Home > Cosmic Origins > “Universe,” Kalam, and Equivocation

“Universe,” Kalam, and Equivocation

The second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument states, “the universe began to exist,” where William Lane Craig defines “universe” as “the whole of material reality.” This definition is important to the Kalam argument because it serves as a linchpin for Craig to argue that the universe must be caused by something which is “uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial.” In other words, if the universe isn’t the whole of material reality, then it’s possible that some other part of material reality caused it.

To be fair to Crag, his definition of the universe is traditional, but it also might be outdated. In the book The Hidden Reality (Pg. 4) physicist Brian Greene writes:

There was once a time when ‘universe’ meant ‘all there is.’ Everything. The whole shebang. The notion of more than one universe, more than one everything, would seemingly be a contradiction in terms. Yet a range of theoretical developments has gradually qualified the interpretation of ‘universe.’ The word’s meaning now depends on context. Sometimes ‘universe’ still connotes absolutely everything. Sometimes it refers only to those parts of everything that someone such as you or I could, in principle, have access to. Sometimes it’s applied to separate realms, ones that are partly or fully, temporarily or permanently, inaccessible to us; in this sense, the word relegates our universe to membership in a large, perhaps infinitely large, collection.

In A Universe from Nothing (Pg.125-126), physicist Lawrence Krauss echos the same sentiment:

Talking about many different universes can sound like an oxymoron. After all, traditionally the notion of universe has become synonymous with ‘everything that exists.’  More recently, however, universe has come to have a simpler, arguably more sensible meaning. It is now traditional to think of ‘our’ universe as comprising simply the totality of all that we can now see and all that we could ever see.

Craig, however, often cites the work of physicist Alexander Vilenkin to buttress his claim that “the whole of material reality” began to exist. So I emailed Dr. Vilenkin the following question:

Dr. Vilenkin,

Could you briefly define your use of the term “universe,” as you use it in the context of your work on the beginning of the universe? I’m just curious to know whether you use the term in the traditional sense, “all of physical reality,” or if you use it in the more modern sense of “those parts of ‘everything’ that we could, in principle, have access to.”

. His response:

Hi,

It is certainly more than what we can have access to.  Regions  beyond our cosmic horizon are included.  But if there are other universes whose space and time are completely disconnected from ours, those are not included.  So, by “universe” I mean the entire connected spacetime region.

Alex V.

So, it seems to me that there is some equivocation going on between Craig’s definition of the word “universe” and that of the physicists he uses to support his claim.

Advertisements
Categories: Cosmic Origins
  1. LauLuna
    03/29/2012 at 12:21 PM

    Certainly, Craig seems to be assuming there are no disconnected universes. But I don’t think this is much of a problem for the Kalam argument because such universes can be methodologically eliminated by Ockham’s razor, since there is probably no hint at all at their existence (or else they wouldn’t be really disconnected…).

    Equivocation I find in the expression ‘begin to exist’. The need of a cause is very intuitive for whatever earlier didn’t exist and later began to exist, but when there is no earlier (as is probably the case for the universe) I’m not sure a cause is required.

    • Ted
      06/11/2012 at 10:09 PM

      You still have problems with virtual particles and atomic decay. Yes I have heard Craig’s flimsy excuse of why he claims they are not uncaused but no one except apologists are buying it.

      • LauLuna
        06/12/2012 at 2:10 PM

        Ted, please, tells us how do virtual particles and atomic decay indicate the existence of disconnected universes?

    • 11/29/2012 at 5:33 PM

      It also doesn’t hurt the Kalam argument because even if there are other disconnected universes, it still is the fact that our universe came into being. If these other universes are disconnected, then they can’t have any causal influence on ours. Therefore we still have to wonder why our universe came into being.

      Basically, this guy is just making crap up to avoid logical conclusions.

      • Gary Smith
        01/01/2013 at 9:29 AM

        Kind of like how the Kalam just makes up crap? What hurts the Kalam argument is that there is evidence for it, not a shred of evidence that anything can exist outside of time and space, not a shred of evidence that there is a God and not a shred of evidence that there was a first cause. Let the scientist do science and you can stick to the word games, thanks!

