  he  still  doesn't  understand  modern  cosmology,  and  if  he  did,  he  would  understand  that  there  was no  nature  before  the  Big  Bang.

He  then  said...
Quote
If it is impossible for nature (in whatever form) to have an infinite regress of events prior to the Big Bang, it is also impossible for Yahweh to have an infinite regress of thoughts, actions, feelings, etc. before the Big Bang. Yahweh is portrayed in the Bible as a thinking, talking, feeling, choosing person.
Remember,  "infinite"  is  a  temporal  term  that  can  not  apply  to  a  being  that  exist  timelessly.  Time  came  into  being  at  t0,  t0  was  also  the  first  effect (the  effect  of  the  Big Bang).  The  first  cause  cannot  exist  both  IN  time,  and  also  be  the  CAUSE  of  time,  unless  the  first  effect  is  timeless  as  well,  but  we  since  we  know  that  time  isn't  infinite,  we  know  that  the  first  effect  is  not  timeless.  (because  "time"  came  into  being  at  t0  as  I  previously  mentioned".

KC  went  on  to  say...
Quote
If we take Yahweh's thought, "Hey!  I think I'll create a Cosmos!" there must have been a thought in some sense prior to that.  Otherwise, Yahweh was not a thinking being before he decided to create, and since he is supposed to be a thinking being now (and, my opponent asserts, he cannot change), he must have always been a thinking being.  Since Yahweh is infinite, his thinking would also be infinite and there would be no way he could ever get to "Hey! I think I'll create a Cosmos!" 
This  statement  is  border line  silly.  I  don't  understand  what  my  opponent  is  saying  here.  Since  God  is  eternal,  it's  safe  to  say  that  his  "thoughts"  are  eternal.  No  argument  from me.  *shrugs"

Quote
  The question of "what caused the Big Bang" is still an open question in physics, and there are a number of different models.
My  opponent  is  right,  there  are  many  different  models.  But  none  of  the models,  at  least  the  ones  that  i  know  about,  can  escape  the  problem  of  the  "first  cause".  As  I  said  before,  science  can  only  take  you  so  far.  After  a  while  you  are  going  to  come  to  a  screeching  halt.  Science  cannot  tell  us  what  happened  before  the  big  bang,  because  you  cant  put  the  supernatural  in  a  test  tube.  The  conclusion  of  the  supernatural  is  inescapable  in  my  opinion.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My  opponent  then  gave  us  a  link  that  supposedly  answers  some of  the  questions  that  i  asked.  I  briefly  scanned  the  article  on  the  link,  and  there  are  some  problems  with  what  i  read.  If  my opponent  wishes  to  discuss  that  article  in  another  debate,  i  will  be  more  than  happy  to  do  so.  I  also  want  to  add  that the  article  is  by  the physicist  Victor Stenger,  who  Craig  already  demolished  in  a  debate  already  lol.  But  yeah,  if  my  opponent  wishes  to  discuss  that  article,  i  will  be  more  than  happy  because  after  briefly  reading  it,  there  STILL  is  the  problem  of  an  actual  infinity,  which  is  absurd.

My  opponent  quoted  me..
Quote
So since an infinite number of regressions lead to contradictions, it logically follows that there had to be ONE uncaused CAUSE.

His  response  to  this  was...
Quote
Non-sequitor.  There is no reason there should be only one uncaused cause.  Why not a pantheon?  Why not cyclical time?  And, if the proposed uncaused cause is itself vulnerable to infinite regress, as eternal personal beings would be, it is not an answer.
"Why  not  a  pantheon?"  Well,  because  even  if  there  were  a  thousand  different  gods  that  never  came  into  being,  and  they  created  the  cosmos  ex nihilo,  then  that would  still  be  ONE  uncaused  cause,  but  it  would  be  ONE  COLLECTIVE uncaused cause.  So  even  if  it  were  a  pantheon,  that  still  doesn't  escape  the  fact  that  all  thousand  (or  however  many)  are  uncaused.  So  it  could  be  either  ONE  uncaused  cause  on  a  singular  level,  or  ONE  uncaused  cause  on  a plural/COLLECTIVE,  level.  But  notice  that  this  STILL   doesn't  change  the  fact  that,  however  many  gods  that  there  were,  that  all  of  them  would  still  have  to  be  UNCAUSED.  They  never  came  into  being.  So  this  is  not  a  non-sequitor  as  my opponent  claimed.  "Why  not  cyclical  time?"  I'm  not  sure  i  understand  this  question.  If he  means  why  not  a  circular  timeline  that  came  from  an  infinite  past,  i  still  fail  to  see  how  we  can  have  a  present  moment  even  with  that. I  would  like  for  him  to  clarify  what  he  means  by  "cyclical  time".  Neither  question  does  justice  to  answer  the  "uncaused  cause"  claim.

He  then quoted me
Quote
Again, the  cause of the big bang COULD NOT be a natural cause, it could only be supernatural, because there was no nature before the big bang. NOTHING NATURAL EXISTED BEFORE THE BIG BANG.

His  response  was..
Quote
This is an unsubstantiated assertion.  Brane cosmology.  Chaotic inflation cosmology.  While the merits of these theories are debatable, there is no basis for an absolutist.

Remember  those  models  that  we  were  talking  about  earlier.  Well  my opponent  named  two.  Brane Cosmology  is  somewhat  similar  to  the  String  Theory   model. This  theory  is  a  EXTREMELY  complicated  model  and  has  yet  to  be  equated  or  tested.  There  were  many  problems  with  this  theory  and  the  founders  of  this  theory  had  to  treat  the  past  as  a  POTENTIALLY  infinite  process  instead  of  an  ACTUAL  infinite process.  I  admit  that  a  POTENTIAL  infinity  can  exist  in  the  natural  world.  So  Brane Cosmology  fail  to  refute  the  fact  that  the  universe  had  a  beginning.  What  about  the  Chaotic inflation model?  But  this  model  has  also  been  shown  to  not  be  about  to  have  an  answer  for  an  absolute  beginning  of  the  universe.  (My  opponent  need  to  look  up  Arvind Borde  and  Alexander Vilenkin).  Neither  model  that  my  opponent  has  alluded  to  can  avoid  the  initial  singularity.  So  the  fact  remains  that  there  cannot  be  an  actual  infinity  in  the  natural  world.

I  previously  argued  that  the  first  cause  is  personal,  here  are  some  characteristics  that  i  argued  the  first  cause  to  have...
Quote
A. Changeless
B. Beginning-less
C. Time-less
D. Immaterial
E. Personal
 
My opponents  response  to this  was..
Quote
The first four proposed attributes logically contradict the last.  To say something is "personal" and that it can feel and will and act, is to attribute temporal, changeable nature to it.
Not  so  fast.  When  we  say  that  God  is  changeless,  we  mean  that  whatever  God  is  like  now  God  was  always  like  in  the  past,  and  he  is  the  same  way now,  and  he  will  be  in  the  future.  He  will  always  be  eternal,  he  will  always  love,  and  he  will  always  be  flawless.  He  is  changeless  and  perfect,  so  nothing  can  be  added  to  him  or  taken  away  from  him.  Now  with  that  being  said,  that  doesn’t  mean  that  Gods  emotions  doesn't  change.  God  smiles  when  he  is  delighted,  and  he  frowns  when  he  is  not  pleased.  It  is  the  emotions  of  God  that  is  temporal,  it  is  his nature  that  never  changes.  So  I  don’t  think  that  the  first  four  of  the  characteristics  that  I  mentions  contradicts  the  last.   

I  said..
Quote
1. Changeless: There can be no change without time, and since the first cause is timeless, it cannot change. For example, the first cause cant get old, because getting old is a change of physical state, that happens only with time, and the first cause is timeless, therefore it is not bound by time, therefore its nature cannot change.

His  response  was..
Quote
Mental acts, like perception, thought, feeling, and choice all take place within a temporal context.  A changeless, timeless entity could not think about creating, decide to create, design its creation, and then will itself to act.  Nor could it react to anything within its creation with love or hate.  It could not hold a conversation, or utter a sequential sentence like "Let there be light."  If you observe it while it's saying "Let" then again after it's done speaking, it will be different in those two circumstances.  In one case it's making noise.

I  fail  to  see  where  he  is  going  with  this. When  he  states  that  mental  acts  take  place  within  a  temporal  context,  he  is  making  it  seem  as  if  God  doesn't  have  the  ability  to "stop"  thinking about  something  (at  least  that’s  what  i  think  he  means  by  using  the  word  "temporal").  He  never  stated  his  case  for  why  a  changeless  or  timeless  entity  can't  think  about  creating,  or  why  that  same  being  can't  hold  a  conversation.  He  gives  us  no  reasons  why not,  he just  makes  the  claim.  And  I’m  going to  need  more  than  that  to  go  on  if  i  can make  some  sense  of  it.  He  must  give  an  argument  why.

I  said  that  the  first  cause  must  be  timeless...
Quote
2. Timeless: As the creator of time, the first cause has to transcend time. Time had a beginning as demonstrated above. The first cause may "step in to", or act in time, but the first cause cannot be bound by time. Since the first cause created time (time did not exist before the first cause created it), the first cause had to exist BEYOND TIME.

His  response  was...
Quote
"Stepping into" time or "acting" in time are themselves temporal acts.  While it's "stepped into

time" it would be different than it was when it wasn't "stepped into time," and thus, not changeless.

Ok,  so  the  act  of  stepping  into  time  are  temporal.  What  are  you  implying?  It  would  not  be  any  different  that  it  was  when  it  wasn't  in  time,  like  you  claim  it  would.  God  is  a  spirit.  When  God  stepped  in  to  time,  he  is  still  not  bound  by  time,  because  God  is  not  made  up  of  matter  that  has  the  necessary  conditions  within  it  to  change  over  time.  When  we  are  born,  we  are  born  in  time,  but  since  we  are  made  up  of  matter  that  gets  old,  and  decays,  over  time,  we  get  old.  This  case  cannot  be  made  with  God  because  he  is  not  made  up  of  anything  material  that  time  can  have  an  effect  on.  So  i  think  your  argument  is  very  invalid  and  it  fails  to  prove  that  God  is  not  timeless  nor  changeless.
 

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Rebuttal Part 3
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 06:28:32 PM »


I  said..
Quote
   3. Immaterial: Whatever that is timeless and changeless cannot be material, since matter involves change in protons, electrons, and any other "tron" lol.

KC  said  in  response...
Quote
How would something "immaterial" interact with something material?  Being immaterial (with "material" being condensed energy, E=MC2), it could not exert a force or release energy (being immaterial it has no energy to release).  Unless Majesty can solve this problem, his cosmology can't get off the ground. 

Here  KC  is  assuming  that  it  is  necessary  for  energy  to  be  material.  The  only  energy  that  existed  in  the  universe  before  the  big  bang  was  the  energy/power  of  God.  One  of  the  attributes  that  i  forgot  to  mention  in  my  opening  statement  was  that  God  is  all  powerful  (as  I’m  sure  you  all  know,  by  definition),  and  as  a  powerful  Deity  God  converted  his  immaterial  energy  to  material  energy.  My opponent  is  asking  the  question  as  if  it  is  a  hard  issue  for  a  being  with unlimited power  and unlimited  resources  to  do  this  "easy"  task  of  converting  its  energy  as  it  see's  fit.  Also,  the  conservation  law  tells  us  that  all  forms  of  energy  can  be  transformed,  or  converted  with  each  other, and  this  is  in  the  natural  realm.  And  quite  frankly,  this  is  the  only  logical  possibility  to  explain  how  energy  and  matter  came  into  being  in  the  first  place.  So  i  don't  see  his  objection  as  a  issue  at  all.  A  being  that  can  create  out  of  nothing  can  convert  its  energy  as  it  see's  fit.  No  biggie.

I  said..
Quote
The first cause would also have the WILL to create.

He  responded...
Quote
Since your proposed timeless, changeless entity cannot have a time before it had a will to create, or a time before it created (that would entail change, a before-and-after), it could not exist apart from and independent of the Cosmos.

First  off,  my opponent  is  constantly  using  the  word  "change"  in  the  wrong  context.  I  don’t  understand  the  reasoning.  "...cannot  have  a  time  before  it  had  a  will.....or  a  time  before  it  created"...If  he  means,  "...cannot  have  EXISTED  in  time  before  it had  a  will......or  EXISTED  in  time  before  it  created"....since  there  was  nothing  before  the  Cosmos,  how  can  the  cause  of  the  Cosmos  exist  within  it??  That  is  absurd.  Before  the  Big Bang,  God  existed  in  a  realm  where  there  was  no  time.....he  was  completely unbound  by  it.

I  said
Quote
The cause of the universe cannot be a scientific explanation because there was absolutely nothing before it, as modern cosmology indicates.

His  response..
Quote
This is simply false, as I have shown that modern cosmology indicates nothing of the sort.

I  don't  think  he  did.  There  are  problems  with  both  of  his  expansion  models.  And  as  i  have  suggested,  we  can  debate  those  as  well  where  he  can  address  the  problems  that  each  model  has.  None  of  the  models  that  are  out  there  can  escape  the  universe  having an  absolute  beginning. (as  i  have  studied  myself,  unless  he  has  a  new  one). 

