Gordon Tubbs

  • ****
  • 5221 Posts
    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog
A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:40:36 am »
I was working on this for my blog, so I figured I'd post the draft here. Below is an imagined dialogue between two interlocutors: the Prosecutor (who is against the KCA), and the Defender (who is defending the KCA). Below is what I'm calling an "extended" version of the KCA that is meant to reveal all hidden premises and entailments that defenders of the KCA claim lead to God. I must stress that this syllogism is for illustrative purposes only to provide context for the discussion the interlocutors will have.



EXTENDED KALAM COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
1. It is metaphysically possible that God exists.
2. If some state of affairs began to exist, then it had a cause for its beginning.
3. If the Universe had a cause for its beginning, it is metaphysically possible that cause is God.
4. The Universe is a state of affairs.
5. The Universe began to exist.
6. Therefore, the universe had a cause for its beginning. (Modus Ponens from P2)
7. Therefore, it is metaphysically possible that cause is God. (Modus Ponens from P3)

Prosecutor
The only kinds of 'beginnings' we see where some new object comes into being are cases where prior materials were rearranged into that new object. If the Universe began to exist, then prior materials must have existed before the Universe came into being. But therein lies the rub, if the Universe by definition is ‘everything that exists,’ then whatever prior material that existed before the Universe cannot be a proper part of the Universe. What then can we say about this prior material? If all we know is the Universe, then we can know nothing of the prior material that was transformed into the Universe. Even if we find it reasonable to assume that the Universe had a cause for its beginning, and we suspect that this cause is material, we cannot say anything about that cause one way or another.

Defender
The error with this objection is that it relies on a strict definition of the Universe not as ‘everything that exists’ but rather ‘everything that currently exists.’ Surely, if we had reasons to suspect that some prior material existed before the Universe, it would not be irrational to believe that this prior material is a proper part of ‘everything that exists.’ In which case, we can say something about it. We might suspect that this prior material shares properties with things in the Universe that we know of. It could, for instance, have some kind of consciousness, which if true, potentially explains the vast majority of what we know.

Prosecutor
By analogy we could think of the prior materials as a caterpillar, and the Universe as the butterfly. On such a view, the metamorphosis that took place that led to the transformation of the prior materials into the Universe is one that required no consciousness at all, let alone an external input. The prior materials contained all of the necessary properties which allowed self-transformation.

Defender
There are two errors with that objection. The first is that the analogy fails. While caterpillars certainly are capable of undergoing some metamorphosis that begins within themselves, their chrysalis is still dependent upon outside forces (notably the Sun) to remain within a certain parameter range. If say a hurricane came through and washed away the chrysalis, the metamorphosis would fail before the butterfly could come into being. By extension, we might suspect that the prior materials that transformed into the Universe also required certain external parameters to be within a specified range. So not only does the analogy fail, but it actually motivates thinking about fine-tuning.

The second error is that the “necessary properties which allowed self-transformation” are ad hoc and have no basis of comparison with anything we know. There is nothing we know that is capable of self-transformation that has those properties by necessity. Going back to the butterfly analogy, all of the properties of the caterpillar are contingent upon the evolutionary history of its antecedent organisms. If it is being suggested that the Universe also has some kind of evolutionary history in which the prior materials ‘adapted’ and acquired the property of self-transformation, then this implies that the prior materials are contingent upon something other than themselves. All evolutionary processes take place in an environment of some kind. So if the Universe is the product of an evolutionary process, then this motivates thinking about an environment that facilitated its evolution.

Prosecutor
So what if the analogy fails? The point of it was to motivate thinking about how the prior materials could successfully self-transform into the Universe. Such thinking seems easier than thinking about an expanded view of reality that includes some environment that the prior materials evolve in.

Defender
If the point of the analogy is to motivate my thinking about a Universe that could be the result of some prior self-transformative material process, then I can’t commit to that idea without also thinking about the prior materials of the Universe being subjected to some kind of parameterization even if self-transformation was possible. Assuming the prior materials did self-transform, was there nothing constraining the possible configurations?

Prosecutor
Of course, properties of the prior material.

