Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

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

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Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument convince you that God exists?

  1. Yes.

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  2. No.

    25 vote(s)
    92.6%
  3. I'm not sure that I properly understand the argument.

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  4. No opinion or would rather not answer.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Whether needed or not, this thread is discussing the logic of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
    Your questions are certainly pertinent to the question of God, God's existence and God's place, but this thread isn't for that discussion, in my view. Feel free to raise another thread though.

    Just sayin'.

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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and the KCM argues for the existence of God, but what is the nature of this God, and why is the argument predicated on a so-called causeless cause?

    I argue that God is, for humans, something that evolved along with our anthropology, given that culture, tool making, trade, etc evolved too. Evolution doesn't seem to afford organisms anything unless they need to have it, in order to continue evolving.

    Now, the cosmological God has been pushed back by scientific logic to something which, if we're talking about why the universe (or this one) exists, means a creation event, and so this universe must have been very finely tuned cosmology tells us. By, "pushed back" I mean for instance taking Newton's time, he himself believed the stars were fixed in place by God, and the planets set in motion likewise. God was a sufficiently logical explanation at the time, although Newton was lampooned for it. He was, in effect, admitting he had no idea how gravity accounted for motion.

    So, as for the logic of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, I think it's about pushing the Newtonian God back further, but maybe not in the right direction. Kalam's argument cannot evade temporality, the word cause implies time and history.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The KCA, up to the point is concludes that the universe was caused, does not concern itself with the nature of God other than it being the cause of the universe.
    Craig's version of it attempts to conclude on the nature of God through his ontological argument, which are detailed already in this thread (Yazata I believe detailed it somewhere).
    As for being predicated on a causeless cause, the KCA (or at least Craig's version) is aimed at proving the existence of God as understood by most religions: the Original Cause. If this is not itself causeless then it raises the question of what caused it, a question which a causeless cause aims to avoid.
    I think most atheists would see this as a rational position.
    I think you're mixing the two arguments. Cosmology doesn't tell us it must have been very finely tuned. Cosmology simply tells us that there possibly was a creation event (Big Bang etc) and the Cosmological argument attempts to prove that we (the universe) were indeed caused.
    It is the anthropological argument that tries to show that it must have been finely tuned, as it takes the end point as the desired result and tries to suggest that in order for this end result the universe had to be just so.
    But again, this thread is about the cosmological argument, and the Kalam variant of this.
    the KCA doesn't want to evade time but rather use it as an axiom to reach the conclusion that the universe was caused.
    If you evade the notion of time, by using B-theory of time, of Block time, rather than A-theory (i.e. the standard perception of time flowing), then the whole argument vanishes as not having meaning.
     
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  7. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    While the argument might make some sense, I think the conclusion "this cause is god" is invalid. A god is usually described as a sentient being, and the cause of the universe might as well just have been a random hickup in a yet to be defined embedding of our universe.

    I refuse to call such a random hickup a god.

    And even if I accept the terminology to call such cause "god", it does not explain that there is one and exactly one god as the title of this thread implies. There could as well be many gods.

    PS: The argument also does not give reason that "god" still exists. The cause of the universe could have been a momentarily one, which is long gone.
     
  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Ok, then here's the thing: If God exists because humans have a history that requires that existence, because our social evolution and anthropology says so, then atheism is not a logical argument.

    Another thing is that there are notions of God, then there is what God really is. Newton had one of these notions, seemingly in keeping with a Biblical version; we know today that such a being isn't needed to explain (the cause of) planetary motion, or why the stars are all separated from each other etc.
     
  9. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    But doesn't this apply to equally fantastical beings, like dragons, demons, witches, fairies, and giants? Every culture seems to include some version of these along with gods and goddesses. So should we infer there is an evolved "need" in humans to posit these beings too and therefore that they must exist in some sense?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Except that our history doesn't require the existence of a god. It doesn't require the existence of any particular culture, it simple allows a culture to exist.

    "Evolution doesn't seem to afford organisms anything unless they need to have it..."
    Nonsense. We have all kinds of things we don't need. Vestigial organs, for instance. 5 fingers instead of 4.
     
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    If our history doesn't require the existence of a God, why is there a God in our history? Sure, no particular culture is required by our history, except for the particular cultures that are in our history, otherwise our history would be a different one.
    These vestigial organs you mention, aren't they evolving toward disuse because . . . we don't need them now? Didn't they evolve because we once did need them?

    Or is your argument perhaps about God being vestigial, no longer needed? If that were true, why are so many humans still religious or at least claim to believe there is a God?

    Yes, I think that must follow, at least to account for superstitious beliefs which are certainly a feature of most, if not all cultures. You could argue that religions arose in order for societies to cope with such beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Because we evolved the capacity to have a culture.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not at all, because atheism is with regard the existence of God as more than just an idea/notion (that may or may not have evolved as a meme as humans developed society etc). The God that "exists" through any evolution of thought is still just a thought, still man-made - and thus does not actually exist outside of that simply because man has come up with the notion.
    Now God may exist outside of our thoughts, exist in actuality, and that is the theist's belief.
    Well, believers of God as the First Cause, or the Prime Mover, would argue that while gravity might explain planetary motion, who/what caused gravity. I.e. it is not the immediate cause but the initial cause that is in question.
    So while Newton's notion of God might have been the one who set planets in motion, the discovery of gravity merely pushed God's "cause" to being the cause of gravity.
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Then God, by your own arguments, can not be distinct from everything if God exists.
    To repeat your claims: everything is all that exists. God is separate from everything. God exists.
    Unfortunately "God exists" simply doesn't follow logically from the first two. In fact the opposite does: "God does not exist".
    So you keep bleating. Unfortunately you have not been able to show how God's existence logically follows (validly at least) from the premises you provide.
    All you now seem able to do is repeat your claim, as if you have stuck your fingers in your ear, childlike, and are simply going "Nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you nyah nyah nyah!"

    Seems we have reached the unproductive phase of your involvement in this thread, Jan, given your attitude?
     
  15. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    You forgot ghosts, bigfoot, and aliens.
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You mean entities there's actual evidence for? No I didn't.
     
  17. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    So I guess seeing an image of the Virgin Mary in a slice of toast is "evidence" that Christianity is real, then?
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    If you say so. lol!

    Daecon's evidence of the Virgin Mary:

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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  19. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    It's just as good as your "evidence" for ghosts. Why doesn't it count if the ghost is of the "holy" variety?
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    A tortilla is just as good as a photograph? lol!

    Photos and evps and eyewitness accounts of the Holy Ghost???? I'll wait..
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  21. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    The thing that gets me is 'why is it so important that everyone must believe as the fundamentalist believes'. Probably because faith isn't enough. It's enough for the pope. He can conceive that others may think differently from him and still value the teachings of Jesus and live a life of intellectual honesty. So what's wrong with fundamentalists? I tend to think they're the crank end of the church. A good reason why folks might tend to agnosticism early in adult life and atheism as the analysis proceeds. Kinda what happened to me.
     
  22. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    7,152
    Well, here's my anthropological argument:

    Humans have been looking for evidence of a cosmological being for a long time. My guess is that we first started building observatories for this reason--evidence of celestial order, hence a being or beings responsible for the observations.

    But today we can observe a lot better, we've accounted for the observations without needing to invoke a celestial or cosmic being; the evidence appears to be absent.

    So maybe there is no external kind of God, no creator, except the creator of your consciousness, and maybe that consciousness needs to be "aware of God".
     
  23. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    That is so very wrong. Organisms can have all kind of neutral features, and even negative features, as long as these features have less of an impact on their fitness than their overall traits.
     

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