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Topic

the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Status
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Waiting for the contender's second argument.

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Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
One week
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Description
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I, Jarrett_Ludolph will be holding the CON position, the view that the argument is unsuccessful, while my opponent, PRO, will be taking the view that the argument is successful. Even though there are other arguments for the exist of God, this debate will only cover the Kalam.

I look forward to a lively debate!

Round 1
Con
Opening

Thank you MarkWebberFan for accepting this debate.
I, Jarrett_Ludolph, will be taking the position that the KCA is unsuccessful (as stated in the description) and that it fails. seldiora with be taking the position that the KCA is successful (also stated it the description) and that it doesn't fail.

I.Core Syllogism

As MarkWebberFan should already know, the Kalam Cosmological Argument
(KCA) has a core syllogism that is as follows:
P1 everything that begins to exist, has a cause
P2 the universe began exist
C1 The universe has a cause 

II.Broader Conversation

The core syllogism doesn't prove a God in and of itself, however, the broader conversation might, and is as follows:

Whatever caused all of matter to exist cannot be made of matter (immaterial).
 Whatever caused all of the spatial dimensions to exist must exist independent of spatial dimensions (spaceless).
 Whatever caused all of time to exist must exist independent of time (timeless).
 Whatever caused the universe to exist must be extremely powerful.
 The cause of the universe is immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and extremely powerful.

This may not prove any particular God, but it would be a very weird form of disbelief, one not even worth believing, to concede that there was an immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and extremely powerful cause to the universe.

Arguments

I.Objections to core syllogism

The major objection I have to the core syllogism is to premise 2. The universe began to exist. The big bang is commonly thought to be the beginning of all space and time, however the big bang isn't necessarily the beginning. For example, the big bang could just be the universe going from a period of contraction to expansion, as theoretical physicist Sean Carroll puts it:

"the Big Bang isn't the beginning of time, but rather that it was a moment of symmetry. In this idea, prior to the Big Bang, there was another universe, identical to this one but with entropy increasing toward the past instead of toward the future"[1]

This means that on "the other side" of the big bang. There may be another universe, that is "running backwards" through time, in the opposite direction, making the universe infinite, so it never truly began to exist, therefore the argument is unsuccessful. To quote Carroll again:

"time would run opposite to time in the modern universe and our universe would be in the past." [1]

Also a more minor point, is that the universe couldn't begin to exist, since matter and energy cannot be made, because of the law of conversation of matter and energy

Objections to broader conversation

Also, the broader conversation says, that whatever created the universe must be immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and extremely powerful. 

I disagree with these premises, since the big bang could have originated from the vacuum of space, without an immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and extremely powerful cause. Now, before you say something cannot come from nothing, there's actually a lot of something in the vacuum of space. There's the laws of physics, energy and pressure. Since the universe actually has zero net energy (the positive energy of matter and the negative energy of gravity) the universe could have been created, while not breaking the law of conversation of matter and energy. This is called the quantum fluctuation model.[2]

 If something doesn't break the laws of physics, in quantum mechanics, it happens with some probability. So as long as the this event,"the big bang" has some sort of probability (which it does), no matter how small the probability, it will eventually happen. It's important to not that this wouldn't be a true beginning either, since the vacuum of space (with all its energy and pressure) is still part of the universe, and it didn't begin to exist

Conclusion

There are multiple models for the origins of the universe, two are Carroll's model, and the quantum fluctuation model. I only need one to explain the universe naturalistically  and if I can explain the universe naturalistically, then the KCA fails. Both of these models contradict the KCA .This is because I would not need to accept that the universe was caused by an immaterial, spaceless, timeless, and extremely powerful being. It's important to note that these models don't debunk the idea of God itself, since other arguments for God still exist.

Sources

[1] (Live Science article about Sean Carroll's view of origins)
https://www-livescience-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.livescience.com/amp/65254-what-happened-before-big-big.html?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D#aoh=16014350454147&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.livescience.com%2F65254-what-happened-before-big-big.html
[2] (interview with theoretical physicist Alex Vilenkin)
https://youtu.be/PSESZR3wC8s




Pro

I appreciate the warm remarks. I accept Jarrett_Ludolph’sterms and conditions. I think it’s a good idea to note that the KCAis an argument that establishes God as a metaphysically necessary being. Inthis debate, my argument will utilize unconventional sources. I’ve scoured theinternet for contemporary use of the KCA and it pains me to admit that I’m notparticularly motivated to present them in this debate. I’m aware that myapproach is reckless and might backfire because arguments from peculiar sourcesmay veer off topic. In any case, If Jarrett_Ludolph wants to note that Iviolated the terms of the debate by veering off topic, he is free to do so. Inthe same spirit, I am free to present arguments which I find interesting.

Argument 1: Aristotelian Metaphysics

I think the KCA argues that God is a being that existsindependent of time and space. That said, I want to argue that the samemetaphysical idea is present in Aristotle’s writings:

“The actual course of events (e.g. pursuits of knowledge)bears witness to this; for speculation of this kind began with a view torecreation and pastime, at a time when practically all the necessities of lifewere already supplied. Clearly then it is for no extrinsic advantage that weseek this knowledge; for just as we call a man independent who exists forhimself and not for another, so we call this the only independent science,since it alone exists for itself.
For this reason its acquisition might justly be supposed tobe beyond human power, since in many respects human nature is servile; in whichcase, as Simonides says, ‘God alone can have this privilege,’”


Human nature is predisposed to seek knowledge; It seeksknowledge for its own sake. Knowledge is independent of human nature asknowledge only exists as mere fact, not as one that is dependent on humandesires. In this way, acquisition of the entirety of laws of nature must beattributed to a non-dependent cause: God.
 
