Saturday, January 12, 2013

Countering the Kalam - Done in 5 Minutes

Another atheist blogger decided to be very friendly and recommended that I create a condensed version of my Countering the Kalam video series.

He had this crazy idea that there may be people who might be interested in what I have to say, but don't want to sit through almost an hours worth of detailed science and philosophy videos.

There are people who don't want to watch hours worth of science and philosophy videos!?!?

Friday, January 11, 2013

About Me and my Goals

Mission Statement

It is demonstrably the case that atheism or agnosticism is the default starting point for any rational inquirer when it comes to the question whether or not god exists.

My goal is to advocate for atheism and agnosticism because simply put, there are no good reasons to believe in a god.  This is especially true for the Christian god, Yahweh. 

This blog is dedicated to showing how and why there are no good reasons to believe in any deity by countering mainly Christian apologetics arguments.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Countering the Kalam (4) - Circular and Unscientific

Special Thanks to RL friend ErikJ for all the help in creating this series.

The Kalam’s serious problems with modern science
Like any philosophical argument, the Kalam relies on a number of stances on other philosophical issues.  The main issue the theist is stuck with in the Kalam is that the argument requires two controversial positions on philosophical issues: Absolute Simultaneity and the “A-Theory of Time”.
While these are largely philosophical positions, we have good scientific evidence that both of these stances are at odds with General and Special Relativity.  Before covering how the positions are at odds with modern physics, first let’s go through why the Kalam requires these stances.

Countering the Kalam (3) - No Scientific Evidence

Special Thanks to RL friend ErikJ for all the help in creating this series.
The Big Bang Singularity
The first piece of scientific evidence that Craig will appeal to is the Big Bang Singularity Theorem.  Note that this is different from the Big Bang Theory.  This is because the Big Bang Theory actually says nothing about how the universe came into existence, and only describes how our space-time universe (note the distinction) expanded and evolved after the first “Planck second” (10-43 seconds) of its existence. 
The Big Bang Singularity Theorem is an attempt to explain what happened before the first Planck second, assuming that general relativity holds at the scales involved at that point.   What results is a mathematical and physical singularity, where many of the physical properties quickly break down into infinities – including temperature, density, and curvature.  In an extremely odd philosophical move, Kalam proponents take this to mean that all of the matter and energy described in the Singularity Theorem must have come into being from nothing (more on this in the philosophy section).

Countering the Kalam (2) - Philosophical Objections

Special Thanks to RL friend ErikJ for all the help in creating this series.

New spin, Old problems
The first sign that there’s trouble here is right there in the name, the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  This is just one more spin on the flawed classical Cosmological Argument.  
All cosmological arguments basically try apply causality to the origin of the universe to try and prove god’s existence.  When you take cause and effect and go back to the origin of “everything”, you’re left with two options – an infinite regress of causes and effects, or with something that had to have always existed, something that has a “necessary existence”, which in the theists mind just has to be their particular god.
The classical defeater for this is to ask why can’t the universe itself be “necessary” or “always have existed”. 
The Kalam is just yet another variant of the argument that tries to give god a get out of jail free card by introducing the notion of timeless existence, and tying all of material reality to the existence of time.   Then it sprinkles on a bit of modern cosmology to make it seem like the argument has scientific support when it really doesn’t.

Countering the Kalam (1) - Intro and Definitions

Special Thanks to RL friend ErikJ for all the help in creating this series.
Note: This page has been updated on Feb 4, 2013 to fix the ordering error on some sections - no text was added or deleted. 

This originated as a paper, but it's now become a video series and a blog compendium to provide what I hope is a thorough refutation to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  It will be broken up into four videos and posts.

The Kalam cosmological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of god, with the twist that it is usually presented as having substantial scientific evidence supporting its conclusion.   This is problematic because it perverts the science in misleading ways and lends an otherwise problematic argument a false air of authority.
I have multiple goals with this series.  First is to highlight two main philosophical objections to the Kalam.  Next is to show that the two pieces of scientific evidence usually cited in support of the Kalam absolutely do not support its premises in the way the argument requires.  It will then be shown that the Kalam has substantial problems with modern science, and requires its defenders to take unscientific, non falsifiable positions on fundamental aspects of physics in order to maintain the argument.  Finally, it will be shown that the Kalam is circular because it requires one to presuppose the existence of god in order for one to accept the account of creation it argues for.