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The Kalam 1st premise

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The Kalam 1st premise
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LandofJelloPosts: 2Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:17 pm

Post The Kalam 1st premise

Hey everyone, its my first time here And I'd like to ask about the validity of the first premise when isolated away from the kalam argument.

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause"

We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise, but what about when its proposed something independent of the kalam? Would it then be valid?
Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:03 am
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

LandofJello wrote:Hey everyone, its my first time here And I'd like to ask about the validity of the first premise when isolated away from the kalam argument.

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause"

We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise, but what about when its proposed something independent of the kalam? Would it then be valid?


im curious why you say "We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise".
cause and effect seem to be an everyday standard.
the interesting part of it is when you try to track down cause and effect (with a thought-experiment) and you end with infinity, im not sure if that is whats wrong with it.
the only thing i would say that is wrong with the first premise is that it probably should be had instead of has.

when you say independent of the kalam, do you mean...
1. something that never began to exist, which can mean it either always existed or never existed?
2. something that hasn't had a cause?
3. something different from the previous two?
Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:25 am
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause"


What we ever see happening is causes effecting stuff that is already there (strictly speaking we don't even see that, just a thing happening after another). Does it even make sense to speak of causes that have their effect on nothing?
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:47 am
LandofJelloPosts: 2Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:17 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

nemesiss wrote:
LandofJello wrote:Hey everyone, its my first time here And I'd like to ask about the validity of the first premise when isolated away from the kalam argument.

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause"

We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise, but what about when its proposed something independent of the kalam? Would it then be valid?


im curious why you say "We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise".
cause and effect seem to be an everyday standard.
the interesting part of it is when you try to track down cause and effect (with a thought-experiment) and you end with infinity, im not sure if that is whats wrong with it.
the only thing i would say that is wrong with the first premise is that it probably should be had instead of has.

when you say independent of the kalam, do you mean...
1. something that never began to exist, which can mean it either always existed or never existed?
2. something that hasn't had a cause?
3. something different from the previous two?



Thanks for the reply. When WLC uses the argument he is trying to show that the physical universe came into being from nothing.

But we have never observed anything physical to come into existance from nothing. This is why the the 1st premise fails when in the context of the kalam argument.

But when used by itself, the 1st premise can mean anything other than physical, such as minds and ideas, then the 1st premise would be plausible, no?

But would the point of the first premise be a bit different: IF something does begin to exist, it must have a cause. whether or no we;ve observed something coming from nothing, IF something would have began to exist then it would have a cause, no?
Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:30 pm
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

LandofJello wrote:\
Thanks for the reply. When WLC uses the argument he is trying to show that the physical universe came into being from nothing.

But we have never observed anything physical to come into existance from nothing. This is why the the 1st premise fails when in the context of the kalam argument.

But when used by itself, the 1st premise can mean anything other than physical, such as minds and ideas, then the 1st premise would be plausible, no?


though it might sound like a huge rehash, i would recommend watch Lawrence Krauss a universe from nothing.
it's a very good scientific lecture, where he basically redefinds nothing compaired to the nothing WLC would use.
also, a mind and also an idea would constitute as something that exists.

Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:40 pm
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

It's been a while since I saw that lecture, but redefining "nothing" doesn't seem to be that great strategy. Sure, "empty" space has dark energy and quantum fluctuations and what not, but it's not nothing. It wouldn't be nothing even if it was truly empty since there's still dimensions.
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:59 pm
IBSpifyUser avatarPosts: 463Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:06 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

What I never understood about Kalam and the arguments like it, is how they move from "therefor god" to "therefor Christianity."
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Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:11 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2750Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

That depends of what you mean by "begin to exist".
If by begin to exist you mean "the assembly of already existing parts into a macrostructures which we call a thing", then yeah, as we have observed.
But if you mean "something for which no even its constituents existed before at some point in time, but now they do", then No, in that context nothing began to exist let alone have a cause, I'm not even sure if that even makes sense.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:12 am
Gila GuerillaUser avatarPosts: 13Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:29 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

