Cosmological Arguments

Propose a formal or informal debate or discussion in this forum. Declare a challenge/invitation or respond to one.
punkforchrist
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Cosmological Arguments

Post by punkforchrist » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:43 am

I'd like to propose a formal discussion (as opposed to a debate) on two of the cosmological arguments: the Thomistic and Kalam versions. The Leibnizian version is quite interesting too, but most of my previous research and exchanges have been on the other two.

I'll present the arguments and give some reasons for thinking them plausible. My counterpart will then explain why he/she doesn't find them convincing. We can then mildly debate some points, but I'd prefer it to be more laid-back and without the confrontational nature that many formal debates have.

Anyone interested?

David B
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Post by David B » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:00 am

I've just reminded myself of what these arguments are, in brief.

Do you think this a reasonable brief synopsis?

http://www.theopedia.com/Arguments_for_the_existence_of_God

I'm not one for formal exclusive engagements myself, preferring to leave it to those who relish them. I don't like the pressure of time schedules, myself.

I would be interested to know what sort of God you think that any of these arguments implies, assuming for the sake of arguments are sound.

I hope you find a taker - but if not, then perhaps we can explore aspects of this in open thread.

David

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Ray Moscow
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Post by Ray Moscow » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:10 am

My current signature says it all, really -- but it's more along the lesthropic principle argument.
Just how much of the Bible do you need to read to realise that any religion that's even loosely based on it is total bullshit?

punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:19 am

David, the article provides a decent introduction, but it leaves out a lot of the nuances. I'll start a thread in the Religion section, and we can go from there. :)

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:21 am

I'm trying to persuade someone else to engage you, but if no-one better wants to do it, I might offer myself. However, because of other commitments I wouldn't be immediately available.

punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:49 am

That's fine. I'm not in any hurry.

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:25 pm

Hello pfc, I'm sure that someone will turn up soon. Wiploc is a member here by the way, but he hasn't logged on for quite some time.

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Bane
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Post by Bane » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:07 pm

Sure, I'll accept, though I can't guarantee anything due to not working well with time schedules and stuff myself.
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Lady Mondegreen
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Post by Lady Mondegreen » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:10 pm

I would be interested in an exclusive engagement provided we agree the rules of engagement.
For example, I would not with to have to respond more than say once per week since I simply don't have the time.

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:29 pm

Looks like we two potential participants. I'll let Tanya and LM decide amongst themselves who will participate. Of course, since pfc started the OP, he can choose if he wishes.

Here are some parameters to think about:

(1) Topic
(2) Participants, positions and sequence
(3) Scope
(4) Length in rounds
(5) Maximum statement length
(6) Maximum duration between statements
(7) Start date
(8) Additional criteria (optional)

punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:44 am

Tanya and LM, thank you both for your interest.

Redshirt, would it be possible for me to open, and for these two ladies to post their own individual responses? I'm thinking we could try something like this:

Round 1

Punkforchrist opens.
Tanya responds.
LM responds.

Round 2

Punkforchrist responds to Tanya and LM.
Tanya responds.
LM responds.

We could then do the same for the KCA, followed by a round of closing thoughts.

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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:19 pm

I'm quite reluctant to allow three people in a formal discussion, unless Tanya and LM are coming at from different worldviews or perspectives.

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:24 pm

At TR we did have a few EEs with more than two people. I think they can work with up to about 3, but get unwieldy after that.

punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:01 pm

That's fair enough. I would just like to include anyone who has expressed interest. How about having Tanya participate in the dialogue on the Thomistic argument, and LM on the KCA? Of course, they can switch if they'd like to.

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Lady Mondegreen
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Post by Lady Mondegreen » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:12 pm

I would be quite happy to go third as long as I can comment on any of the points raised by P4C - and Tanja too if I feel it necessary.

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Bane
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Post by Bane » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:09 pm

I know the Thomistic argument pretty well, so I'm happy to debate that :)
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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:11 pm

I think pfc's suggestion sounds best. That is, LM focuses on the kalam version while Tanya focuses on the Thomistic version. I think that will work best for a 3-person formal discussion if we want to avoid redundancy and overlapping arguments.

Would you be okay with that LM? If you still really want to address the kalam arguments and Tanya's points, then perhaps we can arrange some sort of organized format.

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Lady Mondegreen
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Post by Lady Mondegreen » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:42 pm

Dear Admin

I am happy to respond to the kalam arguments but whilst not wishing to waste anyone's time by making redundant points I would like to be able to add to, expand on, or even criticise Tanja's points if I felt it was necessary. Equally, I would be happy for her to do the same to mine. I don't suppose either of us has a monopoly on good ideas.

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Bane
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Post by Bane » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:57 am

I don't mind if you do that, but would you kindly spell my name correctly? :) I am a little touchy about it, and really don't mean to offend.
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Redshirt
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Post by Redshirt » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:59 pm

At present, I'm still very reluctant about permitting a 3-way formal discussion like this. Having had a lot of formal debate mod experience in the past, I've found that multi-participant formal discussions/debates can be very bunglesome and I've only permitted them in exceptional cirumstances. There just seems too much potential for getting away from the discussion's focus as well as other pitfalls.

Anyways, since pfc appears to be okay with it, I will (grudgingly) permit the formal discussion.

Tanya and LM, just so I can perhaps feel a bit more comfortable about the perspectives present, what kind of nontheist are you? Are you a weak or strong atheist (or perhaps some kind of agnosticism)? Do you come at the question from a particular philosophical perspective?

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Bane
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Post by Bane » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:19 pm

I am a strong atheist (largely basing my belief that there is no god on grounds of the problem of evil). I am going to stay on-topic, and if I mention anyone it'll be Hume.
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punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:37 am

Redshirt, if you'd like, we can always just split the discussion into two separate threads, each one representing its own sub-topic. If LM would like to comment on Tanya's points, that can always be done in the peanut gallery (assuming she's okay with that).

punkforchrist
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Post by punkforchrist » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:39 am

Tanya wrote: I am a strong atheist . . .


Are you just a strong atheist with respect to an omni-max God? Or, do you extend that to all forms of deism too? I'm just curious...

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Lady Mondegreen
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Post by Lady Mondegreen » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:33 am

In response to Admin: My atheism is based on the incompatability between the traditional properties attributed to God and what we now know about the scale and complexity of the Universe. I do not find it plausible that the creator of billions of galaxies and untold trillions of stars cares one jot about whether or not one member of one species on one planet orbiting one of those stars conforms or fails to conform to a set of norms decided by other members of that species.

And sorry Tanya, I will try to be more observant in future.
Last edited by Lady Mondegreen on Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: missing "not"

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Bane
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Post by Bane » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:27 am

"punkforchrist" wrote:
Tanya wrote: I am a strong atheist . . .


Are you just a strong atheist with respect to an omni-max God? Or, do you extend that to all forms of deism too? I'm just curious...

I do indeed extend that to deism--anything people pray to I see as an invisible buddy for grown-ups, but let's not argue it in this thread. :)

LM:
It's fine, I'm not annoyed :)
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