Even though I have already refuted his arguments, Johnnpy76 seems to think otherwise. This is going to be a step-by-step refutation of pretty of everything he has ever said in response to me and against the Kalam argument.
Inductive Fallacies and the Problem of Induction
Whilst Johnnyp76 has said he meant to say the problem of induction in his last reply to me, this does not change much, for they both refer to the same thing. The only difference is, an inductive fallacy is a logical fallacy, and the problem of inductive is a philosophical issue of what role, if any, induction can be used in epistemological justification. What is an inductive fallacy? An inductive fallacy occurs when you take a sample of something, and then make general inferences. There are many forms of this fallacy, with hasty generalisation probably being the most common form. A fallacy of this form can be construed as follows:
• Some Xs have property Y
• Therefore all Xs have property Y
An example of this fallacy would be concluding that all swans are black having only ever seen a single black swan, and no swans of any other colour. The problem of induction is a question within philosophy that asks if inductive reasoning can lead to knowledge. What is the rational justification for generalising about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class? It is hard to see how Kalam succumbs to either. The first premise is based not just on intuitive plausibility, and empirical verification, but is also based on the metaphysical impossibility of something coming into being uncaused. If something can come into being uncaused out of nothing, then it becomes inexplicable why anything and everything does not do so.
All that aside, there is one fact that destroys this entire line of argument with respect to Johnnyp76. Things beginning to exist uncaused, and out of nothing, is incompatible with determinism. That is to say, if something can just pop into being from non-being without any cause at all, then in what sense can events such as these be said to be determined? The reason why I bring this up is because Johnnyp76 is a hard determinist. Then again, that probably explains why he maintains that nothing begins to exist. This leads me on to the next topic of discussion.
Causality, Composition, and Equivocation
Do things begin to exist? Johnnyp76 is adamant that they do not, because matter is indestructible. The argument can be construed as follows:
1. Matter does not begin to exist.
2. Things within the universe are made up of matter.
3. Therefore, the universe did not begin to exist.
Now, this argument seems rather ironic to me, in that it commits the fallacy of composition (a fallacy Johnnyp76 implies that Kalam is guilty of.) He has stated that you cannot make an inference about the universe based on things within the universe. In other words, a fallacy of composition. A fallacy of composition occurs when you take an attribute of part of the whole and then apply it to the whole. For instance:
1. Human cells are invisible to the naked eye.
2. Humans are made up of human cells.
3. Therefore, humans are invisible to the naked eye.
So, even if we grant his entirely absurd notion that things don’t really begin to exist, then we can’t use this to infer that the universe did not begin to exist. Now, you can deny that things within the universe not beginning exist can be made as an argument that the universe began to exist, but then such an argument (that nothing begins to exist) becomes irrelevant. For if the universe began to exist, then it doesn’t matter whether or not things within it begin to exist or not. Now, he could be bringing this up to undercut the validity of the intuitive warrant for the first premise, but how this makes the notion of something coming into being from nothing a metaphysical possibility is anybody’s guess.
However, of course things DO begin to exist. For instance, did I begin to exist? If the answer is no, then because I exist now, then that means I have always existed.
1. Nothing begins to exist.
2. I exist.
3. Therefore, necessarily, I have always existed.
Since I exist now, this means I existed prior to my birth. I existed during the Jurassic period, and I will continue existing after my death. I guess Johnnyp76 believes in an after life after all. If this does not seem evidently absurd to you, then consider this: there are essential properties that make me ‘me.’ For exampled, personhood, being human, etc. In the Jurassic era, the matter that now makes up my physical body could have belonged to a dinosaur, or a piece of moss. However, it gets worse, for in what sense can I be said to be identical to the matter that makes me up? After all, the cells in our body are replaced entirely every seven years or something like that. My cells die; they are replaced; yet I do not stop being ‘me.’
I think the most devastating rebuttal to Johnnyp76s ‘argument’ here, however, is that even if we grant that things do not begin to exist in the material sense, there are still efficient causes and effects. An efficient cause is that which causes change and motion. In this sense, things begin to exist all the time. In fact, this is the sense in which Kalam refers to ‘cause’ and ‘begins to exist.’ This applies to things that come into being ex material or ex nihilo, as there is always an efficient cause. Thus Johnnyp76 is guilty of the fallacy of equivocation.