Rebuttal: Infinite regress

Con argues that he has serious objections to the secondpremise. He offers an account that the universe is undergoing contraction andexpansion. He argues that there is a possibility of different worlds that simultaneouslyexists. He fails to address the single most important issue: Infinite regress.

Without a non-dependent cause, Con’s objections fall into aninfinite regress. Now, I could grant that the causes would still be infinite,but even then, we lack any proof of such. We observe whatever laws imposed onus and conclude that cause and effect exists. However, without an external,timeless being that brings everything into existence, these causes and effectsare as a result of infinite regress (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/).

Round 2
Con
Opening:

Pro makes two major arguments, one from Aristotelian Metaphysics, and one from the absurdity of an infinite regress. 

Rebuttal:

I. Aristotelian Metaphysics

"I think the KCA argues that God is a being that existsmindependent of time and space. That said, I want to argue that the samemetaphysical idea is present in Aristotle’s writings"

I read the quote you gave me, however, I don't see how this is related to the KCA. Please clarify. Thank you.

II. Infinite Regress

"Without a non-dependent cause, Con’s objections fall into aninfinite regress. Now, I could grant that the causes would still be infinite,but even then, we lack any proof of such. We observe whatever laws imposed onus and conclude that cause and effect exists. However, without an external,timeless being that brings everything into existence, these causes and effectsare as a result of infinite regress"

Here, Pro claims that without a external and timeless cause, that the universe falls into an infinite regress, and concludes that since our observations of the world around us contracte an infinite regress, my argument fails.

A response

The quantum fluctuation model does not go into infinite regress. Before the big bang, there is no time, time is a property of the universe after the big bang. How could this be? 

Stephen Hawking had a great metaphor for this. If you're walking on earth, and want to go more north, you can go more north. However, once you reach the north pole, the question doesn't apply anymore, you cannot go more north then the north pole. You cannot go back further in time, then the big bang. This is called the no boundary proposal. [1]. This fits in nicely with quatom fluctuation theory.


Sean Carroll's model also doesn't fall into infinite regress. There is a stopping point. See III. Sean Caroll's Model for more information.

III. Sean Caroll's Model

"He offers an account that the universe is undergoing contraction andexpansion"

I'm sorry to say, but no that's not what I'm offering. Looking back on what I said, I think it's easy to see why you thought that, but what you were describing is oscillatory model[2].

The oscillatory model says that the big bang will end in a big crunch with the matter contracting back into one point, and banging again in an infinite series of big bounces. It's important to note that the oscillatory model has fallen out of use in cosmology. [2]

What Carroll is proposing is that at the big bang, there's another universe, that is expanding when you go backward in time, and we are expanding going forward in time. To quote Carroll:

One idea is that the Big Bang isn't the beginning of time, but rather that it was a moment of symmetry. In this idea, prior to the Big Bang, there was another universe, identical to this one but with entropy increasing toward the past instead of toward the future.

In this model, there are two symmetrical universes, that are basically flip-flops of each other, to quote Carroll again:

Proponents of this theory also suggest that other properties of the universe would be flip-flopped in this mirror universe.

To clarify, in Sean Carroll's model there's not an infinite series of big bounces, but one universe running opposite of ours at the moment of the big bang. These two universes are mirror images of each other, and there's not multiple big bounces.

As for Sean Carroll's model, (or the Carroll-Chen model if you Google it), it also avoids an infinite regress of causes. This is because Sean Carroll's model has no mention of infinite causes. The Infinite regress argument is an argument against actual infinities in time, Carroll's is a potential infinity, just how our universe will exist for a potentially infinite number of years, or you spend an infinite number of lifetimes in heaven. Both universes go to Infinity in both directions. This means there is no forever-long domino chain of causes, since time started at the moment of symmetry of the universes.

IV.The conservation of Matter and Energy

The law of the conservation of matter and energy states that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. This means that there cannot be a creation of matter, or energy, or space. While this law doesn't exclude a beginning of time, it does debar a creation of a physical universe. 

As far as I can tell, this argument (that I presented in my opening) was dropped in MarkWebberFan's rebuttal.

V.Veering Off Topic?

 I’m aware that myapproach is reckless and might backfire because arguments from peculiar sourcesmay veer off topic. In any case, If Jarrett_Ludolph wants to note that Iviolated the terms of the debate by veering off topic, he is free to do so. Inthe same spirit, I am free to present arguments which I find interesting.

I do not believe you have veered of topic as for the infinite regress argument, however I will ask that you connect Aristotelian Metaphysics to the KCA. Thankyou

Conclusion:

Aristotelian Metaphysics seems unrelated to this discussion, however, if Pro can show how it is relevant, a response will be given. The argument from the infinite regress would be detrimental to a model of the universe that existed with an infinite series of causes, however neither The Carroll-Cled model, nor quantum fluctuation theory has an infinite series of causes, so it falls short.

Sources:

[1]

[1]

[3]



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