I  said..
Quote
As i mentioned above, the first cause has to be both timeless and immaterial. In our reality, we know of only two entities that have those kind of properties...

1. Minds

He  responded...
Quote
Minds are not timeless and immaterial.  A "mind" is what a brain does.  It is the emergent property of a material system (brain) in action.  This is supported by the overwhelming evidence of cognitive neuroscience.  All mental acts (thought, feeling, decision, etc.) take place in time.  We have discovered no evidence for any timeless and/or immaterial mind.  You must demonstrate the existence of such a thing before you can propose it as an explanatory mechanism for the existence of the Cosmos.

Here  my  opponent  is  confusing  mental  properties  with  physical  properties.  He  is  COMPLETELY  wrong.  A  mind  is  immaterial.  It  is  not  a physical  entity.  It  occupies  no  space.  You  can't  see  a  persons  mind,  you  cant  feel  it,  you  cant  look  at  it.  But  with  the  BRAIN,  you  can  do  everything  that  i  previously  mentioned  to  it.  When  you  are  sad,  is  your  brain  sad,  or  are  "YOU"  sad.  In  fact,  there  is  a  branch  of  philosophy  called  "Immaterialism",  which  is  the  argument  that  your  MIND  is  all there  is.  So  my  opponent  is  completely  wrong  here.  The  mind  is  a  abstract  object  that  is  COMPLETELY  immaterial.  My  opponent  said  that  his  argument  is  supposed  by  cognitive  neuroscience.  I  challenge  him  to  name  one  expert  that  says  that  a  mind  is  material.

At  best  I  think  my opponent  did  an  average  job  of  refuting  my  arguments.  I  think  that  all  of  my  arguments  still  stand,  as  my opponent  failed  to  show  how  an  actual  infinity  can  exist  in  our  reality.  My opponent  also  failed  in  the  arguments  in  which  he  tried  to  show  how  the  characteristics  of  God  contradicted  each  one  another.  My  opponent  then  failed  two  address  the point  that  i  made  about  the  second  law  of  thermodynamics,  so  it  still  stands.  Have  we  seen  good  reasons  to  question  the  credibility  of  the  kalam  argument???  I  don't  think  so.

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 11:46:39 PM »
Your argument has degenerated into incoherence, failure to comprehend my arguments, and a slew of unsubstantiated assertions.  Example:

I started off with my first premise..
Quote
Everything begins to exist has a cause

And KC responded to this by saying...
Quote
And what argument could you possibly have against resorting to magic? The whole point of the KCA is to try to get to a place where you can do just that, by appealing to the supernatural. If it is indeed improper to resort to magic, then you are engaging in poor argumentation by trying to use the KCA to argue for the existence of your preferred supernatural Wizard.

This is just execrable. Either you lack reading comprehension and weren't able to see what part of your post I was responding to, or you're deliberately juxtaposing my comment against something it was not made in response to. Either way, you're degenerating into incoherent arguments.  You didn’t answer the question: what possible argument can you have against resorting to magic?

Here's another one:

Quote
Since Jesus' "Father's house" is in the supernatural realm, does that mean it could be a real Hilbert's Hotel?  Either actual infinities can exist, or they can't. If my opponent wishes to argue that they can't, then he doesn't get to turn around and say, "except this one."

I am not sure where he is going with this. Jesus said that his father has "many" houses, but did he say "My father has an actual infinite amount of houses"?? lol. No he didn't. In there scripture, no quantity was given. Not sure where my opponent was taking this one.

Reading comprehension fail.  Re-read the bolded part above and notice that I was asking a question, not stating an assertion.  You asserted that an actual infinity cannot exist in the natural world, while allowing them to exist in the “supernatural” world.  Can an actual Hilbert’s Hotel exist in the “supernatural” world?  Why or why not?

Since you are not reading my arguments correctly, your attempts to rebut miss the points I am making, and you end up boxing against the wind.  Then you start spewing out nonsense concepts like "immaterial energy."  "Energy" and matter are the same thing in different forms.  That's why they're convertible one to the other.  If we try to take the concept of "immaterial energy" (which, being immaterial can have no mass) and solve for E=MC2, we end up multiplying the C2 by zero (zero mass), so E = 0, ergo no energy. 

Rather than wading through the swamp (which would result in increasingly bulky multi-post responses) I am going to try to drain it.

Your KCA argument rests on two pillars:

1) Your repeatedly-stated, but completely unsubstantiated claim that there can be no nature before the Big Bang.

2) Your claim that an actual infinity is impossible, except when you want one (e.g, the infinite regress of Yahweh's thoughts and emotions, which you have admitted are temporal in nature).

No Nature Before the Big Bang

I have offered not one, but several models that are considered legitimate and plausible by qualified, professional cosmologists, which explain ways for nature to exist prior to the Big Bang.  I do not have to demonstrate that any of these models is The True Theory.  Your claim is that no such model can possibly exist.  Since you have failed to refute any of these cosmological models, your claim is falsified, period.  Your attempt to dodge the issue of Stenger's model by claiming Craig defeated him in a debate once is fallacious.  Whether or not Craig won a debate has no impact on the validity of Stenger's model unless he actually refuted Stenger's model.  In that case, the issue is whether or not Craig's refutation is valid, not whether or not the audience liked him better than Stenger.  Since you did not post a refutation from Craig or anyone else, the model still stands as an example of a viable naturalistic account of Cosmic origins.

No Actual Infinities

Your use of the infinite regress argument fails because your own proposal is equally subject to it. 

Quote
When we say that God is changeless, we mean that whatever God is like now God was always like in the past, and he is the same way now, and he will be in the future. He will always be eternal, he will always love, and he will always be flawless. He is changeless and perfect, so nothing can be added to him or taken away from him. Now with that being said, that doesn’t mean that Gods emotions doesn't change. God smiles when he is delighted, and he frowns when he is not pleased. It is the emotions of God that is temporal, it is his nature that never changes

1) Everything that comes into existence must have a cause.

2) Yahweh's emotions come into existence (remember, they're temporal).

3) Therefore there must be a First Emotion.

4) Therefore, Yahweh cannot be eternally emotional (infinite regress, no actual infinite number of emotions is possible).

5) Since Yahweh's First Emotion must have come into being at some time (remember, his emotions are temporal, as you've said), there must have been a time before that when he was not emotional.

6) Therefore, Yahweh's nature changed from non-emotional to emotional at the time of his First Emotion.

7) Therefore, Yahweh is not unchanging.

8 ) Therefore, Yahweh cannot serve as a First Cause by your logic.

Or: Yahweh's actual infinite number of temporal emotions throughout his eternal existence means an infinite regress is possible after all.

So, without those two pillars to support it, your KCA argument crumbles.  In contrast, I have demonstrated three facts which you have failed to rebut:

1) A naturalistic explanation of Cosmic origins is possible.

2) A naturalistic explanation is more plausible and more likely to be true than a supernaturalistic explanation.

3) The naturalistic model has far more explanatory scope and power, as it can explain and integrate the Cosmos we actually see in the present as a prediction of its fundamental physics, without resort to MSU "explanations," whereas the "Goddidit!" model neither coherently explains and integrates, nor even addresses the nature of the Cosmos as we find it.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Late Response to Part 3-First page
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2009, 04:27:15 AM »
 
It  looks  like  i  missed  part  3  of  KC's  last  presentation.  Plus  i have been falsely accused of lacking reading comprehension for not understanding his  post.  I don’t buy it one bit, i read what he said PERFECTLY and i think he is just trying to dodge my refutation. I will label which one of us said  what...whatever you see in bold print is what i will be responding to.

Quote
This argument does, however, in my opinion, proves the existence of A GOD. To me this argument tells us that it is not a matter of does God exist....but which God exist.

Quote
As I have demonstrated, the KCA does not prove the existence of any deities or any need of the supernatural to explain Cosmic origins.  Nor can it even be used to argue for “A GOD” rather than “A HUNDRED GODS.”

Yes  it  does,  i  already  made  my  case  for  this  and  my  opponent  need  to  address  the  arguments.  As  i  stated  over  and  over  again,  according  to  modern  Big Bang cosmology,  everything  natural  came  into  existence  with  the  big  bang,  so  it  needs  a  supernatural  explanation.  My  opponent  needs  to  give  us  reasons  WHY  this  can't  be  the  case...which  he  has  not  in  this  debate.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I  said
Quote
For example, if you are walking through a snowy field and you see some very large footprints, with very sharp claws in the snow, you don’t have to know where the footprints came from, or what kind or type of thing caused the footprints, but its safe to say that whatever caused the footprints was not human. That’s the very LEAST thing you can conclude with your finding. And that’s my approach with this argument.

He  said
Quote
Let’s use an example that's closer to what we're dealing with here:  A man claims to have found what look like very large, bare footprints, larger than any human footprint.  He’s got some photos and plaster casts.  Going to the area, we see that the footprints are, in fact, there.  Does this mean we should immediately leap to the conclusion that Sasquatch exists?  No.  It’s possible the footprints were hoaxed.  Given the considerable amount of counter-evidence against Sasquatch (no corpses or bones ever found, no Sasquatches shot by hunters, demonstrable proof—such as confessions—of previous Sasquatch hoaxes, etc.), it makes sense to assume a more prosaic explanation until more convincing evidence for Sasquatch comes in.

I  find  this  amusing.  What  "considerable  about  of  evidence?"  Unless  someone  searches  everywhere  in  the  world,  there  is  no  way  to  tell  whether  a  Sasquatch  exist.  If  i  ask  my  opponent  has  he  ever  been  to  a  cave  in  China,  and  my  opponents  answer  is  no.  Then  it  logically  follows  that  my  opponent  doesn't  know  whether  a  Sasquatch  is  living  in  a  cave  in  China.  And  my  opponent  is  right,  the  footprints  that  he  used  in his  example  COULD  be  a hoax.  But  they  COULD  also  be  real  footprints.  My  opponent  is  failing  to  exercise  the  possibilities  of  both  possible  answers.  My  opponent  just  simply  has  to  withhold  judgment  unless  he  can  prove  exclusively  that  a  Sasquatch  doesn't  exit. So  i  am  not  moved by  his  "counter-example"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His
Quote
2. Given the enormously successful track record of the scientific method in revealing a Cosmos that operates according to naturalistic principles, naturalism is legitimately the default explanatory mechanism, and supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof.

Mines
Quote
Exactly my point. "Ockham's Razor" is a philosophical and scientific rule that states that simple explanations should be preferred before complicated explanations are to be preferred. And i completely agree. The problem is, science cannot tell us what happened prior to the big bang (technically, since modern cosmology indicates that time came into with the big bang, there was no "prior").

Quote
False.  There are a number of theories in modern cosmology that seek to do just that: explain what’s on the other side of the Big Bang.

However, since you’ve expressed such eager agreement with my argument (“Exactly my point”), can I assume that you do accept that naturalism is the default explanation for unknown questions and that supernatural or paranormal claims hold the burden of proof?

No,  i  can't.  Because  no  matter  HOW  you  look  at  it,  even  if  they  find  out  what  caused  the  Big Bang,  either  they  will  be  on  a  wild  goose  chase  to  find  out  what  caused  the  big  bang,  then  what  caused  the  cause  of  the  big  bang,  etc,  OR,  they  have  to  give  forth  the  possibility  that there  was  a  uncaused  cause.  So  still,  since  an  actual  infinity  cant  exist,  it  wont  be  enough  to  find  out  what  caused  the  big  bang,  because  then  we  can  ask,  well,  what  caused  the  cause?  Science  operates  under the  cause  and  effect  rule,  and  i  already  demonstrated  that  you  can't  have  an  infinite  amount  of  successful  additions.  So,  you  still  don't  have  a  answer for  this........and  furthermore,  i  want  to  ask  you,  will  you  accept  the  supernatural  as  the  best  possible  explanation  when  it  gets  to  the point  where  science  can't  go  any  further?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
His
Quote
3. Supernatural agency is an "answer" that raises more questions than it solves

Mines
Quote
Well, i can say the same for the "natural" agency. Everyone can admit that there are some things that science/scientist cant answer. In fact, in my many discussion with atheist they say things like "well, what is wrong with saying we don’t know?" So your #3 applies to you as well. Some things in nature raises more questions than answers. Science itself is based  on theories and presuppositions, and some of it raises more questions than answers.


Quote
  Examples?  A proposed scientific theory will not be considered valid if it “answers” one question by a proposal that conjures ten, or a thousand more unanswered questions that exist only because of the flaws of the theory.  A good theory can lead to new hypotheses that would further expand the domain of the known if validated (hence "raising questions"), but that's not the same thing as questions that arise because the theory itself is full of holes.  The primary explanatory mechanism of your hypothesis is a “person” whose other attributes (besides “personhood”) are all synonymous with non-existence and contradictory to the concept of personhood itself.  Its actual mechanism of doing anything with or to matter/energy is a blank. It is not superior to naturalism in relation to the other problems you raise (infinities, infinite regress, etc.) because it is equally subject to them.