      • Dr Erick Smith
        02/26/2013 at 5:46 PM

        The Kalam is not taken seriously in cosmology for that very reason, the conclusion reached by William Lane Craig is “making crap up to avoid everything we know about the Universe”.

  2. Libertatus
    03/30/2012 at 4:08 PM

    No, what Craig means by ‘universe’ is all material reality; this universe, multi-verse (if this is the case) or beyond. All physical reality, if you will. Just go to reasonablefaith.org and search the Q&A or select a podcast on the kalaam cosmological argument and you will find out what he means by “universe”.

    • 08/17/2015 at 1:56 PM

      EXCEPT, of course, “universe” does not include WLC’s “God” and wherever said deity exists. “God” supposedly exists outside of space-time, in some kind of “Q-Continuum” which is roped off from the “universe.” How convenient! And another contradiction.

  3. Gigahoo
    04/22/2012 at 12:53 AM

    LauLuna says “I’m not sure a cause is required.” if past time is infinite. His or her s intuition is correct. No cause is required from WITHIN the universe. The cause that caused t=0 would be from outside of space-time , one cannot even use the word PRIOR…there is no space-time prior to t=0.

  4. LauLuna
    04/22/2012 at 1:30 PM

    Gigahoo, I actually meant I’m not sure a cause is required even if the past is finite. To me, it is only eveident that a cause is needed for X if there is some time at which X didn’t exist. But if time itself began together with the universe, no such prior time exists for the universe.

  5. Ted
    05/09/2012 at 1:17 AM

    This is the best blog ever, thank you. Keep updating, please! My problem with the Kalam is that we can say nothing about the beginning of the Universe until we observe it or can demonstrate what is/was likely. You do that with observation of the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation and with particle accelerators – you don’t do it with syllogism. I don’t care if William Lane Craig thinks his arguments are logically sound (they aren’t) – I want to see evidence. Craig constructs word games because he has no evidence.

    • LauLuna
      06/11/2012 at 1:33 PM

      Ted, I’m not sure what you mean by ‘logically sound’. Craig’s arguments are indeed logically valid, i.e. their conclusions do follow from their premises. Their premises may be controversial,but Craig doesn’t claim them to be ‘logically sound’; they don’t rely on logic but on metaphysical or mathematical intuitions: causality, probability, etc.

      • Ted
        06/11/2012 at 10:04 PM

        Probability? His claims of probability are silly. Stop being an apologist and look into cosmology instead of word games. No cosmologist takes the Kalam argument seriously because we have no idea – meaning there is no way to determine probability beyond t=0.

      • LauLuna
        06/12/2012 at 2:02 PM

        Stop being an apologist and start to know the arguments you want to criticize: the kalam doesn’t rely on probability, the fine tuning argument does.

    • Jonathan E Kiser
      02/28/2013 at 6:15 AM

      YEP! That is exactly as I see it, WLC is a semantics magician making things which are not appear as if they are and making things that are appear as if they are not…and he is rolling in the dough for it. I doubt very little that he may believe some of what he says; yet all of what he says seems a bit “worked out” and that is why I compare his work to that of a slimy snake-oil salesman. He uses peopl’s ignoreance to disarm them. I think it would be great during a debate for his opponent to pull out a book that he quotes and ask them to read it in context and to present the time it was written then to present more recent books that shows otherwise…the data mining alone would be obvious…whether “intended” or somehow just by “mistake” not intended.

      • Jonathan E Kiser
        02/28/2013 at 6:16 AM

        Forgive my typos, my hand slipped and hit enter before I noticed..LOL!

  6. 06/02/2012 at 4:44 PM

    All objections based on intuition are not valid in discussing the universe(s). Our intuition does not apply at all to things far outside the scale of the human body, either microscopic (quantum theory) or megascopic. Craig’s notion that everything that begins to exist needs a cause is illegitimate. Also note that he could have said that everything that exists needs a cause, but he needs an exception for God who presumably never began to exist. It’s all pseudo-philosophical rubbish.

