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What's New Archive2017October

What's New on the Secular Web?


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October 31, 2017

Added An Analysis of Arnold T. Guminski's Alternative Version of the Application of Cantorian Theory to the Real World (2017) by Stephen Nygaard to the Theistic Cosmological Arguments page and William Lane Craig page under Christian Apologetics and Apologists in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

William Lane Craig's kalam cosmological argument maintains that the universe had a beginning. One of his arguments for this premise aims to show that a beginningless universe is metaphysically impossible, either because an actual infinite cannot exist because it would result in counterintuitive absurdities, or because time consists of a temporal series of events formed by successive addition, and that it's not possible for any such series to be an actual infinite. In the first of two previous papers, Arnold T. Guminski presents his solution to the problem of counterintuitive absurdities, which he believes results from applying Cantorian theory to the real world. However, his alternative version of the application of Cantorian theory to the real world attempts to achieve by a priori methods what can only be accomplished a posteriori, raises the question of whether a set theory can be fully developed that is consistent with it, and addresses "counterintuitive absurdities" that are not absurdities at all. In his second paper, Guminski correctly argues that it's possible for time to have no beginning by showing that the totality of all time need not be formed by successive addition, but this argument succeeds independently of his alternative version of the application of Cantorian theory to the real world, rendering it unnecessary.

Resurrected from the past: Craig, Kalam, and Quantum Mechanics: Has Craig Defeated the Quantum Mechanics Objection to the Causal Principle? (2013) by Aron Lucas

William Lane Craig has long appealed to the beginning of the universe in his arguments for the existence of God. In this essay, Aron Lucas challenges the first premise of Craig's kalam cosmological argument (that everything that begins to exist has a cause) using the "quantum mechanics objection," before ultimately turning to Craig's typical rebuttal to that objection. Lucas concludes that Craig's response is not only irrelevant to the quantum mechanics objection, but comes with a whole host of other problems, such as leading Craig to equivocate on "begins to exist," rendering his first premise completely unverifiable, making Craig's entire argument question-begging, and resulting in him adopting contradictory definitions of "nothing."

Recommended reading from the Bookstore: Not by Design: The Origin of the Universe (1988) by Victor J. Stenger.

This book makes a compelling case for the idea that the universe didn't come about through the handiwork of some magical deity. The naysayers will throw about their arguments from incredulity while kicking and screaming but, in the end, even they will be forced to admit that this concept deserves serious consideration. Once, it was considered common sense that the Sun moved around the Earth. "Look up at the sky and see it for yourself!", they would exclaim. But a reflective mind will take the known facts and discard the hypotheses that don't have compelling evidence to support them in favor of the ones that do.

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