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11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 0 replies · +1 points

No worries Findo.


Good discussion. :)

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 2 replies · +1 points

But you're not making a reasonable conclusion, you're making an assumption. Scientific theory only goes so far back to planck time, before then all known models of physics break down.

You can claim to have your own ideas, but there is no way that any ideas can sustain any burden of proof.

I think we're talking cross purposes? I'm not having a philosophical argument. I'm having an argument on what we can claim is true from what we know based on evidence.

I personally think that philosophy really isn't that important in finding any sort of physical truth. And I find the idea of "metaphysical" absurd.

Say for example, we where in "The Matrix", unless there are effects we can experience, then the idea is unimportant.

I don't deny that thinking about such things may help us explore our minds and own thoughts if it was the case, but without evidence there's no reason we should use that as a basis for truth.

The argument of the "metaphysical" holds as much weight to it as Sagan's invisible dragon in his garage, and provides as much truth as a picture of oxygen provides air to a drowning man.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 4 replies · +1 points

Again we reach a fundamental difference in our thinking.

I would agree that saying "we don't know" is a perfectly good answer. But then to follow it up with "it's safer to assume".

No, it's safer to say that we just don't know, therefore we have to discount it until we know better.

We must stick to what evidence we have, this is why inductive reasoning is faulty in this case, if I am to understand you correctly you are saying that basically the KCA is hinging on this assumption?

Don't you find that uncomfortable?

Would you not consider it unfair, if, for example, you were convicted of a crime on an assumption?

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 6 replies · +1 points

Sorry, it may not mean a timeless entity, but obviously an entity that is outside space-time to begin with?

My point is that our logical rules of cause and effect as we know them don't apply to anything before the existence of space-time, because our existence and experience is solely based in space-time.

I'm not arguing this as proof that there couldn't possibly be a rational entity, outside space-time, all I'm arguing is that the KCA is a faulty inductive argument.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 8 replies · +1 points

Ok, so, then the creation of space-time requires a timeless entity for it's creation? I mean that's the whole point of the Kalam argument?

So, by your very own logic, the beginning of existence of the universe, which obviously includes space-time, is completely different from the beginning of existence of cats, dogs, apples, people, etc.

You know it must be, because you just made a point of mentioning that anything outside space-time is timeless, obviously any inductive reasoning breaks down, you yourself just said "In the sense that we know it".

Therefore, you can't use inductive reasoning to apply the cause and effect of our everyday lives.

Can you not see the flaw in your argument here?

On one hand, you are arguing that the beginning of existence of the universe requires a timeless entity outside space-time, yet on the other you're relying on everything inside space-time to inductively reason.

The simplest option is just to say, we don't know how the beginning of the universe went about. Like has been mentioned elsewhere, current scientific study, evidence and theory only goes so far back to planck time.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 10 replies · +1 points

Well.. except for the standard model of the big bang..
Sorry Guest, but I'm going with the consensus on this one.

Sorry to butt in here.

Findo, you would agree that time didn't exist before the existance of the universe?

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 1 reply · +1 points

G'day Findo,

I did reply to this a few days ago, but it seems like it's gone into the ether. Sorry, I didn't check properly.

I'll see about trying to remember my points and post them again.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 16 replies · +1 points

No.. it's saying
x applies to all contingent entities we've observed to being existing
therefore, we predict that x applies also to this other contingent entity.
Where is the illogic in that?

I think there's just simply too much in a difference in the way we think. Personally, I find it interesting how now you're adding "contingent entities". What proof do you have that the universe is a "contingent entity"?

"Simple" has nothing to do with it. The question is, do contingent entities have material &/or efficient causes? Have we ever seen an entity begin existing without either of those? If not, then denying that prediction to a given contingent entity is special pleading.<//blockquote>

See above.

<blockquoute>I think this shows that you may not have fully understood the KCA. As you point out, all those things have a material cause, which just backs up the first premise! KCA is not talking only about efficient causes, and the conclusion is not necessarily an efficient cause, but, you'll note, merely a cause.

Unfortunately I do understand, the problem here is we have two very different views on things, and I don't have a need to try and reason my way to there being a creator. Again, I don't back up the first premise at all, see above.

Except that you actually agreed with the premise by pointing to the material cause of all those entities I referred to.

No, I didn't. But because you have thought yourself into this framework to validate the KCA you think so. I've really been trying to show to you why I don't think it holds. Now if you start with that, trying to put yourself in my shoes, can you not see how I think those are not arguments for the first premise?

