Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Jan 11, 2016.


Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument convince you that God exists?

  1. Yes.

    1 vote(s)
  2. No.

    25 vote(s)
  3. I'm not sure that I properly understand the argument.

    1 vote(s)
  4. No opinion or would rather not answer.

    0 vote(s)
  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So you believe.
    I didn't tell you what you can or can't... I suggested you not bother trying to, as you can only do so fallaciously.
    So you believe.
    Let me use a syllogism to help you:
    You have stated the following premises / assertions:
    1. Everything is all that exists. (post #74)
    2. God exists.
    The logical conclusion is that God is therefore a non-zero part (i.e. it could be anywhere from just above 0% up to the full 100%) of everything.

    Do you follow this logic?
    Do you accept this logic?
    So returning to the syllogism above, the logical conclusion is that God is a non-zero part (i.e. it could be anywhere from just above 0% up to the full 100%) of everything. This stems logically from your own claims and is thus logically what you are claiming.
    As stated in my previous post, this is contradictory to you previously saying: "So God isn't part of everything, that is your error. God is distinct from everything"
    On the one hand we have you asserting (via logical deduction) that God is a (non-zero) part of everything - even if that non-zero percentage is 100%, and on the other hand we have you asserting that "God isn't part of everything", and that God is in fact "distinct from everything".

    So there is no "wilful [sic] ignorance" and no, I am not talking nonsense. I am merely highlighting the flaws in your logic and the inconsistency in what you claim.
    This is clearly shown above to be false. It may not be intentional on your part, I can't say for sure, but it is evidenced quite clearly that you are inconsistent.
    If that is what you think to help you sleep better at night.

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    But I note you are trying to divert the exchange away again. This isn't about me, or about what you think I may or may not be pretending. It is about the flaws in your logic that we have highlighted, and about the inconsistency in your assertions that I have highlighted, that make it next to impossible to have meaningful dialogue with you.
    To repeat: you have stated the following premises:
    1. Everything is all that exists.
    2. God exists.
    The logical conclusion is that God is therefore a non-zero part (i.e. it could be anywhere from just above 0% up to the full 100%) of everything.

    Thus you have said, through the 2 assertions, that God is a part of everything, even if that part happens to be 100% of it.
    This simply does not mesh with you also claiming that God is distinct from everything.

    So let's put it another way, using assertions you have made:
    1. Everything is all that exists (post #74).
    2. God is distinct from everything (post #14).
    Therefore the conclusion that you logically imply is that God does not exist, which is contrary to your well-stated belief.
    Do you need this syllogism explained to you further? If so, try this...
    1. Dogs are all that bark.
    2. Peter is distinct from a dog.
    Conclusion: Peter does not bark.

    Get it yet?

    No, you're not inconsistent at all, Jan.

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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    1] closed timelike loops are a viable structure in physics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_timelike_curve
    2] "a property of everything" is word salad.
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    I agree with Baldeee on this. We think the argument is invalid because, as I demonstrated in the opening post, it begs the question. You still have not refuted the argument I put to you there and which has been carefully broken down for you a number of times by now. Do you have a response that addresses that argument, or not?

    To repeat: the logical validity or otherwise of a formal argument is independent of the intention of the person or people making that argument. What matters is whether or not the argument follows the rules of formal logic.


    And if it does, then an equivalent argument leads us to the conclusion that God has a cause. Up to now you have been saying that God is the supreme cause of all causes, and is himself uncaused. If God begins to exist, and we accept the KCA, what you have been saying is untenable.

    Have you changed your view?

    It would be better to be explicit and replace the premise with "God began to exist", if that's what you're interested in.

    Note that the term "God" requires definition separate from the Kalam or Cosmological argument. The premises of these cosmological arguments make no attempt to define God. And in fact, the KCA only purports to show that the universe has a cause. To get from there to the conclusion that the cause of the universe was God we need a whole set of additional arguments. Craig's particular set of those arguments was posted earlier in this thread.

