Xeno, After a long introduction to your reasoning, you state that: "I tend to prefer 'everything that exists has no cause'. Everything is just there. That is my position."
IMO, you're statement is the same as saying "everything that begins to exist has no cause". But, in either case, your statement becomes problematic. Essentially, you're saying that you came into existence in this world without the involvement of your mother and father. That is contrary to the natural way human beings are born. How is that possible? ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote : I don't know what it means, explain it to me, as you seem to know what it means. That NASA sent Curiosity to Mars is not logically connected to your statement that 'it appears that humans know can understand the meaning of "begins to exist". You may have connected it in your mind, but not in the post. In the link I provided, there are some criticisms of the Kalam argument, but you have still not read them apparently. For me some things exist. Other things do not. 'Begins to exist' seems redundant. How does that work? What are the steps between non-existence and existence? I have no clue. I suspect you do not either, but I am willing to hear you out on this. You need to explain your position. My position is this: There is an essential value of existence. All things that exist have this essential value. We can say there are things that do not exist but this is meaningless as the essential value of existence is missing and therefore there are no such things. We cannot know of them because they are not. Curiosity exists and is on Mars. It exists because someone had a thought, and then manipulated the extant universe to correspond to the thought. Where did the thought come from? It appeared in someone's brain, how did it arise? There was (we assume) prior activity in the person's brain before the thought arose. Was it just a refashioning of previous neural events, or a spontaneous outlier from out of nowhere? Everything Curiosity is made of was fashioned from previously existing matter, already part of the currently extant universe. Basically it is a sophisticated auto-mobile, but all its parts previously existed in another form so can we really say it came into being, when its components already had being? The argument you seem to be proposing does not involve refashioning, so that was not a good analogy. You need to explain your argument to me. What specifically does 'begins to exist' mean in your context? What is the difference in saying 'everything that exists has a cause' compared to 'everything that begins to exist has a cause'? I tend to prefer 'everything that exists has no cause'. Everything is just there. That is my position. I am not sure you have a position, other than you want people to accept the Kalam argument. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote : Xeno, Are you saying that the human mind would not be able to fathom the meaning of "begins to exist"? If that is so, how is it possible for you to begin and end a project at work or at home? But we know that NASA has been able to send the Curiosity rover to Mars which is a very high technological feat. So, it appears that humans know can understand the meaning of "begins to exist". If not, NASA would not have been able to send the rover to Mars. I believe you're avoiding the question by claiming that you don't know what statement 1 of the KCA means. In other words, you're being disingenuous. Or, that you're pulling a Curtis on us. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote : x exists x does not exist I do not know what the phrase 'begins to exist' means, especially in regard to the universe as a whole. If x were an auto-mobile, perhaps one could say that when it was partially assembled, it began to exist, but all the components of that were manufactured prior to that and merely gathered together with welds, bolts, and glue. And those parts had precursors, ad infinitum (almost) to the beginning of the universe, before which we have no knowledge, and in fact we have only induction as to regard the early universe. And induction is logically invalid. The link I gave in the previous post did do some analysis why the Kalam argument is flawed, apparently you did not read it. Here it is again: Cosmological Kalamity http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html Cosmological Kalamity http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html Home » Library » Modern » Dan Barker » Cosmological Kalamity Dan Barker "Daddy, if God made everything, who made God?" my daughter Kristi asked me, when she was five years old. View on infidels.org http://infidels.org/library/modern/dan_barker/kalamity.html Preview by Yahoo I do not know how the universe began. I do not know what 'begins to exist' means in this context, can you fill in some detail? If this were science, all I would have to do is wait for your demonstration of the truth of the argument, but as it seems no one knows, I doubt this would be forthcoming. As Curtis pointed out, proving a negative is impossible. It is a time waster. In science one simply ignores those who do not show up with evidence for their claims and thus science ('to know' is the meaning of the word) only works with people who actively produce results. For all I know the Kalam argument might be accidentally true, but essentially I just find it unconvincing. If god is un-caused, then god did not begin to exist, and if god did not begin to exist, he cannot exist. The word everything would seem to include what is called god, other wise, the first sentence includes a false concept. We would have not 'everything that begins to exist has a cause', and then we would have a number of possible things that were un-caused. For example, Zeus, the king of the gods, a step higher in divinity than the other gods, of which perhaps your god is one of those lesser ones. I can say on the basis of experience, that the universe was re-created this morning when I woke up. It was recreated again this morning and this evening when I came out of meditation after a timeless spell (I am not saying what sort of meditation was happening or not). I am un-caused, and therefore I must not be beginning to exist, and therefore I am not the universe, but seeing the universe seemed to emerge from what I am, I must be a creator of some sort. So if this happens with me, what am I? I must be more than a human form and mind, being able to contain all this. Since in my own estimation, I seem to have created the universe, where does that leave your argument? If the universe has a cause, how do you determine what that cause is or is not? Simply stating that the universe has a cause does not reveal the nature of the cause. It could be a quantum fluctuation in a multi-verse continuum. With multi-verses, maybe some have gods, and some do not. Maybe some are created by farts in a hyper-cosmic digestive system. You have also not mentioned the argument that the universe has no cause. Suppose we say, that in spite of all appearances, the universe has no cause at all. It was a spontaneous event that had no priors; that would mean that all the stuff in the universe ultimately had no cause either, the stuff within would have prior events but ultimately could not be traced back to a primal cause. Accidental existence. Perhaps we are all part of an unwanted pregnancy. Curtis is actually much better at this kind of reasoning than I am. I think he just wanted you to provide a positive example of the stipulation you made, something he could work with. A philosopher needs an argument, and needs to be able to state the other person's position accurately so they can look for a weakness in definition of terms and logic. You need to provide that. Otherwise you are not worth his time. He might as well waste his time with a Bible-thumping preacher from Hicksville. His time would be better spent teaching kids critical thinking. I can tell you when I was young in school, this is a skill that was not taught. America is a nation of idiots and climbing out of that pit of un-reason is no easy task. To be fair, had I ever remained in Greece, I doubt I would have fared better, though there are more opportunities for causes way back at the beginning of our place in the scheme of things: Greek gods prepare for comeback http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece Greek gods prepare for comeback http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece It has taken almost 2,000 years, but those who worship the 12 gods of ancient Greece have finally triumphed. An Athens court has ordered that the adulation of... View on www.theguardian.com http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/05/greece Preview by Yahoo ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote : Xeno, I have asked Curtis about his support or evidence for disagreeing with the statements in the Kalam Cosmological Argument. But he just gave me a lot of song and dance about his opinions without providing the evidence for his arguments. Can you give us a solid argument with evidence and support why the statements in the KCA have a flaw? Let's take the KCA which states: Everything that begins to exist has a cause; The universe began to exist; Therefore: The universe has a cause. Do you agree with statement 1 or not? If not, please give us your reasons for disagreeing.