Defender
We seem to have come a long way from your first objection: that we can’t say anything about what caused the Universe. Now it seems not only we can, but that the cause of the Universe isn’t really a cause at all, but a process directed by the necessarily existing properties of the prior materials that self-transformed into the Universe. What examples of this can you point to?

Prosecutor
I don’t have any. I just have a gut feeling that my thinking about this issue is more parsimonious than the alternative. There is something about positing something new to reality that just rubs me the wrong way.

Defender
Can’t you see you’re positing something new? You don’t have any examples of material self-transformations that are not contingent upon prior or external states. On my view, I’m using something I know about to explain something I know about. Shouldn’t that be preferred?

Prosecutor
Yes, but on your view, you’re positing some kind of disembodied mind, which is significantly abusing the ‘known-for-known abduction principle.’  The only kinds of minds that we know of, assuming minds-qua-mental states even exist, are embodied. So you can’t say anything about a disembodied mind being the cause of the Universe because you have no examples of disembodied minds existing, let alone causally interacting with material things.

Defender
Well then, it seems we’re in the exact same boat: we cannot provide examples of the things we think caused the Universe.

Prosecutor
Well then, it seems my original objection stands: we shouldn’t talk about what caused the Universe.

Defender
Only we’ve been talking about it, so your objection has failed. You just don’t like where our conversation has ended up: in the possibility of a disembodied mind causing the Universe, or the possibility of fine-tuning, or the possibility of a proto-Universe evolving in and/or being constrained by an environment and forces outside of it. You would rather discount these possibilities in favor of a brute fact origin story, that our Universe necessarily is the way it is for no reason whatsoever, because if it were any other way then it wouldn’t be the way it is. I am more encouraged by my line of thinking than yours, because at least mine makes an attempt at offering some explanation. Your line of thinking is looking for a way to avoid explanation.

Prosecutor
And what is wrong with that? What is wrong with pleading ignorance?

Defender
Because you don’t settle for ignorance in other aspects of your life. It is only here, when discussing metaphysics, that pleading ignorance is an option for you.

Prosecutor
No. I am adhering to an epistemic principle of rational justification (PRJ): that it is reasonable to claim knowledge over what I can justify by argument or evidence, and it is reasonable to plead ignorance over what I cannot justify. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you are compelled to seek an explanation in the first place. What is so special about having doxastic closure in metaphysics? Perhaps there is an underlying psychological reason for this, that you have certain hopes, fears, and desires that are resolved or more meaningful if your so-called explanation were actually the case. Perhaps this entire discussion is more about YOU than it is the origins of our Universe.

Defender
Ah, psychoanalysis. I did not think you would stoop that low. Surely if we can come to some consensus surrounding the origins of the Universe, then this would not only have tremendous impact on our sciences, but also our philosophies, and religions. Quite literally it impacts everything we experience. This is not about ME. This is about REALITY. Having an explanation in this domain is like finding a missing puzzle piece, a corner piece at that. It will enable us to see the Biggest Picture… something your PRJ will never give us.

Prosecutor
I have no idea what you mean by ‘the Biggest Picture.’ It sounds like you are peddling some kung woo to make yourself feel better.

Defender
Again with the psychoanalysis. Fine. Let’s psychoanalyze you. I think you are dismissing my potential explanation because you don’t like it, plain and simple. You can hide behind whatever principle all day long, but what’s really lurking below the surface are your hopes, fears, and desires that YOU want to be fulfilled if your explanation is the case.

Prosecutor
Rubbish. In this crazy world we live in, adhering to the PRJ is the only thing that makes sense. It is my philosophical bodyguard. It protects me against conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and mysticism… which if I may add, your tribe seems all too drawn towards. You’re also forgetting that I was once like you. I defended the Kalam with the best of them. I sincerely WANTED its entailments to be a signpost for God. But for all my defenses, which I eventually found wanting, I could not shake the PRJ once I accepted it into my life. The PRJ showed me that it is better to plead ignorance rather than accept potential falsehoods into my life. This is not about my hopes, fears, and desires. This is about the PRJ, which is as you put it, a corner piece of the puzzle. Can you say the same? Can you honestly say that your conclusions are justified?