    Yes. If we accept the two premises of the KCA, then we must accept the conclusion. There is nothing wrong with the structure of the argument as a logical syllogism.

    The KCA asserts nothing about God other than if God began to exist then God had a cause.

    Specifically, the KCA does not assert that God exists or doesn't exist, or that God is necessary or unnecessary.

    To show that, you need to refute the specific argument to the contrary that has been put to you earlier in the thread.


    This is an issue we haven't discussed in any detail up to this point in the thread.

    You have not explained why infinite regress is problematic.

    I think we can take it as read in the KCA that when premise 1 says "Everything that begins to exist has a cause" we mean a cause other than the thing concerned. Don't get tied up worrying about self-caused things (unless you feel it is somehow important to the argument that such things exist).

    What is "nothingness"? As far as I can see, the KCA does not rule out "nothingness" as a possible cause of the universe.

    Are you still talking about the KCA, or are you formulating a new argument of some kind?

    Do you have a reason to think that something cannot come out of nothing?

    Who said it was only limited to universes? Whose argument are you discussing here?

    While you're at it, why are Things that Do Not Begin to Exist limited to God? That was my question in the opening post. Remember? That's what the whole question-begging thing hinges on.

    Again, that's a separate issue, is it not?

    Even if it is only possible for something to come from nothing once, that's enough to account for the universe - at least as far as I can tell from whatever unspecified argument it is that you're referring to.

    Read the opening post. The argument is there and nobody has refuted it. In particular, you have not refuted it. Refute it, if you can.

    Sorry. "I don't like Dan Barker, so his argument is invalid" won't cut the mustard. You'll need to do much better than that.
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  7. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Thinking on what Jan said here, which I missed earlier, is that Jan has previously equated God to "nothing"...

    From This Thread
    Spidergoat says: "Then God is nothing." to which Jan replies "Right, no thing."
    Here Jan is now trying to say that "something cannot come out of nothing".

    To concur with Sarkus, such inconsistency in Jan's comments are frustrating with regard holding a sensible conversation.
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Maybe Jan is trying to make some kind of distinction between "every thing" and "everything". Presumably, if "everything" and "every thing" are different, then their respective negations would be "nothing" and "no thing".

    Jan can explain the distinction he wants to introduce, if indeed he wants to introduce one.

    However, in so doing, Jan will need to address another flaw in the Kalam Cosmological Argument, as I showed in my earlier post here:


    If we accept the distinction that Jan seems to be trying to introduce into the discussion, then it appears that Kalam fails due to the fallacy of composition.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  9. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    That explanation doesn't resolve the inconsistency, I'm afraid.
    If Jan is trying to make a distinction then it behooves Jan to consistently use the term he means.
    If Jan means "nothing" then use that word, and if Jan means "no thing" then use that.
    For Jan to deliberately use one term for which he has introduced ambiguity, rather than be specific in intended meaning, is simply dishonest.
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Where did I state this?
    You're not referring to the distinctions or lack of (to be more precise), between the definition of ''everything'' and ''every thing'' to phys bang. Who thought they had different meanings are you?


    Okay. The creators of 'The Simms'' game. Is he (assuming it is one person) part of the Simms world, or is he the cause of it.
    Now if you say he is a part of it, then his part is his arrange of the world. He isn't affected by anything that happens in that world, because he is distinct from it.
    In the same way God is not a cog in the wheel of this world, He is the cause of it, as a whole. He Himself is distinct.

    If we apply the argument to The Simms world...

    Everything (in The Simms world) that begins to exist has a cause.
    The Simms world began to exist.
    The Simms world has a cause
    Therefore the creator of The Simms exists.

    You could add Barkers reformulation to it, and it would state...

    Everything except the creator of The Simms world, has a cause,
    The Simms world is not the creator of The Simms world.
    The Simms world has a cause
    Therefore the creator of The Simms world exists.

    It amounts to the same thing.

