Talk:Kalām cosmological argument/Archive 1

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Few edits

I made a few edits regarding Zeno's paradox. The article made it apear that Zeno's paradox is an actual infinity, when many people would claim it was a potential infinity. (It doesn't matter haw many times a finite number is divided by a finite number, the result will never equal an infinite number. Even though the number of times it was divided is always increasing, this would also be a potential infinity. Also there are objections that between two points in space there has to be another point.) Now whether you agree with this or not is irrelevant. My point is that there are many people that disagree that Zeno’s paradox displays actual infinities. Therefore you cannot state that is does, when in fact that is not proven. I also added this line that replaces the statement on numbers: "It is claimed by opponents of the Kalam Cosmological argument that the sets of natural numbers, rational numbers, and real numbers are actually infinite instead of potentially infinite, because they all contain an infinite number of elements."

I think that more accurately describes the situation.

I also edited the section on the big bang and put "Big Bang models do not always support the Kalam Cosmological argument" instead of it being absolute.

I also made an edit to the George Cantor section, because it makes it look like he proved that actual infinities exist in the real world. When in reality he uses actual infinities under certain predefined conditions. Therefore he has not proved that exist in the real world, just that you can use them as useful tools in mathematics.

I agree this should not be an infomercial for Dr. Craig, but lets not have it go too far the other way. --70.68.142.64 (talk) 21:44, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

This page is written like an infomercial for Dr. Craig

The way in which this article is worded concerns me greatly. It is written from the stance of someone arguing in favor of the Kalam argument. This is a religious proof in the sense that it is supposed to create a strong suggestion. It is not a law of the universe and the overwhelming majority of the philosophical and scientific community does not recognize it as sufficient. I am not arguing against Dr. Craig, I think he is a smart guy actually. However, this argument should not be written as an essay from an apologist grad school. Eightbitlegend (talk) 19:48, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the article and many of its writers are not neutral

There are way too many WLC fanboys arguing on this discussion page and no one has changed the article to sound neutral. It should get away from words like "Defenders of the Kalam argument[weasel words] of course would point out..." Again, I am not attacking Craig, BUT this argument is worded as if it was fact and the arguments against it are on the fringes. Many of WLC's theories are at odds with scientific and philosophical norms and are actually on the fringes themselves (such as his disagreement with Einstein's theory of time and his arguments in favor of historical Jesus). I am not saying he is wrong, but the way this article and this discussion page are set up is very concerning. If it is not cleaned up, I am going to put a neutrality warning on it.Eightbitlegend (talk) 16:31, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Errors in the disproofs

In the disproof of the argument based on Cantor sets, these are pure mathematical concepts. For mathematics it is clear that on the real line, the number of points is already infinite. But we don't talk here about mathematical reality, but physical reality. Physics has the concept of a smallest times unit (the Planck time), and time intervals smaller then this unit, have no physical meaning (ie. you can not tell if a time was before or after some other time, if the timeinterval is smaller then the Planck length). So I propose simply scraping that part. The Kalam cosmological arguments is already and sufficiently proven wrong based on the contradiction in adjecto of the argument itself (the arguments supposes that we could start counting time at the begin, yet an infinite time line doesn't have a begin).

Heusdens (talk) 09:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Okay, now that I've taken the time to read your argument carefully, I'm not convinced it's valid. It's mathematically consistent and perfectly valid to say that all time before a certain point has infinite measure. Denying this is like saying that the Real Line is of finite length because there's a finite distance between any two points.
Next, I'll contest that the discussion of Cantor sets should stay, given that there are misconceptions in the discussion in favour of the Kalam cosmological argument (eg, different coloured books in an infinite bookcase) that are completely resolved by modern set theory.
On top of that, according to modern techniques (taking time and space as continuous real valued variables), we experience many, many actual infinities every day of our lives, and modern set theory offers a description of how those actual infinities are dealt with.
Of the two sources you offer, one is dated 1877 and the other is from Hegel, who died in 1831; both of these sources can be forgiven for not knowing about cardinality, modern set theory and the Lebesgue measure since Cantor only published his groundbreaking paper in 1874, and only finished the six articles explaining his new set theory in 1884. The cold hard truth is arguments made about infinity that don't use the tools introduced by Cantor are basically obselete. Endomorphic (talk) 12:42, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Disproof of the argument should be included

The Kalam cosmological argument has a simple disproof, which should be included in the article. Also the article should mention that for example Kant elaborated on this same argument, but added also the proof of the opposite, namely that the world could not have begun to exist.