Defender
The way you talk about the PRJ… there is a religious connotation to it.

Prosecutor
You did not answer my question. But to respond, let us suppose the PRJ is my Savior. If there is a God, then it is Reason alone. If such a God existed, then adhering to the PRJ would be the highest form of worship that God would want to see from me, right?

Defender
Don’t you see that I’m arguing for the same thing? I am pointing to a rational foundation in which all things can be united, from quantum fields to people. Without this rational foundation, your PRJ is meaningless, it is nothing more than an arbitrary statement that provides arbitrary instrumental value. 

Prosecutor
You still did not answer my preceding question. What is the JUSTIFICATION that you hold for that view?

Defender
The JUSTIFICATION is this: that justification itself is meaningless unless reality has a rational foundation in which claims can be justified. Without this rational foundation, you can say and believe whatever you want, and you can act on those beliefs however you want without paying any attention to truth. Your view leads to philosophical non-cognitivism where nothing can be true or false because those terms are meaningless and cannot be justified!

Prosecutor
SOPHISTRY! You’re fooling yourself into theism!

Defender
BLASPHEMY! You’re fooling yourself into nihilism!

Prosecutor
THE BRAIN THAT MY SELF IS GROUNDED IN HAS FOUND THE EXPERIENCES AND RELATIONSHIPS I HAVE TO BE MEANINGFUL AND VALUABLE. I AM NOT A NIHILIST!!!

Defender
WITHOUT A RATIONAL FOUNDATION TO REALITY, ALL MEANING AND VALUE YOU THINK YOU HAVE IS ARBITRARY!!! ADMIT IT, YOU ARE A PHILOSOPHICAL NON-COGNITIVIST! OWN THE NIHILISM THAT ENTAILS!

Prosecutor



Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

1

palewine

  • **
  • 889 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 09:40:12 am »

2

Mammal

  • ***
  • 4486 Posts
  • De facto
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 09:49:06 am »
Gordon, it is long and somewhat difficult to try and get to the gist of it. I appreciate the fact that you want to make provision for everyone's pet objection/theory. So if we accept that a eternal quantum ground state operates like QFT (able to yield all the stuff), that quantum information, entanglement, the universal quantum wave could all explain what could be a holographic universe, where does it leave God?
Fact, Fiction or Superstition?
Thank God For Evolution
The Evolution Of God

3

Gordon Tubbs

  • ****
  • 5221 Posts
    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 10:38:54 am »
On a digital ontology, I see God as a neural network embedded in the ground state. We believe that quantum fields cannot fluctuate themselves into basketballs or planets, and so the fluctuations themselves are constrained by a range of potential outputs that we correlate with the fundamental particles. This to me implies a level of parameterization-qua-information that can only be provided by an input of some kind. Within the neural network, nodes (input-output points) are entangled with each other, such that if one node is triggered, another node somewhere else in the network is also triggered. The result of the network processes produce a collective output: the holographic universe. Because God's neural network is embedded in the ground state, we see derivatives of this neural network come into being downstream, in plants and animals. Individual consciousness is a recombination epoch unto itself, a point in space-time where the convergence of matter yields what was present at the beginning, and at the fundamental layer of reality.

See this paper: Quantum Neural Network States:  A Brief Review of Methods and Applications. The researchers explored how neural networks can resolve the many-body problem in quantum mechanics. It seems there is a lot of promise with taking the neural network approach down both a scientific and theological direction.
Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

4

Mammal

  • ***
  • 4486 Posts
  • De facto
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 10:51:33 am »
Not sure I follow you as to why that would be necessary. Let's just say that other theoretical scientists like Carroll and many others don't see it like that. We don't need to posit a neural network to explain - in theory - such a quantum ground state.
Fact, Fiction or Superstition?
Thank God For Evolution
The Evolution Of God

5

Gordon Tubbs

  • ****
  • 5221 Posts
    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 10:58:25 am »
Theoretical vocabularies come and go. At the forefront of inquiry there has always historically been a phase where the orthodoxy found the employment of new sematics and experimental approaches unnecessary.
Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

6

Mammal

  • ***
  • 4486 Posts
  • De facto
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 12:53:56 pm »
It still does not do it for me though. I mean a neural network seems kind of physically reliant on a living biological organism existing, and I just don't see any evidence of that in e.g. the CMB..or where ever.