    • LauLuna
      06/11/2012 at 1:27 PM

      No, tap17x, stating that everything that begins to exist, and not simply everything, needs a cause is not rubbish: it’s intuitive; nobody believes that number 7 needs a cause, since it is atemporal. Causes work explaining changes over time. It is just controversial whether the beginning of the universe, which was preceded by no time at all, is the kind of beginning to which our causal intuition applies.

      Intellectual intuition is a legitimate resource in arguments; after all, absolutely everything we are convinced of (e.g. that intuition doesn’t work) ultimately relies on intuition, Absolutely everything; give it a second thought and, please, tell us what your intuition tells you about this.

      • Ted
        06/11/2012 at 10:07 PM

        It is rubbish. And you can’t prove the beginning of the universe was caused, you can’t prove that there was no time before it (Stephen Hawking certainly doesn’t agree with it) and intuition is not how you do science. Jesus Christ do you have anything intelligent to say or just apologetic rubbish? I know what you don’t have is evidence, so please stop playing games here and let Astrophysicists and Cosmologists search for answers.

      • LauLuna
        06/12/2012 at 2:07 PM

        Ted, you’ve reported what your intuition tells you. I’m grateful but I’d say you’re wrong.

        Cosmologists enter on stage once the universe exists. Why the universe exists is not their concern; that’s philosophy’s task to ascertain.

        This is just sound common sense.

      • 07/25/2012 at 11:29 PM

        If scientists relied on common sense and naive intuition, quantum theory and relativity would never have been discovered–let alone the fact that the earth is not the center of the universe. It’s Christianity that utterly violates common sense and intuition. Step back and objectively consider the bizarre notion that Jesus=God was temporarily sacrificed by God=Jesus to pay a debt not owed by humans to God=Jesus. Unbelievable. Probably the worst theology ever thought of.

      • LauLuna
        07/26/2012 at 8:23 AM

        You get far off the problem: the Kalam’s causal principle is intuitive, not rubbish.

      • 08/17/2012 at 5:47 AM

        Which just goes to show how fallible our intuitions are. Science may start on an intuition, as you claim, but the significant difference between science and WLC is that unless the intuition can be backed up with concrete evidence it’s thrown in the bin. WLC has indicated that even if his arguments were to be proven wrong he would still continue with his belief in God.

        Your conceptualisation of science and progress as being done by intuition is actually a misrepresentation. Mostly science is the laborious task of experimentation … to claim to rely upon intuition would imply that steps were missed … only sloppy scientists go by intuition alone.

      • Luiz Fernando
        10/03/2012 at 8:58 PM

        [Causes work explaining changes over time]
        Precisely. Since causation is an temporal thing, to ask for causation outside time is a contradiction. Craig´s God is an square circle.

        [Intellectual intuition is a legitimate resource in arguments]
        Correct. And the rational being give up such intuitions as soon he verifies they fail. Our intuitions are demonstrably failures when describing the physical world. Anyone born having an intuition that heavier things falls faster, the Earth is flat. Pretty much everything in Newtonian mechanics, that describes the world at the scale we live in, are non intuitive. Inertia is completely nonsense for the non initiated. How things can keep moving forever? What is in motion, must stop, that´s our intuition.

        If our intuitions worth almost nothing in the “regular world”, they are completely inept in the micro and macro level, where Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity can fry any brain with its unacceptable absurdities and paradoxes.

        Given this, anyone believing that we can apply our every day intuitions to the beginning of the Cosmos is seriously deluded, and such thing can only be explained by the childish desire to make a God appear at all costs. God is nowhere for us to see, but must be somewhere between the nothing and inflation, otherwise my ticket for eternal life will expire.

