I'm interested to hear the thoughts of the community on this. I'm not quite sure I agree with the merit of his first premise. Sure, it's axiomatically stable, but as a factual statement, I don't think it holds much more water than the argument that something cannot come from nothing, as it, in a similar form, lacks an ability to be demonstrated. I agree with it, but I feel like this shifts the burden of proof unnecessarily. I think then, that it creates a house of cards of his argument, as the conclusion is negated if the premise is brought to question.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
It seems like much ado about nothing. Isn't the bigger issue the fact that a god concept is such a farce to begin with? In what manner does an entity created something as immense, unintuitively diverse, self destructive, evolutionary, etc. as the universe? Who cares about the chicken and the egg argument, when the chicken is being said to have created something so ridiculously large, imperfect and overdesigned for its purpose? Think of the earth as a single electron inside the egg, with the rest of the egg being the universe. Why would the chicken create an egg, if all it cared about is that single electron buzzing around inside the egg.
Hahaha well said
Hell of it is, "nothing" may not be all that nothing after all! Physicist Lawrence Krauss has a fascinating piece on how something may have come from nothing. I recommend it highly.
Thanks for the post, Loren! I'm very familiar with this lecture and have watched (and loved it) several times! I think the only reason that this argument is attended to at all by atheists, is because theists seem to pathologically disassociate "nothing" from its true, scientific definition, and always transpose it into the colloquial understanding of it, which in almost every way, confounds definition. What is nothing, after all, and can it exist? I believe William Lane Craig has often cited Aristotle's fairly bland explanation that nothing is "what rocks dream about".
Now you've gotten me interested in watching Lawrence Krauss again, dag nabbit! Hahaha
I couldn't finish watching the video because while he started off well, he committed a basic fallacy and was then talking rubbish.
In general, the kalam cosmological argument seems pretty airtight to me, and I can't see how people can disagree with it. We have good evidence for steps 1 and 2 therefore step 3 is logically valid.
the kalam cosmological argument is invalid in several respects. Stating that something cannot come from nothing needs to be articulated in a better fashion (aside from the fact that its technically an argument from ignorance) to define what nothing really is. Also, for step two the universe is a set, not an object. it is, by definition, a collection of everything that is~ that does not mean, however, that it has the properties of everything contained within.
Aside from the first and second points being invalid, yeah, its super airtight.
I noticed he does make a few fallacies (I felt they were minor ones toward the end, as well as what I've already noted) but which are you referring to, specifically?
I'm intrigued by your take on the Kalam cosmological argument, especially. I've never found it to be a strong case, mostly due to it's ambiguous terms (what is nothing?) and assumption, as Park has mentioned above. I can understand why some people accept it, but in general I'm dubious at best.
I also think that the idea of a cause/creator essentially ends up in a state of infinite regress anyways (ie God always was), so theists might as well begin there and save themselves some time.
*Note I realize you aren't promoting the idea of "God" when you accept a cause.
For people who accept the reality of biological evolution, there is some seriously unclear thinking on this chicken and egg stuff here.
While long-ingrained habits (of speech in this case) have long half-lives, chickens were not the first (oldest) species to package their young in eggs.
Therefore, the egg came before the first chicken.
If you ask me whether the chicken or the chicken egg came first, I will suggest that you look for and ask a paleo-linguist.
While you're doing that, I might look for some porn to read or view.
Hahahaha well said, Tom. Paint me sardonic, but arguing about frivolities, the truth of which I will likely never comprehend, is as good a treasure trove of porn as I can imagine.
Consider your point not having been wasted, though - I agree that the preponderance of these conversations are almost virtually guaranteed to go unresolved, but it almost always pays off in pissing off theists!
I did know this, but had never connected it together until you stated it that way. My normal and rather frivolous answer was that the chicken like creature that laid the egg came first.
The first fallacy I'm referring to is around 2:20 in the video where he says that nothing really begins to exist since energy (which makes matter) can't be created or destroyed. This is a composition fallacy (a table can be destroyed even if the atomic particles making up its structure aren't).
I'm not sure why people are referring to "nothing" when talking about the kalam argument. My understanding is that the argument is this:
1) Everything that begins to to exist has a cause of its existence
2) The universe began to exist
3) Therefore the universe has a cause
None of these points refer to "nothing".
Point (2) has good supporting evidence and is generally accepted by science.
While I can't prove point (1), it is consistent with everything we know. I can think of nothing which exists that does not have a cause, although we do not always know for certain what that cause is.
Point (3) logically follows from points (1) and (2). At the moment, the big bang is the most widely accepted theory for the cause of the universe, so I would say that science supports point (3) as well.
As for Park's point that the universe is a set and not an object, I kind of agree but don't really see the why you can't talk about the universe as a discrete object as well. A town could be descibed as a set of things or a discrete thing, as could a person. Neither of which have the properties of their components.
I also agree that the idea of a creator tends to end up as an infinite regress, although I am open to the idea that there is an unknown natural process that does not require a cause. Occam's razor suggests that such a process is more likely than a creator since it makes fewer assumptions.
Lucas, to my way of thinking, the reason that "nothing" needs to come up (for me) is this:
No person ever espousing this theory was able to, literally or through thought experiments of any kind, demonstrate to me that the universe did infact have a beginning. In effect, where you feel that this fellow has committed a logical fallacy, I'm disagreeing. I feel as though Hawking has come closer than most in describing the physical relationship of what "nothing" is, and how it doesn't necessarily mean nothing. I haven't ever come across any sort of unilateral description of "nothing" as theists would call it, they always simply insist that Hawking has it wrong, and he doesn't know what "nothing" is. When I ask, they cite the Aristotelian analogy of "nothing" being "what rocks dream of". That's all fine and well, and if I could accept that outright, my next question is whether or not "nothing" - that is to say - "non-existence", can ever exist?
It sounds pedantic and needlessly argumentative, I'm sure - but since I do not accept the theory's 2nd premise absolutely, or that it is generally accepted by science, I cannot accept the conclusion.