Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

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historia
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Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #1

Post by historia »

From another thread:
alexxcJRO wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:38 am
There are multiple fallacies and problems with the KALAM.

. . .

Firstly,

"Everything that begins to exist has a cause".
There is some uncertainty to whether the radioactive decay of an atom or virtual particles have any causes for their beginning. They may be exceptions. Freedom of will conform the religious is real and therefore has uncaused components. Therefore the first premise is bogus.

Secondly,

Our understanding of causality is based on recombination of pre-existing stuff, entities and properties (material cause), which does not apply for divine creation. Therefore there is an equivocation fallacy here as well.
"Everything that begins to exist has a cause." Here he refers to material cause recombination of pre-existing stuff.
"The universe has a cause." Here he refers to divine creation-ex nihilo.

Thirdly,

He makes the fallacy of composition.
If things inside the universe(multiverse or whatever) begin to exist or have a cause for their existence does not mean the universe(multiverse or whatever) itself began to exists or have a cause for it's existence.
The fabric of Space-Time is probably finite and necessarily has a beginning state of minimum entropy(Singularity) and possibly an end state of maximum entropy(Heat Death).
The fabric of Space-time may be just a thing inside the universe(multiverse or whatever).

Fourthly,

We have also the fallacy of single cause.
The fallacy of the single cause, also known as complex cause, causal oversimplification, causal reductionism, and reduction fallacy,[1] is a fallacy of questionable cause that occurs when it is assumed that there is a single, simple cause of an
outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.

There may be that the fabric of Space-Time(this thing inside universe(multiverse or whatever) or the universe(multiverse or whatever) itself was caused by a number of only jointly sufficient causes.

Fifthly,
Scientists don't know what happened before plank time.
So all this talk is irrelevant and highly speculative.
The reality there is a gap in our knowledge.
Using this gap to make an argument for God just makes one guilty of the fallacy: argument from ignorance and plays right into the God of the Gaps.
Question for debate: Is alexxcJRO correct that the kalam cosmological argument suffers from these various logical fallacies?

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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #21

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Miles wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 4:58 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 11:26 pm [Replying to Miles in post #2]

Thank you for the links Miles. Let me add the following clip to the mix:

Nice video. I almost always like Matt's explanations. However, I do have one quibble with his terminology here. In explaining syllogisms he correctly identifies the validity of a syllogism as having a structure that leads to a valid conclusion; however, he then identifies the truths of the premises as the soundness of the syllogism when, in fact, the soundness of a syllogism is the combination of its the validity and the truth of the premises. If the structure of the argument is valid AND its premises are true then its conclusion can be said to be sound. Soundness only applies to the argument as a whole, not to the truth of its premises.

All M are P
S is M
___________
S is P

Is a valid syllogism. Plug in your M, P and S terms, however silly they may be, and your conclusion as shown here will be valid.




However,

All M are P
M is S
______________
S are P

is not valid. Its structure---the arrangement of M, P, and S in its premises and conclusion---simply doesn't conform to one of the several valid forms of syllogisms. You can't get "S are P" from the structure of the given premises: "All M are P," "M is S."



Now, if in using

All M are P
All S is M
___________
S are P

a valid syllogism, you say M = men, P = people, and S = Horses, of course your second (minor) premise is untrue; Horses are not men, so the conclusion; Horses are people cannot be true. This, then, would not be considered a sound argument.



.
I wondered about that. I know an axiom is that a soundly constructed argument, though logically sound is invalid if the Parameters are unsound. The common example is of course 'let's assume that God exists' (which I saw argued once and fell about laughing) and yet is the basis of all theist thought. Logically valid arguments can be constructed until the sky falls in, but will never be valid or sound all the time the parameter 'assuming God as a given' is the basis.

Or in the case of Kalam, as I understand it, assuming an intention of will to make the basic stuff of the Cosmos (the BB start of the universe Not - or so I suppose - being what is meant). The Thing that caused the event must also owe its' existence to an event and so on. The counter -intuition of infinite regression being considered unacceptable, we have to find some way out of this impasse. the religious do it by saying 'God is uncreated and eternal' and won't be budged by saying 'that's almost as counter intuitive as infinite regression'.

That's why I think a form of something from nothing is the better hypothesis, given that cosmic something is virtually nothing, acting like it is something. You don't have to multiply many logical entities. I see it as a sight less logically unsound than Kalam.