Well,  you  said  yourself  that  science  is  still  trying  to  figure  out  what  caused  the  big  bang,  right?  Well,  that  raises  more questions  than  answers  because  like  i  said,  you will  then  have  to  ask  what  caused  the  cause,  until  you  can  go  back  to  an  infinite  past,  which  is  completely  absurd.  The  more  you  go  back  in  time,  the  more complicated  the question  will  be.  So  this  is  just  one  example  of  naturalism  having  more  questions  than  answers.  And  all  of  the  models  that  you  proposed  have  some  complicated  issues  within  them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He  said
Quote
There was a time not so long ago when the entire Cosmos and everything in it was (believed to be) pervaded and governed by Invisible Magic Persons (IMPs) of one sort or another. The default explanation for any phenomenon was that somebody was responsible, some supernatural personal agent. Weather, feast or famine, bountiful hunt or none, victory in battle or defeat, fertility or barrenness, sickness or health were all caused by the generosity or wrath of gods or spirits. The heavenly bodies were either gods and goddesses in their own right, or supernaturally controlled by a divine hand.


Quote
This is committing what philosophers call "The Genetic Fallacy", which is basically trying to discredit a belief based on where that belief originated.

Quote
No, my argument is not talking about the “origins” of belief in IMPs, but about the fact that claims of IMPs as causal agents have been debunked in favor of naturalistic explanations over and over and over again.

Yeah  but  still.  This  is  still  a  huge  assumption.  Just  because  you  are  able  to  conclude  that  the  ancient  people  were  wrong  about  certain  natural  phenomenons,  that  DOESN'T  mean  that  their  God  doesn't  exist.  It  just  means  that  the  ancient  ones  wasn't  up  to  date  on  their  science  lol.  So  what  if  they  were  wrong  about  God  throwing  lightening  rods  at  people,  does  that  in  any  way, shape,  or  form  prove/mean  that  their  God  doesn't  exist??  Absolutely  not.  So  this  argument  is  still invalid.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I  said
Quote
If this is your logic on that issue, then you are also committing Fallacy of Composition, because you assume that since they are wrong about one part of their religion, that the WHOLE religion in itself is wrong.

Quote
Damn, I wish I was your stockbroker.  “Well, Majesty, I know that every stock pick I chose for you has been wrong so far, for the last ten years, but you’d be committing the Genetic Fallacy and/or the Fallacy of Composition if you were to assume that my next pick is probably wrong too.  So why don’t you go ahead and hand over that retirement fund and I’ll invest it for you?  Thanks!  See you next week.”
Furthermore, I wasn’t even talking about “the whole religion in itself” being wrong.  I was just talking about the next claim that an IMP is the cause of some natural phenomenon.
 

This  argument  is  silly.  "I  know  that  ever  stock pick  I  choose  for you  has  been  wrong  for  the  past  10  years".....ok  thats  fine  and  dandy,  but  just  because  the  stock  pick  you  choose  for  me  has  been  wrong  for  the  past  10  years,  can  you  conclude  that  the  stock  you  pick  for  me  will  be  wrong  for  the  next  20  years?  This  does  not  logically  follow  at  ALL.  In  fact,  the  logic  that  you  are  using  is  the  SAME  logic  that  science  uses.  A  theory  or  any  other  type  of  proposed  idea  can  be  found  to  be  wrong   years  after  first  concluding  that  it  was  right  (Einstens  Big  Blunder),  and  once  the  "right"  theory  is  proposed,  they  abandon  the  previous  one.  Second,  you  can't  logically  rule  out  the  possibility  that  God  is  the  ultimate  origin  of  everything  that  you  named,  war,  famine,  natural  disasters.  You  just  can't.  So  I  think  you  have  some  major  logical  issues  that  you  should  address.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Late Response to Part 3-Page 2
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 04:28:26 AM »
He  said
Quote
Imagine if any stock had done as well as science, going up, up, up, for five hundred years without setback

I  said
Quote
This is not entirely true. Above in my presentation i mentioned Edwin Hubble's discovery of the red shift. This discovery was so amazing, that it caused Einstein to modify his theory of relativity. See, science is constantly finding out new "truths". This is just one example of science not "going up" as my opponent suggested it did. And when it does go up, how many previous theories has it proved wrong as it went up?

Quote
This is not an example of science failing, it’s an example of science working exactly as it’s designed to.  Science is a self-correcting mechanism designed to root out errors in our understanding of reality.  Einstein’s modification of relativity was an improvement in the theory.  Even when some highly important scientific theory gets blown to tiny pieces and replaced by one that fits the original evidence better and answers questions the old one couldn’t, this is progress in science, and science’s “stock” goes up again.
 

It  amuses  me  how  you  try  to  sweeten  up  a  once  failed  theory.  Einsteins  observations, his  theories,  were  WRONG  and  needed  to  be  modified.  How  can  something  go  up  and  up  and  up  and  up  when  it  is  wrong??  If  it  is  right  now,  only  to  be  proven  wrong  30  years  later,  is  that  going  up  and  up?  No,  that  is  uncertain  progress.  He  called  it  the  biggest  "blunder"  of  his  life  lol.  So  lets  not  try  and  sweeten  up  science  failures.  It  is  as  only  as  good  as  the  next  that  proves  it  wrong  makes  it.  Silly  lol
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He  said
Quote
In other words, naturalism is the default basis of explanation backed by the evidence of every single thing in our Universe we have ever discovered and explained 

I  said
Quote
Naturalism cannot even explain its own origin, it can only explain what is natural.

Quote
Naturalism can explain the origins and evolution of everything from humans to galaxies, going back to about 10-43 seconds.  That’s a pretty small cave of ignorance in which to hide a god.

I  already  stated  that  "time"  started  at  t0.  That  is  the  furthest  that  science  can  go  back,  which  is  even  further  than  10-43  that  you  mention.  After  that,  naturalism  stops. You  can't  explain  anything natural  before  nature  came  into  existence.  That  is  like  trying  to  find  human  footprints  in  the  ground  thousands  of  years  before  one  human  existed.  It  is  impossible.  I  said  that  naturalism  cant  explain  its  own  origin,  and  you  mentions  evolution  of  humans  and  galaxies,  but  naturalism  STARTED  with  the  origin  of  the  universe.  The  galaxies  are  within  the  universe,  so the  origin  of  the universe  has  to  be  explained  first.  So  that  last  response  failed  to  do  any  justice  to  the  origin  of  naturalism,  which  is  what  i  explained that  naturalism  CANT  do.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I  said
Quote
It cannot even come close to explaining the supernatural.

Quote
What “supernatural?”  You’ve got to demonstrate the existence of a “supernatural” before science has any responsibility to explain it.  So far you have failed miserably.  Can you even define "supernatural?"  Remember, you have the burden of proof.

The  "burden  of  proof"  cop-out  is  what  atheist  and  agnostics  commonly  use.  They  claim  that the  burden  of  proof  is  one  the  one  making  the  claim.  I  agree,  but  if  KC's  claim  is  "there  is  no  supernatural",  the  burden  of proof  is  on  him  also, because  he  is  claiming  to  have  knowledge  on  the  issue  to  make  the  absolute  statement  "there  is  no  supernatural".  The  origin  of  the universe  out  of  nothing  is  my proof  of  the  supernatural.  Theories  have  been  proposed  about  how  the universe  came  into  being  by  a natural  cause,  and  they  all  have  some  serious  issues  with  them,  including  the  ones  that  KC  used  when  talking  about  the  expansion  of the  universe.  So,  if  KC  is  claiming  that  the  supernatural  doesn't  exist,  he  needs  to  tell  us  how  do  we  know,  and  saying  that  "there  is  no  evidence"  won't  be  good  enough  because  there  may  not  be  one  shred  of  evidence  of  the  supernatural,  but  that  STILL  doesn't  mean  that  the  supernatural  doesn't  exist.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
My opponent is assuming that nature is all that exist, and that there is nothing beyond nature, or no explanation can be given besides a natural one.

Quote
You’re attributing a level of absolutism to me that I did not state.  In Dawkins’ parlance, I’m at 6.8 out of 7, while you’re attributing a full 7 to me.  When faced with an unknown, the likelihood that the answer will be natural is much, much higher than that it will be supernatural simply because not one thing out of all the things we have ever come to understand has proven to have a supernatural explanation.  Not.  One.

You have the burden of proof for a supernatural explanation, and you have not met it.

The  kalam  argument  is  not trying  to  "downplay"  nature.  Thats  why  the  argument  focus  on  the  origin  of  the  universe  rather  than  the  results  of  the  Big Bang.  When  faced  with  an  unknown,  you  claim  that  the  natural  is a  higher  probability  than  the  supernatural,  well  even  if  i  grant  that  for  arguments  sake,  that  is  NOT  the  case  when  it  comes  to  the  origin  of  the  universe, which  is  what  the  argument  focus  on  in  the  first  place.  The  natural  can  not  have  a  answer  for  the  origin  of  the  universe.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
I base my assessment of probability of naturalistic vs. supernatural causation on the fact that…  Every.  Single. Thing. We. Have. Ever. Come. To. Understand. Has. Proven. To. Be. Not. Magic!  Naturalism is batting 1000, Supernaturalism is batting 0.  When I go to the bookie, I’m betting on naturalism. 

I  noticed  that  you  keep  focusing  on  everything  AFTER  the  Big  Bang.  But the  kalam  argument  focus  on  the  cause  BEFORE  the  Big  Bang.  The  God  that  I  worship  (if  he  exist  as  the  bible  says  he  did)  designed  the  universe  to  work  under  natural  laws,  which  is  why  Naturalism  is  batting  1000,  but  as  for  the  origin  of  the  universe,  Naturalism  can't  bat  1000,  because  Naturalism  isn't  even  in  the  game  yet.  In  fact,  Naturalism  isn't  even  in  the  stadium.  Naturalism  is  at  the  hotel  on  its  way  to  the  game.  Thats  my  whole  point.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He  said
Quote
If you knew nothing about how Universe works, but were handed a Bible and told that it is a communication from an infallible Source, you would not come remotely close to an understanding of the Cosmos revealed to us by science if you gathered your understanding from its pages. Instead, you would come to believe that snakes talk (or did once--with perfect diction, no less!), and eat dirt. Rain comes through windows in a solid sky (Genesis 7:11, 8:2), sorcery is real, powerful, and sufficiently dangerous that it ought to be forbidden on pain of death, and so on.

I  said
Quote
Well, if you open the bible and you expect to get taught Chemistry or Physics 101, then i think you will be highly upset. The bible is not a science book.

Quote
True, but so what?  Where it does speak on issues where science has something to say, the Bible is very frequently wrong.  If you’re a juror in court and there’s a witness who is repeatedly wrong about the facts of the case either through ignorance or perjury, that witness will lose credibility, will they not?  Or would you just automatically trust them?  As a place to go looking for answers to cosmological mysteries, the Bible is not a credible witness.  Whether you like it or not, it’s your sourcebook.  It’s where you get  your purported explanation for cosmic origins.  It’s not my fault you have such a heavy millstone around your neck.  You put it there.

Well,  provide  examples  where  the  bible  is  repeated  wrong?  The  authors  weren't  science  minded.  The  bible  isn't  science minded.  You  are  right,  its  where  i  get  my  explanations  for  cosmic  origins.  And  since  i  believe  in  the  supernatural,  and  the  bible  is  my  "sourcebook"  as  you  put  it,  its  no  wonder  in  my  sourcebook  i  read  "In  the  beginning  God  created  the  heavens  and  the  earth".  It  fits  perfected.  The  bible  authors  had  no  reason  to  give  natural  explanations  if  in  the  beginning  God  was  the  source  of  everything  natural  lol.  That  is  why  the  bible  is  not  science  minded,  because  all  scientific  laws  coem  from  God  anyway.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote
The context of Genesis 1 is not compatible with what science has discovered about Cosmic origins. Even if I were to capitulate completely and swallow the KCA lock, stock, and barrel, the most it gives us is the first part of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens,” because the “and the Earth” part is explained by the naturalistic model of solar system formation. Even that would be stretching things, because at most God would get credit for triggering the Big Bang, for the first 10-43 seconds. After that, "the heavens" form naturally. Then we get into rank absurdities like plants existing before the Sun.

Your several false and fallacious statements have failed to rebut my case for Naturalism.

I honestly  do not  understand  what  you  are  saying.  The  bible  says  in  the  beginning  God  created  the  heavens  and  the  earth.  It  doesn't  say  how  it  did  it.  Creationism  can  believe  that  God  did  it,  and   still  be  COMPLETELY in  tune  with  modern  cosmology.  God  could  of  used  the  Big  Bang  method  to  do  his creation,  and  as  long  as  this  is  even  POSSIBLE,  this  in  no  way  make  my  case  false  or  fallacious.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I  apologize  for  not  addressing  Part 3,  I  didn’t  see  it.


Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Another part that i missed...
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2009, 03:13:12 PM »
Once  again, sorry  i  missed  this  one.  This  is  my  last  response  in  the  debate.  I  will make my  closing  statements  after  KC  makes  his.

Quote from: Majesty on Yesterday at 06:20:01 PM
I started off with my first premise..

Quote
Everything begins to exist has a cause

Quote
And KC responded to this by saying...
 
And what argument could you possibly have against resorting to magic? The whole point of the KCA is to try to get to a place where you can do just that, by appealing to the supernatural. If it is indeed improper to resort to magic, then you are engaging in poor argumentation by trying to use the KCA to argue for the existence of your preferred supernatural Wizard.

