The Kalam cosmological argument: really?

William Lane Craig, a well spoken christian philosopher has been using the Kalam cosmological argument recently as a new deck of a previously old suit of prime mover-esque arguments. The refutations have come in thick and fast and with far more knowledge and eloquence than anything I could come up with, but I’ll throw my chips in.

The argument (at least according to wiki) is as follows:

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
  4. This cause is the God of Classical Theism, and is a personal being, because He chose to create the universe.

Two addendums:

  1. An actual infinite cannot exist.
  2. An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite.
  3. Therefore, an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist.
  1. A collection formed by successive addition cannot be an actual infinite.
  2. The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.
  3. Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite.

OK, if we are delving into philosophical deductions and not scientific validity it is fair enough to work within the parameters of the argument alone.

1. whatever begins to exist has a cause

Seems fair, but intuitive and not deductive (as Craig himself points out).

2. the universe began to exist

Did it? In the big bang sense of the word yes, but past the big bang (which incidentally has been described as unimportant to the universe’s current circumstance) I don’t see any reason to presuppose that it did. More intuition. This is not something to be expected in a philosophical argument regarding real world artifacts.

3.therefore the universe has a cause

Seems fair.

4. this cause is the God of Classical Theism, and is a personal being, because He chose to create the universe.

Whoah! Wait… what? What just happened there? How did God get involved? Why would it be God. Why is it one, or indeed male? What justification inside the argument is there for this stuff?

There’s nothing for it, and I find myself baffled by certain youtube account users “on [their] knees, weeping at the truth of Jesus being [their] personal savior” through this argument.

Putting aside the lack of reason for God to make it above and beyond any other argument (I could for instance, say with equal validity that 4. is “the universe was created by another universe by virtue of its dimensional-creating properties) the added parts are equally assumptive and smacks of favoritism.

This God is apparently a personal being. Definitions of personal being typically include being close to yourself. Why is the God personal, couldn’t he not care about humanity? What if it was the vast emptiness of space that he was interested in (given the amounts created its a safer bet)? He *chose* to create the universe? What if he didn’t? What if the universe is the tub of yoghurt he left out of the fridge, or worse still a smooshing of better universes thrown in a dustbin? I don’t *choose* the bacteria formed in my own garbage can, much less am I *personal* with them.  Notice by the way that Craig issues “… and he is a personal being, because He created the universe”. Yep he’s just put a mini-argument inside of a philosophical statement; that’s just poor form.

The two arguments following don’t really need much analysis, suffice to say I would love to know how he understands that actual infinite cannot exist, much less how successive addition cannot “create” infinite (if the additions themselves are infinite, then it stands to reason that the number itself is too).

Is this what genuine, hard working clever Christian philosophers churn out these days? Come on people, casual observation shows the Kalam cosmological argument to be a trussed up prime mover argument anyway meaning it’s not even new.

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~ by freeze43 on July 18, 2011.

10 Responses to “The Kalam cosmological argument: really?”

  1. The KCA in and of itself does not prove the existence of God. For starters, the KCA in its traditional form is only the first 3 pieces of the argument. Since you accept the conclusion (#3) that follows deductively from the premises (#1 and #2), you have accepted the KCA, that the universe has a cause.

    Argument #4 simply posits the God of theism as the best explanation for the cause in #3, and there is strong evidence to support this. For starters, the atheistic cosmologist Lawrence Krauss has concluded that the universe must have been created ex nihilo, for the total energy in the universe is zero (which is totally consistent for a universe out of nothing). However, what “nothing” is cannot be parlayed into “dark matter” or “quantum particles in a vacuum,” as this atheistic blogger clearly explains. The first cause had to have established the universe out of literally nothing.

    Now to borrow the rest from my own blog post on the subject:

    Now let’s look at alternative theories. First, science seems to have come to this ex nihilo conclusion and realized that this answer to the uncaused cause–to the origin of our universe–lies outside of our universe. Enter the multiverse hypothesis. However, scientists like Krauss fully understand and recognize that even if a multiverse were to exist, we would never be able to see it or know it here on this earth. So it is at best an untestable hypothesis and at worst like shooting a gun with blanks in the dark hoping to kill a deer.