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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #22

Post by David the apologist »

Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:24 am Causation is just the production of an effect.
Yup. It's turtles all the way down.
The turtles have to be standing on something solid, in the final analysis, but leave that aside for now.
There's no reason to think that "X produced Y" is inconsistent with "X didn't have to produce Y."
If X, which stands for any unknown in this context didn't produce Y, which stands for any effect in this context then what did produce Y? That R produced Y instead of X producing Y gets you nowhere because in the end you still have something causing Y.
If Y is, eg, an event, then of course you need something to cause Y. That is precisely the thesis I am defending.

But my point was somewhat different. When I say that "X didn't have to produce Y," I mean that "X could have, under the same circumstances, produced some other effect Z, or possibly could have refrained from producing any effect."

Now, if X didn't produce Y, and Y was produced, then it follows that something else (say, R) produced Y. That was not the point I was trying to make, however.
Whether X produced Y "at random," or triggered an event with multiple possible outcomes of which Y was one, or made a free choice to produce Y, it doesn't matter.
But aside from the possibility that utterly random events may occur at the quantum level (something not yet confirmed) your "at random" is meaningless. All events have a cause. And it makes no difference if X causes Y or Z, the point is, X causes something.
Yes. I don't see what the problem is.
And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.


As long as Y was produced by something, causation is satisfied.
A rather odd remark, but okay.
How is it odd?
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #23

Post by Miles »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:45 pm
I wondered about that. I know an axiom is that a soundly constructed argument, though logically sound is invalid if the Parameters are unsound.
A couple of things: Are Parameters the equivalent of premises? And, considering how syllogistic logic defines a sound argument---one with both a valid form and true premises----how could the "Parameters" be unsound?

The common example is of course 'let's assume that God exists' (which I saw argued once and fell about laughing) and yet is the basis of all theist thought. Logically valid arguments can be constructed until the sky falls in, but will never be valid or sound all the time the parameter 'assuming God as a given' is the basis.
Gotta be a little careful here. If one sets up a context, in this case the assumption that god exists, it's perfectly reasonable to set up an argument within that context even though it may have no basis in reality. Of course any conclusion made within that context has to stay within that context, and cannot be brought into reality. And just as an FYI, in propositional logic 'let's assume that God exists' is the beginning of an "If" statement, which is identified by the conditional operator --> "If it's true that god exists then (--->) . . . . " Which means that formal logic does recognize such propositions.

Or in the case of Kalam, as I understand it, assuming an intention of will to make the basic stuff of the Cosmos (the BB start of the universe Not - or so I suppose - being what is meant).
But this is the problem; the Kalam it doesn't permit anything other than what's contained with its premises, including the assumption of any "intention of will to make . . . ." Now, if you want to use its conclusion "Therefore, the universe has a cause for its existence" as a premise for an argument about the intention of will, that's fine, but as it stands the Kalam says absolutely nothing about it and within the rules of formal logic you're not permitted to assume it does.

The Thing that caused the event must also owe its' existence to an event and so on.
I know this may sound like nit-picking, but unless you've established there was such an entity as "The thing" you're on very shaky philosophical ground asserting it existed.

The counter -intuition of infinite regression being considered unacceptable, we have to find some way out of this impasse. the religious do it by saying 'God is uncreated and eternal' and won't be budged by saying 'that's almost as counter intuitive as infinite regression'.
Agreed. Intractable Christian positions are far more dictated by need than by reason.


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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #24

Post by Miles »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:36 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.
So are you really saying that those particular things that result in an understanding, a judgement, as well as the actions we perform have no cause? If so, then how did they come about?


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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #25

Post by David the apologist »

Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:21 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:36 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.
So are you really saying that those particular things that result in an understanding, a judgement, as well as the actions we perform have no cause? If so, then how did they come about?


.
I'd say that they're actions rather than effects. They require an agent to take them as actions, and in that sense, could be regarded as effects of a cause - that cause being the agent that acts. The key point, however, is that they are not composite acts, but fundamental acts. They are not made up out of smaller interactions from which they could be constructed.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #26

Post by Miles »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:21 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:36 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.
So are you really saying that those particular things that result in an understanding, a judgement, as well as the actions we perform have no cause? If so, then how did they come about?


.
I'd say that they're actions rather than effects.
"Action," "effect." It makes no difference what term you use to describe it, both amount to the same thing: the result of a cause. So the question still remains, what brought particular action/effect A into being rather than action/effect B?