Quote
This is just execrable. Either you lack reading comprehension and weren't able to see what part of your post I was responding to, or you're deliberately juxtaposing my comment against something it was not made in response to. Either way, you're degenerating into incoherent arguments. You didn’t answer the question: what possible argument can you have against resorting to magic?

I  don't  know  what  kind of  crap  you  are  trying  to  pull  here.  This  was  a  DIRECT  quote  that  you  responded  to  after  my  first  premise  "everything  that  begins  to  exist  has  a  cause".  I  just  checked  it,  and  i  invite  anyone  to  check  it  to  see  if  im  right.  You  were  responding  to  m  first  premise.  So  either  you  have  short  term  memory  loss,  or  you  are  just  being  dishonest.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote from: Majesty on Yesterday at 06:20:01 PM
Quote
Since Jesus' "Father's house" is in the supernatural realm, does that mean it could be a real Hilbert's Hotel?  Either actual infinities can exist, or they can't. If my opponent wishes to argue that they can't, then he doesn't get to turn around and say, "except this one."

KC  said
Quote
I am not sure where he is going with this. Jesus said that his father has "many" houses, but did he say "My father has an actual infinite amount of houses"?? lol. No he didn't. In there scripture, no quantity was given. Not sure where my opponent was taking this one.

Quote
Reading comprehension fail.  Re-read the bolded part above and notice that I was asking a question, not stating an assertion.  You asserted that an actual infinity cannot exist in the natural world, while allowing them to exist in the “supernatural” world.  Can an actual Hilbert’s Hotel exist in the “supernatural” world?  Why or why not?

I  find  this  whole  counter-argument  very  silly.  The  first  time  he  used  that  biblical  scripture,  it  was  the  whole  verse. But  on  this  occasion,  notice, he  is  just  focusing  on  one  sentence  of  the  verse,  as  if  he  is  trying  to  get  me  to  focus  on  that  one  sentence.  Look,  when  you  first  quoted  the  scripture  you  quoted  it  in  its  full  context,  so  that’s  the  way  that  i  understood  it.  Now  you  are  criticizing  me  for  misunderstanding  it  when  you  should  of  just  quoted  the  scripture  you  wanted  me to  focus  on  in the  first  place.  That’s  not my  fault,  it  is  yours.  But  to  answer  the  question, "Can  God's house  be  an  actual  infinite",  the  answer  is  no.  God  cannot  do  something  that  is  logically  absurd.  God  can't make  a  three  sided  circle,  or  anything  like  that.  When  i  distinguish  the  actual  infinite  in  the  natural  world  to  the  supernatural,  I  am  saying  that  only  the  first  cause  can  be  actually  infinite,  meaning  the  first  cause  has  no  beginning  or  no  end.  Either  the  universe  is  infinite,  or  the  first  cause  is  infinite,  however  you  slice  the  cake,  there  had  to  be  an  infinite  first  cause,  whether  that  first cause  is  personal  or  impersonal.

Quote
Since you are not reading my arguments correctly, your attempts to rebut miss the points I am making, and you end up boxing against the wind.  Then you start spewing out nonsense concepts like "immaterial energy."  "Energy" and matter are the same thing in different forms.  That's why they're convertible one to the other.  If we try to take the concept of "immaterial energy" (which, being immaterial can have no mass) and solve for E=MC2, we end up multiplying the C2 by zero (zero mass), so E = 0, ergo no energy. 

Rather than wading through the swamp (which would result in increasingly bulky multi-post responses) I am going to try to drain it.

Your KCA argument rests on two pillars:

1) Your repeatedly-stated, but completely unsubstantiated claim that there can be no nature before the Big Bang.

2) Your claim that an actual infinity is impossible, except when you want one (e.g, the infinite regress of Yahweh's thoughts and emotions, which you have admitted are temporal in nature).

You  are  accusing  me  of  missing  your  points, but  you  are  missing  my  points.  There  was  nothing  material  BEFORE  THE  BIG  BANG,  so  its  logically  follows  that  the  origin  of  anything  material  could  not  itself  be  material.  I  don't  see  what  is  so  hard  to  understand  about  that.  Thats  like  saying  "there  were  no  humans  before  humans"  in  order  for there  to  be  humans,  something  outside  of  mankind  had  to  give  humans  their  origin.  As  far  as  the  two  points  that  you  made.

1. Modern cosmology  tells  us  that  the  Big  Bang  started  from  the  singularity,  and  with  that  Big  Bang,  space,  time,  matter,  and  energy  ALL  came  into  being  starting  with  t0.  So  if  you  disagree  with  that,  then  you  should take  that  up  with  Stephen Hawkings.  So  before  the  Big  Bang,  there  is  no  nature.

2.  Once  again,  I  am  claiming,  whatever  the  first  cause  was,  it  would  have  to  be  necessary  that  that  "cause"  carry  those  characteristics.  If  the  first  cause  is  finite,  that  means  that  it  had  a  beginning,  and  if  it  had  a  beginning,  the  there  is  a  reason  why  it  had  a  beginning,  but  you  can  ask that  question  all  the  way  back  to  an  infinite  past,  because  you  would  need  an  explanation  for  the  explanation  for  the  explanation  for  the  explanation, which  is  completely  absurd.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
No Nature Before the Big Bang

I have offered not one, but several models that are considered legitimate and plausible by qualified, professional cosmologists, which explain ways for nature to exist prior to the Big Bang.  I do not have to demonstrate that any of these models is The True Theory.  Your claim is that no such model can possibly exist.  Since you have failed to refute any of these cosmological models, your claim is falsified, period.  Your attempt to dodge the issue of Stenger's model by claiming Craig defeated him in a debate once is fallacious.  Whether or not Craig won a debate has no impact on the validity of Stenger's model unless he actually refuted Stenger's model.  In that case, the issue is whether or not Craig's refutation is valid, not whether or not the audience liked him better than Stenger.  Since you did not post a refutation from Craig or anyone else, the model still stands as an example of a viable naturalistic account of Cosmic origins.

I completely  disagree  about  the models  that  you  proposed.  As  far  as  the  debate  WLC  had  with  Stenger,  maybe  you  need  to  check  out  the  debate,  because  the  debate  that  I've  seen,  Craig  disputed  every  single  thing  Stenger  said  about  the  models,  and  Stenger  didn't  even  give  an  response.  In  fact,  i  JUST watched  the  debate  for  a  third  time.  Craig  called  him  out  after  Stenger  claimed  that  "we  seen  in  physics  sub-atomic  particles  that  appear  to  come  out  of  nothing"  or  something  like  that.  So,  every  single  model  that  you  proposed  has  some  flaws  within  it,  and  we  can  discuss  those  if  you  like  (i  challenge  you  to  discuss  it).  So  your  models  failed,  and  to  point  out  Stenger  didn't  have  an  answer  for  anything  Craig  said  regarding  physics  lol.  The  debate  is  on  youtube...watch  it  lol.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote
Your use of the infinite regress argument fails because your own proposal is equally subject to it. 

Once  again,  any  proposal  that  anyone  gives  has  to  be  uncaused.  I  have  given  you  reasons  why  my proposal, or  any  proposal  is  not  equally  subject  to  it.  You have  to  address  the  reasons  that  i  have  given,  saying  my  proposal  is  not  equally  subject  to  it  is just  repeating  something  that  has  already  been answered,  which  doesn't  do you  any  justice.



Quote
When we say that God is changeless, we mean that whatever God is like now God was always like in the past, and he is the same way now, and he will be in the future. He will always be eternal, he will always love, and he will always be flawless. He is changeless and perfect, so nothing can be added to him or taken away from him. Now with that being said, that doesn’t mean that Gods emotions doesn't change. God smiles when he is delighted, and he frowns when he is not pleased. It is the emotions of God that is temporal, it is his nature that never changes

Quote
1) Everything that comes into existence must have a cause.

2) Yahweh's emotions come into existence (remember, they're temporal).

3) Therefore there must be a First Emotion.

4) Therefore, Yahweh cannot be eternally emotional (infinite regress, no actual infinite number of emotions is possible).

This  argument  is  a  ok  one,  BUT,  God  is  a  emotional  being.  He  was  a  emotional  being  for  eternity.  The  emotion  that  he  has  at  a  particular  time  may  be  temporal,  but  the  emotional  state,  or  the  act  of  being  or  having  emotions,  has  always  existed. Your  #2  doesn't  follow  your  #3  and  certainly  #4  does  not  follow.  God's  emotions  are  simultaneous  with  his  existence.  For  example,  lets  say  you  have  a  bowling  ball  that  is  resting  on  the  soft  cushion  of  a  couch.  Of  course, the  cushion  is  being  pressed  down  because  of  the  weight  of  the  bowling  ball.  Even  if  the  bowling  ball  was  resting  on  the  cushion  for  ETERNITY,  it  would  still  give  the  cushion  the  simultaneous  effect  of  being  pressed  down.  In  other  words,  it  is  a  cause  and  effect  that  is  in  a  stationary  state.  But  lets  say  the  cushion  on  the  couch  is  infinite  in  size,  and  the  bowling ball  has  been  rolling  in  all  areas  of  the  cushion  for  eternity,  and  as  it  rolls  in  a  particular  area, the  cushion is  only  pressed   down  where  the  area  of the  weight  is  (at  any  particular  time).  And  lets  say  this  was  going  on  for  eternity.  See  what  i  mean?  Any  specific  area  that  is  pressed  down  on  the  cushion  is  temporal,  because  the  ball  is  constantly  moving,  but  OVERRALL,  there  is at  least  ONE  area  on  the  cushion  that  is  being  pressed   down  at  any  given  time. So  the  same  thing  applies  to  God  and  his  emotions.  He  was  never  in  a  "first"  emotional  state,  just  like  the  bowling  ball  was  never  in  a  "first  moving  state".  His  emotions  are  simultaneous with  his  existence.  I  don’t  think  that  your  conclusion  logically  follows  after  your  premises,  but  nice  try.
.

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2009, 02:26:17 PM »
Final Rebuttal:

Quote
This argument is silly. "I know that ever stock pick I choose for you has been wrong for the past 10 years".....ok thats fine and dandy, but just because the stock pick you choose for me has been wrong for the past 10 years, can you conclude that the stock you pick for me will be wrong for the next 20 years? This does not logically follow at ALL.

So, no matter how much money you lost due to bad stock picks from your stockbroker whose picks failed 100 percent of the time from the day you started doing business with him until now, you'd just keep handing the money over because his track record of utter failure does not prove to a level of mathematical/logical certainty that his next pick will also be bad?  No matter how many times a restaurant serves you crappy food, you'll just keep going back?  If you're playing craps against somebody, and their personal dice roll boxcars every time they roll 'em, you'll just keep handing over your money after each roll because, hey, it's not proven philosophically that their dice are weighted, maybe they're just really lucky to get a thousand sets of boxcars in a row.  It's possible, in a philosophical sense after all!

As I've already said before, my argument against IMP-based explanations was not an argument from pure, philosophical logic, but from probability.  It's the same sort of probability judgment people (except for you apparently) make all the time. 

Quote
Just  because  you  are  able  to  conclude  that  the  ancient  people  were  wrong  about  certain  natural  phenomenons,  that  DOESN'T  mean  that  their  God  doesn't  exist.

Where did I even say that it did?  What I said was that IMPs as an explanatory mechanism for natural phenomena have a track record of 100% failure.  So far you have not provided a single counter-example (beyond that which is currently in dispute between us) of a successfully-demonstrated IMP-based explanation for a natural phenomenon.  How many diseases have been shown to be caused by demons?  How many weather phenomena have been demonstrated to be caused by shamanic rain dances?  Does the fact that Every. Single. Time. an IMP-based explanation has been offered for some phenomenon, and that phenomenon has come to be understood, that it has turned out to be a natural phenomenon prove that IMPs don't exist?  No.  It just shows that, if any IMPs exist, as far as we can tell, they don't do anything.   

Quote
Well, you said yourself that science is still trying to figure out what caused the big bang, right? Well, that raises more questions than answers because like i said, you will then have to ask what caused the cause, until you can go back to an infinite past, which is completely absurd. The more you go back in time, the more complicated the question will be. So this is just one example of naturalism having more questions than answers. And all of the models that you proposed have some complicated issues within them.

My opponent is 100% sure that he knows more about cosmology than all of the practicing professional cosmologists in the field put together, which is why he feels qualified to dismiss their models out of hand.  I do not possess such an astounding level of egotism myself, so, in the same way and for the same reason that I leave singing to the professionals, I have preferred to point to the work of professional cosmologists rather than advancing a theory of my own.  Do cosmologists disagree with one another?  Yes.  So do theologians, but somehow that has not persuaded my opponent that there are "issues" with every known set of beliefs about divinity and that therefore all of them are wrong.  The difference between cosmologists and theologians: Cosmologists can test their models with mathematics and experiment to see if they conform to reality.

Quote
I find this amusing. What "considerable about of evidence?" Unless someone searches everywhere in the world, there is no way to tell whether a Sasquatch exist. If i ask my opponent has he ever been to a cave in China, and my opponents answer is no. Then it logically follows that my opponent doesn't know whether a Sasquatch is living in a cave in China.