    The other theory of course, is that a supernatural entity created the universe. This theory began at least 4,000 years ago with the author of Genesis, so in terms of dating as validation for theory, God’s existence wins. It’s a hypothesis that has been supported and documented throughout history and pre-dates modern science, and nothing that science has found contradicts what is possible with a supernatural being creating the universe. The Big Bang is completely possible as a means for beginning everything by God, timing issues aside.

    So if you were a betting man, would you bet on a cosmological theory that pre-dates modern science and has been only corroborated by the scientific evidence found, even in recent years, or would you go with a theory that has never been and never will be tested, one that we can never see or understand (much in the same way that atheists feel about the God hypothesis), and has only been proffered in the past 100 years?

    Without even delving into the problems with your argument on infinites, I think it’s safe to go with the evidence supporting God’s existence as the much more plausible worldview.

  2. Hm.
    Well I have to disagree with you there. To begin with, I don’t have a fantastic understanding of quantum physics or astrophysics, but I can say with a fair certainty that there are several hypotheses regarding the sort of universe we live in, and whether or not atheist, I am sure they are comfortable with discussing whether their theories are correct or not. Of course, the suggestion that we have a zero energy universe rests on the assumption that the universe is a ‘flat’ one- we’re still moving so it is the job of scientific research to reach more tenable hypotheses. Even if it was, there is nothing to say that there is a non-deity reason behind something from ex nihilo.

    Be that as it may, I do not accept KCA from the 1st and 2nd premises nor should anyone else. In any case, if you suggest that more is required for belief than KCA then KCA clearly doesn’t do what it, as a logical argument, is supposed to do. It’s not like including God works either- who created the God? The following lapses out of discussing KCA a bit, but if you feel that the situation deserves further investigation then so be it.

    Science has not come to a conclusion as to the beginning of the universe (beyond more or less the Big Bang, which I previously explained, eliminates all cause from whatever preceded it). You’re suggestion that multiverses can’t be observed is also very debatable- the classic double slit experiment all but confirms the existence of alternate universes, and I find no reason why venturing (or communicating) into these different dimensions is an impossible task never to be accomplished.

    The assertion that a supernatural entity created the universe is probably an order of magnitude greater than your suggestion of 4,000 years, given the intricate and almost certainly religious-based cave painting discovered from prehistory- there is nothing special about Genesis compared to any other religious book or origin. However, dating is no reliable method of validity and even if it somehow was, the constant changing behavior of theistic belief makes assertions such as “one God” and that god as a “He” meaningless by its own standard. I am unsure by what you mean when you say “nothing that science has found contradicts what is possible with a supernatural being creating the universe”. If you are to use the Genesis myth as your backdrop, then I can say very conclusively that science disproves the entire situation, from creating the universe in the dark to making woman out of Adam’s rib, to a talking snake.

    I don’t appreciate any value of time- 4000 years wasted is not better than 100 years worked. For several thousand years it was strongly believed that crocodiles came from logs in the water, flies from dead meat and cats from spaces in the attic. That has zero influence on what is the case. Furthermore the only way we can know what the truth is is through rigorous scientific enterprise as we have discovered so much already. While mysterious now, there is nothing special about the mystery of the beginning of the universe. If we had this conversation two hundred years ago we would be debating how implicitly obvious it is God created the animals as they are and unchanged. Five hundred years ago we would (under potential deadly consequences) be arguing how clearly seen that the Sun revolves around the earth. Until there is something which proves God beyond “science hasn’t figured it out yet” I’ll remain confident in science and a lack of God to explain away currently unknown phenomena.

  3. I’m curious why you say you don’t except premises 1 & 2 when you accept the conclusion (#3) in your blog post. It’s a deductive argument, so the conclusion follows logically from the premises. You can’t accept the conclusion and deny the premises. So where were you mistaken–in the blog post or in your comment?

    Science has not come to a conclusion as to what the cause was to the universe, but the argument against natural infinites affirms that our past is not eternal, and so there was some initial cause that began our universe. The Big Bang was not this cause, as affirmed in the Wikipedia article on it: The Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on.