I cannot conceive of nothing. It seems that for there to be nothing, then you need something to put it in. Our experience of nothing, is non-existent - it is beyond our capacity to imagine, ( my capacity at least ). It seems sensible to say that there has always been something - and what a deep dark mystery that possibility is. However, the something which existed before the universe, and caused it to come into existence isn't necessarily a god. Perhaps the laws of quantum physics have always existed. It is no less credible to say this, than to say that "God" has always existed as a first cause. WLC does a bit of hand waving, when he says that "God" is the only thing we know or can conceive of that could have existed as a first cause.

Philosophically speaking, if "God" did cause the universe to come into being, then the universe still did not come into being from absolutely nothing, but from whatever "God" is supposed to be. If nothing means no physical matter, then quantum mechanics is as good an explanation as "God" is.
Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:36 am
TheAtheistJehovahUser avatarPosts: 52Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:48 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.

(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.

-Therefore:

(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.

(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.

-Therefore:

(5) God exists.


This argument is sloppy and very weak in my opinion.

WLC uses a deductive argument (which is valid), but plays as if because the conclusion logically follows, the argument is sound. This argument in my opinion is not sound at all: valid is not sound.

The Major and Minor premises (1 & 2) seem to commit equivocation, because everything that is said to of began to exist in 1, is not the same as 2.

In 'Premise 1' whatever begins to exist is based on observations, so this is Ex-Materia: that which begins to exist comes into being from pre-existing materials. (Something from something)

Whilst in 'Premise 2' he is stating that the universe came into being from nothing, so this is EX-Nihilo: That which begins to exist comes into being from NO pre-existing materials. (Something from nothing)

Also his reason for the Major Premise is; something can't come from nothing? Ok, i fully understand that WLC states that God is eternal and had no beginning, but if this God is something how does it exist if something can't come from nothing.

The rest of the premises seem to be a total jump to a cause to a God, and then another Jump from a God to the Christian God.
"One's belief in truth begins with doubt of all truths one has believed hitherto”. -Friedrich Nietzsche
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:13 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2750Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

Actually it isn't valid because it commits the fallacy by equivocation.
The second part of the argument, which is not even part of the Kalam cosmological argument commits a more subtle deception. For the conclusion to be true the premises must also be true, but both premises are simply assumed. (3) is assumed following an invalid argument, (4) is not even justified, however to form it (in order for some one to think that it is true) you have to have already assumed the conclusion, which is completely backwards.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:33 pm
TheAtheistJehovahUser avatarPosts: 52Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:48 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

With equivocation being an informal fallacy I would of thought that the form of the argument is still valid.

Obviously it isn't sound, but I thought it still to be valid if the conclusion follows from the statement. oops :shock:
"One's belief in truth begins with doubt of all truths one has believed hitherto”. -Friedrich Nietzsche
Last edited by TheAtheistJehovah on Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:15 pm
devilsadvocateUser avatarPosts: 246Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

The "induction version of Kalam argument" is not especially interesting or convincing one. It simply makes the mistake of equivocating ordinary causality, which we witness ( just to be consistent here: Again, we don't actually perceive causality, just a damn thing happening after another), with creation out of nothing.

The more interesting version of the argument is one based on contingency. Contingent things have an explanation for their existence. Universe's existence is not necessary - it's possible that no universe exists. Therefore universe's existence must be contingent on a necessary being, a god. According to theists, this is the only explanation that does not fall into the trap of forming an infinite regression.
Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:21 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2750Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

TheAtheistJehovah wrote:With equivocation being an informal fallacy I would of thought that the form of the argument is still valid.