If it was living in a cave in China, it would be a Yeti.  &)  If my opponent wishes to believe in, or "withhold judgment" on every unsubstantiated claim that comes his way so he can feel justified in spewing out unsubstantiated claims of his own, that's his right.  Here's one: I am God.  That's right.  I am God Almighty.  Since no one can prove, to a philosophical certainty that I am not God, my opponent must either accept the claim or withhold judgment.  He cannot make a probability judgment ("It is highly unlikely that kcrady is God") or withhold his belief until I can provide convincing evidence, since he rejects those principles of critical thinking.

Quote
As i stated over and over again, according to modern Big Bang cosmology, everything natural came into existence with the big bang, so it needs a supernatural explanation. My opponent needs to give us reasons WHY this can't be the case...which he has not in this debate.

This is simply a false statement.  I challenge my opponent to find any published paper in a recognized scientific journal (Physical Review Letters would do), asserting that everything natural came into existence with the Big Bang and that therefore the Cosmos requires a supernatural explanation.  I have pointed to several different cosmological models--all of which count as "modern Big Bang cosmology"--which deny that everything natural came into existence with the Big Bang.  My opponent mutters about these models having "issues," but he has so far failed to prove that they do not exist, and that they are not representative of "modern Big Bang Cosmology." 

Quote
Well, provide examples where the bible is repeated wrong?

TooEasy.[1]

Quote
I noticed that you keep focusing on everything AFTER the Big Bang.

I repeatedly pointed you toward models proposed by professional cosmologists that address the "before the Big Bang" issue.  If I am called upon to prove the existence of heart transplants, I will exhibit a strong preference for pointing to heart surgeons and their work over attempting a heart transplant myself. 

Quote
But the kalam argument focus on the cause BEFORE the Big Bang. The God that I worship (if he exist as the bible says he did) designed the universe to work under natural laws, which is why Naturalism is batting 1000, but as for the origin of the universe, Naturalism can't bat 1000, because Naturalism isn't even in the game yet. In fact, Naturalism isn't even in the stadium. Naturalism is at the hotel on its way to the game. Thats my whole point.

Then your whole point is wrong.  Given that you casually reject the entire body of peer-reviewed physics literature (none of which appeals to the supernatural as an explanation for the existence of the Cosmos), I find it hard to believe that any answer I could give would be any more persuasive to you.  Nonetheless, I shall make the attempt:

Modern cosmology has a number of different models that approach the "what caused/existed before the Big Bang" question in different ways.  As I understand it, current cutting-edge cosmology tends to converge on the same candidate for a self-existent First Cause: the spacetime manifold.  The spacetime manifold is not only the spacetime that expanded from our Big Bang, but a larger spacetime of which our Cosmos is only a part.  This larger spacetime may be either finite but unbounded (e.g. a person could walk around and all over the Earth and never find an edge) or infinite. 

As I understand the "finite but unbounded" type model, it proposes a finite spacetime that, due to its geometry and quantum gravity, does not have an "edge" (i.e., a singularity where the principles of physics break down) or a beginning, in the same way that the surface of a sphere does not have an edge or a beginning.

I tend to favor a model like Lee Smolin's fecund universes or the one I cited by Stenger.  Instead of one, single infinite time/space Cosmos, there is either a series or a "foam" of such Cosmoses, together constituting Universe.  So instead of a single infinite series of temporal events:

   {...-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3...}

It is more like:

   {...[1, 2, 3...n][1, 2, 3...n][1, 2, 3...n]...}

where the brackets represent temporal discontinuities such as a Big Bang/Big Crunch/Whatever happens to a Cosmos.  Within each bracket-bounded Cosmos, time is finite, though very large.  The process of transition or regeneration between one Cosmos (represented by the places brackets meet ][) and the next is a natural process, and natural principles abide throughout.  Each Cosmos is temporally self-contained, so there is not an infinite regress of time within any Cosmos.  Since your model requires the existence of a realm "outside" of the Cosmos and "outside" of this-Cosmic time, you have no basis to object to scientific models (like M-theory, Smolin's black hole cosmology, etc.) that propose other Cosmoses outside of this one. 

Universe (as I am using the term) is eternal, and it includes all Cosmoses that exist, including this one.  Universe did not emerge from our Big Bang, our Big Bang emerged from Universe like a bubble emerging from soapy water.  If the soapy water is being agitated, it will continue to generate new bubbles.  Bubbles pop and return their soap-water to the whole, where it is recycled to continue the process.  We know that the spacetime manifold is continually being agitated on a quantum level, in accordance with the Uncertainty Principle of Energy and Time.  Smolin and Stenger provide models that explain how such a spacetime manifold could produce new Cosmoses by Big Bangs. 

The First Cause itself (the spacetime manifold) is an irreducibly simple energetic geometry that does not require a "will" to do this--it need only abide by the known principles of quantum mechanics.  The First Cause needs to have only two qualities:

1) It must exist Necessarily

2) It must be able to produce a Cosmos like ours.

So far as I can tell, we both have to ultimately accept the existence of actual infinities.  You drape the word "supernatural" over yours and act as if that gives you an escape clause from your own logic.  I tend to doubt the philosophers, especially when warped spacetime (as exists in black holes, which can stop time) and relativistic effects are taken into account.  Existence Exists, as an axiom, an irreducible starting point.  No possible statement can be made apart from Existence.  Nothing can't say anything to nobody, no how.  Since all possible arguments depend inherently on Existence, Existence is inescapable and self-evident.  We have no choice but to agree on this point.  The difference in our positions is that you think it is necessary to include God as the ultimate, self-existent bedrock of Existence, and I do not.

Edit:

Could a spacetime manifold produce a Cosmos like ours?  Stenger's and Smolin's models both provide mechanisms derived from known physics explaining how such a thing could be possible.  We know spacetime exists, we know at least some of its properties, and we are poised to learn more as the Large Hadron Collider comes online and we get closer to a validated theory of quantum gravity.    My opponent's model, on the other hand, includes new ad hoc elements that contradict well-demonstrated science (disembodied minds, "immaterial energy," a supernatural realm whose attributes and relation to the natural realm has not been defined or described mathematically in a way compatible with the equations of physics). 

Quote
I honestly do not understand what you are saying. The bible says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It doesn't say how it did it. Creationism can believe that God did it, and  still be COMPLETELY in tune with modern cosmology. God could of used the Big Bang method to do his creation, and as long as this is even POSSIBLE, this in no way make my case false or fallacious.

What I am saying is that you are applying an invalid hermeneutic to your own "holy book," ripping one verse out of its context and claiming it to be scientifically valid, while ignoring the rest of the chapter.  You seem to think you can pick and choose which parts of a Biblical text you like, and sweep the rest under the rug, while making up your own ad hoc "explanations" for things at will.  That is not only bad science, it's bad theology.  The text of Genesis, taken in context as a whole, is incompatible with scientific cosmology.

Quote
I started off with my first premise..

Quote
Everything begins to exist has a cause


And KC responded to this by saying...
 
Quote
And what argument could you possibly have against resorting to magic? The whole point of the KCA is to try to get to a place where you can do just that, by appealing to the supernatural. If it is indeed improper to resort to magic, then you are engaging in poor argumentation by trying to use the KCA to argue for the existence of your preferred supernatural Wizard.
 1. I do disagree with some of the examples given in these links, since they seem to take symbolic passages literally, but as my opponent repeatedly emphasizes, a few incorrect examples does not invalidate the whole.

Did you notice that I quoted a whole block of text, and not just that one sentence?  This is the part of the block of text my response was directed toward:

Quote
A. To suggest that everything begins to exist has a cause is to say that things don't just pop into being uncaused, and out of nothing, and by nothing. To suggest that things pop into being out of nothing is to stop using reason and logic and resort to magic[/b].


Note especially the italicized and bolded parts.  You were implying that to "resort to magic" is illegitimate--but your own position depends on resorting to magic, aka supernatural miracles.    Could you not grasp that when I made reference to resorting to magic, that I was referring to the part where you were talking about resorting to magic?  How hard is this to understand?

Quote
I find this whole counter-argument very silly. The first time he used that biblical scripture, it was the whole verse. But on this occasion, notice, he is just focusing on one sentence of the verse, as if he is trying to get me to focus on that one sentence. Look, when you first quoted the scripture you quoted it in its full context,

Oh, now you care about context?  I was citing that passage because it described a building that purportedly exists in the supernatural realm.  I was simply using the text as a springboard to ask you if a supernatural building could be a Hilbert's Hotel or not.  I was not asserting that the text teaches that it is one.  Again: how hard is this to understand?

You are accusing me of missing your points, but you are missing my points. There was nothing material BEFORE THE BIG BANG, so its logically follows that the origin of anything material could not itself be material.

Once again: the claim that "there was nothing material before the Big Bang" is unsubstantiated.  Can you show me your paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal where you established this fact?  What the facts about the Big Bang tell us (Hubble's redshift, etc.) is that there was a time when all of the matter and energy in our Cosmos was all together in the same place, and that it rapidly expanded outward.  Before the discovery that cosmic expansion is accelerating, one of the accepted models was a Big Bang/Big Crunch model, in which gravity slowed the expansion of the Cosmos and pulled the matter/energy back together again into a new Big Bang.  While this model seems much less probable now because of the discovery of accelerating Cosmic expansion, its existence does demonstrate that cosmologists accepted the possibility of matter existing "before" the Big Bang.

And, to say yet again, cosmologists currently do not accept that it is inherently impossible for natural entities of any sort to exist before the Big Bang.  You, repeating the claim over and over again in all-caps does not make it true, no matter how Majestic a Pharaoh you think you are.  If you really think that does work, I suggest you put your divine creative power to more practical use, by, say, going to your bank and informing the teller over and over again that you have a billion dollars in your account until the money materializes.

Quote
1. Modern cosmology tells us that the Big Bang started from the singularity, and with that Big Bang, space, time, matter, and energy ALL came into being starting with t0. So if you disagree with that, then you should take that up with Stephen Hawkings.

1. It's "Hawking, no 's.'

2. I think it's a safe bet that if Stephen Hawking were here, he'd be agreeing with me:

Quote
The quantum theory of gravity has opened up a new possibility, in which there would be no boundary to space-time and so there would be no need to specify the behavior at the boundary. There would be no singularities at which the laws of science broke down and no edge of space-time at which one would have to appeal to God or some new law to set the boundary conditions for space-time. One could say: 'The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.' The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.

--Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 136.

Quote
I completely disagree about the models that you proposed.

You say that as if it mattered.  That you reject all of scientific cosmology is irrelevant--unless you can provide valid evidence that they are wrong and your cosmology is right.  As far as that debate between WLC and Stenger, that is also irrelevant.  Why?  This is not that debate.  Having watched the thing three times, you could easily have posted WLC's arguments and seen how well they hold up here.  Or you could have presented some argument of your own against Stenger's model.  You did nothing to address Stenger's model, so you can hardly claim to have refuted it.  That is, "refute" as in "disprove," not "refute" as in "disagree with."

Quote
So, every single model that you proposed has some flaws within it, and we can discuss those if you like (i challenge you to discuss it).

First of all, the very existence of these models, and the fact that professional cosmologists publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals take them seriously destroys your claim that "modern cosmology" supports your viewpoint, as well as your claim that nothing natural could have existed before the Big Bang.  The models are proof that it is plausible--to the professionals who actually work in the field we're discussing--that nature existed before the Big Bang.  You want to say your opinion[2] carries more weight than the entirety of scientific cosmology?  Tell ya what.  Solve this for a hydrogen atom at 0 degrees Celsius and get back to me:



Last edit: spelling
 2. Opinions are like assholes.  Everybody's got one.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:09:00 PM by kcrady »
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2009, 03:21:45 PM »
Closing Statement:

My opponent claims that the Kalam Cosmological Argument proves that supernatural agency is necessary to explain the origins of the Cosmos.  Aside from self-assurance that itself seems to qualify as an actual infinity, he has not been able to provide any evidence for the numerous claims his position is based on. 

All of nature was created ex nihilo at the moment of the Big Bang

I have debunked this claim by pointing to models widely regarded as plausible within the scientific community, which explain how nature could have existed before the Big Bang, and how the Big Bang itself could be a natural event.  My opponent was never able to address the models I cited and demonstrate why the cosmologists who are working on them are wrong, and why his supernatural cosmology is right.  His only "defense" of this proposition was to repeatedly state it, sometimes in all-caps.

There can be no actual infinities

My opponent initially stated this claim with the proviso "in the natural world," implying that perhaps there could be actual infinities in the supernatural world.  When pressed on this with my question of the supernatural Hilber's Hotel, he said this:

Quote
God cannot do something that is logically absurd. God can't make a three sided circle, or anything like that. When i distinguish the actual infinite in the natural world to the supernatural, I am saying that only the first cause can be actually infinite, meaning the first cause has no beginning or no end. Either the universe is infinite, or the first cause is infinite, however you slice the cake, there had to be an infinite first cause, whether that first cause is personal or impersonal.