Personhood and Divine Timelessness
Johnnyp76 thinks that personhood and atemporality are contradictory. That’s not the main problem; the main problem lies in the fact he seems to think Craig offers no arguments for this. Craig deals with this issue in his book exclusively on the nature of Divine Eternity and God’s relation to time, Time and Eternity. Another good book on the subject is God, Eternity, and Time by Christian Tapp and Edmund Runggaldier.
The argument is as follows:
1. Necessarily, if God is timeless, He does not have the properties x, y, z.
2. Necessarily, if God does not have the properties x, y, z, then God is not personal.
3. Necessarily, God is personal.
4. Therefore, necessarily, God is not timeless.
There two refutations of this argument. One, the properties in question are not necessary conditions of personhood, and two, a timeless God can possess these relevant properties after all.
Daniel Dennett gives the following criteria of personhood. P is a person only if:
i. P is a rational being.
ii. P is a being to which states of consciousness can be attributed.
iii. Others regard (or can regard) P as a being to which states of consciousness can be attributed.
iv. P is capable of regarding other beings as beings to which states of consciousness can be attributed.
v. P is capable of verbal communication.
vi. P is self-conscious; that is P is capable of regarding him/her/itself as a subject of states of consciousness.
Now whilst the necessity of verbal communication is questionable (after all, what if the subject lacks vocal chords?), an acceptable substitute is that P is capable of communicating. All of these criteria paint a picture of a person being a conscious entity. The only way for this argument to succeed is for the defendant to show that any of these attributes related to personhood require a being be temporal if it is personal. However, what good reasons are there to think that consciousness entails temporality? Johnnyp76s statement that they just are is simply a bare assertion.
Materialism and the Philosophy of Mind
The last subject that Johnnpy76 tries his hand at is the philosophy of mind, and defending naturalism and materialism. Now, Johnnyp76 is a hard determinist, he believes in physicalism or materialism of the mind. As such, he also denies the existence of free will, and all of the other facts about human beings reasonable people take for granted. Of course, if his position IS true, then Johnnyp76 doesn’t really believe any of this, since, if such position IS true, then he doesn’t have ANY beliefs at all. The reason for this is because, if physicalism is true, we are just mindless automatons composed of matter, and not really persons at all, a position that Johnnyp76 himself embraces by denying the freedom of the will and asserting hard determinism.
Let us get started on refuting naturalism then, shall we? Starting with the philosophy of mind, there are very many arguments one could use to show the falsehood of physicalism. Argument 1: In acts of introspection, one is aware of 1) one’s self as an unextended centre of consciousness; 2) various capacities of thought, sensation, belief, desire, and volition that one exercises and that are essential, internal aspects of the kind of thing one is; and 3) one’s sensations as being such that there is no possible world in that they could exist and not be one’s own. This can be represented in the following two ways.
(1) I am an unextended centre of consciousness (justified by introspection.)
(2) No physical object is an unextended centre of consciousness.
(3) Therefore, I am not a physical object.
(4) Either I am a physical object or an immaterial substance.
(5) Therefore, I am an immaterial substance.
(1) My sensations (and other states of consciousness) are either externally or internally related to me.
(2) If I am a physical object, then my sensations are externally related to me such that there is a possible world in that those sensations exist and are not so related to me.
(3) There is no possible world in where my sensations exist without being mine (justified by introspection.)
(4) Therefore, I am not a physical object and my sensations are internally related to me.
(5) If a sensation is internally related to me, then it is a mode of my self.
(6) If an entity x is a mode of some entity y, then x is an inseparable entity dependant for its existence on y such that (a) x is modally distinct from and internally related to y and (b) x provides information about the nature of the thing y of which is it a mode.
(7) Therefore, I am thing whose nature is to have sensations (and other states of consciousness.)
Argument Two: The indexicality of thought provides evidence for the truth of substance dualism. A complete, third person physical description of the world will fail to capture the fact expressed by “I am Randomicity912.” No amount of information non-indexically expressed captures the content conveyed by this assertion. The first person indexical “I” is irreducible and ineliminable, and this feature of “I” is not innocuous, but rather, is explained by claiming that “I” refers to a nonphysical entity – the substantial self with at least the power of self-awareness. Moreover, if mental predicates are added to the third person descriptive language, this still fails to capture the state of affairs expressed by statements like “I am thinking that P.” Finally, the system of indexical references (i.e., “I,” “here,” “there,” “this,” “that”) must have a unifying centre that underlies it. This unifying centre is the same entity referred to by “I” in expressions like “I am thinking that P,” namely, the conscious substantial subject taken as a self-conscious, self-referring particular. This argument can be represented as follows:
(1) Statements using the first person indexical “I” express facts about persons that cannot be expressed without the first person indexical.