A brute fact neural network just sounds kind of Alien.
Fact, Fiction or Superstition?
Thank God For Evolution
The Evolution Of God

7

Iapetus

  • **
  • 122 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 08:05:43 am »
Reply to Gordon Tubbs:

1.   It is metaphysically possible that fairies exist.

2.   If there are fairies at the bottom of my garden, then they have to come from somewhere.

3.   If the fairies have to come from somewhere, then it is possible that they grew from the fairy tree.

4.   Fairies are a state of existence.

5.   Fairies began to exist.

6.   Therefore the fairy tree is a cause for the existence of fairies.

7.   Therefore it is metaphysically possible that fairies come from the fairy tree.

… although I have no idea what ‘metaphysically’ adds to the argument.

8

Fred

  • ****
  • 5409 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 10:15:23 am »
Gordon- I like the dialog a whole lot more than the formal argument you posted. The argument is problematic, and can be objected to in different ways (e.g. the universe =spacetime; there is no time prior to spacetime; therefore the universe exists at all points of time; therefore the universe did not begin to exist -beginning to exist entails a prior state of nonexistence).

The dialog, which quickly evolves away from the formal argument, seems to end in a stalemate.  Do you see it differently?
Fred

9

Gordon Tubbs

  • ****
  • 5221 Posts
    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2020, 11:08:40 am »
@Mammal
I should think the origins to the Universe are going to look alien no matter how we slice it.

@Iapetus
If you were attempting to make a point, it was lost. Do you not like syllogisms? Do you think your parody syllogism identified some flaw in my reasoning? Perhaps just say what you want to say without resorting to parody, and I'm sure I'll understand. Since admittedly you have no idea what "metaphysically" adds, then perhaps you should read this article on modality.

@Fred
I see the dialogue further revealing the presumptions that are brought to the KCA. Many people don't have an issue with there having been a First Cause to the Universe, or thinking about the Universe as a caused state. Rather, what people have an issue with is the nature of that cause. I would agree that as written, the dialogue does end in a stalemate if we're counting points. That was how I intended it to.

I had some thoughts about how the dialogue could've continued. The Defender would've pressed the Prosecutor on how she grounds the PRJ, and would've cited the PRJ as evidence of a rational foundation to reality. The Prosecutor would've quipped that the PRJ is grounded pragmatically, not ontically. The Defender would've responded by saying that's adding more arbitrariness to life. So on and so forth.

If I do develop the dialogue some more, it would be to have the Defender get the Prosecutor to admit that her reality is being shaped and defined arbitrarily how she wants it to be, and that at worst this is no different from what the Defender is doing by pointing to God. So, if metaphysics is arbitrary, then we ought to pick the theory that has the most utility. At least, that's how I'm sketching it in my head at the moment.
Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

10

Iapetus

  • **
  • 122 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2020, 04:14:10 pm »
Reply to Gordon Tubbs:

“If you were attempting to make a point, it was lost. Do you not like syllogisms? Do you think your parody syllogism identified some flaw in my reasoning? Perhaps just say what you want to say without resorting to parody, and I'm sure I'll understand. Since admittedly you have no idea what "metaphysically" adds, then perhaps you should read this article on modality.“

Yes, my syllogism was a parody of yours.  I was hoping you might reflect on my analogy so that I would then be able to draw you gradually into the conversation rather than presenting an entire argument in one dollop, as I am prone to do.  I was also influenced by the fact that your ‘conversation’ did not appear to address the points I was interested in addressing.  I failed.  Sorry.

Yes, you have presented your reasoning as a syllogism but I do not accept your premises or conditional statements.

If you think that directing me to a 20,000 word article about the Epistomology of Modality is going to help me to understand your contextual use of, ‘metaphysically’, then please think again.

