1) Kalam, Loftus & Lindsay · 2) Two rebuttals of Kalaam rebutted
First of all, every quote from Lindsay comes via his friend Loftus, from this blogpost:
Debunking Christianity : Infinity Is Not A Number, So The Kalam Argument Fails
By John Loftus at 3/21/2016
- John Loftus
- With the Kalam argument Wallace Marshall’s error is in thinking infinity is an actual number. Based on this error he says there cannot be an actual infinite number of past events. Well, of course not. That's because infinity isn’t an actual number. Since infinity is not an actual number we cannot count an infinite number of past events. The way Marshall uses infinity assumes there was a beginning an infinite time ago anyway. The truth is that an infinite timeline necessarily lies outside of our epistemic horizons. But this tells us nothing at all about whether the universe is eternal.
- "Outside our epistemic horizons" is not an actual possible alternative.
The argument makes the Universe as mystical as religion allows God to be. In other words, it destroys the claim that atheism frees the Universe from mysticism.
- James Lindsay
- Eternal cosmologies deny the existence of a beginning. Eternal means no beginning and no end. No first moment. No last moment. In an eternal cosmological model, we have to reckon time only from defined moments, and we can imagine a timeline of infinite length in both directions from any point that we choose. The way we conceive of that is not of a beginning infinitely long before or an end infinitely long after but rather as “there’s always an earlier moment than any we describe and always a later moment than any we describe.”
- Whether he admits so or not, it is like an actual number of infinite moments.
A beginning = a finite number of infinite moments.
No end = the finite number is always growing "into infinity", but is still always finite.
No beginning = the number is an actual infinite. Which is a mathematical paradox.
Or, the past is always growing backwards, just as much as the present is growing forwards into the future.
That is more of an ontological paradox.
Actual infinity in God poses no such paradox, since it is NOT in any way either numerical or even in the ordinary sense extensional.
God is totally simple and therefore "everything he is" at once. No past. No future. Only a present englobing all of our past and of our future. Our Time inside His Non-Time. Our Space inside His Non-Space.
Is that mystical? Yes, but leaves the Universe not so.
- James Lindsay
- Now the point isn’t that we know the universe is eternal. It’s that we don’t know that it isn’t. The whole point, by definition, of an eternal cosmology is that there is no first moment (i.e., no beginning).
- The problem with an eternal universe is that the universe is NOT everything it is at once and therefore its successive past would be numerical.
Therefore, unlike with God, the paradox does follow.
Universe not just mustical, but incoherent.
- James Lindsay
- The Kalam is exactly the kind of cosmology we would expect from people who hadn't yet discovered science…It would be absurd if they weren't so embarrassingly serious.
- This is as close, perhaps, as he comes to admitting "science" contains no actual argument against the Kalam, but is an ideological atmosphere which makes the Kalam argument look unsophisticated.
His words about "discovering science" is not about discovering it as an ideological object, but about exploring science and thus discovering it, from the inside, as your ideology.
In other words, he is not talking about science in the humdrum everyday sense of the word, he is talking about Science - or about Scientism.
Note, accepting as philosophical necessity that Universe had a beginning in timeis not strictly Thomist, but rather Scotist. However, Scotism is acceptable in the Catholic Church.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Tuesday of Holy Week
PS, next day: here is a more Thomist and less Scotist version, which does not depend on time having a beginning. I am not at all denying its validity. It is just that I found it somewhat less relevant to objection raised by Loftus and Lindsay as objection was worded.
The TOF Spot : First Way, Some Background
The TOF Spot : First Way, Part I: A Moving Tale
The TOF Spot : First Way, Part II: Two Lemmas Make Lemma-aid
The TOF Spot : First Way, Part III: The Big Kahuna
The TOF Spot : First Way, Part IV: The Cascades
Also, as it is connected to Geocentrism (see my comments under parts III and IV), the above gives an approximation for too resulute non-Geocentrics.