      • LauLuna
        10/04/2012 at 12:18 PM

        Claiming that we should not apply our rational intuition to explain the beginning of the world is, to my mind, anti-scientific. Science and math are all the time relying on rational intuition.
        I agree that the explanation of the universe from God cannot resort to the usual causality, which works inside time and this, I think, is the main problem with the kalam.
        However, the argument based on the principle of reason remains unaffected: some reasons are causes (within time) and some reasons are not causes. God, as the ultimate reason of the universe, need not be its temporal cause, it may be its atemporal fundament.
        But if we turn to the principle of reason, then the fact that the universe began to exist is, for all I know, irrelevant. This is why I doubt very much that the kalam really contributes anything.

      • 10/20/2012 at 2:00 PM

        Your remarks about intuition being almost useless in dealing with the physical world are excellent. Thank you!

      • 10/21/2012 at 1:03 AM

        LauLuna – Intuition is indeed essential in everyday life and in coming up with new ideas in science and mathematics. But its use must yield to more formal thinking much of the time. In quantum theory alone we have the exceedingly unintuitive and aven unbelievable phenomena of uncertainty, superposition, wave-particle duality, entanglement, and more, which were forced upon us by nature. The notion that “everything that begins to exist” certainly takes inuition to where it doesn’t belong. And for the metaquestion of whether iintuition tells that intuition doesn’t work, I put that claim down to observation, not pseudo-deduction. Intuition initially told us that it applied everywhere but deeper thinking refuted that.

      • LauLuna
        10/21/2012 at 10:19 AM

        The source of everyone of our claims and arguments is rational intuition. Disposing of it is either muting oneself or letting everything be valid. When rational intuition is seemingly failing (as in QM), then rational intuition imust be used to show the failure only apparent. The alternative to relying on rational intuition is silence or madness. Criticizing the Kalam because it relies on rational intuition is tantamount to yielding to it.

      • 10/21/2012 at 12:29 PM

        Intuition is thinking while relying on “information” not fully conscious. It developed through evolution to help us survive, operating in situations we were or became familiar with. During its development, advanced and even elementary physics was not in the picture. Now we understand much more than our ancestors, so naturally their modes of thinking have become augmented with more precise and explicit methods. You can’t develop a theory of the universe relying on intuition.

      • LauLuna
        10/21/2012 at 2:41 PM

        You say:

        “You can’t develop a theory of the universe relying on intuition”.

        You can’t do otherwise. Each reasoning, each mathematical proof, ultimately relies on intuition. There is a core to rational intuition that no one can consistently doubt and that every physicist uses. To my mind, that nothing comes from nothing belongs in that core.

      • 10/21/2012 at 3:55 PM

        You must have a different definition of intuition. If you think that Wiles’ proof or entanglement is intuitive, we are on different wavelengths. If you think that God’s sacfirice of Jesus is intuitive, I have nothing more to say.

      • LauLuna
        10/22/2012 at 1:54 PM

        What has God’s sacrifice to do with this issue? I thought the topic was whether the impossibility of something out of nothing was intuitive and whether intuition is reliable. It seems to me you’re reasoning has gone amiss.

    • Jonathan E Kiser
      02/28/2013 at 6:20 AM

      Exactly, if he applied his same premise to God he would then expose himself as being a “cherry picker” not a seeker of truth. It is obvious and even has been stated to me by Christians themselves whom were astute in Apologetics that they have wondered how could God forever exist in a place outside of space-time and not have any cause at all and that was a very hard thing for them to contend with..so they say that is why they have “faith” so by definition their “faith” is really a big “I have no reason or proof to believe this but I will submit to the concept nonetheless, no matter how improbable it may be!”.

  7. LauLuna
    06/12/2012 at 2:11 PM

    LauLuna :
    Ted, please, tells us how do virtual particles and atomic decay indicate the existence of disconnected universes?

    Excuse the grammar: I was too floppy in copying and pasting.

  8. WLC > you
    06/27/2012 at 7:33 AM

    Philosophy 101 for the obsessed anti-WLC critic

    The word ‘universe’ keeps changing….well why would it stop now? Perhaps the word changes back to it’s old definition 3000 yeara from now?