So, to your syllogism and my parody:

"1.  It is metaphysically possible that God exists."

Since you have not defined what you mean by ‘God’ – and we surely know that different people have different interpretations – this immediately pushes us into murky waters.  We have no clarity in our reference points.  I am unable to find anything in your ‘dialogue’ which helps me on this point.  It makes a difference, for example, if God is touted as the creator of ‘all things’ or if God simply directs us in our personal lives or is an entity which created and then died or created and then destroyed itself or created him/her/itself out of the raw clay or is the personification of love or is all or none of these things.  That would be good for starters.

How do we know that it is even possible that God exists?  I am aware of logical impossibilities but I have little or no idea how a wide number of possibilities can even be demonstrated.  Does your ‘metaphysically’ suggest that, if we can conceive of something, then it becomes automatically possible?  That is an argument on which you have not touched and which I am not prompted to concede.  And if ‘God’ is already an abstract idea, what does ‘metaphysically’ add?

So, as far as I can see, we might as well be positing the existence of fairies.

"2. If some state of affairs began to exist, then it had a cause for its beginning."

Does ‘some state of affairs’ include God?  If not, then that needs explanation, but there is none.  If you intend to change the rules of the syllogism by excluding God from the logical constraints which you apply to everything else and you have not said so, then that is dishonest.  If I choose to apply another conditionality to the syllogism which defines the universe as ‘everything’, then God becomes a subset of the universe.  But you have not defined the terms to clarify that possibility.  Did God have a beginning?  How do you know?  Did the universe have a beginning?  How do you know?  Could God be eternal?  Who knows?  William Lane Craig seems to regard God as an infinite being.  Why not, then, apply a similar possibility to the universe?

My suggestion that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden and that they have to come from somewhere is similarly fraught with limitations of definition but it is far more readily subject to testing.

"3.  If the Universe had a cause for its beginning, it is metaphysically possible that cause is God."

As I explained previously, we have no way of knowing whether or not the universe had a beginning.  We have a range of speculations, which is not the same thing.  We have no way of knowing if the universe had a cause.  If you are trying to suggest ‘metaphysically’ (Imagination? Guesswork?  Speculation?) that causality must be applied to the universe but not to God, then, in terms of the syllogism, that is dishonest.

Furthermore, you have couched the statement in conditional terms.  That means that it does not require justification or demonstration as long as I choose to accept it.  Which I do not.  On such a conditional basis, you might as well propose that fairies grow on a fairy tree.  Unknowable things remain unknowable, whether or not they may appear preposterous.

If you think that it ‘metaphysically possible’ that the cause is God then, equally, it is ‘metaphysically possible’ that the cause is universe-creating pixies or a flying spaghetti monster.  Similarly, the recognition that fairies growing from fairy trees may be only one of a universe of possibilities makes it an entirely banal statement.

"4.  The Universe is a state of affairs."

Is God likewise?  If so, then at least you are being consistent.  If not and you have not explained why, then you have created a deception.  Recognizing fairies as a ‘state of affairs’ does precious little but, admittedly, the consequences for the universe are somewhat diminished.

"5. The Universe began to exist."

You have not demonstrated this and I am not inclined to accept it for all the reasons I have explained previously.  Because things – such as fairies – within the ‘container’ follow certain rules, it does not follow that the container itself must be similarly subject to those same rules.

6.  Therefore, the universe had a cause for its beginning. (Modus Ponens from P2)

Modus ponens applies if I accept the conditional statements.  But those same conditionalities are so laden with alternative possibilities that, though I think they are ridiculous, and trivial – like the fairy analogy - I might choose to accept them simply to find where we are heading.  But that turns out to be a serious letdown.

7.   Therefore, it is metaphysically possible that cause is God. (Modus Ponens from P3).

Or not.  Metaphysically.

So we start with the possibility that God exists. Which implies that there is also a possibility that he/she/it does not.  Metaphysically.

And we end with the possibility that God created the universe.  Which implies that there is also a possibility that he/she/it did not.  Metaphysically.

I think I covered similar ground when I refered to fairies and fairy trees.

