The Kalaam Cosmological Argument
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- Publication date
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- Time for argument
- Three days
- Voting system
- Open voting
- Voting period
- One month
- Point system
- Four points
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This debate allows each debater a maximum of 10,000 characters per round. Each debater has three days, at most, to post their argument for each round. The voting period lasts one month and uses an open voting system. I am "Pro" on the resolution, meaning that whoever accepts is "Con." If special circumstances arise, one may ask their opponent to wait some time before posting their next round.
The Kalaam Cosmological Argument is Sound
-- Definitions --
The Kalaam Cosmological Argument (KCA hereafter) states:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore the universe has a cause
1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. Debaters accept all resolutional terms defined in this description
8. For all undefined resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9 The BOP is evenly shared
10. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
11. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the R1 set-up, merits a loss
1. Opening arguments
4. Closing arguments
Something cannot come from nothing. To claim that something can come into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat! But if you deny premise (1'), you’ve got to think that the whole universe just appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. But nobody sincerely believes that things, say, a horse or an Eskimo village, can just pop into being without a cause.something can come into being from nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why just anything or everything doesn’t come into being from nothing. Think about it: why don’t bicycles and Beethoven and root beer just pop into being from nothing? Why is it only universes that can come into being from nothing? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? There can’t be anything about nothingness that favors universes, for nothingness doesn’t have any properties. Nor can anything constrain nothingness, for there isn’t anything to be constrained!Common experience and scientific evidence confirm the truth of premise 1'. The science of cosmogeny is based on the assumption that there are causal conditions for the origin of the unuiverse. So it’s hard to understand how anyone committed to modern science could deny that (1') is more plausibly true than false.
All the evidence seems to indicate, that the universe has not existed forever, but that it had a beginning, about 15 billion years ago. This is probably the most remarkable discovery of modern cosmology.In the case of the universe, the fact that the microwave background has such an exactly thermal spectrum indicates that it must have been scattered many times. The universe must therefore contain enough matter, to make it opaque in every direction we look, because the microwave background is the same, in every direction we look. Moreover, this opacity must occur a long way away from us, because we can see galaxies and quasars, at great distances. Thus there must be a lot of matter at a great distance from us. The greatest opacity over a broad wave band, for a given density, comes from ionised hydrogen. It then follows that if there is enough matter to make the universe opaque, there is also enough matter to focus our past light cone. One can then apply the theorem of Penrose and myself, to show that time must have a beginning.The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge. The predictions of the no boundary proposal seem to agree with observation. The no boundary hypothesis also predicts that the universe will eventually collapse again. However, the contracting phase, will not have the opposite arrow of time, to the expanding phase. So we will keep on getting older, and we won't return to our youth.
Dan Barker (Who my opponent is sure to cite), argues that P1 is question-begging because the only member of the class of objects which do not begin to exist is God. Hence P1 becomes "Everything except God needs a cause." However, this criticism is grossly off-point. First, the modified-P1 is simply not logically equivalent to P1. If we recast the KCA using M-P1, then the argument becomes structurally invalid. Second, M-P1 confuses meaning with reference. The two premises may refer to the same object, but their meaning is obviously different. Third, whereas M-P1 is framed in terms of being an existential statement (One which asserts the existence of something), P1 is a universally quantified statement. Consider the formalized version of the argument:
1. (x) (Bx -> Cx)2. Bu3. CuWhere B = begins to exist; c = cause, u = universe.Universally quantified statements do not commit one to the existence of classes of objects, whereas existential statements (Such as Barker's M-P1) do. Hence P1 and M-P1 are not logically equivalent.