    The double slit experiment does nothing to confirm alternate universes. all the double slit experiment does is show that matter and energy can be shown as both waves and particles. That speaks nothing to the origin of such matter and energy, which is the real issue at play here. Furthermore, the theory of general relativity confirms that we will never be able to see outside of our own universe, so yes, I think I have reasonable evidence to believe that we will never, ever be aware of a multiverse, even if it were to exist. So this is at best an equal argument to the existence of God, and in my opinion, a far worse position.

    You mistake the argument from antiquity that I made. That argument is not about validity, but goes to show that a universe ex nihilo was not a scientific discovery, but has been proffered for thousands of years. So for science to stumble on it now and say, “Wow! Look!” shows that science is behind the game, not ahead of it. And your argument against “ribs & snakes” speaks nothing to cosmology, which is the position I took with my comment. You’re throwing out a red herring here.

    So let me just summarize our positions for a second. You believe in a multiverse you cannot and will not ever see as a supernatural cause (it would be supernatural, for natural explains our universe), and for which there is no explanation for cause in and of itself. The only way the multiverse can be uncaused is for it to be infinite and eternal, which again there is no way of knowing. And this has all been discovered in the past 100 years. This is what you believe in.

    Contrast that with me, who believes in a God you possibly cannot and will not ever see, that has no cause in and of itself, making the only way for Him/Her/It to be uncaused to be infinite and eternal. And yet such a God was postulated initially at least 4,000 years ago and given the attributes of infinity and eternity over 2,000 years ago. This is what I believe.

    Can you look at the two positions and really conclude that yours is the more plausible worldview? I think intellectual honesty would dispute that highly.

  4. Perhaps there was some confusion. While I don’t feel we should be comfortable with the premises of the argument, if we were to accept them, it would be fair to accept 3 as a conclusion.

    I agree science has not come to a cause to the initial (if any) organization of the universe, and I also agree the Big Bang is not the starting point; rather, it was so monumental a change that everything before it has no bearing on our current existence (not that that matters to this debate necessarily).

    The double slit experiment is the core of quantum theory, and has two main hypotheses as to why the experiment behaves as it does. The Copenhagen Interpretation was the original (and almost certainly much weaker), but has fallen out of favor to the many worlds hypothesis. As described by David Deutsch in Fabric of Reality and others, the double slit confirms and is a method of observance of alternate realities running parallel to our own.

    I must have misunderstood your suggestion of “dating as a validation for theory”. However your explanation doesn’t seem particularly satisfying either. Ok, so let’s say that science now believes that the universe was ex nihilo, and that this has been postulated by several religions (not just judeo-christianity mind you). This is against a backdrop of enormous piles of religious information which has been proven to be false- it is with a rate less than chance that there are some things which may have a guise of being in agreement with current scientific theory. The ex nihilo suggestion does not involve God in any way, so it is just by a sentence we can describe the link between religion and science i.e. “the universe came from nothing” without any further congruence – a throwaway line that happens to be the bare bones of some modern day scientific theory. Furthermore it’s not particularly surprising, given the experience of humankind, to believe of a start and finish to practically anything. Psychologically speaking, it is intuitively “understood” that things come from nothing by humans. But that is neither here nor there because as you also assert science has yet to reach consensus- how can you suggest religious teaching has foretold science’s conclusions when science hasn’t come up with it yet?

    In regards to the suggestion “religion came up with it first so why bother with science”, I am curious as to why cosmology is the only meaningful value we gain from scripture. Why should there be any delineation? If we are to follow religious teachings that possess apparent forethought not yet appreciated by science, why don’t we do what the Bible and other holy books tell us? Why don’t these books inform us about germs? Why is the “ribs & snakes” (which sounds like an awesome tex-mex restaurant) such a red herring when it is from the same book you purport to contain science-defying facts about the cosmos? In short, what makes cosmology the worthwhile and only meaningful discipline gleaned from religious understanding?

    The way you have phrased our different situations is unpleasant, if only because they are clearly the same. You happen to call an unmoved mover God, and my position is (apparently) I call the unmoved mover the multiverse. The difference is that mine has been suggested with rigorous scientific principles and hypotheses, and that yours happens to have a single line from a holy book, almost completely discredited scientifically, which could be made to say the same thing science is saying now. The number of years between the two, as you agree, has no bearing on which one is the better.

