Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

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

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Does the Kalam Cosmological Argument convince you that God exists?

  1. Yes.

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  2. No.

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

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

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    I think he was serious. The totality of existence is a human construct. Suppose I say all Greeks are mortal. What does "all Greeks" mean ? Is it a thing ?
    At another stage in the debate, Russell says that every man has a mother, but that doesn't mean the human race has a mother. It's a completely different concept.
    Similarly, if we agree that everything in the Universe has a cause, it doesn't mean the whole has a cause. They are different logical realms.
     
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  3. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    Another problem is that in quantum mechanics, the idea of "cause" is considered an obstacle to acceptance of the facts that have been observed. Sub-atomic particles do strange things. They move about for no reason and can have affects that seem to imply speeds greater than light. Nobody understands this strange world, but it is fundamental and it might mean that there is a natural way for matter to pop into existence with no explanation that we can understand in our macro-world.
    Very likely, all our arguments about causes are fruitless.
     
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  5. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

    Messages:
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    I neglected to mention that the debate is in chapter 13 of the book.
    You can get it on YouTube, simply search for 'Russell Copleston debate".
    Be aware that the original recording has been edited and doesn't include all the sentences.
    It sadly does not include my first quote. So you'll need to get the book !
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  7. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,182
    That book is ....

    The book author and title .
     
  8. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    A man may look for gold.
    If he finds it, all well and good, but he doesn't expect to find gold everywhere.

    Similarly, scientists look for causes.
     
  9. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,182
    The book Thomas , and the author .
     
  10. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

    Messages:
    55
    Bertrand Russell.
    Why I am not a Christian
    and other essays on religion and related subjects.
    First published in 1957
    Unwin Books.
     
  11. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,182
    Is it possible to now find this book in print ?
     
  12. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

    Messages:
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    By the way, I first read the book in 1966 at Loughborough University.
    A fellow student had a photocopy of the first essay that his father had given him.

    After reading the essay, I rushed to the university's library and to my delight they had several books by Russell.

    I was in heaven !
     
  13. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

    Messages:
    55
    Yes. Go to a large bookshop and visit the philosophy section.
    Look for books by Bertrand Russell.

    In Oxford last year, I visited their big bookshop and it had several copies.
    Of course you can get it online too.

    I just did a quick search online and found dozens of websites.
    Some have text, others audio.
    One I found has a robot voice reading the book.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  14. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    Ah you caught me messing about.
    Pretending to be an apologist.
    Well done.
    Did anybody spot my deliberate spelling errors ?
    By the way,what is a brane ?
    Some of you were discussing branes.
     
  15. river Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,182
    So no particular title ?

    Will do .. thanks

    river
     
  16. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    Proper education is also important.

    Just correcting my spelling folks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  17. river Valued Senior Member

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    9,182
    Meaning ......
     
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,296
    Blackwell's. I think the last time I was in there was when I attended a college retirement party given for my old tutor. I went browsing and came away with "Dawkins' God" by Alister McGrath.
     
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,296
    It rather sounds from the context you have provided that Russell was resisting the teleological predisposition of many religions, viz. that the universe has some sort of "meaning" in the sense of serving a purpose, aim or goal of its hypothesised creator. The word itself has a meaning, surely?
     
  20. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    I think Russell had a certain view of what meaning entails, and that his comments stem from that rather than it being just a disagreement with the sense of serving a purpose.
    To Russell, as I understand him, the meaning of a noun is an entity.
    So to Russell "the glass is full of water" has meaning if and only if there is one glass in the observable location, and it is full of water.
    If there is more than one glass (as it is then not possible from the sentence alone to know which glass is referred to) or it is not full of water (then there is no glass with water in it), then the the sentence has no meaning.
    It may denote something, or refer to something, but not something with any meaning.

    At least that is how I understood it.

    So I think what Russell was arguing was that "universe" doesn't actually mean anything in that there is nothing in one's area to observe or experience that one can call "universe".
    Similarly he would say that "God" is meaningless.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    http://homepages.uc.edu/~martinj/Ph...rtrand Russell The Famous 1948 BBC Radio .txt

    I'm inclined to agree more with Copleston than with Russell on that point. (I have the greatest respect for Copleston as a philosopher and have read several volumes of his truly extraordinary History. The best history of philosophy ever written, in my opinion, certainly the most detailed.)

    Just because I don't believe in the existence of a Jewish/Christian/Islamic style God or in similar deities from other traditions, does not commit me to the position that the traditional questions of natural theology should be dismissed. (First cause, source of the universe's observed order, most fundamental irreducible level of being, why reality exists at all...) I think that these are exceedingly important, if unanswerable questions. They are the fundamental questions of metaphysics.

    I count myself an agnostic regarding those issues. So unlike Russell, I wouldn't try to rule the questions out a-priori, but would attack instead the assumption that whatever their answers might be must somehow imply the deities of religious tradition.
     
  22. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    The Andromeda Galaxy and our galaxy are rushing towards each other at an astronomical velocity. Some time in the far distant future they will merge and many suns will smash together. If our sun survives, it's only a matter of time before it runs out of hydrogen and expands to become a red giant. All copies of the Bible on earth will be vaporised.
    What is the purpose of this design ?
     
  23. Michael 345 Valued Senior Member

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    3,219
    From Post # 1 original post I contend that "NOTHING" as a thing existed before the Big Bang. However I have been told (explained) it is impossible for NOTHING to exist. It appears that stuff was always flitting in an out of existence and it was the collision between some of the stuff which set off a chain reaction of the stuff which flitted in to existence but did not flit out

    Religion puts the cause (the flitting in and out stuff colliding) down to god (who being god was exempt from ANY rules)

    Science puts the cause down to physics which has fixed rigid rules NO exceptions allowed

    So my thought bubble question becomes what reason makes physics have fixed rules and god have no rules?

    My answer to myself boils down to

    - for physics - it is impossible for physics to exist in any environment which does not have fixed unbreakable rules

    - for god - god cannot exist in a environment which has fixed unbreakable rules (Religion gets around that with the unsubstantiated claim god is outside of space and time. Of course he is otherwise the whole house of cards collapses)

    More later - now coffee

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