Since the claim that no actual infinities can exist is a claim of logic, and God cannot do something that is logically absurd, either God cannot be or manifest an actual infinity (such as an infinite number of thoughts or emotions, the inevitable result of an eternity of thinking and feeling), or the premise that there can be no actual infinities is wrong.  To say that an actual infinity is logically absurd, but that God can be or do an actual infinity is to contradict what my opponent says about God not being able to do something that is logically absurd.

If it is true that the first cause has to be infinite, and the first cause is something that's "actual," i.e. real, then the assertion that there can be no actual infinities must fall.  For the most part, my opponent is talking sense here.  Since God cannot perform the logically impossible, he cannot be used to escape the logic-traps of "no actual infinities" or infinite regress.   

How can we solve the problem then?  In my posts I suggested two primary ways:

1) Universe is finite but unbounded.  A person could walk around forever on the surface of a sphere without ever reaching a beginning or an end of its surface.  It is possible that the spacetime geometry of our Cosmos is like that, but in four or more dimensions.  This is one way that the spacetime manifold of our Cosmos could "just be" without any need for a supernatural origin.

2) It is possible that there could be a spacetime "foam" of multiple Cosmoses.  This is the basis for "multiverse" cosmologies such as Lee Smolin's "fecund universes" cosmology.  The Cosmoses themselves are finite in extent and duration, but the spacetime spacetime manifold itself would be eternal.

I do not need to prove any particular naturalistic cosmology is The Truth and fetch my well-earned Nobel Prize in order to destroy the KCA.  To the extent that the KCA relies on the assertion that fully naturlistic model can be plausible, the existence of such models which are plausible to the actual practitioners of cosmological science destroys the KCA.

Last stronghold of IMPire

My opponent is proposing that an Invisible Magic Person must be responsible for the ultimate origin of the Cosmos.  As I have demonstrated, this is a methodology that has failed every time it's been used, and it has been used to "explain" virtually every significant natural phenomenon.  Does this mean that I am asserting with 100 percent mathematical/philosophical certainty that we will not find an IMP hidden within the little patch of terra incognita inside of 10-43 seconds after the start of the Big Bang?  No, but it gives us very good inductive, probabalistic reason to suspect that an IMP-based explanation will fail here as well.  Perhaps a philosopher might think it necessary to continue dropping an anvil on his foot over and over again because perhaps the next time it will feel great, but the rest of us can recognize a pattern of failure when we see one and respond accordingly.

What sort of First Cause?

My opponent has failed to explain why his proposed First Cause would create this Cosmos (by First Causing a natural Big Bang followed by 14 billion years of naturalistic cosmic and biological evolution before the putative reason for his creation--humans--came on the scene) instead of one that more closely resembles what believers (before Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton) expected a Yahweh-created Cosmos would look like.  This Cosmos looks and behaves exactly the way it would if it were entirely naturalistic in origin and operation, a vast, unconscious machine that is indifferent to the existence of humans.

My proposed First Cause--the energetic geometry of spacetime (whether finite but unbounded or infinite)--is the sort of thing that would produce a Cosmos like the one we live in.

The Ultimate Boeing 747

In order to be able to store and process unlimited amounts of information, Yahweh's disembodied mind would have to be an infinitely complex arrangement of the "immaterial energy" or Applied Phlebotinum it is composed of.  Such a mind is far more complicated and mysterious in its nature and origins than the Cosmos and everything in it put together. 

The more complex a thing is, the more possible permutations of its component parts there are.  The Bible is clear that Yahweh has component parts.  In the Book of Exodus for example, he shows Moses his "back parts"[1] rather than his face, so that Moses can get a glimpse without dying.[2]  While a theologian may well want to assert that Yahweh's "face" is not the same sort of thing as a human "face," or that his having "back parts" does not mean he's bilaterally symmetrical with an actual front and a back, it is clear that Yahweh's "back parts" have a different effect when seen than does his "face."  This means that these component parts are different in some way,so Yahweh is not an irreducibly simple, undifferentiated Wholeness.

Yahweh's component parts, whatever they might be composed of, are ontologically prior to Yahweh in the same way that organs or atoms are ontologically prior to a human being.  In order for a human being to exist, the component parts have to be arranged in a certain way.  Likewise, if Yahweh's component parts were rearranged, he would not be Yahweh.  Perhaps a stew of supernatural goo, like a Shoggoth, or even a different deity.  If he had a supernatural jackal's head instead of a bearded man's head, for example, he might be Anubis.

If we try to imagine the complicated array of "immaterial-energy" neuron-analogs an infinite intelligence might possess, we are forced to conclude that any one particular arrangement resulting in an individual disembodied mind is itself highly improbable.  Rearrange enough of my neurons and I would either be dead, or a different individual.  Were my neurons to be rearranged purely at random, death would be far more likely than any other outcome, since my existence as an individual emerges from the connections between my neurons, which would likely be destroyed if they were given the scrambled-egg treatment.  And in comparison to an infinite intelligence, I'm less than a bacteria in terms of relative complexity.

What this means is, that as First Causes go, an unlimited immaterial conscious being is an exceedingly improbable arrangement of whatever its component parts happen to be--perhaps maximally improbable.  We humans are also highly improbable arrangements of component atoms.  Unlike Yahweh, our improbable complexity has a well-evidenced scientific explanation: Evolution, both Cosmic and biological, over 14 million years of evolution.  But for an IMP like Yahweh that is purported to "just exist," there is no gradual evolutionary path up to the heights of Mt. Improbable.  Yahweh must scale the heights in a single bound, like a Boeing 747 being assembled by a tornado passing through a junkyard.

As an entity with component parts, Yahweh is not ontologically simple and cannot qualify as a true First Cause, since the complexity of his arrangement raises the question--why that arrangement and not some other?   Why that god, and not some other or none?  It doesn't really matter whether my opponent wants to back away from Yahweh and talk about a generic deity or not.  As long as he is proposing that the First Cause be an individual, there can, by definition, be only one way to be that individual amongst a vast sea of ways for its component parts to be arranged that would yield some other individual or, much more likely, a random and uncoordinated arrangement of Immaterial Unobtanium.

Yahweh's super-complexity requires an explanation.  The spacetime manifold, on the other hand is ultimately simple by comparison.  Cosmologists describe the state prior to the Big Bang as a state of "supersymmetry," of utterly ultimate simpliclity from which complexity arose like omnisymmetric and simple water vapor freezing into snowflakes.

Parsimony:

My opponent's supernatural Invisible Magic Person is highly non-parsimonious.  Within the space of this relatively short debate, he has already spun out a number of ad hoc assumptions: thought without anything like a brain to do the thinking, "immaterial energy" that--somehow--is supposed to be able to exert force, create and interact with matter/energy, an infinite number of simultaneous timeless emotional states that are nonetheless temporal, etc, etc..  All of these things are epicycles tacked on to a hypothesis that is really nothing more than an arbitrary claim devoid of any evidence, which we are to accept simply because Majesty--such a properly humble Christian moniker--says so.  And says so again.

New ad hoc explanations would have to be added to explain such things as, why this Cosmos is so inimical to human life (and why it took so long to get around to making humans) if humans are the purpose for creating Universe.  Or why there should be neutrinos or a zoo of over a hundred different fundamental particles, when a sublimely competent Designer could surely have fashioned something more elegant, and by a much more efficient and quicker process.

In contrast, all of these things are exactly what we would expect to see if a naturalistic model of origins were true.  I have already cited different models developed by recognized cosmologists which provide plausible naturalistic explanations for the Cosmos.  My opponent could do little more than sputter that they have "issues," and that William Lane Craig won a debate once.  His own model certainly has its own trainload of "issues," as I have shown here.

So, in comparing our two candidates, the spacetime manifold comes out as ultimately simple and parsimonious compared to the super-complexity of a mind without a brain that apparently sees without eyes, hears without ears, speaks without a mouth and tongue, etc. and creates Cosmoses out of some kind of Unobtanium my opponent calls "immaterial energy."  And the spacetime manifold has an incomparable advantage: we already know it exists, and we are developing instruments with which to examine its properties.  It does not require any appeals to magic, or immaterial substances or brainless thinkers or any of the rest of my opponent's collection of unsubstantiated claims.

In conclusion: The Kalam Cosmological Argument, as wielded by my opponent, has failed utterly to overturn the science of naturalistic cosmology and for the first time since the birth of modern science, establish that an Invisible Magic Person is the explanation for a natural phenomenon, in this case, nature itself.  I have shown that naturalistic models are possible, they're considered plausible by experts in the field, and they are far more parsimonious and consistent with features of the Cosmos we inhabit than Yahweh could ever hope to be.
 1. Exodus 33:23.
 2. It is a curious admission in the Bible, that Yahweh's nature is so inimical to ours that to look upon him is fatal--rather like Medusa or some creature from the Cthulhu Mythos
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2009, 05:26:50 PM »
I  am responding  to  everything in  bold

Quote
  I  said: This argument is silly. "I know that ever stock pick I choose for you has been wrong for the past 10 years".....ok thats fine and dandy, but just because the stock pick you choose for me has been wrong for the past 10 years, can you conclude that the stock you pick for me will be wrong for the next 20 years? This does not logically follow at ALL.


Quote
He  said: So, no matter how much money you lost due to bad stock picks from your stockbroker whose picks failed 100 percent of the time from the day you started doing business with him until now, you'd just keep handing the money over because his track record of utter failure does not prove to a level of mathematical/logical certainty that his next pick will also be bad?  No matter how many times a restaurant serves you crappy food, you'll just keep going back?  If you're playing craps against somebody, and their personal dice roll boxcars every time they roll 'em, you'll just keep handing over your money after each roll because, hey, it's not proven philosophically that their dice are weighted, maybe they're just really lucky to get a thousand sets of boxcars in a row.  It's possible, in a philosophical sense after all!

This  point  is  granted.  Check  this  out.  If  you  have  a  stock  broker  that  is  giving  you  bad  picks  in  stock (i  dont  know  anything  about  stocks,  but  lets  use  this  example),  do  you  stop  investing  money  in  stock  as  a  whole?  No,  you  find  another  stock  broker  and  perhaps  you  will  have  better  luck  with  that  one.  With  the  restaurant  example,  you  may  stop  eating  the  food  at  THAT  particular  resteraunt,  but  do  you  stop  eating  food  at  any  other  restaurant  on  account  of  the  previous  one??  No,  you  find  another  restaurant  that  serves better  food.  So  my point  is,  Zeus  may  not  be  the  right  God  for  you,  Zeus  may  not  exist  at  all,  but  does  that  mean  that  the  Christian  God  doesn't  exist?  Does  that  mean  that  Allah  doesn't  exist?  Well, obviously  not.  So  i  still  don't  think  that  any  examples  that  KC  has  given  us  will  work.  He  is  stating  that  since  science  proves  that  IMPs  are  not  casting  down  lightning rods  at  people,  that  its  safe  to  conclude  that  God  doesn't  exist. Well,  Christians  never  claimed  that  our  God  did  any of  this,  so  does  it  follow  that  its  safe  to  continue  to  believe  in  Yahweh?  Well  based  on  your  logic,  it  is.  Once  again,  he  is  committing  the fallacy  of composition,  stating  that  since  one  part  of  religion  was  wrong,  that  makes  all  other  parts  of  religion  also  wrong.  That  is  a  logical  fallacy.

Quote
I  said: Just  because  you  are  able  to  conclude  that  the  ancient  people  were  wrong  about  certain  natural  phenomenon,  that  DOESN'T  mean  that  their  God  doesn't  exist.

Quote
Where did I even say that it did?  What I said was that IMPs as an explanatory mechanism for natural phenomena have a track record of 100% failure.  So far you have not provided a single counter-example (beyond that which is currently in dispute between us) of a successfully-demonstrated IMP-based explanation for a natural phenomenon.

Once  again,  just  because  the  people  of the  religion  were  wrong  about  how  they  speculated  a  natural  phenomena  to  occur,  doesn't  logically  include  that  their  god  doesn't  exist.  All  you  can  show  to  prove  that  their god  didn't  do  a  specific  act  as  they  claimed  that  he  did.  That  says  NOTHING  about  whether  their  god  exist  at  all.

Quote
I  said: Well, you said yourself that science is still trying to figure out what caused the big bang, right? Well, that raises more questions than answers because like i said, you will then have to ask what caused the cause, until you can go back to an infinite past, which is completely absurd. The more you go back in time, the more complicated the question will be. So this is just one example of naturalism having more questions than answers. And all of the models that you proposed have some complicated issues within them.

Quote
My opponent is 100% sure that he knows more about cosmology than all of the practicing professional cosmologists in the field put together, which is why he feels qualified to dismiss their models out of hand.  I do not possess such an astounding level of egotism myself, so, in the same way and for the same reason that I leave singing to the professionals, I have preferred to point to the work of professional cosmologists rather than advancing a theory of my own.  Do cosmologists disagree with one another?  Yes.  So do theologians, but somehow that has not persuaded my opponent that there are "issues" with every known set of beliefs about divinity and that therefore all of them are wrong.  The difference between cosmologists and theologians: Cosmologists can test their models with mathematics and experiment to see if they conform to reality.