    Even by those parameters I would prefer to use the best possible evidence gathering processes available then blind faith in an apparently otherwise cosmologically useless book.

    As it happens, I’m not convinced of any particular initial universal starter as they all seem quite extraordinary, but I can say that it is orders of magnitude more unlikely that it was caused by a personable, intimate God who has from then on done everything in His considerable power to disprove himself.

    The way in which you have spoken about God being “at least 4000 years old” and from “Genesis” is unsettling. Let’s make an extraordinary assumption and say that the prediction that the universe from ex nihilo was a suggestion that agreed with science and that was much more intricate/ sophisticated than it is, impossibly too well-defined, impossibly gleaned from natural observation (such as the spontaneous generation stuff), impossibly taken from imagination and was not surrounded by so much disproven information as to be considered something of a potentially interpretable bit of myth to be in accordance with science. Then let’s say that science, after immeasurable effort, completely establishes that the universe is ex nihilo (and in a way that is completely in agreeing with a very sophisticated religious treatise too accurate to be a guess). Let’s say the religious instruction is unequivocally in the same boat (which in the real world it is not)- you still have all your work ahead of you to prove it is the God of the Bible, as does Craig. Practically all religions have the ex nihilo assertion, plenty in direct opposition to biblical practice and morality and there is nothing within the KCA or within this minute and quickly dealt with issue that says anything about Yahweh.

    I don’t mean to be rude about this so I apologize if this causes offense.

  5. Sorry for not responding. I was agreeing to disagree and go my own way, but as you asked for a response I will oblige. Apologies in advance if it gets long, but I’ll be quoting you extensively I’m sure.

    I agree science has not come to a cause to the initial (if any) organization of the universe, and I also agree the Big Bang is not the starting point; rather, it was so monumental a change that everything before it has no bearing on our current existence (not that that matters to this debate necessarily).

    So it is your assertion that the cause of the Big Bang doesn’t matter? Why argue against the KCA then?

    As described by David Deutsch in Fabric of Reality and others, the double slit confirms and is a method of observance of alternate realities running parallel to our own.

    I’ve looked everywhere I can on the internet, and I can’t find any evidence that supports this conclusion. Everything I’ve seen on the double slit speaks to alternate perceptions of the same reality, not parallel perceptions of alternate realities. Can you help me with where you are getting your information? If I can’t find anything to support an alternate reality theory, I’m afraid I’ll have to either discredit it or claim agnosticism.

    Ok, so let’s say that science now believes that the universe was ex nihilo, and that this has been postulated by several religions (not just judeo-christianity mind you). This is against a backdrop of enormous piles of religious information which has been proven to be false- it is with a rate less than chance that there are some things which may have a guise of being in agreement with current scientific theory.

    You forget science has also had enormous piles of false information proferred. Relevant for both, or irrelevant for both.

    But that is neither here nor there because as you also assert science has yet to reach consensus- how can you suggest religious teaching has foretold science’s conclusions when science hasn’t come up with it yet?

    It has foretold science’s conclusion that the universe was created ex nihilo. There is general consensus in the cosmological community on this point. Where there is not consensus is to first cause, so the two are independent of each other. Religion has given first cause, so the lacking here is not one of religion, but of science.

    I am curious as to why cosmology is the only meaningful value we gain from scripture. Why should there be any delineation? If we are to follow religious teachings that possess apparent forethought not yet appreciated by science, why don’t we do what the Bible and other holy books tell us? Why don’t these books inform us about germs?

    Because we are only dealing with cosmology in this post. Note that Biblical issues were not a part of your original blog comment. I’d be happy to discuss some of the other thoughts you have in some other forum, but that is not the topic of debate.

    You happen to call an unmoved mover God, and my position is (apparently) I call the unmoved mover the multiverse. The difference is that mine has been suggested with rigorous scientific principles and hypotheses, and that yours happens to have a single line from a holy book, almost completely discredited scientifically, which could be made to say the same thing science is saying now.