Disproof of Kalam Cosmological argument

Here is the reasoning that explains why the Kalam Cosmological argument is wrong:

Consider a line extending on both sides to infinity. Now to measure anything in space or time, requires one to place two points on the line.

<----------------X----------------------X------------------------->

But, as can be clear, wherever you place the two points, the distance between them is of finite measure. That however does not disprove that the line itself is infinite, since we can always place the two points further apart.

Now, in the Kalam cosmological argument it is reasoned that an infinite amount can not have elapsed. The question however is where does one place the points? The error in the argument is that it smuggles into the argument the idea that somehow the timeline had a begin, since how else could one measure the time from the begin? Yet, an infinite line does not have a starting point. This means, we can never place the point at the begin of the line in the first place, and wherever we place the point, we always will measure a finite distance.

Hence, there is no contradiction, and the argument is invalid.

Heusdens (talk) 16:18, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

A more elaborate discussion on this same type of argument you can find in: Friedrich Engels, Anti-Duhring, Philosophy of Time and Space. [1]

Feel free to edit away, so long as you provide references and sources. Be WP:BOLD with your edits. The article needs it. Endomorphic (talk) 15:50, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so I've cut the article up quite a bit. It now has more structure, less chaff, and doesn't skirt around issues like infinitely long bookcases. It still needs more work, but things always will. I like the idea of adding a reference to Kant's "proof" and include a mention of his "counter-proof" that the universe *couldn't* have come into existence :) Endomorphic (talk) 17:34, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
The antimonies of Kant (who *proves* both sides of this, namely that the universe could not have started from nothing and thus must be infinite, and also that the universe could not be infinitely old, and thus must have started a finite time ago) should be definately in there. Perhaps also with the comments Hegel made on it.

If it is true that this argument is only intended to show that the universe had a "cause", then please remove all references to "god" and a "creator" from the article. You are trying to have your cake and eat it too. On the one hand you claim this argument has something to do with "god", but when shown that god is no solution to the given dilemma, you say "oh, no, its not an argument for god. Just for a first cause". Which is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.102.0.170 (talk) 23:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

You could always argue that there can be an actual infinite since the same laws don't have to apply; it may only apply to this universe; that would appear to be a viable argument against this one. Should it be included in here as a criticism or response?

This argument and its responses are quite well-formed in the literature. In order to include your point, you would need to find a reputable source that has made this criticism/response, and reference or quote that source in the article. Otherwise, it would violate the "no original research" policy of Wikipedia.--Gandalf2000 17:25, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

This argument is a paradox. If an actual infinity can't exist, then how can God exist? But if an actual infinty CAN exist, how can God be the "first" cause?? Infinity0 18:05, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

The paradox is removed when you qualify the statement to read, "actual infinity can't exist in the physical universe". For example, actual infinity does exist in the realm of mathematics, which has partial but not complete correlation to the physical realm. (There is a separate discussion as to whether non-physical things can be "real", such things as mathematics and morality.) If you read the expositions of the Kalam argument, you'll find that it's precisely this paradox that drives the reasoner to conclude that a "prime mover" must exist beyond the constraints of the physical universe, in order to kick-start the whole thing.
On a tangent, see the discussion between Heraclitus and the Eleatics for examples of paradoxes that are resolved by the recognition that actual infinity does not exist in the universe.--Gandalf2000 18:50, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
Maybe this isn't the right place to ask, but what makes that thing from outside the physical universe to be God and not some non-physical inanimate object? DTM 04:14, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
Good observation. "Non-physical" applies because the prime mover must not be constrained by the limitations of the physical universe. However, "inanimate" wouldn't quite apply, since the prime mover must have the capacity to kick-start the whole thing -- kind of the ultimate in animation. That said, the Kalam cosmological argument does not go far at all in determining the attributes of the prime mover, only that one reasonably exists. The teleological argument starts to infer the nature of the designer, namely intelligence or purposefulness.--Gandalf2000 08:38, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Unmover mover exists or unmoved mover existed?