Never  am  I  claiming  that  i  know  more  cosmology  than  the  pro's.  What  I  am  claiming  is,  all  you  have  to  do  is  research  and  study  the  issues  to  KNOW  that  there  are  objections  to  the  models,  just  like  you  can  look up  the  kalam  argument  and  find  that  there  are objections  to  it.  The  models  in  which  you  proposed (in  fact,  all  models)  have  some  flaws  within  them.  Some  of  the  models,  as  i  pointed  out,  are  not  even  thoroughly  equated  yet.  As  it  currently  stands,  all  of  the models  are  just  POSSIBILE  scenarios.  And  just  because  they  are  possible,  that  doesn't make  them  PLAUSIBLE (appearing  likely  to  be  true).  Scientist  don't  win  Nobel Prizes  for  coming  up  with  just  "possible"  scenarios  (because  almost anything  is  possible).  They win  awards  based  on  what  is  PLAUSIBLE.  And  none  of  the models  are  plausible  as  of  yet,  which  is my  point.


Quote
I  said: I find this amusing. What "considerable about of evidence?" Unless someone searches everywhere in the world, there is no way to tell whether a Sasquatch exist. If i ask my opponent has he ever been to a cave in China, and my opponents answer is no. Then it logically follows that my opponent doesn't know whether a Sasquatch is living in a cave in China.

Quote
If it was living in a cave in China, it would be a Yeti.  &)  If my opponent wishes to believe in, or "withhold judgment" on every unsubstantiated claim that comes his way so he can feel justified in spewing out unsubstantiated claims of his own, that's his right.  Here's one: I am God.  That's right.  I am God Almighty.  Since no one can prove, to a philosophical certainty that I am not God, my opponent must either accept the claim or withhold judgment.  He cannot make a probability judgment ("It is highly unlikely that kcrady is God") or withhold his belief until I can provide convincing evidence, since he rejects those principles of critical thinking.

This  is silly  lol.  First  of  all,  the  existence  of  a  Yeti  has  yet  to  be  proven  or  disproven  as  well.  As  far  as  the  example  of  my  opponent  claiming  that  he  is  god.  My  opponent  may  be  god.  But  i  can  assure  you  that  he  doesn't  share  the  characteristics  of  the  traditional  definition  of  god.  Can  he  die?  Can  he  feel  physical  pain?  Does it  he  get  sick?  Does  he  get  old?  Well,  if  my  opponent  is  god,  I  am  pretty  sure  that  me  and  him have  the  same  characteristics.  So  if  he  is  god,  then  we  should  all  be  pleased  that  we  share  the  same  characteristics  as  him  (god).  So  how  is  he,  being  god,  distinguished  from  anyone  else?  I  don't  that  the  example  that my opponent  gave  does  any  justice.  So  the  fact  is,  since  you  are  not  omnipresent,  you  cannot  logically  conclude  things  behind  your  physical  "space"  limitations.

Quote
I  said: As i stated over and over again, according to modern Big Bang cosmology, everything natural came into existence with the big bang, so it needs a supernatural explanation. My opponent needs to give us reasons WHY this can't be the case...which he has not in this debate.


Quote
This is simply a false statement.  I challenge my opponent to find any published paper in a recognized scientific journal (Physical Review Letters would do), asserting that everything natural came into existence with the Big Bang and that therefore the Cosmos requires a supernatural explanation.  I have pointed to several different cosmological models--all of which count as "modern Big Bang cosmology"--which deny that everything natural came into existence with the Big Bang.  My opponent mutters about these models having "issues," but he has so far failed to prove that they do not exist, and that they are not representative of "modern Big Bang Cosmology." 

This  is  easy.  Every  model  that  my  opponent  gives  us  has  to  operate  under  certain  physical  laws.  If  those  physical  laws  operate  under  the  stage  or  domain  of  physics,  then  he  can't  logically  use  those  same  laws  to  explain  the origin  of  the  domain  itself. You  would  need  something  to  transcend  those  laws,  something  that  is  BEYOND  those  laws  to  explain  the  domain  itself.  So  we  are  then  right  back  to  square  one,  about  the  origins.  For  the  20th  time,  if  my  opponent  wants  to  debate  Big Bang  cosmology,  or  any  of  the  other  models,  I  will  be  happy  to  do  so.  All  of  the  findings  in  science  from  the  20th  century  tells  us  that  the  Big  Bang  remains  the  best  explanation  of  the  universe.  The  Big  Bang  is  based  on  the  universe  expanding  from  the  initial  singularity,  which  makes  it  an  expansion  ex  nihilo (or, from  nothing).  To  dodge  a  expansion  from  nothing,  some  stubborn  physists  have  came  up  with  various  models  in  a  attempt  to  give  the  universe  a  natural  cause.  These  are  some  of  the  same models  that  my  opponent  is  appealing  to.  The  problem  is,  half  of  the  models  cant  dodge  the  initial  singularity,  and  those  models that  do  try  to  do  so,  has  other  flaws  within  them.  We  can  debate  this  subject,  all  my  opponent  has  to  do  is  accept  the  challenge.




Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2009, 05:28:07 PM »
Quote
Well, provide examples where the bible is repeated wrong?

In  response  to  the  quote  above,  my  opponent  gave  a  link  to  a  website  that  specializes  in  pointing  out  supposed  bible  contradictions.  But  this  doesn't  do  him  any  justice,  because  there  are  many links  that  i  can  give  him  that  answers  those  supposed  bible  contradictions.  And  it  is  worth pointing out  that  all  a  Christian  have  to  do  is  give  a  logical  explanation  for  the  matter,  and  as  long  as  the  explanation  that  the  Christian  gives  is  even  POSSIBLE,  that  makes  it  NOT  a  contradiction.  So  i  don’t  think  that  the  websites  that  were  listed  does  any  good  in him  providing  examples  where  the  bible  is  repeatedly  wrong.

Quote
I  said: But the kalam argument focus on the cause BEFORE the Big Bang. The God that I worship (if he exist as the bible says he did) designed the universe to work under natural laws, which is why Naturalism is batting 1000, but as for the origin of the universe, Naturalism can't bat 1000, because Naturalism isn't even in the game yet. In fact, Naturalism isn't even in the stadium. Naturalism is at the hotel on its way to the game. That’s my whole point.

Quote
Then your whole point is wrong.  Given that you casually reject the entire body of peer-reviewed physics literature (none of which appeals to the supernatural as an explanation for the existence of the Cosmos), I find it hard to believe that any answer I could give would be any more persuasive to you. 

I  reject  the  models  because  the  model  that  i  use  has  the  most  empirical  evidence  supporting  it. The  more  evidence  that  it  has,  the more  plausible  it  becomes.  The  models  that  you  proposed  are  not  plausible,  only  possible.  I  will  also  mention  that  it  is  not  enough  for  you  to  just  point  out  a  model  and  say  "here,  there  you  go",  you  have  to  prove  that  the model  is  plausible.  You  didn't  even  make  the  attempt  to  prove  any  of  the  models  that  you  proposed  were  plausible.  On the  model  that  i  proposed  (The  Big Bang),  it  is  backed  up  by  the  infamous  Theory of  Relatively,  and  it  has  the  most  observational  evidence  that  supports  it,  and  it  is  accepted  by  the  vast  majority  of  scientist.  I  will  admit,  this  model  has  some  issues  with  it  as  well,  but  it  has  the  most  evidence  that  SUPPORTS  it,  making  it  more  reasonable  than  the  rest.  You  can look  it  up  yourself,  i  already  did,  and  i  have  no  reason  to  lie  or  falsify  anything.  I  go  where  the  evidence  takes  me.

*My  opponent then  went on  to  talk  about  other  models,  even  though  he  didn't  cite  what  model  it  was,  he  was  speaking  of  other  models  that  has  been  proposed.  It  should  be  pointed  out,  that  once  again,  these  models  that  he  is  referring  to  are  not  as  widely  accepted  as  the  one  that  I  am  referring  to.  The  Big  Bang  remains the  best model  that  can  explain  the  origin  of  the  universe.  All  of  the information  that  supports  this  model  has  been  well  documented  and  can  be  seen  in  virtually  every  text  book  involving  physics.*

Quote
where the brackets represent temporal discontinuities such as a Big Bang/Big Crunch/Whatever happens to a Cosmos.  Within each bracket-bounded Cosmos, time is finite, though very large.  The process of transition or regeneration between one Cosmos (represented by the places brackets meet ][) and the next is a natural process, and natural principles abide throughout.  Each Cosmos is temporally self-contained, so there is not an infinite regress of time within any Cosmos.  Since your model requires the existence of a realm "outside" of the Cosmos and "outside" of this-Cosmic time, you have no basis to object to scientific models (like M-theory, Smolin's black hole cosmology, etc.) that propose other Cosmoses outside of this one. 

This  does  not  do  any  justice.  I  already  demonstrated  the  absurdities  in  an  actual  infinity.  My  opponent  has  yet  to  refute  this. He  mentions  that  time  is  "finite,  though  very  large",  without  even  attempting  to  address  the  origin  of  this  "finite  time".  If  time  is  finite,  that  would  suggest  that  it  had  a  beginning.  He  states  that  "there  is  not  an  infinite  regress  of  time within  any  Cosmos".  But  how  can  that  be?  If  there  is  not  a  "first  cause",  then  there  had  to  be  both,  an  infinite  amount  of  time,  and  also  an  infinite  amount  of  series  leading  up  to  the  current  event.  This  is  extremely  INESCAPABLE.  He  then  states  "the  next  process".  Well,  what  about  the  process  before  that?  And  before  that?  And  before  that?  You  can  keep  asking  "And  before  that"  until  you  reach  an  infinite  past,  but  neither  science  nor  philosophy  can  confirm  that  to  be  the  case,  instead,  both  fields  reject  that  concept.


Quote
The quantum theory of gravity has opened up a new possibility, in which there would be no boundary to space-time and so there would be no need to specify the behavior at the boundary. There would be no singularities at which the laws of science broke down and no edge of space-time at which one would have to appeal to God or some new law to set the boundary conditions for space-time. One could say: 'The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.' The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.

This  is  cute.  What  my  opponent gave  you  is  the  Hartle-Hawkings  model (James Hartle/Stephen Hawking).  This  model  is  a  classic  example  of  cosmologist  trying  hard  to  come  up  with models  to  deny  the  initial  singularity.  This  is  the  length  at  which  they  would  go.  In  the  model,  they  had  to  introduce  what  is  called  "imaginary  numbers"  for  the  time  variable  in  the  Einstein  gravitational  equations.  When  you  use finite  time  on  a  closed  surface  before  the  Planck  time  rather  than  infinite  time  on  a  OPEN  surface,  it  would  support  the  universe having  a  beginning.  But  if  you  convert  REAL  numbers  to  the  equation,  the  singularity  will  reappear.
"Only  if  we  could  picture  the  universe  in  terms  of  imaginary  time  would  there  be  no  singularities......When  one  goes  back  to  the  REAL  time  in  which  we  live,  however,  there  will  still  appear  to  be  singularities"  Hawking, Brief History  of  Time, page 138-39

So  Hawking  recognizes  what  he  needs  to  do  to  undercut  the  singularity,  he  has  to  add  a  few  things.  This  is not  the only  problem with  this  Quantum  model  my opponent  is  referring  to,  there  is  more  lol.


Quote
That you reject all of scientific cosmology is irrelevant--unless you can provide valid evidence that they are wrong and your cosmology is right.  As far as that debate between WLC and Stenger, that is also irrelevant.  Why?  This is not that debate.  Having watched the thing three times, you could easily have posted WLC's arguments and seen how well they hold up here.  Or you could have presented some argument of your own against Stenger's model.  You did nothing to address Stenger's model, so you can hardly claim to have refuted it.  That is, "refute" as in "disprove," not "refute" as in "disagree with."

I  don't  disagree  because  i  want  to,  i  disagree  because  I  choose  to  go  with  the  model that  the  majority of  cosmologist  are  leaning  forward  to.  This  day  and  age,  theist  can  believe  in  God  while  still  following  behind  main  stream  science.  And  main  stream  science  is  clinging  on  to  Big  Bang  cosmology,  and  you  can  feel  free  to  look  it  up  yourself.  As  far  as  the  Stenger/Craig  debate  is  concerned,  look,  you  are  the  one  that  mentioned the  Stenger  model. In the  debate  with  Craig  he  brought  forth  a  couple  "naturalistic" models,  and  Craig  took  them  down.  Stenger  didn't  even  respond  back  to  it.  The Stenger  model  that  you  are  talking about  is  a possible  scenario,  it  isn't  plausible,  it  is  just  one  of  many  proposed  models.  I  don't  feel  as  if  a  possible  model  is  enough,  it  has  to  be  plausible,  and  that  is  what  Craig  called  him  out  on  in  the  debate.