    How has this line been discredited scientifically? Seems like everything science is find supports creatio ex nihilo. What am I missing?

    you still have all your work ahead of you to prove it is the God of the Bible, as does Craig.

    And if the KCA were the only positive argument in favor of Christianity, you would be correct. But given that Craig and most other well-rounded apologists use a comprehensive case for Christianity comprised of multiple arguments, that’s not the case. And since we’re only dealing with your rebuttal of the KCA, that’s really not at play in this discussion either. It is your rebuttal that is at play, and I don’t see anything hard and fast that would make us dispute either premise 1 or 2, so the conclusion logically follows.

    • “So it is your assertion that the cause of the Big Bang doesn’t matter? Why argue against the KCA then?”

      It isn’t my assertion, it just happens to be that it is the case. Even if it nothing matters before the Big Bang it is clearly worth investigating.

      David Deutsch’s treatise can be found in his book ‘The Fabric of Reality” chapter 2. There is also a brief discussion about collapsing wavefunctions on the wiki page for Many-worlds interpretation.

      “You forget science has also had enormous piles of false information proferred. Relevant for both, or irrelevant for both.”

      Scientific information is the best possible information we have- it doesn’t behave on a true-false paradigm, rather a proved-disproved one. As older theories become less proven from emergent new theories, it is little wonder that we get new information. Older theories are still required of course in order to get to better ones. To do without would be like saying we should have never made DOS because Windows XP is so much better.

      “It has foretold science’s conclusion that the universe was created ex nihilo. There is general consensus in the cosmological community on this point. Where there is not consensus is to first cause, so the two are independent of each other. Religion has given first cause, so the lacking here is not one of religion, but of science.”

      Well it hasn’t really foretold science yet because science hasn’t said anything yet! I am confused by the way you structured the rest of this assertion.

      “Because we are only dealing with cosmology in this post. Note that Biblical issues were not a part of your original blog comment. I’d be happy to discuss some of the other thoughts you have in some other forum, but that is not the topic of debate.”

      It is if you are saying that we can derive meaningful, predictive statements from holy books and the ex nihilo line is an example. You can say that the KCA and your supporting argument *only* gives us a very brief predictive glimpse into cosmology and nothing else but that would do away with the rest of scripture and I dare say no theist wants to give up that much ground.

      “How has this line been discredited scientifically? Seems like everything science is find supports creatio ex nihilo. What am I missing?”

      As we previously talked about, to take the Bible as an example, nearly all of it has been discredited scientifically, which reduces the legitimacy of anything we take out of it. I reiterate that the small, nondescript line may or may not support modern science, but it is with a rate less than chance information from holy books do.

      “And since we’re only dealing with your rebuttal of the KCA, that’s really not at play in this discussion either”

      Fair enough. So that means we shouldn’t be discussing a “4000 year old God” or Genesis?

      “It is your rebuttal that is at play, and I don’t see anything hard and fast that would make us dispute either premise 1 or 2, so the conclusion logically follows.”

      Craig himself accepts that premise 1 is purely intuitive so I did not pursue it further. Premise 2 is equally intuitive and equally unable to help the argument along. If we accept these two regardless then 3 clearly makes sense. Premise 4, the premise by which the KCA tries to get its foot in the door regarding the existence of God is very, very poor and has not logical connection to 3.

  6. It isn’t my assertion, it just happens to be that it is the case.

    You’ve pretty much just written off about half of cosmology then. There’s no reason to even go for the double slit experiment if the cause prior to the Big Bang doesn’t matter. Your whole argument is undermined by this apathy, just so you know.

    David Deutsch’s treatise can be found in his book ‘The Fabric of Reality” chapter 2.

    Such a groundbreaking discovery would likely have some literature available on the Internet, right? The MWI, according to Wiki, is a theoretical concept for which the double-slit experiment provides no evidence. Why? Because it “denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse.” But even if it WERE to provide evidence, each alternate universe would still require a Prime Mover, and so you’re back to square one. Completely irrelevant.

    Scientific information is the best possible information we have- it doesn’t behave on a true-false paradigm, rather a proved-disproved one. As older theories become less proven from emergent new theories, it is little wonder that we get new information. Older theories are still required of course in order to get to better ones.