Obviously it isn't sound, but I thought it still to be valid if the conclusion follows from the statement. oops :shock:


Put it this way:
(1) A then B
(2) C then D
(C1) A then D
Is an invalid argument.
Where in this case A is the universe, B is beginning to exist in the ex-nihilo sense, C is beginning to exist to exist in the ex-materia sense, D is having a cause. If we were speaking in a language where one form would be called butter and the other toast, the argument would sound like this:
(1) Everything that is butter has a cause.
(2) The universe is toast.
(C) The universe has a cause.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:03 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2995Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

I think the major problem with the Kalam argument is in it's (albeit unstated) special pleading.

It assumes that the following are not valid responses:

1. The universe always existed (or 'just exists')
2. The universe came from nothing

However when pushed to explain God's existence the theist will claim that either:

1. God came from nothing
2. God 'just exists'

This then leaves us to wonder why God can come from nothing, or just exist, when the universe supposedly cannot have these attributes.
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Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:36 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2750Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

I don't even have to know what it assumes or it doesn't assume. It's a philosophical argument trying to establish the existence of something. Whenever you see that, no matter what, you can be sure that it is wrong.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:09 pm
malicious_blokeUser avatarPosts: 305Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 pmLocation: Proper Westcountry Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

IBSpify wrote:What I never understood about Kalam and the arguments like it, is how they move from "therefor god" to "therefor Christianity."


This is a pretty fundamental flaw as I see it, too.

1. Argue for Deism
2. ?????
3. Therefore Theism

I guess (2) could be any number of nonsensical presuppositionalist arguments for the bible god, but more often it's a step that's just totally missing.

Also, if we're talking about things that begin to exist and things coming into existence ex-nihilo, what about pair production? Wouldn't particles popping into existence seemingly randomly and from nothing violate the first premise of Kalam just by themselves?
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Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:14 am
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2750Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

malicious_bloke wrote:Also, if we're talking about things that begin to exist and things coming into existence ex-nihilo, what about pair production? Wouldn't particles popping into existence seemingly randomly and from nothing violate the first premise of Kalam just by themselves?

Some say it would, but unfortunately I don't know the math well enough in order to comment.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:42 am
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1260Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The Kalam 1st premise

LandofJello wrote:Hey everyone, its my first time here And I'd like to ask about the validity of the first premise when isolated away from the kalam argument.

"1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause"

We all know that the 1st premise when used in the kalam argument isnt a valid premise, but what about when its proposed something independent of the kalam? Would it then be valid?

Uhh, either the premise is valid or not, regardless of what kind of argument follows.

Watch this first:


Then this:


The kalam cosmological argument is an argument against the existence of god. Under contemporary philosophical understanding of causality, god could not have caused the universe to begin existing from nothing. It is logically impossible.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/causation.html

CAUSATION AND THE LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF A DIVINE CAUSE* (1996)

Quentin Smith

Western Michigan University




1. Introduction

Some interesting light is thrown on the nature of causation, the origin of the universe, and arguments for atheism if we address the question: Is it logically possible that the universe has an originating divine cause?

I think that virtually all contemporary theists, agnostics and atheists believe this is logically possible. Indeed, the main philosophical tradition from Plato to the present has assumed that the sentence, "God is the originating cause of the universe", does not express a logical contradiction, even though many philosophers have argued that this sentence either is synthetic and meaningless (e.g., the logical positivists) or states a synthetic and a priori falsehood (e.g., Kant and Moore), or states a synthetic and a posteriori falsehood (e.g., contemporary defenders of the probabilistic argument from evil).

I believe the prevalence of this assumption is due to the fact that philosophers have not undertaken the requisite sort of metaphysical investigation into the nature of causation. This investigation is the purpose of this paper; specifically, I shall argue that the thesis that the universe has an originating divine cause is logically inconsistent with all extant definitions of causality and with a logical requirement upon these and all possible valid definitions or theories of causality. I will conclude that the cosmological and teleological arguments for a cause of the universe may have some force but that these arguments, traditionally understood as arguments for the existence of God, are in fact arguments for the nonexistence of God.

...
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
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Fri May 24, 2013 7:25 pm
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