Simultaneous Causation

In discussing the Kalam Cosmological argument[1] an objection is often raised against the conclusion that the universe has a cause. This is that there cannot be a cause of the universe because there were no prior instants of time before t = 0 in the initial Big Bang singularity. Similarly, for the universe to have a beginning requires there be a time before the universe existed, and since the universe includes time there is no “before” the universe, making the notion apparently incoherent.

One of the worlds leading philosophers of time and proponent of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, Dr. William Lane Craig, definitively answers this objection bellow.[2]

For he [Grünbaum] fails to consider the obvious alternative that the cause of the Big Bang operated at t = 0, that is, simultaneously (or coincidentally[3]) with the Big Bang. Philosophical discussions of causal directionality routinely treat simultaneous causation, the question being how to distinguish A as the cause and B as the effect when these occur together at the same time [Dummett and Flew (1954); Mackie (1966); Suchting (1968-69); Brier (1974), pp. 91-98; Brand (1979)]. Even on a mundane level, we regularly experience simultaneous causation; to borrow an example from Kant, a heavy ball’s resting on a cushion being the cause of a depression in that cushion. Indeed, some philosophers argue that all efficient causation is simultaneous, for if the causal conditions sufficient for some event E were present prior to the time t of E‘s occurrence, then E would happen prior to t; similarly if the causal conditions for E were to vanish at t after having existed at tn < t, then E would not occur at t. In any case, there seems to be no conceptual difficulty in saying that the cause of the origin of the universe acted simultaneously (or coincidentally) with the origination of the universe. We should therefore say that the cause of the origin of the universe is causally prior to the Big Bang, though not temporally prior to the Big Bang. In such a case, the cause may be said to exist spacelessly and timelessly sans the universe, but temporally subsequent to the moment of creation.

My favorite example of simultaneous causation is that of a submerged log which causes the water to be displaced. Another example is of a man who from eternity has been standing, and by sitting (the cause A) creates a lap (the effect B). In these there is no question of the causal directionality, even though the cause and effect are operative at the exact same instant.

So the so-called problem of it being impossible for the universe to have a cause is not at all insuperable. As Craig says, it is “pretty clearly a pseudo-dilemma.”[4]


Footnotes

[1] 1.) Everything that begins to exist has a cause,

2.) The universe began to exist

3.) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

[2] William Lane Craig, “Creation and Big Bang Cosmology.” Philosophia Naturalis 31 (1994): 217-224.

[3] – coincidentally in case “simultaneity” is strictly defined in terms of occurrence at the same time. Since the singularity is not an instant or moment of time, but a boundary of time, a cause producing its effect at the singularity could not be strictly said to be simultaneous with its effect. Nonetheless they both occur coincidentally (in the literal sense of the word), that is, they both occur at t = 0. Ibid., Craig, “God and Big Bang Cosmology.” Footnote 1.

[4] Ibid., Craig, “God and Big Bang Cosmology.”

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  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    Your examples fail, since before the man sat down, there was no lap, and before the log was submerged, water was not displaced. There's ALWAYS an antecedent.

  2. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    As I see it Craig has gone off track somehow; he is arguing the wrong thing. I have no problem with the idea of simultaneous causation – if you want to use the word 'cause'[ation] in that way. E.g. a lap is caused simultaneous to when you sit down or a log is aubmerged simultaneously to it displacing water. (Though this last one in particular is dubious; the displacement of water is not instantaneous)

    HOWEVER there is a problem with using the word 'cause' in this way. It is simply not the way that we usually use the word. I'll use an example:

    A person bowls a bowling ball at one pin.

    Now, did the ball striking the pin cause the pin to fall over? I'd say yes. Did the ball strike the pin and did the pin start to fall at the same time? I'd say yes. Did the person bowling the ball cause the pin to fall over? I'd say yes.

    There seems to be two types of 'cause' here. One simultaneous, and one prior/temporal. We have come to know our world well and we know that 'simultaneous causation' happens, and we also know that temporal causation happens. We also observe that for every simultaneous cause there is always a temporal cause also. Before the log-displacement, the log was out of the water; before the sitting-lap, there was a thought.

    Although we could split the word cause up into 'simultaneous' and 'temporal', in reality there is only one type of cause: The type before which there was necessarily a time. The type for which there was a temporal cause.

