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I plan to import the content of this into the archives of A Borrowed Flame, and I hope that you'll keep reading there ;)
I find the multiverse hypothesis more like a religion that physics.
You should talk to this guy - he reckons there are emprical tests for the multiverse.
Note my edit there - I think this is what you mean, yes? I suggest we keep the term 'contingency' in this discussion to refer to the opposite of necessary - that is, an entity which could have been otherwise, or failed to have existed. One of the two possibilities you are talking of entails contingency, they other does not.
And for the equally slow (;P) my post did recognise that you were talking about "may not" scenarios, but I went on to point out that the only reason why it would be that possibilitiy would be if the universe were necessary, which is a position you don't want to defend.
If this is the universe’s version of “absolutely nothing” then there seems to be an awful lot going on.
And clearly then, we're no longer talking about "nothing". Tthe normal meaning of nothing is "not anything". Nothing cannot, by definition have anything "going on", which brings me to your second response:
if absolutely nothing IS possible then what can we say about it, and how would we know? Strange as it may seem, absolutely nothing may have weird properties that bend our mammalian brains - it may spawn universe for example. We don’t know.
Again, you're not actually talking about "nothing" but something which you've simply labelled "nothing". I made this point in the post - that you're treating nothing as it were something which could be observed, and now, which has certain properties. But nothing isn't anything, it cannot, by definition, have any properties. Nothing isn't something that "exists", because it isn't anything - it is the lack of something. Therefore, to say it is possible that the universe doesn't permit nothing to exist is equivalent to saying that it's possible that the universe exists necessarily, which, while technically true, is not something we've good reason to think is the case, and good reason to think isn't the case.
In this case, where's the force of your objection?
I know it's your favourite, but I'll leave the tu quoque alone for the moment ;)
Suffice it to say that I don't share your low view of philosophy, and that I think the garage-dragon analogy is quite a false one ;)
Has never-the-less, been a very stimulating and thought-provoking discussion, thank-you!
I also think there is a vast difference between a single "pointer" philosophical argument (amongst a number) for holding a metaphysical belief, and convicting someone of a crime (remember, I'm not arguing that anything is proved, or that there is a silver bullet).
I don't think we can make that claim. At best, we simply don't know - which leads me to think that it's safer to assume that causal logic still applies. I don't see that causality has to be tied up within our temporal state.
On one hand, you are arguing that the beginning of existence of the universe requires a timeless entity outside space-time, yet on the other you're relying on everything inside space-time to inductively reason.
I'm not sure that the KCA argues specifically for a time-less entity, that is merely the logical outcome. I think, rather, that it is merely (perhaps initially) arguing for a cause (either material or efficient) based on the contingent nature of the universe. I think it's then special pleading to say that what applies to all other contingent entities doesn't apply to the universe as a contingent entity. To say that inductive reasoning breaks down also seems unjustified.. why does it break down?
But before that the universe wasn't.
Hawking says as much in that lecture.
Right, which is why he then reiterates in his conclusion that the universe began to exist some 15 billion years ago.
You're trying to agree with him and then blatantly contradict him.
The universe is a brute fact and thats that.
What do you mean by that - that the universe is a necessary entity? How do you back up this claim?
But you dont get the right to quote Craig's philosophical wibble and claim any sort of evidence for a creator.
I have the right to quote whatever I like, and to point to whatever evidence I choose to, just as you have the right to find it unpersuasive and think someone's argument "wibble". But really, if we're back at this level of discussion, count me out.