Incidentally, your conclusions in 6 and 7 seem to be identical to what you proposed in Point 3, making more than half your argument entirely redundant.

11

Gordon Tubbs

  • ****
  • 5221 Posts
    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2020, 06:53:37 pm »
@Iapetus
Thanks, you’ve given me some stuff to think about. As I said in the opening of the OP, the syllogism was presented for illustrative purposes only as to focus on the dialogue itself. I’m not really prepared to defend each premise to the tooth and nail degree that your critique demands. Besides, you seem to have something against the word “metaphysical” that I’m not picking up on. As far as the article goes, I don’t push articles that I myself have not given a cursory reading, so apologies if you think I’m shotgunning thousands of words at you. CTRL+F is your friend. Cheers.
Ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament (PCUSA)
Regent University, Master of Divinity (Chaplain Ministry)
US Navy (Active 2004-2009, Reserves 2012-2018)

12

Fred

  • ****
  • 5409 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 10:56:49 pm »

@Fred
I see the dialogue further revealing the presumptions that are brought to the KCA. Many people don't have an issue with there having been a First Cause to the Universe, or thinking about the Universe as a caused state. Rather, what people have an issue with is the nature of that cause. I would agree that as written, the dialogue does end in a stalemate if we're counting points. That was how I intended it to.

I had some thoughts about how the dialogue could've continued. The Defender would've pressed the Prosecutor on how she grounds the PRJ, and would've cited the PRJ as evidence of a rational foundation to reality. The Prosecutor would've quipped that the PRJ is grounded pragmatically, not ontically. The Defender would've responded by saying that's adding more arbitrariness to life. So on and so forth.

If I do develop the dialogue some more, it would be to have the Defender get the Prosecutor to admit that her reality is being shaped and defined arbitrarily how she wants it to be, and that at worst this is no different from what the Defender is doing by pointing to God. So, if metaphysics is arbitrary, then we ought to pick the theory that has the most utility. At least, that's how I'm sketching it in my head at the moment.
If you have the Prosecutor admit she's shaping reality arbitrarily, that will seem strawman-ish at best, fictional at worst..  I recommend leaving it as a stalemate - even if you take it further.  Even a stalemate can make some good points for theism, and making them in a honest framework seems a whole lot more effective than rigging a win.
Fred

13

lucious

  • ***
  • 4624 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2020, 11:54:12 pm »
I didn't read the entire dialogue, but I already see a non-sequitur in the OP.

The complaint that because things we see causally beginning are made out of matter, therefore the universe must be made out of prior matter, is a non-sequitur.

It's a classical misconstrual of the idea of 'begins to exist'.

14

Iapetus

  • **
  • 122 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Dialogue around the Kalam Cosmological Argument
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2020, 05:05:36 am »
(Reply to Gordon Tubbs:

"Thanks, you’ve given me some stuff to think about. As I said in the opening of the OP, the syllogism was presented for illustrative purposes only as to focus on the dialogue itself. I’m not really prepared to defend each premise to the tooth and nail degree that your critique demands. Besides, you seem to ha)ve something against the word “metaphysical” that I’m not picking up on. As far as the article goes, I don’t push articles that I myself have not given a cursory reading, so apologies if you think I’m shotgunning thousands of words at you. CTRL+F is your friend. Cheers."

You presented your thread under the title, A Dialogue Around the Kalam Cosmological Argument. For starters, you did not present the Kalam in any form similar to what I have seen before.  It appears to be a version you concocted.  And not a convincing one at that, particularly since it seems to be only concerned with possibilities, not logical proofs. 

You have also indicated that the dialogue takes place around the argument.  The argument and the dialogue are not independent.  But if the argument is faulty, or for illustrative purposes only, then what is the point of publishing it? Why did you not, instead, opt for one of the classical forms of the argument?

I went to some trouble in the text to illustrate the difficulties I was having with your use of the term, ‘metaphysical’.  I thought they were fairly obvious, particularly when I could complete an argument without use of the term and then add the word as an appendix, demonstrating its redundancy.  If you were unable to pick up on these indications then, if I was wary over the use of the term previously, I am now convinced of the possibilities of its misuse.