    It is pretty irrational to juggle definitions, but why do we have the answers now in 2012, given the fact that we still haven’t even put another human being on another planet yet or traveled to our closest star, given there are billions of them out there.

    • gillatra
      07/10/2012 at 6:02 AM

      So what? If WLC is making NOW claims about the universe he has to use a COMMON definition of the universe, otherwise he will be misunderstood.

  9. 07/25/2012 at 11:24 PM

    Criag is so committed to his superstition ( I have an idea why) that regardless of what evidence or reasoning anyone supplies, he will NEVER give up his silly beliefs. He has admitted that if evidence firmly contradicts his superstition he would go with “faith” every time. That is not the position of a thinker, it’s the position of a dogmatist. But I don’t think he’s dumb enough to believe much of what he professes.

    • 10/11/2012 at 10:34 PM

      tap17x :
      Criag is so committed to his superstition ( I have an idea why) that regardless of what evidence or reasoning anyone supplies, he will NEVER give up his silly beliefs. He has admitted that if evidence firmly contradicts his superstition he would go with “faith” every time. That is not the position of a thinker, it’s the position of a dogmatist. But I don’t think he’s dumb enough to believe much of what he professes.

      I take it that you are an ignoramus just like every other village atheist on the internet, and you fail to realize that Craig’s KCA has been defended in a SCIENCE JOURNAL

      http://www.springerlink.com/content/j66361146539wh38/?MUD=MP

      Pls lrn2lrn

      Ty

      • LauLuna
        01/01/2013 at 6:12 AM

        Cornell, thanks for the link. Let me comment.

        In his 1999 paper at http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1023%2FA%3A1017083700096, Craig interprets the issue of a cause of the universe broadly as the question of WHY the universe exists (see footnote on p. 728). he does not say that the universe needs a cause directly because it began to exist but rather that the fact that it began to exist proves the universe contingent, hence in need of an external reason to exist (this I take to be a subtle turn from the plainly causal to the Leibnizian approach, i.e. from ’cause’ to ‘sufficient reason’).

        The question is then whether the fact that the past is finite adds any evidence for the contingency of the universe. In past times (so in Hume, e.g.),the possibility that the universe was itself necessary was linked to its eternity. This is the link Craig wants to solve.

        But the question may be harder. The beginning of the universe does not imply the existence of a time at which the universe didn’t exist (which would be clearly incompatible with its necessity). So, Craig’s approach, though suggestive, may well be in need of further clarification and philosophical research.

      • LauLuna
        01/01/2013 at 6:22 AM

        Johnnyp76, I’ve followed your first link for a while.

        Assuming that ‘everything’ is the universe itself in order to debunk the Kalam is the most obvious petitio principi I have ever found. Of course, on that assumption, you can block any inference to a supernatural cause or reason of the universe. But I wouldn’t say it’s quite a great job. Sorry.

  10. johnnyp76
    08/20/2012 at 9:32 AM

    I am presently writing a paper on objections to the KCA. Here are some musings I made earlier:
    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/william-lane-craig-and-kalam.html
    as well as others here:
    http://atipplingphilosopher.yolasite.com/a-tps-blog/william-lane-craig-and-the-kalam-cosmological-argument

    See what you think.

  11. 08/27/2012 at 6:42 AM

    FYI, Craig has responded via one of his Q & As, with the help of James Sinclair:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/what-does-one-mean-by-the-universe

    Whatever the physics, the argument is adjusted to show an infinite regress, which they think is impossible, therefore God. Prima facie silly, but what are you gonna do?

    • 08/27/2012 at 8:00 PM

      This is really obvious but Craig apparently doesn’t realize it or chooses to ignore it.: If the universe could not begin without God giving it a shove, where did God come from? Saying that he’s eternal is vacuous. The God mystery is unsolvable, but cosmologists are getting closer to a solution. Science has been pushing religion out of the way for centuries and will keep doing so.