They require an agent to take them as actions, and in that sense, could be regarded as effects of a cause - that cause being the agent that acts
So, why did the agent cause effect A instead of effect B? What caused you (the agent) to turn left rather than turn right at the intersection? As should be apparent there would likely be a number of different determinants (causes) at work, all of which eventually came together and made you turn left and not turn right. In order to turn right at least one of these determinants would have had to be different, but there wasn't any such difference so you had no choice but to turn left. In essence, your turning left was a determined event. You had to turn left.


. The key point, however, is that they are not composite acts, but fundamental acts. They are not made up out of smaller interactions from which they could be constructed.
Don't have a clue as to what composite and fundamental acts are, or how they differ. Or why they couldn't be made up out of smaller interactions. In short, you have a whole lot of explaining to do before I would care to pursue this line of thought.


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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #27

Post by alexxcJRO »

David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:52 pm I've given you a dilemma.
Either you have an ontological hypothesis about what's going on with atomic decay, or you don't.
If you do, you have to explain 1. How, on your hypothesis, "noncausality" is entailed, and 2. Why your hypothesis is better than any of the ones where causality is entailed.
If you don't, you're gesticulating at equations yelling "maybe maybe maybe!"
1. Since I don't believe that causes have to be deterministic, the only commitment I have regarding the Copenhagen interpretation is that "measurements" be causal.
Trying to shift the burden of proof is rather comical indeed.
You are the one making the claim: “ Everything that begins to exist has a cause to its existence”.
I pointed that there may be things that are uncaused like atom decay and virtual particles.
Analogy: Saying I am not convinced “Everything that begins to exist has a cause to its existence” because there is talk of uncaused things like atom decay and virtual particles” its like being an agnostic atheist and saying I am not convinced God in general exists because of lack of compelling evidence.
I am not saying God does not exist like I am not saying atom decay and virtual particles are uncaused.
Please provide empirical evidence that shows that atom decay and virtual particles begin to exist in a caused manner and not uncaused manner.
Subjective ponderings/interpretations don’t count sir. Saying some subjective ponderings are better then other subjective ponderings does not constitutes truth and therefore “ Everything that begins to exist has a cause to its existence” cannot be said to be true.
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:52 pm 1. Since I don't believe that causes have to be deterministic, the only commitment I have regarding the Copenhagen interpretation is that "measurements" be causal.

2. You appear to be changing the topic, and in a very confused manner. Let's focus on whether or not causes have to be deterministic, please.
Then why does the Copenhagen interpretation being "nondeterministic" have any impact on whether or not quantum events have causes?
Quantum mechanics deals with indeterminate events meaning events could be either causal or non-causal.

“The time of a radioactive decay is uncaused in the sense that, if it has not decayed at a time t, then it’s probability of decaying in the next small time increment, dt, is just some constant (the decay rate for that atom) times dt. It is independent of the time t so it can’t be modeled by any deterministic process, it is a stochastic process called a Poisson process.”

Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes.

Therefore free will needs to have uncaused components. Either the agent chooses something uncaused independent of biological process and/or past events(memories), knowledge, beliefs and innate psychological traits or he chooses something because deterministic biological process and/or of past events(memories), knowledge, beliefs and innate psychological traits.
Therefore “ Everything that begins to exist has a cause to its existence” cannot be said to be true together with free will existing.


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Causation = production.

Production can occur with or without preexisting materials.

I don't see how specifying whether or not there were preexisting materials changes the sense of the word "cause."

I understand what the alleged fallacy is, I just don't see how it could possibly apply.
X = both material and efficient cause
Y = only efficient cause ex nihilo

Everything that begins to exist has a X.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a Y.

X is different from Y.
Equivocation exist cause X is different from Y. The difference is present and significant.

If the argument was like:

A both material and efficient cause
B both material and efficient cause

Everything that begins to exist has a A.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a B.

Equivocation does not exist cause A is not different from B. The difference is non existent.


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm
1. Physics has always been about stuff in space that changes over time, described mathematically. Including stuff that isn't in space, doesn't change over time, or isn't even "stuff" in any meaningful sense? That seems to me to be to stop doing physics and start doing something else.

