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. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,221
    My problem with this line of reasoning is that it doesn't really prove that God exists so much as it proves that something caused the universe to exist, and then simply defines whatever that thing/phenomenon/event/reason/whatever was as "God." The argument doesn't demonstrate that this "God" is a thinking entity of any kind; perhaps the cause of the universe was some quirky phenomenon of physics that was no more of a God than quantum tunneling or virtual particles are "Gods." It also doesn't demonstrate that this "God" still exists, only that it existed at one time.

    You can't even demonstrate that this "cause" was a single thing. Perhaps the cause of the universe was a complex intersection of different phenomena and circumstances that allowed the universe as we know it to come into existence. My computer exists, and since according to Kalam everything that exists must have a "cause," there must be something that caused my computer to exist, but you would have a hard time pointing at any one thing as being the "cause"; you could give a complex description of various factories in SE Asia that manufacture computer parts, decisions by the good people at the Sony corporation to design a new computer and fund its construction, the history of semiconductor research over the last 70 years, Charles Babbage, and capitalism. You could then lump all that together as the "cause" of my computer existing and even label that collective mess of circumstances and motivations it as "God" if you want, as proof that "God" exists...for a very specific definition of God.

    There's not even any need to use something as grand as the cause of the universe when making this sort of argument, you can do it with anything:

    1. Everything that moves must be caused to move by something.
    2. There is a ball moving across my living room.
    3. Therefore, something caused that ball to move across my living room.
    4. That cause is God.

    Look, I just proved that God exists...for a very specific definition of God.

    Why does Kalam's argument seem interesting when mine seems stupid? Mine seems stupid because you can easily come up with any number of explanations for the cause of a moving ball that are not at all what people mean when they say "God," so it seems stupid and arbitrary to label them as "God." But there is no apparent reason to think that the cause of the universe is any more satisfying of a "God" than the case of the rolling ball in my living room.
     
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  3. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    56
    The fallacy in the conclusion can easily be demonstrated by restating it with a different proper noun.

    For example, "That cause is Brian (or Eric or John or Fred or ...)".
     
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  5. Thomas Cranmer Registered Member

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    56
    And for those of asking for something that never began to exist, well there are an infinite number.
    All you have to do is say, x never began to exist where x is a member of the infinite set of members that never began to exit.
    For example, Brian is one such x, therefore Brian never began to exist.
    Another example is the "nothing" in my right pocket. That never began to exist.
     
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  7. scifes heckle the snobs Valued Senior Member

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    2,561
    I feel like it's less like that the Kalam argument is set up to single out a specific "God" from the "things that began to exist", and is rather grouping any and everything that "didn't begin to exist" under the umbrella term "God".
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,101
    Fisking the OP:
     
  9. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    **THIS**

    On a quantum scale, "causality" ceases being a necessary obstacle. The problem with this and "what caused the cosmos" is that we intuitively want a causality to things. We even hear the religious people solicit our intuitive biases, "When have you ever seen a thing come from nothing?" And I'm left befuddled.
    1. My biases and intuition are meaningless. The cosmos doesn't exist to serve me.
    2. My biases and senses evolved over eons to deal with pressures in the environment so my brain lacks the necessary features to comprehend quantum mechanics and the ultimate genesis of the cosmos.
    3. The argument "something cannot come from nothing" is meaningless fluff. We don't know that. Just because we've never seen it happen doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
    4. In the beginning, all of matter and energy were fused into one singularity. There was no time, no causality, no beginning, no end. We cannot imagine that state because, well, it's beyond us.
    Does this "prove" that there is no deity of any kind? Not really. It isn't evidence for or against a deity. But the Kalam C.A. builds assumptions into itself that render it illogical.
     
  10. Gawdzilla Sama Registered Member

    Messages:
    312
    When I was at Purdue a friend had a t-shirt that said "My imaginary friend never helps me with my physics papers."
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,866
    ^^^
    NO. It was me. I caused the universe & Kalam proves it!

    <>
     

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