If we have established that the unmoved mover exists, have we established if it still exists or that it just existed? Any ideas on the arguements or counterarguements for this topic or where the arguements are at right now? (Simonapro 14:56, 29 August 2006 (UTC))

Let me establish this question a bit more. How does the Kalam cosmological argument verify in esse? (Simonapro 19:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC))

Where is the balance in this article?

Aside from the irrelevant and largely non-controversial infinity section, the whole argument is based on ambiguous definitions. Craig never defines terms, so he is free to use the same word with different meanings. The ambiguity easily evades casual detection in a blizzard of verbiage. This fawning article contains no critical analysis of the absurd argument It should carry a POV disclaimer or be removed. Unfortunately I don't have time to edit it.

I would say the article is very important and I would block any move to have it deleted because it follows directly on from Aristotle's concept of a unmoved mover. There are even questions being asked above. It is important. (Simonapro 10:24, 17 September 2006 (UTC))

It should be merged with the Cosmological argument page, it is just one of the variations of that argument. William Craig hasnt come up with anything new. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.59.29.198 (talk) 01:30, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

One Finger

One can imagine taking a finger and passing an infinite number of dimensionless points on a ruler from one end to the other, but time is not dimensionless or imaginary.

Does this particular sentance have a verifiable source? It smells of OR, because, well, it's flawed. It seems to be trying to compare a whole interval in time to a single point of the ruler. Better would be comparing a time interval to the whole ruler, and a point in time to a point on the ruler. A single point in time is just as dimensionless as any single point in space. And I just now passed my finger over infinitely many points on a ruler (go on, try it) so it's not imaginary either. I just spent infinitely many moments in time writing this comment, too. Endomorphic 23:54, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Merge article

Proposed and Supported. This article basically restates the issues in the cosmological argument article, which covers the ancient Greek, Jewish and Christian forms. The history of the Islamic form should be added to the Cosmlogical argument and this article merged.--Primal Chaos 16:09, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Infinite divided by 2 is illogical?

I will copy and paste the question I gave in the wikipedia questions on mathematics forum about this article.

Here is an excerpt from an article in wikipedia of the title above which I find absurd. "Craig describes the impossibility of an actual infinite like an endless bookcase. For example, imagine a bookcase that extends infinitely on which there is an infinite number of books, colored green and red, green and red, and so on. Obviously there would be an infinite number of books. But imagine you remove all red colored books. How many are left? An infinite number. Thus infinity divided by two equals infinity, which is illogical given standard definitions of division. Craig thus attempts to show that infinity, as he defines it, cannot be applied to operations in the world." Why is ∞/2 not equal to ∞? eg. 5/0 /2 = 5/0 = ∞ Why is this illogical? The article just states it without explaining why. The article doesn't even say something like "In his view, this is illogical". It states it as a fact. Nor does it offer an objection to such an absurd assertion.

Re: Heraclitus and the Eleatics

Gandalf2000, if you are referring to the Zeno paradoxes then you are wrong. Actual infinite can exist even under all such paradoxes. Let's use the first paradox as an example. 1)The Dichotomy: It is impossible to move around a racetrack since we must first go halfway, and before that go half of halfway, and before that half of half of halfway, and . . . . If space is infinitely divisible, we have infinitely many partial distances to cover, and cannot get under way in any finite time.