2. I don't know what you mean by "cause-effect" being "a constraint." An event just is the action of some entity. It can be shown that a similar thing could be said about the existence of a contingent thing. So unless events don't happen outside of the universe, I don't see how things outside the universe could avoid "cause-effect."
I understand “Physics is the natural science that studies matter,[a] its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force.[2] Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.”
But one can redefine physics and its definition, adjust it to mean more then space-time continuum.
There may be more “physics” to learn about. More things outside the universe. Things that maybe are not constrained to cause-effect, time and so one.

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm An event is the action of an agent.
Agents produce their actions.
Production is causation.
Therefore, an event is an instance of causation.

QED.
Q: Who says events have to exist outside of the universe between universes in a multiverse? Or even if there is an outside? Maybe the universe is all there is, existing in timeless state (B theory of time where Past, Present, Future exists eternally as a four-dimensional spacetime block where temporal becoming and temporal lapse of time is just an illusion, no-boundary proposal where no notion of time available to refer to)?
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm When you have to bang randomly on your keyboard to make a point, that isn't a good sign for your position.
The point was to point that lack of imagination or one’s ignorance does not constitutes non-existence.
My position is a honest one mostly “I don’t know”, “maybe there is that, maybe there is the other thing" and have an openness to anything.
I don’t know if there is a God or not. I don’t know if things can come about uncaused. I don’t know if we have free will.
Religious people don’t know either. They pretend they know.
I believe there is a no God. I believe we don’t have free will. I believe there may be some uncaused things because Quantum mechanics deals with indeterminate events and leads to very unintuitively things.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm If you can come up with a valid explanation of how things change in our perception if nothing ever really changes AND an explanation of why multiplying by i/c suddenly places huge constraints on the "shape" things can take with respect to a coordinate, then I will CONSIDER taking eternalism seriously. Until then, it strikes me as a case of mistaking the map for the territory.
Scientists take this idea very seriously.
Again with I can’t imagine therefore non-existence and GOD. 😊)
“B-theory in theoretical physics[edit]
The B-theory of time has received support from physicists.[17][18] This is likely due to its compatibility with physics and the fact that many theories such as special relativity, the ADD model, and brane cosmology, point to a theory of time similar to B-theory.
In special relativity, the relativity of simultaneity shows that there is no unique present, and that each point in the universe can have a different set of events that are in its present moment.
Many of special relativity's now-proven counterintuitive predictions, such as length contraction and time dilation, are a result of this. Relativity of simultaneity is often taken to imply eternalism (and hence a B-theory of time), where the present for different observers is a time slice of the four-dimensional universe. This is demonstrated in the Rietdijk–Putnam argument and in Roger Penrose's advanced form of this argument, the Andromeda paradox.[19]
It is therefore common (though not universal) for B-theorists to be four-dimensionalists, that is, to believe that objects are extended in time as well as in space and therefore have temporal as well as spatial parts. This is sometimes called a time-slice ontology.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-theory_of_time

Professor Sean Carroll explains the theories of Presentism and Eternalism:



David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Regarding the claim that singularities can be removed even with back reaction, they have the following to say:

"Here, we have an additional term with respect to the classical Raychaudhuri’s equation due to Bohmian quantum potential. For the classical case, where ωµν = 0 and the strong energy condition is held, we conclude that the expansion must decrease during the congurence evolution. The term 12∇µ∇µ Q may have different signs during theevolution. This makes it difficult to judge about the behavior of trajectories during the
evolution. But, from the our previous discussion about the conjugate points and deviation equation we found that since the classical curvature is not affected by Bohmian terms, the main features of space-time do not change and singularities will not be removed. On the other hand, it has been demonstrated in ref [9] p.225-226, that the singular points and the expansion have close and direct relationship. In other words, when η → 0, for a singular point, the geodesics expansion tends to infinity(θ → −∞). Since, in our approach the singular points will not be removed, we expect that the end
of trajectories evolution leads to singular points finally. The only difference with respect to the classical procedure is that the trajectories fluctuate around the geodesics curves due to Bohmian quantum force. If, we consider the back-reaction effects by writing the full action, then some features of new space-time, like the singular points, may change.[13]. Nevertheless, the consequences of singularity theorems remain unaffected. Because, singularity theorems are independent of the specific space-time whether it is classical space-time or quantum space-time.

Emphasis added.