(2) If I am a physical object, then all facts about me can be expressed in statements without the first person indexical.
(3) Therefore, I am not a physical object.
(4) I am either a physical object or an immaterial substance.
(5) Therefore, I am an immaterial substance.
Argument Three: Substance dualism can also be argued on the grounds that libertarian freedom is true, which probably explains why Johnnyp76 denies the reality of Free Will. This argument can be formulated as follows:
(1) Human beings exercise libertarian agency.
(2) No material object (one which is such that all of its properties, parts, and capacities, are at least and only physical) can exercise libertarian agency.
(3) Therefore, human beings are not material objects.
(4) Human beings are either material objects or immaterial substances.
(5) Therefore, they are immaterial substances.
Argument Four: Naturalism can be refuted by the fact that is internally incoherent and self-contradictory. This can be formed as:
(1) States of mind have a relation to the world we call intentionality, or aboutness. The intentionality referred to here is propositional in nature. Our possessing this kind of intentionality means that we are capable of having, entertaining, believing, and desiring certain states of affairs propositionally described.
(2) Thoughts and beliefs can either be true or false.
(3) Human beings can be in the condition of accepting, rejecting, or suspending belief about propositions.
(4) Logical laws exist.
(5) Human beings are capable of apprehending logical laws.
(6) The state of accepting the truth of a proposition plays a crucial causal role in the production of other beliefs, and the propositional states is relevant to the playing of this causal role.
(7) The apprehension of logical laws plays a causal role in the acceptance of the argument as true.
(8) The same individual entertains thoughts of the premises and then draws the conclusion.
(9) Our processes of reasoning provide us with a systematically reliable way of understanding the world around us.
(10) Unless statements (1)-(9) are true, then it is incoherent to argue that one should accept naturalism based on evidence of any kind.
(11) Unless statements (1)-(9) are true, then there are no scientists, and nobody is using the scientific method.
(12) Therefore, naturalism is incoherent, cannot be rationally justified, and is most definitely false.
Argument Five: If science is true, then we as human beings are in states with determinate propositional content, but if naturalism is true, we should never be in such propositional states.
(1) Some mental states have determinate content. In particular, the states involved in adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, in squaring numbers and taking their square roots, are determinate with respect to their intentional content.
(2) Physical states are indeterminate with respect to international content. Any physical state is logically compatible with the existence of a multiplicity of propositionally defined, intentional states, or even with the absence of propositionally defined mental states entirely.
(3) Therefore, the mental states involved in mathematical operations are not and cannot be identical to physical states.
Argument Six: Materialism is incompatible with meaning. This can be represented simply as:
(1) If materialism is true, then meaning is indeterminate.
(2) Meaning is determinate (a presupposition of science and reason.)
(3) Therefore, materialism is false.
Argument Seven: Another argument is that the supervenience relation employed by non-reductive materialists cannot be admitted into supervenient materialist’s ontology. This can be represented as:
(1) For physicalists, all facts must be materialistically acceptable. That is, they are facts about physical things, or about things that are ontologically distinct from the physical, but strongly supervene on the physical.
(2) There must be some fact – the explanation – in virtue of which B-properties supervene on A-properties; called the S-facts. There are two options for materialistically respectable facts:
(a) They themselves could supervene on A-properties. But then there is an infinite regress problem, for now we have to explain this new supervenience relation, which in turn needs to be explain, and so on ad infinitum, so this is no good.
(b) Or, the S-facts could not just be further A-properties, that is, facts about the physical entity. But then these facts do no bridge the explanatory gap between the B-facts and the a-facts.
Argument Eight: Argument from qualia. Qualia are the subjective conscious experiences we have when we ‘feel’ something. There are many variations of this argument, with the best-known example being the Mary’s room argument, which gives the example of a colour scientist, named Mary, who knows every physical fact about colour and even every physical fact about the experience of colour in other people. However, she has been confined to a room that is black and white since birth, and is only allowed to observe the outside world through a black and white monitor. When she leaves the room and sees colour for the first time, and in doing so learns what it is like to see that colour. This can be represented as:
(1) Before her release, Mary was in possession of all the physical information about colour experience of other people.