      • 10/11/2012 at 10:32 PM

        ASking where God came from is just utter ignorance. It’s like asking what caused the uncaused cause. If God isn’t eternal then you aren’t defining God and need to L2theology.

        Might as well ask for the name of the married bachelors wife….

        Please lrn

        ty

  12. Gary Smith
    10/07/2012 at 6:26 AM

    LauLuna you don’t understand the scientific method do you? Intuition plays absolutely no part in science. It is people like you and William Lane Craig who draw the line in the sand between philosophy and science. As of right now William Lane Craig is in no position to comment on what a singularity might have been because he only has words, not formula or hypothesis aside from his presupposition. This is not work for the philosopher, this will be determined by those with particle accelerators and knowledge of equation. Which is why not a single physicist or serious philosopher has ever been swayed by the Kalam Cosmological Argument. Only Christians are excitedd by it. If it was serious philopshy it would have warrented discussion in the scientific community, but it hasn’t.

  13. 10/11/2012 at 10:30 PM

    tap17x :
    If scientists relied on common sense and naive intuition, quantum theory and relativity would never have been discovered–let alone the fact that the earth is not the center of the universe. It’s Christianity that utterly violates common sense and intuition. Step back and objectively consider the bizarre notion that Jesus=God was temporarily sacrificed by God=Jesus to pay a debt not owed by humans to God=Jesus. Unbelievable. Probably the worst theology ever thought of.

    Actually they take the external world being real by intuition. The same goes for the belief that ‘other minds exist’, as well as the reliability of the senses, and the reliability of the past.

    Please learn epistemology

    ty

    • Gary Smith
      01/01/2013 at 9:12 AM

      Please learn the scientific method. Not a single astrophysicist agrees with you. Please don’t talk about what we do because you clearly don’t know how science works.

  14. 10/11/2012 at 10:36 PM

    Luiz Fernando :
    [Causes work explaining changes over time]
    Precisely. Since causation is an temporal thing, to ask for causation outside time is a contradiction. Craig´s God is an square circle.
    [Intellectual intuition is a legitimate resource in arguments]
    Correct. And the rational being give up such intuitions as soon he verifies they fail. Our intuitions are demonstrably failures when describing the physical world. Anyone born having an intuition that heavier things falls faster, the Earth is flat. Pretty much everything in Newtonian mechanics, that describes the world at the scale we live in, are non intuitive. Inertia is completely nonsense for the non initiated. How things can keep moving forever? What is in motion, must stop, that´s our intuition.
    If our intuitions worth almost nothing in the “regular world”, they are completely inept in the micro and macro level, where Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity can fry any brain with its unacceptable absurdities and paradoxes.
    Given this, anyone believing that we can apply our every day intuitions to the beginning of the Cosmos is seriously deluded, and such thing can only be explained by the childish desire to make a God appear at all costs. God is nowhere for us to see, but must be somewhere between the nothing and inflation, otherwise my ticket for eternal life will expire.

    intuition in this sense of the KCA is being used as non-inferential knowledge

    LOL

    • LauLuna
      01/01/2013 at 4:54 AM

      That causation is always temporal is a matter of definition. Atemporal causation is not unconceivable, no square circle at all. But I would rather call it ‘reason’ or ‘fundament’, following Leibniz.

      Gary Smith: science relies on rational intuition everywhere, if only because it uses logic and math. It is you who fail to know either what science is or what rational intuition is. A bit of philosophy wouldn’t harm people around here..

      • Gary Smith
        01/01/2013 at 9:05 AM

        Actually that is false on many levels. Physicist after physicist have rejected the Kalam and no intuition is not used in science which why THE ONLY people who accept the Kalam’s premise are Religious. Basically the first cause argument is bogus because it has no grounding in the scientific method. Speaking of philosophy – which is NOT science – why are 75% of philosophers atheists? Weird isn’t it?