So, it seems like the ability of "bohmian trajectories" to get around singularity theorems has been exaggerated by a sensationalist media. No surprise there.
Please provide link for the last part of text.
You only provided link for: "Only in one case the singularities of space-time
may be removed, and it is when we consider the effects of back-reaction of matter
on space-time in the Bohmian framework. These results are obtained in the framework of BQM in which the definition of trajectory is possible. "

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.08010.pdf


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Q: You don’t believe in the second Law of thermodynamics?
Depends. Is the "second law" supposed to explain behaviors, or is it supposed to describe behaviors?
The latter I can believe in, the former I cannot.
Q: Laws don’t describe how things act, behave? :?
Descriptive laws tell us how the universe or nature works.
Natural laws are the same as descriptive laws.


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Funny you accuse me of "babbling" when your own posts are so confused and ungrammatical.
I was just saying I don’t understand what u “babbled”=”said”.
English is not my native language so its natural I make mistakes and don’t understand certain things. Even more so when talking of complicated things that are sometimes hard to comprehend in your native language.
Q: Is english your native language?



David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm
How many times do we have to do this song and dance? If the cause isn't space-time, energy-momentum, a quantum field, or something dependent on the above, then it isn't physical.
Something independent of spacetime, energy-momentum, and quantum fields.
You should, since if not everything is reducible to physics, then the closest thing to an "argument" for naturalism (the "march of science" thesis) is torpedoed, and there's no reason to enforce a presumption in favor of a dead hypothesis.
Q: So what?
I don’t care if physicalism is refuted.

But,

If I define physical: all the matter in the universe.
Then I go about and find anti-matter. Then I redefine what physical means.
Physical: all the matter and anti-matter in the universe.
And so on. If I find things outside the universe then I redefine what physical means to include the new stuff.
Important observation to avoid future straw-mans: I don’t give a f**k if the cause is physical or non-physical or supernatural or natural or magical or sentient or not or if its single mind or hive mind or if naturalism is true or cacarism is true.

Please don’t evade:
We may have physical as in material, natural but not space-time continuum physical as oppose to immaterial, supernatural, non-natural, magical as multiple causes(that may be sentient(hive mind or not) or not) that are nor made of what u think of as physical. Or maybe multiple non-physical causes as immaterial, supernatural, non-natural, magical.
Therefore having a single cause for the existence of the universe is bogus. 8-)

If one refers as the "universe" the multiverse in which many universes(space-time continuum and the like)exist or the cacaverse if the multiverse exists in a cacaverse then one still has the problem of one cause fallacy.
Maybe we have a first causes. The first movers. The primodial causers. As in plural.
It may well be that the multiverse which the ultimate reality or the cacaverse which is the ultimate reality is uncaused as the first cause.
"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."
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"God is a insignificant nobody. He is so unimportant that no one would even know he exists if evolution had not made possible for animals capable of abstract thought to exist and invent him"
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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #28

Post by David the apologist »

Miles wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:35 am
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:21 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:36 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.
So are you really saying that those particular things that result in an understanding, a judgement, as well as the actions we perform have no cause? If so, then how did they come about?


.
I'd say that they're actions rather than effects.
"Action," "effect." It makes no difference what term you use to describe it, both amount to the same thing: the result of a cause. So the question still remains, what brought particular action/effect A into being rather than action/effect B?
The Agent, which could just as easily have brought about B under the same conditions.

A is caused, but not in a deterministic way.

They require an agent to take them as actions, and in that sense, could be regarded as effects of a cause - that cause being the agent that acts
So, why did the agent cause effect A instead of effect B? What caused you (the agent) to turn left rather than turn right at the intersection?
In this case, on my view, I am the agent, and I caused the left turn. A "left turn rather than a right turn" isn't an ontological entity over and above a "left turn," so whatever causes the latter causes the former as well.

If you're looking for a contrastive explanation, that's not on the cards. What is must be explained, what is not isn't there to be explained, so we need only concern ourselves with what is, not what could have been but is not.
As should be apparent there would likely be a number of different determinants (causes)
Causes and determinants are different things. A cause is an agent (either rational or lacking reason) that produces an effect. A determinant is a set of conditions that force an agent to produce a specific effect.