    You don't know what you're talking about Sarkus. An uncaused cause, is not a part of it's effects, but it's effects occur because of it.
    God interacts with His parts and parcels, especially those who are devoted to Him (because they rely on Him). His parts and parcels operate within this world. So you could say that He is a part of this world, in that his parts and parcels (the living entities) are temporarily situated in this world. But He is distint from this world.

    To repeat. You are mistaken

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    I'm aware that you think you're breaking it down, but you're simply asserting that it begs the question, then reformulate it in a way that does beg the question.
    I'm not buying into those tactics.
    The first premise does not imply everything except God.
    I think you need that to be in there, to make it invalid.

    We haven't got to the point of God yet. The fact that God, at this point, could included in the term everything, shows that there is no question begging going on.

    Okay. But what we can conclude is that the cause must me immaterial, time-less, powerful, a wilful agent, indicating intelligence, desire, and benevolence, and omniscience. All by default of being the cause of not only this or any other universes there are, but everything.

    This is a logical conclusion, not an illogical one.

    I can't say I don't like Dan Barker, as I don't know him. I know him only through his debates and lectures, and what I know of him, I find him patronising. I'll retract squirmy.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    God is n0 thing.

    Nothing, relates to something, in this case everything. So God can be regarded as nothing, within everything.
    The creator of The Simms, apart from His creation, exist as nothing within the game, but is fully existent outside of the game.
    We can look at God in this way.

    There is no inconsistency. It's not even difficult. If you stop denying God (regardless of belief) His attributes, then it makes logical sense. Your problem is your denial, and probable fear of having to accept that God exists.

  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    They're not different. I've given definition of both of these words. Did you not see them?

  14. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Sure, God is nothing.
    Everything is all that exists (the definition you provided); the opposite of nothing.
    Ergo God does not exist.
    Thank you for providing your argument for God's non-existence.
    And "everything" is all that exists, as per the definition you have provided.
    Thus God does not exist is the logical conclusion of your statements.
    Thank you again for reconfirming this.
    But it remains inconsistent with your claim / belief that God exists.
    If you define "everything within The Simms" as "all that exists" then you can not say the creator of the Simms exist as he/she/them are not within The Simms.
    Similarly if you define "everything" as "all that exists" then you can not say that God exists if you also want God to be outside of everything.
    This is inescapable logic no matter how much you wish to deny it.
    Please don't change the subject, or try to excuse the issues that have been found with your arguments by trying to establish intent with what I post.
    My intent is irrelevant to the content of what is posted, and it is to that you should focus.
    I.e. counter the argument, not the person, or you are committing an ad hominem fallacy.

    The simple fact is that your comments have been shown quite categorically to be inconsistent, with clear explanations given numerous times in this thread for you to follow.
    It is frustrating for the rest of us to say the least.
    Kristoffer likes this.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I am. And it is clearly stated in that definition of everything: "all that exists". If you exclude God from everything then you can not claim that God exists. What is so difficult for you to understand?
    Understood so far.
    Unfortunately line 3 does not follow from the first 2 premises: line 1 only says that everything IN The Simms world that begins to exist has a cause. One can not logically then apply that to The Simms world as a whole without committing a composition fallacy as previously described by JamesR. The relationship you define in the first premise has no logical bearing on The Simms world as whole.
    Furthermore, line 4 as written does not follow from the logic of the first 3, due to the assumption of "creator". i.e. your wording equates causation with creator. While we may know that the two are the same in reality, from a purely formal-logical point of view one would first have to discount the possibility of other means of causation other than "creator" - or introduce (as we would normally implicitly do) other assumptions (such as The Simms is artificial, all artificial things require a creator etc).
    And this suffers from the same question-begging as Barker's reformulation - i.e. you're begging the question of the existence of the creator of The Simms within the first premise.
    Plus the last line does not logically conclude from the first 3, for the same reasons as your initial formulation.
    So God is not part of everything. I get it. Yet you have said that everything is "all that exists" and therefore you are concluding that God does not exist.
    So you believe.
    Unfortunately we're simply looking at the logic of the KCA, and certainly not bringing in any assumptions as to what God is or is not at this stage. Those things are what Craig attempts to do through his ontological argument. At this stage we're just trying to establish whether or not the KCA is valid, and then we can move onto whether it is sound.
    And you simply repeating that I'm mistaken won't make you any more correct.