Quote
First of all, the very existence of these models, and the fact that professional cosmologists publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals take them seriously destroys your claim that "modern cosmology" supports your viewpoint, as well as your claim that nothing natural could have existed before the Big Bang.  The models are proof that it is plausible--to the professionals who actually work in the field we're discussing--that nature existed before the Big Bang.  You want to say your opinion[2] carries more weight than the entirety of scientific cosmology?  Tell ya what.  Solve this for a hydrogen atom at 0 degrees Celsius and get back to me:

This  is  a huge  error  on  your  part.  You  claim  that  "nature  existed  before the  Big  Bang"  is  proof  of  the  error.  The  Big  Bang  is  a  model.  And  under  that  particular model,  NOTHING  existed  before  the  it.  That  is  why  they  have  all  of  these  other models  out  there  to  try  and  prove  a  more  naturalistic  explanation  of  the  origin  of  the universe.  But  a lot  of  the  other models  can't  seem  to  avoid  the  singularity.  And  this  M-theory  you  keep  clinging to  is  a  very  complicated  model  that  it  is  not  solved  yet.  So  to  try  and  use  this  model  as  a  answer  for  a  the origin  of  the  universe  is  to  premature.  It  is  just  a possible  scenario  that  is  still  waiting  to  be  solved. 

And  that  equation,  i  don’t  know  what  the  hell  that  is,  do you?















Offline kcrady

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1276
  • Darwins +388/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Your Friendly Neighborhood Cephalopod Overlord
    • My blog
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2009, 05:58:35 PM »
And  that  equation,  i  don’t  know  what  the  hell  that  is,  do you?

I had originally intended to make no reply since my closing statement is done, but since I was asked a direct question here, I decided that I should answer it.

Yes.  It's Schrodinger's equation for the quantum wave function, and it's a basic example of the language in which modern physics is done.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Majesty

  • Emergency Room
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Darwins +0/-0
Re: WLC Style Apologetics Debate
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2009, 11:15:52 AM »
I  would  like  to  thank  KC  for  a  very  stimulating  debate.  I  would  also  like  to  thank  my  God  for  giving  me  insight/wisdom  by  the  power  of  the  Holy Spirit  to  refute  his  arguments  without  that  much  help  from  outside sources.  I  argued in  favor  of  the  kalam  argument,  and my  argument  was  based  upon  two  premises,  and  a  conclusion.  It  went  like  this.

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


1a. KC  DID  NOT  deny  the  first  premise,  which  states  everything  that  begins  to  exist  having  a  cause. So  I  guess  its  safe  to  say  that  we  both  agree  on  the first  premise,  as  he  did  not  give  any  reasons  that  state  otherwise.

2.a. KC  DID NOT deny  the  second  and  third  premise.  If  you  read  his  response,  he  is  distinguishing  the  natural  from  the  supernatural,  which  was  irrelevant  (at  that  time).  At  that  particular  point  in  the  debate,  all  i  did  was  state  "the  universe  began  to  exist,  therefore,  the universe  has  a  cause",  which  was  just  setting  up  the  foundation  of  me  getting  to  the bottom  of  what  the  cause  was.  So  KC's  distinguishing  the  natural with the  supernatural  was  irrelvent  at  that  time,  AND,  he  still  didn't  deny  either  the second  or  third  premise.

What  about  the  arguments  that  i  gave  for  Premise #1  and  Premise #2?  First,  i  said...

1. The  impossibility  of  an  actual  infinite  number  of  things:

1. An  actual  infinite  amount  of  number  of  things  cannot  exist
2. A  beginning's  series  of  events  in  time  suggest  an  actual  number  of  things
3. Therefore,  a  beginning's  series  of  events  in  time  cannot  exist


Summary  of his  response: If  you  read  my  opponents  response  this,  he made  no  attempt  to  disprove  this  argument.  All  he  did  was  claim  that  this  argument  was  a  "special pleading"  for  my  God.  But  as  i  pointed  out,  I  don't  why  this  is  considered  a  "special"  pleading  for  God,  because  atheist  has  always  maintained  that  the  universe  was  infinite.  So  either  the  universe  is  infinite,  or  the  first  cause  is  infinite.  But  it  should  be  pointed  out  that  the  first  cause  can't  be  infinite  in  terms  of  "time",  because  the  first  cause,  if  it  exist,  created  time. A  more  correct  term  would  be,  the  first  cause  is  "eternal".  And  as  the  creator  of  time, the  first  cause  can't  exist  in  time.,  (or,  by  nature,  has  the  ability  to  exist  beyond time).  But  this  claim  can't  apply  to the universe,  because  if  the  universe  is  infinite,  it  had  to  exist  in  time,  which  would  make  "time"  infinite.  But  we  know  that  "time"  had  a  beginning  with the  big  bang,  so  time  cant  be  infinite. I  gave  an  example  that  showed  how  and  why  time  can't  be  infinite,  and  my opponent  did  not  dispute  it,  nor  did  he  dispute  the  argument  as  a  whole,  so  the  argument  remains  undisputed  in  this  debate.

I  gave  another  argument...

2. The  impossibility  of  successful  addition: (This  involves  the concept  of  Time)

1. The  "present"  moment  cannot  arrive  if  time  is  infinite
2. The  "present"  moment  has  arrived
3. Therefore,  time  isn't  infinite


Summary  of  his  response: My  opponent  mistakenly  claimed  that  the  above  argument  assumes  that  there  is  a  starting  point  with  "infinity".  But,  he  is  wrong  for  a  couple  reasons:  1. While  i  was  making the  "infinity"  argument,  I  had  distinguished  the  difference  between  both  concepts  of  infinity,  the  first  one  was  an  "actual"  infinity,  and  the  other  is  a  "potential"  infinity.  The  potential  infinity  concept  has  a  starting  point,  while  the  actual  infinity  does  not.  So  it  is  incorrect  to  say  that  i  confused  both  of  the  concepts,  when  i  already  stated  that  it  was  an  "actual  infinity"  that  was  impossible.  2. Both  of  the  arguments  that  I used  is  based  on  the  impossibility  of  an  ACTUAL  infinity,  and  with  an  ACTUAL  infinity,  there  is no  starting  point.  So  my  opponent  is  claiming  that  I  assumed  that  infinity  has  a  starting  point,  when  even  in  my  example  with  the  "shovel",  I  acknowledged  that  this  was  an  actual  infinity "Because  if  KC  was  shoveling the  sand  for  an  infinite  amount  of  time,  there  was  never  a "starting  point.""  Since  my  opponent  used  the  concept  of  a  "potential"  infinity  instead  of  an  "actual"  infinity,  his  whole  argument  got  off  to  a  bad  start  and  it  didn't  apply  to  my  argument  at  all.  KC  then  asked  "What  was  nature  doing  before  the  Big  Bang",  but  I  am  afraid  he  doesn't  understand  what  the  Big Bang was.  As  i  quoted  Stephen Hawking,  there  was  no  nature  before  the  Big Bang,  so  to  even  ask  the  question  of  "What  was  nature  doing before  the  Big Bang"  is  like  asking  "What  was  fish  doing  before  water"  or  something  similar  to  that.  My  opponent  then  used  the  concept  of  an  actual  infinity  and  applied  it to  God,  claiming  that  would  mean  that  Gods  feelings  are  actually  infinite. He  claims  "If  it  is  impossible  for nature  to  have  a  infinite  amount  of  regressions, it is also impossible for Yahweh to have an infinite regress of thoughts, actions, feelings." But  notice  that  my opponent  assumes  that  there  is  an  actually  infinite  amount  of  things  to  know, feelings  to  be  had,  and  thoughts  to  think.  And  his  assumption is  based  on  what??  If  I  am  a  infinite  being,  that  doesn't  mean  there  is  an  infinite  amount  of  things  for me  to  do,  an  infinite  amount  of  thoughts  for  me  to think.  I  think  this  is  a  huge  assumption  for  my  opponent,  and  he  needs  to  give  reasons  to  believe  his  assumption.  So  I  don't  think  my  opponent  refuted  this  second  argument,  all  he  did  do  was  state  why  the  argument  should  apply  to  God  as  well,  and  that  is  not  refuting  it,  so  I  think  the  argument  still  stands.

Conclusion: As  demonstrated,  my  opponent  made  no  attempt  to  disprove  both  of  my philosophical  arguments.  They  both  remain  undisputed  so  they  both  still  stand.

What  about  my  scientific  arguments?  First, I  made  an  argument  based  on  the  expansion  of  the universe.

Summary  of  his  response:  My  opponent  then  gave  us  a  couple  "naturalistic" models.  It  should  be  pointed  out  that  the models  that  he  presented  only provided  possible  models,  not  plausible models.  As  i  stated  before,  ALMOST  ANYTHING  is  possible.  The physicists  Robin Collins  won't  win  a  Nobel  Prize  in  physics  because  he  came  up  with  possible  models.  But  he will  win  the  prize  if  he  came  up  with  a  plausible  model. As  i  quoted  Hawking,  the  BBM,  the  one  that  I  proposed  throughout  this  debate,  is  the  best explanation  for  the  origin  of  the  universe.  Of  all  the  models  that  exist,  it  has  the  most  empirical/observational  evidence  supporting  it,  and  Hawking (an  atheist),  states  that  it  is  the model  that  the majority  of  scientist  is  standing  behind.  So  I  dont  think  that  none  of  the models  that  my  opponent  presented  does  any  justice  in  taking  credibility  away  from the  model  that  i  proposed,  which  is  the  Big  Bang,  the  one  that  the  majority  of  scientist  agree on.

What  about  my thermodynamic  argument?

His  response:  My  opponent  offered  no  response  to  teh  thermodynamic  argument.  So  it  still  stands.

I  argued  that  the  first  cause  had  to  be  a  personal  one...

A. Changeless
B. Beginning-less
C. Time-less
D. Immaterial
E. Personal


His  response
1. Changeless: "Mental acts, like perception, thought, feeling, and choice all take place within a temporal context"  I  think  my  opponent  doesn't  understand  the  meaning  of  "changeless"  of  God.  It  means  that  he  wont  change  his  CHARACTER.  God  won't  be  kind,  loving,  merciful  one  minute,  and  unkind,  unloving, unmerciful  the  next.  When  we  say   God  is  changeless,  we  can  be  sure  that  his  nature  will  remain  the same,  and  we  won't  have  to  worry  about  him  being  "two-faced", like  humans.  Also,  God's  overall  nature  can't  change.  He  wont  lose  his  memory,  he  wont  get  old,  we  will  never  stop  being  powerful.   The  objections  that  my opponent  raised  doesn't  contradict  anything.

2. Beginning-less:  My  opponent  didn't  address  this

3. Timeless: "Stepping into" time or "acting" in time are themselves temporal acts.  While it's "stepped into time" it would be different than it was when it wasn't "stepped into time," and thus, not changeless."  When  we  say  that  God  "stepped" or  "act"  in  time,  we  mean  that  he  is  casually  active  in  the  "time"  that  he  created.  God  can  exist  changelessly  and  then  freely  execute  a  certain  intention  (or  will)  because  free  will  does  not  require  any  determining conditions.  Because  free  will  by  definition  does  not  have  causal  determinants.  There  is  only  change  with  time.  But  God  can  know  everything  in  a  timeless  state  without  any  change,  because  not  all  actions  require  change  and  time.  As  long  as  God's  intentions  don't  change  they  can  be  timelessly held.  So  if  God's  intention  was  always  to  create  the  world  from  eternity,  then  this  is  not  an  change,  because,  nothing  ever  changed,  and  since  change  can  only  happen  in  time,  his  intention  was  being  held  timelessly.

4. Immaterial: "How would something "immaterial" interact with something material?  Being immaterial (with "material" being condensed energy, E=MC2), it could not exert a force or release energy (being immaterial it has no energy to release)"  The  same  reason  why  the  brain,  which  is  material,  can  produce  thoughts,  which  is  immaterial (the mind).  As  i  stated  before,  there  is  a  branch of  philosophical  called  "Immaterialism",  which  states  just  that.

5. Personal: "If the Cosmos is leaping into being out of "nothing," then it wouldn't take any "power."   The  universe  is  the  cause  and  effect of  an  expansion.  The  expansion  is  the  effect.  "So  it  would  take  some  kind  of  power  to make  it  expand  just  like  it  would  take  some  kind  of  energy  to  make  a balloon  expand. Provided that the negative gravitational energy of the Cosmos balances out the positive energy of its constituent matter and energy of expansion, its total energy would be zero (within the tolerances of the Uncertainty Principle), so its emergence wouldn't even break the principle of conservation."  The  laws/equations  that  my opponent  is giving  us  are  physical  laws.  You  cant  use  physical  laws  to  equate  the  absolute  origin  of  something.  Every  law  in  science  comes  from  another  set  of  laws.  Pretty  soon,  you  will  be  back  to  the  "origins"  question.  And  to  answer  that  question,  you  need  something  to  transcend  those  laws  itself.  Which  could  only  be.....supernatural.

Conclusion:  So  I  don’t  think  that  based  on  my  arguments,  and  my opponents  responses  to  the arguments,  that  any  credibility  to  the  kalam  argument  is  lost.  I  have  given  many  examples  for  my  arguments,  arguments  that remain  undisputed.  All my opponent  could  do  was  say  "Then  this  must  apply  also  to  the  supernatural",  even  tho  I  gave  arguments  that  shows  why  it  cant  apply  to  the  supernatural.  He  didn't  give  one  example  of  why  my  two  philosophical  arguments  doesn't  apply  to  the natural,  so  they  still  stand.  His  naturalistic  models  have  all  failed.  And  i  don’t  think  he  showed  why  the  first  cause  could  not  be  personal.  So  based on  everything,  I  feel  as  if  the  kalam  argument  for  the  existence  of  God still  stands...