    So all those times science has gotten it wrong, it gets a free pass? And religion does not? Hardly seems fair, and rather pre-suppositional and biased.

    It is if you are saying that we can derive meaningful, predictive statements from holy books and the ex nihilo line is an example.

    I’m using the ex nihilo line in the Bible as a demonstration that what science has come up with is nothing new, and has been proffered by religion long before. Science is confirming religious belief, not the other way around.

    And again, if you would like to have a discussion on other Biblical issues, I’d be more than happy to. But since the discussion here is about the KCA, that issue is irrelevant to this particular discussion. Any attempt on your part to make it so would be a red herring.

    As we previously talked about, to take the Bible as an example, nearly all of it has been discredited scientifically, which reduces the legitimacy of anything we take out of it.

    If you read the Bible as a science textbook, yes. But that’s not the purpose of the Bible, and to insinuate such means you’re not looking at the text objectively. The ex nihilo line demonstrates that the concept is as old as the ancient text is, and that is all I’m saying. The scientific evidence I use to defend my position has nothing to do with the Bible. Again, this is a red herring.

    So that means we shouldn’t be discussing a “4000 year old God” or Genesis?

    Only as a more plausible explanation than the ones you have given, and only when considering a comprehensive case for God’s existence.

    Craig himself accepts that premise 1 is purely intuitive so I did not pursue it further. Premise 2 is equally intuitive and equally unable to help the argument along.

    If it were only intuitive Craig would not use the argument in debate. There must be evidence to support this intuition, and that is what Craig attempts to show. Intuition plus evidence equals a powerful argument, so Craig and others are well within reasonable bounds to make such an argument, particularly since its detractors (like yourself) really haven’t done a good job of knocking down either premise 1 or 2, other than to call them “purely intuitive.”

    All of the weight is on the side of the argument in this sense, because to make such a case you must deny scientific evidence that has been offered in support of both premises, which would not do well for your position in the first place.

    Premise 4, the premise by which the KCA tries to get its foot in the door regarding the existence of God is very, very poor and has not logical connection to 3.

    Premise 4 is a best explanation argument for premise 3. It absolutely takes its roots in premise 3, just like the multiverse hypothesis would. If you deny premise 1 or 2, then you must deny the multiverse hypothesis for the same reasons. And then what are you left with to explain your existence? Nothing.

  7. You’ve pretty much just written off about half of cosmology then. There’s no reason to even go for the double slit experiment if the cause prior to the Big Bang doesn’t matter. Your whole argument is undermined by this apathy, just so you know.

    It’s not apathy… it’s what actually occurred. The Big Bang was such a momentous event that whatever conditions prior had no bearing on whatever happened after the Bang. While it is of no concern in determining why the universe is like it is now, it is still worth investigating.

    Such a groundbreaking discovery would likely have some literature available on the Internet, right? The MWI, according to Wiki, is a theoretical concept for which the double-slit experiment provides no evidence. Why? Because it “denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse.” But even if it WERE to provide evidence, each alternate universe would still require a Prime Mover, and so you’re back to square one. Completely irrelevant.

    Groundbreaking discoveries happen all the time and the internet isn’t particularly aware of it, big deal. Recently we’ve discovered that genetics is orders of magnitude more complicated than previously anticipated but its not as if the webpages are screaming about it.

    Your suggestion that we still need a Prime Mover has two faults. Firstly to do with when you previously suggested that the difference of opinion between you and I had to do with me accepting a multiverse and you accepted God. You clearly don’t accept that dichotomy and therefore that whole point was, in your words, a red herring. Secondly, you have no way to move from the infinite regress of who Moved the Mover. Your assertion is not an explanation at all, rather just one step back on an infinite number of stairs.

    So all those times science has gotten it wrong, it gets a free pass? And religion does not? Hardly seems fair, and rather pre-suppositional and biased.

    As I explained, there is no “wrong” and “right” in science. There are more proven and less proven theories. The difference is that science attempts a conscionable improvement while religion attempts as best it can to stay where it is. Oh and I suppose when science gets it wrong it doesn’t tend to kill people for differing belief.