    Edit: I see Baldeee has beaten me to much of that, so forgive it's starting to sound repetitive.
    Kristoffer likes this.
  16. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    What is the fist line of the KCA...
    Everything (meaning all that exists) that begins to exist has a cause
    The universe began to exist.
    The universe was caused.
    Therefore the uncaused cause-er (God) exists.

    Ain't got time to respond to the rest of your post at this time.

  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    On what basis do you conclude line 4? There is nothing in the first 3 that logically leads to it.
    Furthermore you have claimed that God is distinct from everything, and as everything is all that exists, God, by being distinct, can not exist - by your logic.
    Every time you post you seem to confirm this, yet you profess belief, which is inconsistent, confusing and frustrating, no doubt for you too, to be living with such conflicting notions.
    No worries, although you may nee to address the issues with what you have responded with so far.
  18. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    It seems Jan may have painted himself into a corner. His assumption that 'something cannot come from nothing' both ignores scientific evidence to the contrary and would seem to be problematic to the assertion that a non-material god could create material existence. I think that 'non-material' is what Jan means by 'no thing', but he's free to correct me on his meaning.

    While I think the KCA is valid, it is not, itself, convincing because it includes too many givens. Decades ago, while reasoning this out myself, I was very dissatisfied with the non-answer that god 'just always existed'. That is as unsatisfying as any infinite regress of origins, whether earlier universes or anything else. So I sought to boil the question down to the simplest possible given: nothing. We know that virtual particles can be produced by vacuum, so it stands to reason that, due to the uncertainty principle, that nothing is similarly not a perfect state. This is the basis of Alan Guth's 'ultimate free lunch', where the universe always has a zero net energy. Nothing, like a vacuum, exists only in relation to its effects. Without zero-point energy, we would be forced to define vacuum as a lack of existence, i.e. does not exist.

    So most people knowledgeable in physics would not have a problem with something that both has no cause and can be cause. Do these same people say the vacuum does not exist, just as they say of god? If so, perhaps a little logical consistency is in order.

    Now does that means that nothingness is god? No. To get there, we have to ask why our universe began a finite time in the past. We could try to dismiss that with a chain of earlier universes spawning the next, but then that would be the same sort of infinite regress that provides no explanatory satisfaction. If we're going to throw our hands up there, then we might as well do so with god.
  19. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    No, as I pointed out at length, your claim was about neither "everything" nor "every thing", it was about "everything that has a beginning".

    You need to go back and read your own post.

    If I say, "Everything that is a carrot is orange", I am not saying, "Everything is orange."

    If you can't tell the difference, then you have some serious problems.
  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    "Everything is all that exist" has a cause (first premis). Long story short, God caused it.

    The Simms has a cause, the cause is the creator. The creator is not a part of The Simms. To The Simms, there is no evidence of his existence. He exists independently. Why is that so difficul?

  21. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    That is not the first premise. Read your own posts. According you you, the first premise is: Everything that began to exist has a cause.

    This leaves room open for things to exist that do not have a beginning and that have no cause.

    You are free to add a premise that says that everything has a cause if you like.
  22. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    It clearly states that "everything (all that exist) that begins to exist has a cause."
    Like the cause-er of The Simms, the cause of everything exists differently to the existence of everything. This logically concludes from the first premise.

    This is merely semantics.

    Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    The Simms began to exist.
    The Simms has a cause.
    Therefore the creator of the Simms is the cause[/QUOTE]

    I know. It was intentional just like Barker's.

  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    On the basis of line one.

    Your confusion stems from the ter"exists".
    The "all that exists" confirmse the existence of everything that begins to exist. The uncaused cause necessarily exists despite everything existing or not.


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