This is seamingly a paradox but it is fact not. Mathematically is it quite easy to see why. Let's give specific speeds and distances. Say I am going at 50m/s on a 100m race track. According to the paradox, I cannot pass the 100 meter line. After 50m, I have ran for 1s. After half the distance left, I have ran for 1.5s (75m total(T)). After half the distance left (87.5m(T)) I have ran for 1.75s. After half the distance left(93.75m(T)), I have ran for 1.875s etc etc Notice that the time intervals are changing. After 2s, I will in fact cross the line. The paradox assumes that the time intervals aren't changing. I will "never" cross the finish line, becuase the experiment will never permit me to go past 2s into the future. So the word "never" is incorrect. It would be as if Zeno told me: You will never cross the finish line because I'm not going to give you a full 2s to do so.

Mathemtically, simply because I'm adding a finite amount of time each movement, does not mean that an infinite number of motions will require infinite time. The amount of time being added will be smaller and smaller and so will add up to 2s after my infinite motions. Continue the above experiment, further reducing the time interval and you will see that the limit as total distance→100m =2s, not ∞ as the paradox suggests.

The possibility of objects causing the existance of themselves.

According to this article, the atheist philosopher Quentin Smith has stated that the universe caused itself to exist. From what I understand, he implies that non-existant things can actually cause themselves to begin to exist - is this possible? Can something which is nothing actually cause anything? I think that the cause must actually exist before the consequence, and if the object itself is the cause to its existance, it must have existed before it started to exist. This can't be, or do I err somewhere? MentalMaelstrom 10:14, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

reply

If you are in favor of this argument, yes there is. If I understood the statement correctly, WLC argued in his speech on time that the cause does not have to precede the existent. Eightbitlegend (talk) 19:54, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Another problem with this argument

imo, this argument fails at premise 1 which claims things that begin to exist have a cause. But we have no idea whether that is true precisely because we've never seen anything come to exist! All matter was created (we presume) at the big bang. But that's the only time matter has ever come to exist.

Wrong. Although this idea lives on, it really is not part of a physical/cosmological explenation of the universe. The singularity that does show up in General relativity is only a hypothetical point from which seemingly all matter & spacetime arrives. But since near that singularity we come into reach of Quantum mechanical effects, we can no longer assume that, since we need to take quantum mechanic effects into consideration. A theory of quantum gravity is in development, so the predictability of what happens before a certain time (and very near the hypothetical singularity) is not entirely settled. There are many models possible (for instance inflationary models or ekpyrotic/cyclic models) that do not have a singularity. But we cannot conclude that time had a begin at the singularity any longer. Pls. also compare this to Newton's theory of gravity. When point masses are brought together at zero distance, also this theory has a singularity. Yet, the singularity in reality never happens because firstly, point masses are purely theoretical, all matter we see has non-zero size, and secondly we need to take into account the electromagnetic force (repelling electrons), which show that the theoretical model makes predictions that don't occur in reality. Heusdens (talk) 09:43, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

It's not at all relevant to say cars and paintings come to exist and they have a cause, therefore the universe must have a cause. Cars and paintings don't truly begin to exist--they are simply the rearrangement of existing matter! For this analogy of "things" to "the universe" to be valid, it should read: Premise 1) Everything which begins to exist is a reordering of things that already exist. And that's not a powerful argument for an original cause. This suggests matter is eternal.

There is no such knowledge of whether things that begin to exist have a cause because we've never seen any matter begin to exist. Things we "think" began to exist did not actually begin to exist: they were simply rearrangements of things that already existed. Existence is the question and this argument starts with the answer. --216.152.191.70 (talk) 11:03, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Infinite regress for the divinity

A further objection may be argued by applying the Kalam argument itself to any case for a divinity: if a divine being exists, then by Premise 1 of the argument, that being must have a cause. This leads to an infinite regression of causes, which undermines the use of this argument to support the existence of one or more supreme divine beings.