    The ex nihilo line demonstrates that the concept is as old as the ancient text is, and that is all I’m saying.

    Ok so you’re not saying that religious books have any sort of prophecy, not that we should waste our time exploring science as religion already knows it and that it has no bearing on whether God exists? I agree with you, and I also agree the ex nihilo concept is very, very old.

    Only as a more plausible explanation than the ones you have given, and only when considering a comprehensive case for God’s existence.

    Well that’s not particularly fair. With equal justification we could be talking about the God(s) of “at least 10,000 years old who made everything, including himself” (i.e. Ancient Egyptian belief) or “at least 60,000 years old who made everything during Dreamtime” (i.e. Australian aboriginal religion) or a great number of alternatives. It would be better just to quote a non specified deity.

    Intuition plus evidence equals a powerful argument, so Craig and others are well within reasonable bounds to make such an argument, particularly since its detractors (like yourself) really haven’t done a good job of knocking down either premise 1 or 2, other than to call them “purely intuitive.”

    We are talking about a set of logical statements. Intuition, by default must not and can not have any bearing on logic. If you want to make an argument, use evidence. If someone has a strong intuition that Allah exists, I doubt you would agree with them, but they have just as much evidence and just as much intuition as any other KCA adherent.

    All of the weight is on the side of the argument in this sense, because to make such a case you must deny scientific evidence that has been offered in support of both premises, which would not do well for your position in the first place.

    I don’t have to deny anything, nor would I if there was scientific evidence available. The conclusion regarding 3 wouldn’t be particularly dramatic, but as we have discussed, premise 4 is out and out absurdly derived from premise 3. There is no evidence for it, not logical conclusion for it and the KCA does not in any way show why it must be the best possible explanation either. Applying occam’s razor, I can say if all premises bar 4 were accepted, the multiverse would at least be a cleaner and simpler explanation. But again, it is neither here nor their, as none of these premises have been established in evidence.

  8. You’re not listening at all. You’re misrepresenting the entire discussion and talking in circles and red herrings. If you want to debate the issue, then let’s do it. But don’t go into holy books and infinite regress and which God and all of that. You’re doing a disservice to the whole debate by trying to distract with all of these red herrings.

  9. How exactly am I misrepresenting the discussion? This is what has been discussed:

    – you say that the entirety of your discussion is that the ex nihilo hypothesis is very old. That seems fair to me. I mean its not like it helps the discussion but I still agree with you.

    – If you decide to bring up Genesis as a source of the ex nihilo discussion, that opens the doors to discuss holy books. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    – I’ve corrected you when you have brought a Judeo-Christian God into what is a purely (and almost 100%) deist discussion affecting all religions. You should accept that and we can move on.

    – You think I am enraptured with the multiverse hypothesis. I’m not, but even if I wasn’t it is a much simpler argument than a much more complex being such as a deity and clearly shows premise 4 to be illogical. This part of the discussion unveiled what I consider to be the only red herring- your suggestion that the two sides of the debate are both acceptable but yours is more convincing. You clearly do not think that is the case.

    – Infinite regress is a problem that must be addressed when we talk about the beginning of the universe. I’m not saying I have the answer to it, but I’m also saying you don’t either. I say “I do not know for sure, but we may have some evidence when we are talking about multiverse hypotheses or the emergence of quantum physics”. You are saying “God did it, and that is the most likely explanation”. My assertion *may* address infinite regress at some point, yours has stopped and has no explanatory power regarding regress. This leads to the next point.

    – Science actively tries to improve itself and develop better theories. I have argued this is a greater evidence finding tool than religion that typically tries to entrench itself as best as possible. You have suggested that certain religious predictive comments make science meaningless. I have disagreed, citing holy sources and a less-than-chance occurrence for a religious piece of text to agree with modern science. This is why, in my opinion, scientifically established theories trump religious theories in regards to establishing evidence.

    -You have suggested intuition is a tool to use in deductive arguments. I disagree, stating that logic is the only tool possible in deductive arguments and that intuitive premises are shaky ones indeed.

    I haven’t tried to deceive, or run around in circles. But if a concept is brought up, naturally it must be addressed.

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