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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Stomachosus wrote:
The fact is between now and now there are an infinite number of nows. From 1 second to the next, time is infinitely divisible.

You are now asserting the opposite of what you did. You asserted before that there was an infinitesimal, namely planck time. Now you are asserting that there cannot be such a thing. Ok, agreed. Time is infinitely divisible.

I don't know why you don' t understand basic words or even acronyms (again STEM does not stand for what you think it does. You just sound stupid using it your own idiosyncratic way).

There are arguments that can be given against an " infinite past" you given none, but simply run amok, denied the very existence of time and motion, then turned around and asserted literal nonsense.

The fact is pax you are acting the fool and are an embarrassment.

Once again, from the top.
Time is the numbering of motion according to before and after. From any instant to another any number whatsoever may be given. I may count an hour as 60 minutes or 3600 seconds or 2,160,000 thirds, ad nauseam. There is not least unit, no infinitesimal as you said (that is no limit to the divisibility of time). A now, like a point on a line, is not the result of continuously dividing time up. It has no part, has no duration, just as a point is that which has no part. Between any two nows, just as between any two points, any number of nows or points can be taken. If this were not true, then there would be a least part.

The argument that something with dimension/without duration cannot exist, well that is just you sound like Richard Dawkins or one of the other ignorant fools. A point has no dimension, but is the principle of a line. Just as the line is the principle of a plane, and so on. You cannot say that length, breadth and depth exist, but points do not. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of geometry (though note, in what way lines and points, as taken in say Euclid, actually exist is another issue, not actually relevant here). The now, you might call it the moving now, is the principle of time.

Time is the numbering of motion before and after. Numbering, as in something produced by an intelligent mind, such as man. Time, as such, does not exist apart from a mind that numbers motion. And it numbers it the same way one measures a line segment, by taking two points, or nows, as principles to define a unit.

We must look at the fundmentum of time, then to argue about the universe. Now motion is the act of the potential qua potential. Now go back and read the link from that mind so praised by the Church, Aquinas. There are arguments against him. But what I want you to do is try and understand the actual questions involved.


This is the definition I am using:

space-time
nounPHYSICS
noun: spacetime
the concepts of time and three-dimensional space regarded as fused in a four-dimensional continuum.

con·tin·u·um
kənˈtinyo͞oəm/Submit
noun
a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.
"at the fast end of the fast-slow continuum"
MATHEMATICS
the set of real numbers.

Is this what the Council of Constance condemned?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:39 pm 
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pax wrote:
MATHEMATICS
the set of real numbers.

What do you think that means?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
pax wrote:
MATHEMATICS
the set of real numbers.

What do you think that means?


No infinities as they are not real numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:45 pm 
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No complex numbers?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
No complex numbers?


Anything you want. Just no infinities.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:52 pm 
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That's rather arbitrary and it leaves you with some rather intractable problems (or would if you were a professional mathematician). On what grounds do you exclude infinities?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
That's rather arbitrary and it leaves you with some rather intractable problems (or would if you were a professional mathematician). On what grounds do you exclude infinities?


You cannot do any math with them. Infinite past - infinite past = infinite past. Makes no sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Perhaps you mean to say that you cannot do arithmetic with them, but even that is not entirely true. But no mathematician will accept "can do arithmetic with it" as a definition of math. You just threw out all of geometry, for one thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:23 pm 
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pax wrote:
No infinities as they are not real numbers.

Is pi a real number?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:05 pm 
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pax wrote:
You cannot do any math with them.


Yes you can, it's not even particularly difficult, you can teach it to a high school student.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:03 am 
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Bagheera wrote:
pax wrote:
No infinities as they are not real numbers.

Is pi a real number?

Here is the thing, though he is too dense to listen. There is no need to claim that an actual infinite magnitude or an actual infinite multitude could exist here anyways. If time exists, it is not composed of a finite number of nows. I won't get into it, but that idea actually undergirds the heresies of Wycliffe.

pax seems to be taking the alternative as saying that it is composed of an actual infinity of nows. But no number of points, thrown together make a line, in that a point by definition has no breadth. Points can only define ends or segments of a breadth, a line. Just as the "now" does in time.

Still, pi is a good example. How many times can a divide a second? A googleplex you say, well then divide that by half. Infinitesimal (you know this, this is for pax) originally means the case of the limit, where n goes to infinity. If we divide a line 100 times or a 1000, each time it gets smaller...so t/n where n goes to infinity is zero. But that is not saying that time is composed of such zeros, because if they have no duration, no number of them can give it. But it is saying that time is infinitely divisible, and heck God must know all possible numbers of pi, so it is not a matter of logical impossibility conceptually.