    To conclude that there is an event which did not involve a temporal cause is bad science. To conclude that there was a time before which there was no time is also bad science.

  3. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Hello Joe,

    On the contrary, both of my examples are of similtaneous causation. Where I think your thinking has gone wrong is failing to distinguish between the material and the efficient cause.

    Explanation:

    The effecient cause is the cause which produces the effect. So the effecient cause of a statue is the sculptor or artisan. Whereas the material cause for the statue is the stone of which it is composed.

    Now the material cause of the water displacement is the log, and that certainly did have a state of being prior to the effect, but only as a pitentiality. The efficient cause of the water displacement is the submerged log, and this cause was not operative prior to the effect, but similtaeously with.

    The same is true for the eternally standing man and the creation of his lap. The material cause of the lap is the man himself – his legs to be precise. The efficient cause of the lap is the man sitting, and it's this cause that occurs at the same moment as the effect.

    So both my examples have analogue.

  4. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    TheCraftMan,

    Oh, yes, I'm sure simultaneous causation is a well defined concept. But it never exists without prior temporal causation – this is an empirical fact. So it is invalid to invoke it.

  5. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Other Simon,

    Do you really mean "prior temporal causation?" Because that's exactly what simultaneous causation exemplifies – a cause coincidental with it's effect. Perhaps you mean "there has never been observed an example of similtaneous causation without a prior temporal state of affairs?"

  6. Joe
    Joe says:

    the "simultaneous causation" is rooted WITHIN time. Before the log was placed in the water, water was not displaced. Before the man sat down, there was no "lap".

  7. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    I like the brevity, but it doesn't really communicate that you're really engaging the topic. The confusion engendered by your last comment above seems to a result of that brevity.

    (1) Not sure if your granting there is such a thing as simultaneous causation, or if your use of inverted commas indicates a lingering skepticism on your part. (2) I agree that each example happened within time. Not sure again why such a consideration need bother the proponent of simultaneous causation.

    In either case, I've already answered what I think your misunderstanding is on this point. See comment: # 8 June 2010 at 8:20 pm

  8. Joe
    Joe says:

    didn't see your other reply.

    On the contrary, both of my examples are of similtaneous causation. Where I think your thinking has gone wrong is failing to distinguish between the material and the efficient cause.

    Actually, you've failed to note you have no evidence of an efficient cause that is independent of a material cause.

    Explanation:

    The efficient cause is the cause which produces the effect. So the efficient cause of a statue is the sculptor or artisan. Whereas the material cause for the statue is the stone of which it is composed.

    All that the sculptor is is changing the shape of the original material to a certain shape.

    Now the material cause of the water displacement is the log, and that certainly did have a state of being prior to the effect, but only as a potentiality. The efficient cause of the water displacement is the submerged log, and this cause was not operative prior to the effect, but similtaeously with.

    Once the log is placed in the water, the simultaneous cause takes place. However, this too is located within time, since BEFORE the log is placed, no such "causes" exist.

    The same is true for the eternally standing man and the creation of his lap. The material cause of the lap is the man himself – his legs to be precise. The efficient cause of the lap is the man sitting, and it’s this cause that occurs at the same moment as the effect.

    And before he sits down, there is a moment where his lap does not exist.

    (1) Not sure if your granting there is such a thing as simultaneous causation, or if your use of inverted commas indicates a lingering skepticism on your part.

    I'm pointing out your examples do not do help your case since your examples of "simultaneous causation" still require a previous antecedent of the log not being in the water and the man standing.

    (2) I agree that each example happened within time. Not sure again why such a consideration need bother the proponent of simultaneous causation.

    Because it doesn't help your case at all with regards to your defense of the KCA, which is the absurdity of a "timeless cause". The cause effect may itself be simultaneous, but that's irrelevant because BEFORE the effect has taken place, there must have been a point previously where it had not.

  9. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    “there has never been observed an example of similtaneous causation without a prior temporal state of affairs?”

    Yes. Again, simultaneous causation does not occur without prior temporal causation. Or, all simultaneous causation is preceded by temporal causation.