(2) After he release, Mary learns something the colour experiences of other people.
(3) Therefore, before her release, Mary was not in possession of all the information about other people’s colour experiences, even though she was in possession of all the physical information.
(4) Therefore, there are truths about other people’s colour experience that are not physical.
(5) Therefore, physicalism is false.
Argument Nine: the Chinese Room argument. Suppose that artificial intelligence research has succeeded in constructing a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese. It takes Chinese characters as input and, by following the instructions of a computer program, produces other Chinese characters, which it presents as output. Suppose that this computer performs its task so convincingly that it comfortably passes the Turing test: it convinces a human Chinese speaker that the program is itself a live Chinese speaker. To all of the questions that the person asks, it makes appropriate responses, such that any Chinese speaker would be convinced that he or she is talking to another Chinese-speaking human being. Does the machine literally "understand" Chinese? Or is it merely simulating the ability to understand Chinese? Suppose that I am in a closed room and have a book with an English version of the computer program, along with sufficient paper, pencils, erasers, and filing cabinets. I could receive Chinese characters through a slot in the door, process them according to the program's instructions, and produce Chinese characters as output. As the computer had passed the Turing test this way, it is fair to deduce that I would be able to do so as well, simply by running the program manually. There is no essential difference between the role the computer plays in the first case and the role I play in the latter. Each is simply following a program, step-by-step, which simulates intelligent behaviour. And yet I don't speak a word of Chinese. Since I do not understand Chinese we must infer that the computer does not understand Chinese either. Without "understanding" or “intentionality” we cannot describe what the machine is doing as "thinking". Because it does not think, it does not have a "mind" in anything like the normal sense of the word, therefore Strong AI is mistaken. This can be formulated as follows:
(1) If Strong AI is true, then there is a program for Chinese such that any computer system that runs that program, that system thereby comes to understand Chinese.
(2) I could run a program for Chinese without thereby coming to understand Chinese.
(3) Therefore, Strong AI is false.
Argument ten: the incompatibility of naturalism and evolution. This argument states that if both naturalism and evolution are true at the same time, then we have no rational basis for accepting the validity of our reasoning processes, thus making naturalism self-defeating.
(1) The human brain is an organ that arose via evolution.
(2) Evolution results in the preservation of traits that enhance survivability.
(3) If naturalism is true, then mind and brain are equivalent.
(4) The mind, being identical to the brain, is therefore geared towards our survival, not in the production of true beliefs.
(5) Therefore, if naturalism and evolution are true at the same time, we have no way of knowing which of our beliefs are actually true. Thus, we have no grounds for accepting the validity of our reasoning processes.
(6) Evolution is true, and our reasoning processes are valid.
(7) Therefore, naturalism is false.
Argument eleven: the quantum-theoretic argument against naturalism.
(1) Naturalism is the view that the sum and substance of everything that exists is exhausted by physical objects and processes and whatever is causally dependent upon them.
(2) The explanatory resources of naturalism are therefore restricted to material objects, causes, events and processes.
(3) Neither nonlocal quantum correlations nor (in the light of nonlocalisability) the nature of the fundamental constituents of material reality can be explained or understood if the explanatory constraints of naturalism are preserved.
(4) These quantum phenomena require an explanation.
(5) Therefore, naturalism (materialism, physicalism) is irremediably deficient as a world-view and consequently should be rejected not just as inadequate, but fundamentally false.
Argument twelve: the incompatibility of naturalism and scientific realism.
(1) Scientific realism, representational naturalism and essential reliability entail that scientific methods are reliable sources of truth about the world.
(2) From the preference of simplicity, it follows that simplicity is a reliable indicator of the truth about natural laws.
(3) Mere correlation between the simplicity and the laws of nature is not good enough: reliability requires that there be some causal mechanism connecting simplicity and the actual laws of nature.
(4) Since the laws of nature pervade space and time, any such causal mechanism must exist outside spacetime.
(5) Consequently, ontological naturalism is false.
Argument thirteen: the incompatibility of naturalism and objective morality, i.e. the axiological argument for God.
(1) If naturalism is true, then there are no objective moral values and duties.
(2) Objective moral values and duties exist.
(3) Therefore, naturalism is false.
(1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
(4) Objective moral values and duties exist.
(2) Therefore, God exists (and naturalism is false.)
I am sure I could go on, but for now these will suffice.