Since it would only be a conceptual infinity, not an actual one, what is the issue? Time, as such, requires a mind to mark it. Whether you describe that as Augustine did, of the memory of the past and the anticipation of the future, or as the numbering of motion according to before and after. Since what exists are substances and not time per se, and no one is claiming infinite material substances, we aren't dealing with a physical problem, because time is not physical in the modern sense, but is a property of physical things (and even then, in Aristotelian terms, only quantity and quality of absolute accidents, intrinsic to the thing, time is relative....Aristotle and Aquinas posited a uniform motion to unify the measure of time, sure, but still it is a variable extrinsically determined in part by an observer)


Quite interestingly one of the premises asserted by pax is the very premise that is key to Aristotle's proof that the world is eternal. After all, if all motion needs a beginning in the natural order, then all motion requires a previous motion moving it. And so on. Creation gets rid of that issue. But it is the trap of the mind that treats there being a before creation all over again.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:29 am 
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Ironically, ordinarily infinite numbers are not part of the set of real numbers. But infinitesimals do require infinite numbers (they are called "infinitesimals" because they are "infinitely" small). For example, an infinite number of points will not make up a line segment. Even a set of points that is uncountable (e.g. the Cantor set) won't necessarily have a measure. But an infinite number of infinitesimals will have a measure. Infinitesimals were part and parcel of calculus until the XIXth century (and some people still use them) when set theory became more rigorous.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:51 am 
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pax, you're in full-blown Alfred mode at the moment. Whatever you need to assert to defend your initial proposition, you will assert it.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:55 am 
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Bagheera wrote:
Ironically, ordinarily infinite numbers are not part of the set of real numbers. But infinitesimals do require infinite numbers (they are called "infinitesimals" because they are "infinitely" small). For example, an infinite number of points will not make up a line segment. Even a set of points that is uncountable (e.g. the Cantor set) won't necessarily have a measure. But an infinite number of infinitesimals will have a measure. Infinitesimals were part and parcel of calculus until the XIXth century (and some people still use them) when set theory became more rigorous.



Dropping in only to observe that, for reasons I can't explain, about 6 weeks ago I bought, new, not on sale, not remaindered, etc, a book titled INFINITESIMAL/Amir Alexander. No, I have no idea why, since I can't count.

It does seem to involve a group of Jesuits, meeting to do something. If they are on Jekyll Island, I wouldn't be surprised.

GKC


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:47 am 
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I'm curious as to pax' motivation for being so defensive about this. It's not like the Kalam is the only proof, and if he is willing to accept my rendition of it, it needn't go out the window at all. I still say we can accept the Kalam for what it is. It strongly suggests that God exists given the picture modern science has painted about the universe.

In other words, why does the Kalam have to be a metaphysical demonstration? Why can't it just be a good scientific proof, there understanding "proof" in exactly a scientific sense? Instead, he's trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and thereby throwing a great deal of good philosophy and thereby natural theology under the bus!

I really am curious as to why this is so important to him . . . I mean, I could at least conceptualize why his argument from tradition regarding the placement of the nails in Jesus' hands was meaningful. I can even get why men like William Lane Craig would need to die on this hill. But I don't see at all why this is so important to pax here. :-/


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:10 am 
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TheJack wrote:
I'm curious as to pax' motivation for being so defensive about this.


One of the things that makes him so good at debates is his stubbornness, his willingness to fight until hell freezes over and then put on ice skates and then proceed to fight on the ice. I think Tom Petty's song 'I Won't Back Down' is probably his anthem. Unfortunately, this is also something that at times can make him really bad at debates.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:35 am 
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Would someone be so kind as to explain to someone from outside (like me) as to what is the main point of this thread?


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:36 pm 
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soyo wrote:
Would someone be so kind as to explain to someone from outside (like me) as to what is the main point of this thread?

There is an argument for God's existence called the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It it usually stated as follows:

1. That which comes into existence must have a cause;
2. The universe came into existence;
3. Therefore, the universe must have a cause

Since the universe contains all time, space, matter, and energy, then the Cause cannot be in time, in space, material, or under any kind of energetic constraints. That is, such a cause must be eternal, immaterial, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Moreover, it is usually argued that it must have a will, since the universe is not necessary, and thus its cause must have chosen to create it. But that which has a will is a person, so the cause of the universe is an Eternal, Immaterial, Omnipresent, Omnipotent Person. What would you call that other than God?

Pax wanted to know why I disagree with that argument. I said that the second premise fails. My objection to the second premise goes back to Saint Thomas. Most Thomists don't like the second premise, not because they believe that the universe did NOT come into existence, but because we believe it cannot be shown by reason alone. It is, rather, a matter of faith.

Pax is trying to argue that the beginning of the universe is not a matter of faith, but rather is a matter of reason (contra Aquinas). He thinks that a beginningless universe would constitute and actual infinity, and an actual infinity cannot exist, and therefore, a beginningless universe is impossible. Others are showing him why he is wrong in his counter argument. For my part, I have suggested that the second premise can be defended on probabalistic, scientific grounds, and that it would be a strong argument for God's existence considered scientifically, but that such an argument should be recognized for what it is: a scientific argument and thus subject to being challenged. It is in no way a metaphysical demonstration, which, for instance, Thomas' Five ways are.

I hope that helps. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Jack, can I tighten up your second premise? 2. The universe came into existence in time. Or something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack -- The Kalam Argument
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Jack, can I tighten up your second premise? 2. The universe came into existence in time. Or something like that.


To my knowledge, best defender of the Kalam argument today is William Lane Craig, and I have seen him present it in person, and the way he phrases it is 'the universe came into existence a finite number of years ago'...which is probably the most precise wording out there.

Craig's presentation is something like this

1. Anything that begins to exist must have a cause
2. Current scientific evidence shows that the universe most likely came into existence a finite number of years in the past
3. Therefore the universe has a cause


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