  10. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Stuart,

    p.s. I think 6.38pm was Joe trying to explain to you 4.44pm

    (Also, what does the '#9' mean in "# 9 June 2010 at 7:40 pm")

  11. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Original Simon,

    Stuart [asking Other Simon if this is what he actually meant]: “there has never been observed an example of similtaneous causation without a prior temporal state of affairs?”

    Other Simon: Yes. Again, simultaneous causation does not occur without prior temporal causation. Or, all simultaneous causation is preceded by temporal causation.

    Simon, these are not equivalent statements. Neither yours to mine, nor your first to your second sentence.

    Simultaneous causation does not require "Prior temporal causation." Rather, I think what you want to say is all observed examples of simultaneous causation have prior temporal states of affairs.

  12. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    The cause effect may itself be simultaneous, but that’s irrelevant because BEFORE the effect has taken place, there must have been a point previously where it had not.

    When speaking of the absolute origin of the universe there was no before, or point temporally prior where there was no effect. Yet, if there is such a thing as simultaneous causation, then we can coherently speak of the universe having a cause.

  13. Joe
    Joe says:

    When speaking of the absolute origin of the universe there was no before, or point temporally prior where there was no effect.

    Of course, this is assuming there WAS an absolute origin. I know you'll trot out your usual BVG and such, but again, it's simply one model based on the incomplete inflationary model out of many. You admit there are other models which does away with the BVG's conclusions.

    Yet, if there is such a thing as simultaneous causation, then we can coherently speak of the universe having a cause.

    Actually, this is wrong. A simultaneous causation is simply when the cause and effect are simultanenous. However, there STILL must be a moment prior to which the effect has taken place to which there is a point where it had not taken place.

  14. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    TheCraftMan,
    Stuart,

    This commits the logical fallacy of appealing to ignorance.

    So the alien-denier is commiting a logical fallacy when they point out that there is no evidence of aliens? Please. If you had any evidence for your claims you would present it rather than wasting your breath as you do above.
    My claim stands: I have explained how every example of simultaneous causation in this thread has a temporal antecedent. Until you can come up with a counter-example, simultaneous causation sans temporal causation is an invalid inference

  15. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe

    Of course, this is assuming there WAS an absolute origin

    Yes. A fair reminder. Please don't jump off topic.

    [the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorum] it’s simply one model based on the incomplete inflationary model out of many.

    Its not a model. Its a proof or confirmation of an aspect of a particular model.

    However, there STILL must be a moment prior to which the effect has taken place to which there is a point where it had not taken place.

    This is simply unnecessary. If the log was submerged from eternity, the water displacement would still be caused simultaneously. That means there would be no time prior where there was no effect.

  16. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    You are a naysayer. The following is evidence.

    I’m contesting the claim there IS a first cause, and/or that if there is, that it’s god.

    The thing is, you need more than just asserting the contradictory to be rational (or intellectually respectable). You also need to stay on topic. I’ve been lax in the past, but you’re just rehashing trodden ground. Yes we disagree. Yes, we both think the other has profoundly misunderstood the state of current cosmogonical thought. This article operates on the assumption that the objector believes the universe was not eternal. Get over it. It does this in order to address a particular objection leveled against the conclusion of the KCA.

    Reminder: Bad language will not be tolerated here. First warning, there will be no second.

  17. Joe
    Joe says:

    Yes. A fair reminder. Please don’t jump off topic.

    I'm not.

    [the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorum] it’s simply one model based on the incomplete inflationary model out of many.

    Its not a model. Its a proof or confirmation of an aspect of a particular model.

    Er, what? it's at best a speculation based on an incomplete inflationary model.

    However, there STILL must be a moment prior to which the effect has taken place to which there is a point where it had not taken place.

    This is simply unnecessary. If the log was submerged from eternity, the water displacement would still be caused simultaneously.

    that means it was always there.

    That means there would be no time prior where there was no effect.

    if it's there for an eternity, there's no displacement. And also, say you're right. This analogy makes god unnecessary. The universe was always there in some form, seeing as the rigorous definition of universe is "all that exists". THIS local universe? It "began" 14 billion years ago from, at least according to the "classical" BBT, a singularity.

  18. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Other Simon,

    So the alien-denier is commiting a logical fallacy when they point out that there is no evidence of aliens?

    Not necessarily. Here is how he could be committing the logical fallacy. “There is no evidence of aliens. Therefore, aliens do not exist.”