I see no reason to think that all causes have determinants, and you have yet to give me such a reason.
at work, all of which eventually came together and made you turn left and not turn right. In order to turn right at least one of these determinants would have had to be different, but there wasn't any such difference so you had no choice but to turn left.
I see no reason to accept the bonded proposition. Do you have any evidence for it?
. The key point, however, is that they are not composite acts, but fundamental acts. They are not made up out of smaller interactions from which they could be constructed.
Don't have a clue as to what composite and fundamental acts are, or how they differ. Or why they couldn't be made up out of smaller interactions. In short, you have a whole lot of explaining to do before I would care to pursue this line of thought further.
Recall that you asked for a "mechanism" by which a free choice could occur. By which, I presume, you wanted to know what system of more fundamental entities interacted to produce free will, and how their interaction did so.

My response was to deny that any such mechanism existed, and to assert that the acts of the faculties of intellect and will are fundamental. If you want to get into the details of my personal philosophy of mind, we can do so, but this is not the thread.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
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David the apologist
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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

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Post by David the apologist »

alexxcJRO wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:27 am Please provide empirical evidence that shows that atom decay and virtual particles begin to exist in a caused manner and not uncaused manner.
Sure. They don't show up when there are no entities around to act on them - Geiger counters, black holes, small reflective surfaces, etc.

https://profmattstrassler.com/articles- ... -are-they/

The best way to approach this concept, I believe, is to forget you ever saw the word “particle” in the term. A virtual particle is not a particle at all. It refers precisely to a disturbance in a field that is not a particle. A particle is a nice, regular ripple in a field, one that can travel smoothly and effortlessly through space, like a clear tone of a bell moving through the air. A “virtual particle”, generally, is a disturbance in a field that will never be found on its own, but instead is something that is caused by the presence of other particles, often of other fields.

You yourself have shown that the Copenhagen interpretation is the most popular among physicists.

Well, on the Copenhagen interpretation, wavefunction collapse is a result of interaction with the outside world. That means that while any indeterminate quantum event - such as the precise time a radioactive nucleus decays - is not determined by the action of any cause, it is produced by the action of some agent or other - which, on my "thin" notion of "causation as production," suffices to preserve causality.

Now, there are other interpretations of QM, Bohmian theory and MWI chief among them. But, as previously established, both of these theories are unproblematically causal in the deterministic sense.
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 12:52 pm 1. Since I don't believe that causes have to be deterministic, the only commitment I have regarding the Copenhagen interpretation is that "measurements" be causal.

2. You appear to be changing the topic, and in a very confused manner. Let's focus on whether or not causes have to be deterministic, please.
Then why does the Copenhagen interpretation being "nondeterministic" have any impact on whether or not quantum events have causes?
Quantum mechanics deals with indeterminate events meaning events could be either causal or non-causal.
Wow, that is an imprecise way of saying things.
“The time of a radioactive decay is uncaused in the sense that, if it has not decayed at a time t, then it’s probability of decaying in the next small time increment, dt, is just some constant (the decay rate for that atom) times dt. It is independent of the time t so it can’t be modeled by any deterministic process, it is a stochastic process called a Poisson process.”
Technically, amplitude shifts from the "pre-decay" state to the "post-decay" state at a certain rate proportional to the square of the current amplitude of the "pre-decay" state, and neither state is entirely actual until a measurement process that can distinguish the two occurs.

The constant shifting of amplitude can be explained in terms of subatomic forces (which are causal), and the measurement process is manifestly an interaction, so I'm not sure what part of the situation you think is/could be non-causal.
Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes.
I have not been defending determinism. Everything that begins to exist has a cause, but that doesn't mean that the cause had to cause anything.
Therefore free will needs to have uncaused components. Either the agent chooses something uncaused independent of biological process and/or past events(memories), knowledge, beliefs and innate psychological traits or he chooses something because deterministic biological process and/or of past events(memories), knowledge, beliefs and innate psychological traits.
If we replace every instance of "causation" with "production," you will see that your thinking is a muddle.

I am not saying that "every event was determined by a prior event." I am saying that "every event is the action of an agent, or a result thereof."

Since the two propositions are distinct, and the latter does not strictly imply the former, I see no reason why indeterminism should shake our assent to the first premise.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Causation = production.

Production can occur with or without preexisting materials.

I don't see how specifying whether or not there were preexisting materials changes the sense of the word "cause."

I understand what the alleged fallacy is, I just don't see how it could possibly apply.
X = both material and efficient cause
Y = only efficient cause ex nihilo
My argument only makes reference to efficient causes and is neutral to material causes. Adding content to the premise that I didn't assert is a strawman.