      • Gary Smith
        01/01/2013 at 9:11 AM

        By the way, why do you trust a word game over people with particle accelerators, high powered telescopes, complex math equations and years of experience studying the cosmos? Intuition would have lead us to rejecting particle duality and rejecting wave function collapse. Basically please keep your intuition out of science because intuition and philosophy will only hold science back. And stop with the special pleading and talking about what is outside of time and space when you have no evidence. Stephen Hawking and the majority of physicists > William Lane Craig.

  15. 10/11/2012 at 10:37 PM

    WLC > you :
    Philosophy 101 for the obsessed anti-WLC critic
    The word ‘universe’ keeps changing….well why would it stop now? Perhaps the word changes back to it’s old definition 3000 yeara from now?
    It is pretty irrational to juggle definitions, but why do we have the answers now in 2012, given the fact that we still haven’t even put another human being on another planet yet or traveled to our closest star, given there are billions of them out there.

    Good stuff, you will notice that internet atheists are worse than fundy Bible-belt Christians when it comes to anything philosophical.

    I’m glad you pointed out the inconsistency!

    • Gary Smith
      01/01/2013 at 9:08 AM

      False. The bottom line is that you CAN NOT make any logical argument for God without committing a fallacy. The Kalam is laughed at by non Religious people and philosopher after philosopher after philosopher have pointed out that the Kalam involves special pleading and is a big argument in liue of evidence. There is not a shred of evidence that there needed to be a first cause – Stephen Hawking certainly says there wasn’t and the Physicist that Craig quotes is also an Atheist (funny how Craig needs to quote atheists to make his point, eh?) – so let’s let Astrophysicist do science and let Craig just make up words games without evidence, ok?

  16. 01/01/2013 at 7:34 AM

    Johnnyp76, I’ve followed your first link for a while.
    Assuming that ‘everything’ is the universe itself in order to debunk the Kalam is the most obvious petitio principi I have ever found. Of course, on that assumption, you can block any inference to a supernatural cause or reason of the universe. But I wouldn’t say it’s quite a great job. Sorry.

    Hi there LauLau

    Please could you define why my argument is begging the question (when, if anything, that would be a charge against WLC)?

    The point is not to disprove that a god created the universe (I don’t think that can be proven or disproven adequately) but to show that the KCA is unable to do that soundly. There are many issues with the KCA and Craig’s use of it (for example, he claims the argument is deductive, but it is essentially inductive since both premises are themselves conclusions of inductive syllogisms) that it needs some serious unpicking.

  17. Gary Smith
    01/01/2013 at 9:15 AM

    cornelll :
    ASking where God came from is just utter ignorance. It’s like asking what caused the uncaused cause. If God isn’t eternal then you aren’t defining God and need to L2theology.
    Might as well ask for the name of the married bachelors wife….
    Please lrn
    ty

    Special Pleading. You just brush off the question by claiming you don’t have to answer it. Why on earth do you think there is a God and what evidence do you have of this God being eternal or uncaused or outside of time and space? This wouldn’t pass muster in a junior high philosophy class.

  18. Gary Smith
    01/01/2013 at 9:25 AM

    LauLuna :
    Johnnyp76, I’ve followed your first link for a while.
    Assuming that ‘everything’ is the universe itself in order to debunk the Kalam is the most obvious petitio principi I have ever found. Of course, on that assumption, you can block any inference to a supernatural cause or reason of the universe. But I wouldn’t say it’s quite a great job. Sorry.

    The Kalam doesn’t have to be debunked. There is no evidence for it, the burden of proof is on you. It contains serious special pleading and if it was so strong it would convince scientists, which it hasn’t. If it was taken seriously at all, then William Lane Craig would be nominated for any number of Astrophysics awards, which he isn’t.

    So….
    1. Do you have any evidence something can exist outside of time and space? Stephen Hawking claims that is nonsense. Do not give me intuition, give me evidence or please proceed to shutting the hell up. Evidence or no?

    2. Why do you get to assign the property of eternalness and uncaused to this God that you apparently just made up out of thin air?