    I have explained how every example of simultaneous causation in this thread has a temporal antecedent. Until you can come up with a counter-example, simultaneous causation sans temporal causation is an invalid inference

    I freely admit that I can’t come up with an example of simultaneous causation without an antecedent temporal state of affairs (other than the beginning of the universe in the initial singularity). The universe is not, after-all, eternal. But why think a cause simultaneous to its effect requires one?

    Why do you slide from plain old “temporal antecedent” to “temporal causation” (whatever that is?).

    No it wouldn’t be an invalid inference, for theres no reason to think that simultaneous causation requires a temporal antecedent where the effect does not obtain. All the conditions sufficient for the effect are present simultaneously to the cause. That is why simultaneous causation is efficient (produces the effect).

  19. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    Insofar as the topic is addressing a particularlar objection to the KCA – that being a cause for the beginning of the universe is incoherent – you would be jumping off topic by addressing another objection to the KCA – that being the beginning of the universe.

    if it's [the submerged log] there for an eternity, there's no displacement

    Really? That's very odd way of looking at it. How would you explain the drop in the water level if it were ever drawn out? No displacement of water sensibly means no log.

    This analogy makes god unnecessary.

    Don't be ridiculous. The analogy was to explain that a prior temporal state where the effect does not obtain is not required for simultaneous causation. Effects still need causes.

    seeing as the rigorous definition of universe is "all that exists".

    That definition assumes naturalism.

  20. Joe
    Joe says:

    Insofar as the topic is addressing a particularlar objection to the KCA – that being a cause for the beginning of the universe is incoherent – you would be jumping off topic by addressing another objection to the KCA – that being the beginning of the universe.

    If you don't want me to make an objection to your unfounded assertion, don't make it.

    if it’s [the submerged log] there for an eternity, there’s no displacement

    Really? That’s very odd way of looking at it. How would you explain the drop in the water level if it were ever drawn out? No displacement of water sensibly means no log.

    once it's drawn out, its absence would be causing the water to fill the previous inhabited spot.

    Don’t be ridiculous. The analogy was to explain that a prior temporal state where the effect does not obtain is not required for simultaneous causation. Effects still need causes.

    This is only true for your shifting goalpost analogy that the water the log was now always there, from your example of the log "causing" the water to be displaced, which is simultaneous. Also, how is this even relevant to a causation of creation? If it was always existing, then how can you say it was created?

    That definition assumes naturalism.

    Let's see- things that have been successfully explained by naturalism: too many to count.

    Things that have been successfully explained by supernatural: zip.

  21. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OtherSimon,

    If you had any evidence for your claims you would present it rather than wasting your breath as you do above.

    Likewise.

  22. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Joe,

    In fact, I’m genuinely irritated at you, “Craftman”. All you’re doing is “well I’m not going to deal with you because you’re dumb!” and other moronic playground tactics you just spew up here… because it makes you feel like the “right” man.

    It’s not about winning or losing to me. I don’t need to “feel right.” My ego is not wrapped up into our exchanges on here.

    What do you want me to provide evidence of?

    Your perspective?

  23. Joe
    Joe says:

    It’s useless to continue with Joe. He lives in a fairy tale world.

    Really? I'm the one who believes that a "personal, self-existent, omnipotent, infinite, timeless, perfect and unchanging" being who created the universe for a small group within the "living" portion of the universe (wonder how small that is, exactly) will get angry for masturbating? How can a personal, intelligent, timeless being who is perfect exist in any way? Intelligence requires change, btw.

  24. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Simultaneous causation does not require “Prior temporal causation.” Rather, I think what you want to say is all observed examples of simultaneous causation have prior temporal states of affairs.

    No, simultaneous causation does require prior temporal causation. Why? Because there are no examples of simultaneous causation without prior temporal causation.

    Unless you can come up with some. But I think you'll find it impossible.

  25. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    No, simultaneous causation does require prior temporal causation. Why? Because there are no examples of simultaneous causation without prior temporal causation. Unless you can come up with some. But I think you’ll find it impossible.

    This commits the logical fallacy of appealing to ignorance.

  26. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Joe,

    once it’s [the submerged log] drawn out, its absence would be causing the water to fill the previous inhabited spot.<.blockquote>

    A strange example, but another example nonetheless of simultaneous causation. Cause A (absence of a submerged log), and Effect B (no displacement of water) are simultaneous. You are still confused on the distinction between the material and efficient cause. The material cause exists prior and coincidentally with the effect. The efficient cause only coincidentally with the effect.

    This is only true for your shifting goalpost analogy that the water the log was now always there, from your example of the log “causing” the water to be displaced, which is simultaneous. Also, how is this even relevant to a causation of creation? If it was always existing, then how can you say it was created?

    Joe. Analogies are used to explain one thing by finding a similarity with another. They need not have perfect correspondence in every aspect. They need only have one area of correspondence to be useful. Thus the example of an eternally submerged log need not be relevant to the causation of the universe. Indeed I think there is nothing that is eternal apart from God himself (and maybe his thoughts).

    My original analogy was of a log in the water. It said nothing of how long the log had been there. It was you that changed the analogy to the log moving into the water. Then I understood your confusion – the distinction between the material and efficient cause – and addressed it in the third comment above. That I use the same submerged-log analogy to illustrate how your objection – that for simultaneous causes and effects there must be a prior temporal state where the effect did not obtain – is in error, is not at all shifting the goal posts; it is elaborating on an analogy to explain a different point.

  27. Joe
    Joe says:

    A strange example, but another example nonetheless of simultaneous causation. Cause A (absence of a submerged log), and Effect B (no displacement of water) are simultaneous.

    So? Before the cause there's a point where effect B had not taken place. Now if you want to say it was "always in there" that's a completely different issue. If it was "always in there", that means it's just causing and effecting for the whole time.

    You are still confused on the distinction between the material and efficient cause. The material cause exists prior and coincidentally with the effect. The efficient cause only coincidentally with the effect.

    I'm not confused, but pointing out the intentional obfuscation this "materia/efficient cause" is all about. All our evidence shows

    This is only true for your shifting goalpost analogy that the water the log was now always there, from your example of the log “causing” the water to be displaced, which is simultaneous. Also, how is this even relevant to a causation of creation? If it was always existing, then how can you say it was created?

    Joe. Analogies are used to explain one thing by finding a similarity with another. They need not have perfect correspondence in every aspect.

    That's precisely the point. It doesn't correspond at all, since one is of creation, which by definition is bringing about something anew, and hence REQUIRING an antecedent which it did not exist, while your submerged log isn't like that AT ALL.

    They need only have one area of correspondence to be useful. Thus the example of an eternally submerged log need not be relevant to the causation of the universe. Indeed I think there is nothing that is eternal apart from God himself (and maybe his thoughts).

    Energy. According to the first law, it can't be created or destroyed. I don't think it unreasonable to claim this is an alternative that is in fact a better candidate as occam's razor suggests.

  28. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    The CraftMan,

    Thanks for the advise. I know I should follow it but its difficult to let sloppy thinking stand. Good thinking pointing out the Argument from Ignorance. He as well is confused like Joe on the distinction between the material and effectual cause. I think you'll find a pernicious circularity in Other Simon's argument as well. See the following;

    Defender: The KCA concludes the universe was caused.

    Objector: No, You can't say the universe was caused because it's incoherent – there can be no cause if there is no prior temporal state where the effect did not obtain.

    Defender: No, there is simultaneous causation which does not require a prior temporal state in order to cause an effect.

    Objector: There is no example of simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state.

    Ergo Begging the Question.

  29. Joe
    Joe says:

    Defender: No, there is simultaneous causation which does not require a prior temporal state in order to cause an effect.

    How is this even a defense? How is this "defense" even coherent? Because the cause and effect are simultaneous there needs no temporal event? The cause and effect itself maybe simultaneous, but in order for there to BE an effect, there must be an antecedent in which the effect has not taken place.

    Defender: No, there is simultaneous causation which does not require a prior temporal state in order to cause an effect.

    Objector: There is no example of simultaneous causation without a prior temporal state.

    Ergo Begging the Question.

    Who's begging the question? You? Because it's true. You're making a bare assertion and you know it.

  30. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    I’m not confused, but pointing out the intentional obfuscation this “materia/efficient cause” is all about. All our evidence shows [sic]

    Mad ravings.