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm
1. Physics has always been about stuff in space that changes over time, described mathematically. Including stuff that isn't in space, doesn't change over time, or isn't even "stuff" in any meaningful sense? That seems to me to be to stop doing physics and start doing something else.

2. I don't know what you mean by "cause-effect" being "a constraint." An event just is the action of some entity. It can be shown that a similar thing could be said about the existence of a contingent thing. So unless events don't happen outside of the universe, I don't see how things outside the universe could avoid "cause-effect."
I understand “Physics is the natural science that studies matter,[a] its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force.[2] Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.”
But one can redefine physics and its definition, adjust it to mean more then space-time continuum.
There may be more “physics” to learn about. More things outside the universe. Things that maybe are not constrained to cause-effect, time and so one.
You're just repeating your prior assertions. If anything, you've only supported my first point.

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm An event is the action of an agent.
Agents produce their actions.
Production is causation.
Therefore, an event is an instance of causation.

QED.
Q: Who says events have to exist outside of the universe between universes in a multiverse?
Nobody. But, every beginning of existence is an event. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the beginning of the universe's existence is an event. And since events are the actions of agents, it follows that the universe was caused to begin to exist.

I suppose you could try and argue that the universe began to exist outside of the universe, in which case we have strong evidence that at least one extra-universal event occurred.
Or even if there is an outside? Maybe the universe is all there is, existing in timeless state (B theory of time where Past, Present, Future exists eternally as a four-dimensional spacetime block where temporal becoming and temporal lapse of time is just an illusion, no-boundary proposal where no notion of time available to refer to)?
Refuted by the constant change we experience, and the fact that only one of these four dimensions is associated with strict laws governing the "shape" of events. Whatever is going on, change is real, and time is more than just "different space."
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm When you have to bang randomly on your keyboard to make a point, that isn't a good sign for your position.
The point was to point that lack of imagination or one’s ignorance does not constitutes non-existence.
My position is a honest one mostly “I don’t know”, “maybe there is that, maybe there is the other thing" and have an openness to anything.
I don’t know if there is a God or not. I don’t know if things can come about uncaused. I don’t know if we have free will.
Religious people don’t know either. They pretend they know.
So you assert.

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm If you can come up with a valid explanation of how things change in our perception if nothing ever really changes AND an explanation of why multiplying by i/c suddenly places huge constraints on the "shape" things can take with respect to a coordinate, then I will CONSIDER taking eternalism seriously. Until then, it strikes me as a case of mistaking the map for the territory.
Scientists take this idea very seriously.
Those most involved in studying the map are the most likely to mistake it for the territory.
Again with I can’t imagine therefore non-existence and GOD. 😊)
My imagination works just fine. The fact that yours is overactive does not refute my point.


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Regarding the claim that singularities can be removed even with back reaction, they have the following to say:

"Here, we have an additional term with respect to the classical Raychaudhuri’s equation due to Bohmian quantum potential. For the classical case, where ωµν = 0 and the strong energy condition is held, we conclude that the expansion must decrease during the congurence evolution. The term 12∇µ∇µ Q may have different signs during theevolution. This makes it difficult to judge about the behavior of trajectories during the
evolution. But, from the our previous discussion about the conjugate points and deviation equation we found that since the classical curvature is not affected by Bohmian terms, the main features of space-time do not change and singularities will not be removed. On the other hand, it has been demonstrated in ref [9] p.225-226, that the singular points and the expansion have close and direct relationship. In other words, when η → 0, for a singular point, the geodesics expansion tends to infinity(θ → −∞). Since, in our approach the singular points will not be removed, we expect that the end
of trajectories evolution leads to singular points finally. The only difference with respect to the classical procedure is that the trajectories fluctuate around the geodesics curves due to Bohmian quantum force. If, we consider the back-reaction effects by writing the full action, then some features of new space-time, like the singular points, may change.[13]. Nevertheless, the consequences of singularity theorems remain unaffected. Because, singularity theorems are independent of the specific space-time whether it is classical space-time or quantum space-time.

Emphasis added.