    3. Why hasn’t the Kalam convinced anyone actually working on the

    Please respond to those three things or I will be forced to think you are a joke, which I kind of already do. And unlike you, I am a scientist and most of us are sick of Christian Philosophers trying to do science without any training. By the way, the Kalam failed your peer review in the journal you posted, in your very link you can scroll down and see the article about creation being psuedo science(and your link was not a true scientific journal).

  19. Jonathan MS Pearce
  20. 02/20/2013 at 2:01 AM

    Reblogged this on Teleological Arguments.

  21. Dr Erick Smith
    02/26/2013 at 5:47 PM

    Then you probably shouldn’t talk about science. I would suggest reading up on the Null hypothesis, Craig would do himself wonders if he did the same.

    LauLuna :
    Claiming that we should not apply our rational intuition to explain the beginning of the world is, to my mind, anti-scientific. Science and math are all the time relying on rational intuition.
    I agree that the explanation of the universe from God cannot resort to the usual causality, which works inside time and this, I think, is the main problem with the kalam.
    However, the argument based on the principle of reason remains unaffected: some reasons are causes (within time) and some reasons are not causes. God, as the ultimate reason of the universe, need not be its temporal cause, it may be its atemporal fundament.
    But if we turn to the principle of reason, then the fact that the universe began to exist is, for all I know, irrelevant. This is why I doubt very much that the kalam really contributes anything.

  22. 07/05/2013 at 4:21 AM

    Wow – the people here who do not like WLC are vicious and not very well thought out either.

    How can it possible make any sense to appeal to a definition of the word universe which includes things we have not seen nor can ever see (and thus are apprehended by faith) in order to debunk a very sound logical argument?

    This notion that arguments – logical ones – are not evidence is ridiculous. People who think this way only reveal the paucity of their own thinking.

    • Mohd Ibn
      08/31/2013 at 9:02 PM

      Stop being too biased toward WLC mate.

    • Amateur Academic
      04/14/2014 at 4:17 AM

      “Logic” can be misused and misleading. Here’s an example:

      Atoms are invisible to the human eye.
      A brick is made of atoms.
      Therefore, the brick is invisible to the human eye.

      That statement is obviously not true, as it doesn’t take into account other facts. Mainly, that atoms, collected together as thousands of polypedtides, can be visible to the human eye.

      Now let us see the Kalam Argument:

      The Universe exists via Big-Bang.
      The Big-Bang needs a source and cause.
      Therefore, God provided the source and is the cause.

      The problem here’s that God isn’t the only explanation. Quantum physics provides a source through the Uncertainty Principle (virtual particles) and a cause through inflation. And quantum fluctuations aren’t the only scientifc hypothesis. So even a “logical” argument may not be a scientifically-sound/ true one.

  23. Clark Griswold
    12/24/2013 at 4:36 PM

    First, let me thank you for being bold enough to state your assertions in a manner that invites comment. I would have to say, though, that your argument against Craig’s definition of “universe” seems to be somewhat confused. First, I find a consistent theme in Craig’s statements on the subject that his working definition of “universe” is precisely framed to include all that is material, including all imaginable multiverse models. Anyone who has any body of knowledge on Craig would have to agree, absent a strong measure of willful ignorance.

    Second, the Kalam applies equally whether “our” universe is all there is or whether any of several multiverse models is correct. And as you cite Alexander Vilenkin, you might appreciate that Vilenkin has stated that the theorem bearing his name also applies the same barrier in past space and time to all known multiverse models. So, even if a multiverse model is correct (and there is scant, if any, evidence to that effect), it also must include a boundary point in space and time in the finite past–it must have a beginning. So, also it must be said that if the inverse began to exist, it is a very big deal indeed if the first premise of the KCA is correct.

  24. 05/21/2014 at 9:50 PM

    How come nothing has been posted here since 2012? Have you run out of ways to pretend to ‘debunk’ William Lane Craig? Are his arguments just too challenging for you, and you have therefore given up?

  25. Jonathan MS Pearce
  1. 07/31/2013 at 4:09 PM
  2. 08/13/2013 at 12:18 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: