Friday, May 16, 2003

Aziz Poonawalla on the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Here's another critique of the KCA, from Aziz Poonawalla. Either Ernie or I will respond to the substance of his critique later, but now I want to address being called a liar by him. Poonawalla writes:
Troy writes in to demonstrate with examples of Cantor's own writings that the attribution above that Cantor denied the existence of "actual infinities" is a blatant lie. .... It's one thing to argue from authority. It's quite another to lie about what the authority said and then argue from that lie.
I don't appreciate being called a liar regarding Cantor's position. If Troy is correct, I made a wrong inference (that Cantor denied that AI could be existentially instantiated) from a true fact (that he thought that a metaphysical-mathematical proof is possible), and contrary to Poonawalla's accusation, I did not go on to "argue from that lie." The argument against the physical instantiation of actual infinity does not hinge upon Cantor's authority. It merely establishes that the potential for a theological argument is there, i.e., that such an argument is not a factitious use of set theory.

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