@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 1\ This argument actually does not hold any weight, because it completely fails to recognize what the 1st premise actually *means*. I'll illustrate this with a few examples. (This is a thread)
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 2\ There is a difference between theoretical categories, and categories of observed instances. The latter are grouping observed objects by similar properties, so there must be two or more objects in a category. The former doesn't even need one instance to be discussed.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 3\ Theoretical categories are prescriptive, while observed categories are descriptive. Arguments about the latter can be inductive, based on observed properties, but the former only admits deductive arguments, based on the properties defined for it, and all they entail.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 4\ Your whole argument is based upon understanding "everything that begins to exist" as an observed category, and by demonstrating that this category contains only one instance, you conclude that further deductions about it are circular. But this is completely wrong.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 5\ Here's an example that shows why. Imagine that you spent your whole life in a room, and on the roof there is a triangular tile. That is the only triangular object you have ever seen. You start reading about Trigonometry and it starts by saying that all triangles have 3 sides.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 6\ Now you ask if that is a reasonable statement, since you have only ever seen one instance of a triangle. But that is absurd. That is a prescriptive definition. Anything that doesn't have 3 sides just isn't a triangle, and this isn't a matter of having seen enough triangles.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 7\ So all of trigonometry can be (deductively) derived from this prescriptive definition, even if you have never seen a triangle, because this is a theoretical category. Now how does this apply to your argument? Well, here's how.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 8\ The first premise that you have supposedly dismantled isn't supposed to be a statement about observed categories, and it doesn't matter that the Universe is the only instance of it. It is a theoretical category with a prescriptive definition, and the second premise just...
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 9\ ...states that the Universe satisfies that prescriptive definition (based on the properties of the Universe), and so you can't say we don't know because we've only seen one such instance, just as you can't say we don't know that a triangle has 3 sides, if you've only seen one.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 10\ Of course, your next question should reasonably be: What is "things that begin to exist" a theoretical category of? Well, that would be the (theoretical) category of finite things. So the Kalam Cosmological argument really should be more succinctly restated as: ...
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 11\ ...
P1: Finite things have a cause (meaning, their prescriptive definition (finitude) deductively *necessitates* that they have a cause)
P2: The Universe is finite.
C: The Universe has a cause.

It is these premises that you must dismantle, not that strawman you've presented.
@CosmicSkeptic @CapturingChrist @RFupdates 12\ So to conclude, you should edit your article with a disclaimer and perhaps write a new one, tackling these premises, since one should tackle the strongest version of any argument to be sincere. I for one hold both these premises to be true, and can defend them, if need be.

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