    Energy [as candidate for being eternal]. According to the first law, it can’t be created or destroyed. [appeal to Ocam's razor for best explanation]

    Only the universe is by definition all matter, all space, all time and all energy, and according to the second premise of the KCA, is not eternal but had a beginning in the finite past. But this is a digression, for that premise is not under discussion here.

    No one thinks the the laws of thermodynamics apply to the beginning of the universe. So appealing to them is disingenuous.

    The cause and effect itself maybe simultaneous, but in order for there to BE an effect, there must be an antecedent in which the effect has not taken place.

    In the case of the universe beginning from a singularity, there is no temporal antecedent to speak of. When we speak of the first cause, it is in terms of logical priority rather than temporal priority.

    Who's begging the question? You? Because it's true. You're making a bare assertion and you know it.

    A bare assertion is not an example of begging the question. Begging the question is an informal logical fallacy and occurs when you reason in a circle as per the example given.

    Please note Joe: The point of this is not to show that there was a cause for the universe beginning to exist, or that this was an example of simultaneous causation. The point is to show that it is not incoherent to think it was, and thus rebut the objections of those such as Grünbaum.

  31. Joe
    Joe says:

    Mad ravings.

    "You Ethiopians will also be slaughtered by my sword," says the LORD. And the LORD will strike the lands of the north with his fist. He will destroy Assyria and make its great capital, Nineveh, a desolate wasteland, parched like a desert. The city that once was so proud will become a pasture for sheep and cattle. All sorts of wild animals will settle there. Owls of many kinds will live among the ruins of its palaces, hooting from the gaping windows. Rubble will block all the doorways, and the cedar paneling will lie open to the wind and weather. This is the fate of that boisterous city, once so secure. "In all the world there is no city as great as I," it boasted. But now, look how it has become an utter ruin, a place where animals live! Everyone passing that way will laugh in derision or shake a defiant fist. (Zephaniah 2:12-15 NLT)

    Only the universe is by definition all matter, all space, all time and all energy, and according to the second premise of the KCA, is not eternal but had a beginning in the finite past. But this is a digression, for that premise is not under discussion here.

    So why bring it up? Again, why assert this to be true without evidence? All you have is the BVG saying that the current inflationary theory is not past-complete.

    No one thinks the the laws of thermodynamics apply to the beginning of the universe. So appealing to them is disingenuous.

    Nobody thinks time began at the big bang either.

    The cause and effect itself maybe simultaneous, but in order for there to BE an effect, there must be an antecedent in which the effect has not taken place.

    In the case of the universe beginning from a singularity, there is no temporal antecedent to speak of.

    There you go asserting this again, when there's no evidence suggesting such.

    “So far, it’s been made to sound, I think for the purposes of simplifying things, that until the cyclic model, all scientists had believed that the big bang was the origin of time itself. That idea is certainly part of the classic theory of the big bang, but it’s an idea which I think most cosmologists have not taken seriously in quite a while” – Alan Guth

    When we speak of the first cause, it is in terms of logical priority rather than temporal priority.

    I'm contesting the claim there IS a first cause, and/or that if there is, that it's god.

    A bare assertion is not an example of begging the question. Begging the question is an informal logical fallacy and occurs when you reason in a circle as per the example given.

    A bare assertion IS question begging since you're asserting something without evidence. I'm simply reasoning along the lines of what evidence there is.

    Please note Joe: The point of this is not to show that there was a cause for the universe beginning to exist, or that this was an example of simultaneous causation. The point is to show that it is not incoherent to think it was, and thus rebut the objections of those such as Grünbaum.

    Your example of "simultaneous causation" doesn't show that an antecedent isn't necessary wasn't even suggested until you shifted the goalpost to say that "in a case of simultanous causation where there is no antecedent cause, ie it was always submerged"… in which case I contest your case a. it's not even a valid analogy given an act of creation is bringing something anew, thus REQUIRING an antecedent in which it did not exist.

  32. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Joe,

    You continue asserting contrapositions without providing any kind of support. Again, again, and again. I really don't know how Stuart continues to tolerate it. You have no interest in genuine discussion. (That's why I don't even bother trying with you.) You remind me of the kooky independent fundamentalist baptist types.

    You should get a Gravatar which reads, "Have dogma. Will impose it."