This paragraph should either be rewritten or removed. It doesn't respect premise 1 (anything that begins to exist has a cause); and the standard reply is, "But God didn't begin to exist - so God doesn't need a cause." It would be better to point out that any divinity that doesn't begin to exist is beyond the laws of the universe, and make the connection to non-supernatural causes of the universe that are also beyond the laws of the universe, etc. Langelgjm (talk) 02:28, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

No. The objection is that such an argument defeats the same logic on which it bases it's introduction of that divinity, which shows a 'double standard' on the use of logic in general (quite a common approach in theistic arguments). The logic itself already admits the logic possibility and necessity of there being a 'being' that has no beginning, and therefore should have already concluded that the universe without a begin is both logical possible and necessary -- the intermediate introduction of the hypothetical being in the form of God, then completely vanishes as an unnecessary addition. Heusdens (talk) 09:27, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

This is a too common objection to reject from an encyclopedia. I will attempt to locate Russell's book to establish that it is common even among highly regarded philosophers. The answer to this objection will also be included.

Another problem is the philosophical definition of "universe." What is it? Should it be exactly observable space-time as scientists describe? Ought the definition be "everything that exists," which would necessarily include God? And what proof is held that no actual infinites can exist in "our universe" while an actual universe can exist outside of it? The whole idea seems to be an elaborate construction even if this argument is taken as true, and the idea of a personal God described by any human religious text does not at all follow the conclusion. But until I find some support for this argumentative position, I will leave it out. Dndnerd (talk) 09:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

New Seciton: Objection from contradictio in adjecto

Hi Heusdens, nice to see you've added to the article, and that it's referenced! Thing is, the new section seems inconsistent with the rest of the article. Still needs work, etc.

The new section starts "The Kalam Cosmological argument that supposedly proves the impossibility of infinity of time..." while the article as a whole describes the Kalam argument as an attempt to "prove the existence of God by appealing to the principle of universal cause" or "uncaused cause" or "first cause". The whole infinite time debacle turns up later, as "The second premise is usually supported by the following argument: 1. An actual infinite cannot exist" [emphasis added].

Infnite time doesn't appear central to the Kalam argument. Your objection refutes the usual support of one premise; this doesn't strike me as something that should take up the whole first objection section, especially when there's a section for rejection of premises lower down. Endomorphic (talk) 11:20, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

This article is pretty tough to write, becuase a lot of references which should look reputable are completely rubish. This [[2]] is the second link in google for "kalam cosmological argument" (folowing wikipedia itself) and it makes claims like "One of the unique traits of an actual infinite is that part of an actually infinite set is equal to whole set. For example, in an actually infinite set of numbers, the number of even numbers in the set is equal to all of the numbers in the set. This follows because an infinite set of numbers contains an infinite number of even numbers as well as an infinite number of all numbers; hence a part of the set is equal to the whole of the set. Another trait of the actual infinite is that nothing can be added to it. Not one book can be added to an actually infinite library or one painting to an actually infinite museum."
So... wait... the even numbers are an actual infinite but you can't add, say, the odd numbers to them? You can start with all numbers and take some of them away and end up with something infinite, but you can't put the numbers back in? Makes no sense. More concicesly, what about N \union {0.5} ?
I've seen other high ranking google hits claim that the notions of seconds, days and years imply that time is dicrete, and that the unsolvability of Zeno's paradoxes is evidence that actual infinities are impossible. It's going to take a while to find solid references which are not completely unreliable. Endomorphic (talk) 13:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi Endomorphic. Well the argument is based on two premises, indeed. The disproof usually attack the validity of premise 2. But I'm sure there something wrong with premise 1 also. The best reference I have for that is the argument provided by Hegel in Science of Logic, Doctrine of Being, Remark 4: The incomprehensibility of the beginning. Heusdens (talk) 09:18, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
So, yeah, can those arguments be moved into /merged with the 'Objections rejecting the premises' section? Endomorphic (talk) 11:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Ok this proof does not fall apart on the basis of the main premises not implicitly mentioning a "beginningless series of events". Craig argues against the possibility of an actual infinite through a side-proof anyway, so whether or not a beginingless series of events is possible, he is not "smuggling" anything into the argument and it most certainly does not fall apart based on this objection. In fact Craig does address the issue of the absence of a temporal beginning, and he does so very well! Maybe if any of you would actually take the time to read his book, Reasonable Faith, you'd have a better understanding of the argument and possess the capability to know what the heck you're talking about. So before you throw crappy latin words out there to sound like a bunch of snobby liberals, consider his side-argument:

1. An actually infinite number of things cannot exist 2. A beginningless series of events in time entails an actually infinite number of things. 3. Therefore, a beginningless series of events in time cannot exist. Now before you all pounce on the second premise, consider the absurdity of saying the universe has existed from "eternity past". Not only would you be tossing evidence of Red Shift and the laws of thermodynamics out the window, you'd also be claiming that an infinite regress is still not an infinite amount. Whether you're going backwards or fowards (which, no matter what way you look at it, it's technically "forward") there is an infinite amount, and Craig will tear your ass to pieces if you try to argue that an actually infinite number of things can exist. Just because you flipped the terms by saying "it's differen't cuz there's no beginning, lol" does not in any way refute his argument. If you can't count to infinity, how can you possibly count down from infinity? This part of the article needs to be changed, and I suggest one of you knuckle heads do it as unbiased as you can, because I'm sure you've realized at this point that if I do it, it won't be neutral (although if I did it, it would be correct, but why bother?) youaremyrefuge 3:20, 21 September 2008

Yes, the "Objection from contradictio in adjecto" section is poorly wirtten and badly placed. However: check out Convergent_series and Zeno's paradoxes. An infinite regress can lead to a finite sum. Actually infinite numbers of things do exist; the best examples being "points in time" or "points in space". In terms of ass tearing, Craig (born 1949) had his handed to him by Cantor (paper published in 1874) and Lebesgue (paper published in 1901). Also, stay away from terms like "knuckle heads", "crappy latin" and "snobby liberals" lest you be mistaken for a troll. Endomorphic (talk) 14:20, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not just poorly written, it's biased and mistitled. "Contradictio in Adjecto" basically stands for an oxymoron...there is no oxymoron in the Kalam Argument. Whether or not we can prove infinite series can exist in the actual universe, that does not make it an oxymoron. The paragraph in this article makes it seem like Craig's version of Kalam was blown to pieces. And how could Craig have his ass handed to him by philosophers who were a generation before him? A philosopher can only counterract another philosopher if their rebuttal takes place after the original article was written. If you want to see a good debate between Craig and a present-day philosopher, check out this debate : http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-smith_harvard00.html . Very interesting and insightful.
Also, as to your comment about Zeno's paradox and the specific statement "An infinite regress can lead to a finite sum"...honestly ponder that for a second and then reassert it to me. You're contending that an infinite amount of something (points in time...seconds I assume; points in space...centimeters?) can be a finite amount? That, my friend, is the oxymoron...not the Kalam Argument.
I understand the nature of Zeno's paradox however I do not believe that validates the existence of actual infinites. An infinite number of dimensionless points is not the same as asserting the universe has existed since eternity past. Time is not dimensionless or imaginary. It is real and each moment that passes uses up real time that we cannot go back into. Am I making sense? Honestly the existence of actual infinites isn't what is ticking me off...what's ticking me off is how this particular paragraph of the wikipedia article makes the argument seem like it's disproven. It's not, and either way wikipedia ought to stay unbiased. youaremyrefuge 2:36, 3 October 2008

The structure of this article?

I'm afraid I'm a Wikipedia newbie, so apologies for these suggestions and requests which I'm not equipped to do myself!

Given the constant changes and new ideas brought forward in philosophical discussion, I'm not convinced that having a brief description of the argument followed by a string of *unreferenced* objections is an appropriate appropriate approach for an encyclopedia article. If an objection is to be noted in the article, it should be referenced to a peer-reviewed book or journal. Otherwise discussion on arguments like these will dissolve into bickering like we get on countless other web sites, with people adding an argument that they think is a knock-down winner, while others argue it doesn't fit, ad nauseam. There are already some lines in the article which sound questionable to me. Rather than object to them myself, I think requiring that they are linked directly to peer-reviewed pieces would be effective at rooting out the dross.