So, it seems like the ability of "bohmian trajectories" to get around singularity theorems has been exaggerated by a sensationalist media. No surprise there.
Please provide link for the last part of text.
It's a PDF. Scroll down.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Q: You don’t believe in the second Law of thermodynamics?
Depends. Is the "second law" supposed to explain behaviors, or is it supposed to describe behaviors?
The latter I can believe in, the former I cannot.
Q: Laws don’t describe how things act, behave? :?
Descriptive laws tell us how the universe or nature works.
Natural laws are the same as descriptive laws.
Descriptive laws are just fine, but they don't explain/govern anything.


David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm Funny you accuse me of "babbling" when your own posts are so confused and ungrammatical.
I was just saying I don’t understand what u “babbled”=”said”.
English is not my native language so its natural I make mistakes and don’t understand certain things. Even more so when talking of complicated things that are sometimes hard to comprehend in your native language.
Q: Is english your native language?
Yes, and that's probably why you're having trouble understanding some of my more complicated sentence constructions.

I will try to be more sensitive in the future.



David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:56 pm
How many times do we have to do this song and dance? If the cause isn't space-time, energy-momentum, a quantum field, or something dependent on the above, then it isn't physical.
Something independent of spacetime, energy-momentum, and quantum fields.
You should, since if not everything is reducible to physics, then the closest thing to an "argument" for naturalism (the "march of science" thesis) is torpedoed, and there's no reason to enforce a presumption in favor of a dead hypothesis.
Q: So what?
I don’t care if physicalism is refuted.
Then why all the kicking and screaming to avoid an obvious conclusion from obvious premises?
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Miles
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Re: Is the kalam cosmological argument fallacious?

Post #30

Post by Miles »

David the apologist wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:17 pm
Miles wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 12:35 am
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:58 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:21 pm
David the apologist wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:36 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:46 pm And just how could X make a free choice that produced Y or anything else?
Acts of understanding, judgement, and will are fundamental modes of action for rational being. None of them have a "mechanism," any more than the coupling of the electron field to the electromagnetic field requires a "mechanism." Some modes of action simply cannot be broken down into smaller, more fundamental actions of which they are composed.
So are you really saying that those particular things that result in an understanding, a judgement, as well as the actions we perform have no cause? If so, then how did they come about?


.
I'd say that they're actions rather than effects.
"Action," "effect." It makes no difference what term you use to describe it, both amount to the same thing: the result of a cause. So the question still remains, what brought particular action/effect A into being rather than action/effect B?
The Agent, which could just as easily have brought about B under the same conditions.

A is caused, but not in a deterministic way.

They require an agent to take them as actions, and in that sense, could be regarded as effects of a cause - that cause being the agent that acts
So, why did the agent cause effect A instead of effect B? What caused you (the agent) to turn left rather than turn right at the intersection?
In this case, on my view, I am the agent, and I caused the left turn. A "left turn rather than a right turn" isn't an ontological entity over and above a "left turn," so whatever causes the latter causes the former as well.

If you're looking for a contrastive explanation, that's not on the cards. What is must be explained, what is not isn't there to be explained, so we need only concern ourselves with what is, not what could have been but is not.
As should be apparent there would likely be a number of different determinants (causes)
Causes and determinants are different things. A cause is an agent (either rational or lacking reason) that produces an effect. A determinant is a set of conditions that force an agent to produce a specific effect.

I see no reason to think that all causes have determinants, and you have yet to give me such a reason.
at work, all of which eventually came together and made you turn left and not turn right. In order to turn right at least one of these determinants would have had to be different, but there wasn't any such difference so you had no choice but to turn left.
I see no reason to accept the bonded proposition. Do you have any evidence for it?
. The key point, however, is that they are not composite acts, but fundamental acts. They are not made up out of smaller interactions from which they could be constructed.
Don't have a clue as to what composite and fundamental acts are, or how they differ. Or why they couldn't be made up out of smaller interactions. In short, you have a whole lot of explaining to do before I would care to pursue this line of thought further.
Recall that you asked for a "mechanism" by which a free choice could occur. By which, I presume, you wanted to know what system of more fundamental entities interacted to produce free will, and how their interaction did so.

My response was to deny that any such mechanism existed, and to assert that the acts of the faculties of intellect and will are fundamental. If you want to get into the details of my personal philosophy of mind, we can do so, but this is not the thread.
No I don't recall because I never used the word "mechanism." The term was first used by TRANSPONDER in post 10, then by yourself in post 22, and now again in post 28. In any case, your line of reasoning, exemplified by your gross mistake in who said what, is so sad that it isn't worth pursuing.

.........Have a good day. O:)


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