  33. Joe
    Joe says:

    You continue asserting contrapositions without providing any kind of support.

    What the hell? You mean like me citing Alan Guth to refute Stuart's position? What support do you expect?

    Again, again, and again. I really don’t know how Stuart continues to tolerate it. You have no interest in genuine discussion. (That’s why I don’t even bother trying with you.) You remind me of the kooky independent fundamentalist baptist types.

    You should get a Gravatar which reads, “Have dogma. Will impose it.”

    And you continue to just troll and throw cheap insults again and again and again. Either put up or [use of explicit language: edited out].

    What do you want me to provide evidence of? That the universe is eternal? Why? I don't know if it is, but to claim that the universe began is equally baseless. What more do you want? Seriously, dude. Drop your use of [explicit language: edited out] behavior and butt out. How christian of you.

  34. Joe
    Joe says:

    In fact, I'm genuinely irritated at you, "Craftman". All you're doing is "well I'm not going to deal with you because you're dumb!" and other moronic playground tactics you just spew up here… because it makes you feel like the "right" man.

  35. Joe
    Joe says:

    Wrong! It is an empirical fact that a prior state of affairs is required.

    You confuse inductive reasoning with deductive reasoning. Therefore, you fail.

    You confuse ad hom and hot air with actual refutation, and you confuse bare assertions and sophistry with legitimate evidenced points. Why should any of use take you seriously?

  36. Joe
    Joe says:

    The thing is, you need more than just asserting the contradictory to be rational (or intellectually respectable). You also need to stay on topic.

    This is why you've failed to provide any actual lines of evidence for ANY of your examples? This is why thus far you've failed to provide evidence of an actual creation event, except for your continued assertions that the universe was created ex nihilo? And you're chiding ME for

    I’ve been lax in the past, but you’re just rehashing trodden ground. Yes we disagree. Yes, we both think the other has profoundly misunderstood the state of current cosmogonical thought.

    I'M not the one profoundly misunderstaning the current understanding of pre-planck cosmology. You are. You continue to assert the universe began- that it was created out of nothing, despite the fact that such thoughts have NOT been established.

    This article operates on the assumption that the objector believes the universe was not eternal. Get over it. It does this in order to address a particular objection leveled against the conclusion of the KCA.

    Why should I be the one to "get over it"? If you don't want people to pick on it, then stop making the claims. Also, I love how you've admitted to OtherSimon that you've no evidence for your claim regarding "simultaneous causation".

    You STILL haven't addressed the issue with regards to simultaneous causation. ONLY when you've explicitly STATED that "there is no temporal antecedent" was your analogy even half-way valid, and not even because it's an example of simultaneous causation, but because of the fact that you've simply taken out a previous moment. In essence you've argued in circles. "in a case of simultaneous causation where there is no previous antecedent, there is no previous antecedent". Well duh.

    Also, you don't like bad words? Tell Craftsman to back of and either address my posts (why should I bear the burden of proof when all you've done is assert, assert, assert?) or back off.

    Not necessarily. Here is how he could be committing the logical fallacy. “There is no evidence of aliens. Therefore, aliens do not exist.”

    Show me where I've said anything like this. My point is that "there are no evidence of god, therefore there's no reason to believe that god exists". in fact, aliens are far more probable than god seeing as all that requires for alien's existence is simply another life-friendly system like ours, while god-claim requires evidence to support the claim of "personal, self-existent, omnipotent, infinite, timeless, perfect and unchanging in all His attributes."

  37. Joe
    Joe says:

    It’s not about winning or losing to me. I don’t need to “feel right.” My ego is not wrapped up into our exchanges on here.

    That's why you resort to "i don't need to deal with you neener neener"?

    Your perspective?

    What, that I don't believe god exists? What- an another pre-planck model? Colliding Branes by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt?

  38. Joe
    Joe says:

    This is why you’ve failed to provide any actual lines of evidence for ANY of your examples? This is why thus far you’ve failed to provide evidence of an actual creation event, except for your continued assertions that the universe was created ex nihilo? And you’re chiding ME for

    christ forgot to finish the sentence. Too early in the morning.

    The phrase is INTELLECTUAL RIGOR.