For example, a man is talking to a doctor, and he claims he is dead.
The doctor says "Do dead men bleed?", and man replies, "No, of course not."
To which the doctor then pricks the man's finger, showing him, the man replies, "I was wrong, I guess dead men bleed after all."

Now, of course, given though we would both agree that the man is wrong, we can understand his reasoning, as wrong as it may be.

So surely, you can see how I thinking that apples, kittens, cars, boats, dogs, and what have you are completely set apart from the beginning of everything?

All those other things come from pre-existing matter, molecules, which in turn are made up from elements that are forged in super nova. The decay of carbon 14 to carbon 12, same thing (however, as I've tried arguing, radioactive decay is random, hence nothing caused it, it just happens). Can you not see, how these are completely different from the existence of the universe?

You know that it's different, because you worry about an infinite regress, so you say god created the universe, and it's an always existing entity. We don't have to worry about an infinite regress of apples, or kittens, or turtles.

You say I'm arguing special pleading, you do the exact same thing with god, since you want a god to be the cause of everything, you special plead and say "Ah, but god always existed."

I'm not special pleading anything, I don't know what happened before the big bang, I don't claim to even know the answer. Best we can say is what our current evidence suggests.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 20 replies · +1 points

(Again sorry I can't address all your points, I hope that I'll get back to them as the discussion continues)

Well quite but that would be a bit like saying 'some men die before they reach the age of 150' instead of 'all men die before reaching age 150'.

Certain claims have evidence to back them up, for example, medical evidence. Though I'm sure there's a better example than this you could have used to make your point? You think it's impossible for somebody to live to 150?

I am very dubious of talk of (virtual) particles popping into existence from nothing, frankly, because whenever I've heard people like Lawrence Krauss talk about it, their 'nothing' is not actual nothing in sense that philosophers are using the term. He doesn't mean 'not anything' - his nothing is still something. So I won't hold my breath that this shows that things can pop into existence ex nihlo.

We're not talking about the something out of nothing, we're talking about cause and effect. This is why the radioactive decay, and virtual particles, etc, are a point here. You're arguing very broadly, that everything that begins to exist has a cause. For example you say:

Which examples?
Apples, Boxes, Cats, Dogs, Eggs, Fondue, Gongs, Honey, Igloos, Jam, Kool aid, Lawrence Krauss, Me, Noodles, Oreos, People, Quilts, Roses, Sounds, Troughs, Umbrellas, Videos, Windows, Xylophones, You, Zebras.

This is one of the 'tricks' in the Kalam argument. You're equating everyday experience with the creation of everything. Do you not see how that is a faulty leap in logic?

Are you arguing that the creation of everything is as simple as a tree growing an apple? A cat giving birth of kittens?

All those examples you give, are the rearranging of existing matter. If the "beginning to exist" of an apple can be equated to the "beginning to exist" of a kitten, then it makes the "beginning to exist" of the universe pretty mundane? So a god wouldn't be needed in that case?

This is the problem with the first premise, and using it for inductive reasoning. The "beginning of existence" of the universe is nowhere near the realm of apples, boxes, cats, dogs, etc.

I mean, from your point of view, an eternal, rational intelligence is obviously needed for the creation of the universe. Is it the same for an apple?

1) Kittens begin to exist from a cat
2) The universe began to exist
3) Therefore the universe came from a cat

I know, I know, reductio ad absurdum. But I really want you to understand my point of view, and how your claims of "self-evident" here are simply not valid because you're basing them off no real evidence.

11 years ago @ Things Findo Thinks - Ultimate questions · 23 replies · +1 points

> I think you're just playing semantics.

I feel it's very important to make a distinction between a statement of certainly, and a statement of probability.

Because the first premise is a statement of certainly, and that's one of the reasons it's flawed. And if we make it something like:

Some things that begin to exist have a cause.

Then it makes the rest of the premises meaningless (although they have their own flaws too).

There are examples of things that begin to exist without a cause. Radioactive decay is random, nothing "causes" the decay to happen and it results in the beginning of existence for a new element. And from my understanding there are particles popping in and out of existence in a vacuum all the time.

However, if you argue that they are invalid because they don't represent examples of "something beginning to exist", then how can you even argue that "*everything* that begins to exist has a cause" in the first place?

You would only have one such example, which then would make your first premise:

The universe begins to exist must have a cause.

You're relying on our day to day experiences of what we know as cause and effect and you're trying to apply it to something that our daily experiences of cause and effect don't apply to.

That's why your first premise is lacking any real evidence and you have to resort to that it's "self-apparent".

Just to clarify, what examples do you have of things beginning to exist that justify the first premise?

(And also how do you quote replies? I tried searching the IntenseDebate support page and I can't find out how to do it)