So, how about this structure: -A more detailed discussion of the history of the argument (at the moment it sounds like it's all about Craig, but even his modern formulation of the argument depends heavily on other thinkers, ancient and modern) -A chronological, referenced list of objections, which include a brief description of how proponents of the argument have responded (there usually is a response of some sort to published objections)

Until such a structure is adopted, I would suggest sticking a "bias" tag on the article. It's very difficult as a new reader to judge whether the objections are still valid (or still considered valid in the philosophical community at all), and we all know how contentious arguments like this can be.

Any thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dancingphil (talkcontribs) 14:55, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

So I've killed the "Objections from contradictio ad whetever" section. There are a bunch of reasons:
  • It didn't fit at all within the structure of the article.
  • It's based on concepts of infinity which are older than (and therefore rendered obselete by) modern set theory and measure theory.
  • It's just an argument against one method of justification of one of the premises.
  • A section which has to restate the position it's refuting smells a lot like a straw man argument
This doesn't mean Craig isn't wrong. We do need more on the history though, probably starting with bigger props to aristotle. Regarding the lines you find questionable: change them. Someone might change them back or we might settle on an entirely new phrasing, but we'll all be better off if you get stuck in. Endomorphic (talk) 14:55, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

"Work by Georg Cantor demonstrates that actual infinities are consistent and useful objects";

This assertion is false. Not only has Cantor's set theory not been shown to be consistent, Godel's second incompleteness theorem implies that it cannot be shown to be consistent, if it is consistent (if one takes a somewhat restrictive definition of 'shown to be consistent').

Furthermore, set theory is not about 'actual infinities' (whatever those are), but about infinite sets, that is, sets which are not finite. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.254.93.208 (talk) 18:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Excessive Citation Needed

There are too many "Citation Needed". When the article attempts to present the argument, referring to some unidentified "Craig" fellow whose authority has not been established, every other sentence has a silly "citation needed", to the point where it seems some reader confused the article's content as if the article were presenting the argument as fact.

If the entirety of the argument is under dispute -- that is, if someone created the page and didn't know the argument, or was using some unknown source -- then place ONE citation needed that obviously entails the entire argument. Don't put one after every single new idea related to the argument.

Come on, people. Learn how to edit. -- Newagelink (talk) 02:06, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


The "fact" that this is the argument is being presented. But much of this is pure personal opinion. Some of the "logic" is not logic, but propaganda... "If one removes a finite object from an infinite object..."... "...then...". How does one "remove" something from the universe? What does that even mean? Well... it doesn't mean anything... it is propaganda, not logic.- Sinneed 18:23, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Whether or not it is propaganda is not what Wikipedia is concerned about -- this is an encyclopedia. The page is ABOUT said supposed propaganda thus it needs to faithfully recount the Kalaam Cosmological Argument. It is currently CONTESTING the argument by putting citation needed after every statement -- as if wikipedia is the one making the argument and needs to provide citation for it. It is not Wikipedia's job to verify claims by third parties but rather TO VERIFY THAT THIRD PARTIES ARE IN FACT CLAIMING THE THING WE REPORT. Thus, citations don't go AFTER the points of the argument to verify them, but rather AFTER the WHOLE argument to verify that the ARGUMENT is in fact made by Craig. (Which it is by the way, repeatedly all over the place as much as he possibly can.)
To put this another way, Encyclopedia's don't fact check statements they quote -- instead, they verify in fact that the statements were made. For example, if a Wikipedia page says: According to Bob the Zealot, "Pi is exactly three." It SHOULDN'T put a citation for the truth of Pi being three, it needs to provide a citation for Bob the Zealot saying that statement. For an example of what I am trying to explain, please see the Intelligent Design page. It wouldn't even exist under Sineed's citation requirements.Eluusive (talk) 09:43, 5 November 2009 (UTC)