  39. OriginalSimon
    OriginalSimon says:

    Stuart,

    Not necessarily. Here is how he could be committing the logical fallacy. “There is no evidence of aliens. Therefore, aliens do not exist.”

    Again, these allusions to fallacies are completely useless: You and I both live our lives as though aliens don't exist. We should also live our lives as though simultaneous causation cannot be considered a stand-alone phenomenon.

    But why think a cause simultaneous to its effect requires one?

    For the same reason that it is sensible to think that gravity affects ALL stars. We have never observed gravity NOT affecting a star, and we have never observed simultaneous causation without a prior state of affairs.

    Why do you slide from plain old “temporal antecedent” to “temporal causation” (whatever that is?).

    Prior states of affairs always cause later states of affairs. We have learned this of the world around us, too!

    No it wouldn’t be an invalid inference, for theres no reason to think that simultaneous causation requires a temporal antecedent

    Of course there is a reason to think that all imultaneous causation requires a temporal state of affairs: We have never observed otherwise! Just as we have never observed aliens actually abducting people. Your statement here is as ridiculous as claiming that there is no reason to think that aliens aren't abducting us!

    All the conditions sufficient for the effect are present simultaneously to the cause.

    Wrong! It is an empirical fact that a prior state of affairs is required.

  40. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    Wrong! It is an empirical fact that a prior state of affairs is required.

    You confuse inductive reasoning with deductive reasoning. Therefore, you fail.

  41. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @Joe,

    What, that I don’t believe god exists? What- an another pre-planck model? Colliding Branes by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt?

    Wow, you completely missed the point. I'm done with you. There is nothing more which you could contribute which actually benefits me. Moving on…

  42. TheCraftMan
    TheCraftMan says:

    @OriginalSimon,

    Allow me to clarify my criticism. You have claimed it is necessary for there to be something prior to an instance of simultaneous causation (e.g., "state of affairs," "temporally prior," etc.). You have presented two lines of reasoning in favor of your claim. First, you have argued that it is necessary because the instances of simultaneous causation presented by Stuart always have a prior. Second, you have argued that your claim stands unless we can produce evidence to the contrary.

    The first argument is incomplete. That is, it does not follow from the observed instances that it must always be the case. This is what my comment about inductive/deductive argument is referencing. You are drawing a categorical conclusion based on and inductive inference. Additionally, given the limited amount of examples, it would only provide weak evidence for your claim.

    The second argument is fallacious are pointed out before. It commits the logical fallacy of appeal to ignorance.

    If we take both arguments together as a bigger argument, then at best you have weak support for the claim. However, again, it's weak support which does not justify the categorical nature of the claim.

    Thus, your argument has failed. You have not shown that it is necessary to always have an "antecedent" to a simultaneous causation event.

    The best conclusion which can be drawn upon your presented support is that, if we stretch the notion far enough, it may be necessary for a simultaneous causation event to have a prior of some kind.

  43. Joe
    Joe says:

    Simply put, in order for you to say that the the cause EFFECTS something, there MUST be a prior antecedent. In the example of log displacing water (since the eternal past), water is not being "displaced" since water was never there TO BE DISPLACED in the first place.

  44. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Other Simon,

    stuart:All the conditions sufficient for the effect are present simultaneously to the cause.

    Other Simon:Wrong! It is an empirical fact that a prior state of affairs is required.

    A prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain is not a necessary condition for simultaneous causation. This can be shown with the etnernally submerged log that has always produced the effect of water displacement. In that illustration it is easy to see that simultaneous causation can occur without there being a time prior where the effect did not obtain.

    Thus, because a prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain is not a necessary condition of simultaneous causation, there is no problem with concieving the universe's first moment to be an effect simultaneous to it's cause.

  45. Joe
    Joe says:

    Thus, because a prior temporal state of affairs where the effect did not obtain is not a necessary condition of simultaneous causation, there is no problem with concieving the universe’s first moment to be an effect simultaneous to it’s cause.

    This is incoherent, since a creation is not the same as "causation" like water displacement is. What is the "cause" and "effect" in the case of the universe? Also, a CREATION EVENT as I've already explained above is bringing about anew, which REQUIRES a previous moment where it did NOT exist. Now, unless you'd like it say it both always existed and was created which is contradictory, you should fix this issue.

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