Kalam Cosmological Argument: Details

Premises:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause

Premise (1) seems obviously true. Firstly, it only makes metaphysical sense that something can not come into being from nothing. Secondly, if things could come into being uncaused out of nothing, then why doesn’t just anything and everything pop into being, uncaused out of nothing? Finally, the first premise is constantly confirmed in our day-to-day experience.

2. The universe began to exist

Prior to the 1920s, scientist had always assumed that the universe was stationary and eternal. However, when Alberta Einstein proposed his theory of relativity, the implications were a devastating blow to atheists. Einstein found that GR would not permit an eternal, static model of the universe unless he fudged the equations in order to offset the gravitational effect of matter. Then in 1929 an alarming thing happened. A scientist named Edwin Hubble discovered that the light from distant planets appear to be redder than it should be. This is because the universe is growing apart - it's expanding! Therefore, the light from the galaxies are affected, since they are moving away from us. The staggering implication is that the further back one goes in the past, the denser the universe becomes, so that one finally reaches a point of infinite density from which the universe began to expand. The second law of thermodynamics also supports the expansion of the universe. The second law states that processes taking place in a closed system always tend toward a state of equilibrium. In other words, unless energy is constantly being added into a system, the processes in the system will tend to run down and quit.

Discoveries in Astrophysics indicate that the universe began to exist about 15 billion years in a cosmic explosion called the Big Bang. Scientists call the startling moment of the universe a “singularity” an original point at which neither space nor time nor scientific laws are in effect. Nothing can be known scientifically about what came before such a point, for there was literally nothing. Indeed the term before has no meaning since time itself did not exist “prior to” the singularity. Once upon a time there was no time, no matter, no space. Thus, there can be no natural, physical cause of the Big Bang.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause

Why is there a universe rather than nothing? Some atheists will claim that that the universe came into existence by nothing and from nothing. But if for even a single instant there was absolutely nothing in existence – no matter, no universe, no God then why is there something rather than nothing? To believe this is defying the very metaphysical principle that “out of nothing there is nothing.” Therefore, we conclude inescapably that the universe has an external cause.

Conceptual analysis enables us to discover the nature of the first cause. For as the cause of space and time, this entity must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial being. This entity must be unimaginably powerful, since it created the universe without any material cause. Finally, the transcendent cause must be taken to be personal. For how else can a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect? If the necessary and sufficient conditions for the production of the effect are eternal, then why isn’t the effect eternal? There seems to be only one way out of this dilemma and that is to say that the cause of the universe’s beginning is a personal agent who freely chooses to create a universe in time. For example, a man sitting changelessly from eternity could freely will to stand up; thus, a temporal effect arises from an eternally existing agent. Thus, we arrive from a transcendent cause of the universe to its personal creator. This is what we mean by “God”.


Objections:

1. It does not follow from the necessity of there being a cause that the cause of the universe is a conscious agent.
The personhood of the cause does not follow from the two premises of the cosmological argument proper, but from a conceptual analysis of the notion of a first cause of the beginning of the universe

2. It is logically fallacious to infer that there is a single conscious agent who created the universe
Ockham’s Razor is the principle which states that we should not multiply causes beyond necessity. Since the universe is a single effect originating in the Big Bang event, we have no grounds for inferring a plurality of causes.

3. If everything has a cause of its existence, then who caused God?
The argument does not presuppose that everything has a cause. Rather it states that whatever begins to exist has a cause. Something that exists eternally and hence, without a beginning would not need to have a cause.

4. If creation out of nothing is incomprehensible, then it is irrational to believe in such a doctrine
The statement that a finite time ago a transcendent cause brought the universe into being out of nothing is clearly a meaningful statement, not mere gibberish. We may not understand how the cause brought the universe into being out of nothing, but then it is even more incomprehensible, in this sense, how the universe could have popped into being uncaused out of nothing

5. What is the difference between a Creator who endured through an infinite amount of time up to the moment of creation and a timeless Creator who, a finite time ago, willed to bring the world into being at that moment?
"Time and space are creations of God that began at the Big Bang. If you go back beyond the beginning of time itself, there is simply eternity. By that, I mean eternity in the sense of timelessness. God, the eternal, is timeless in his being. God did not endure through an infinite amount of time up to the moment of creation; that would be absurd. God transcends time. He’s beyond time. Once God creates the universe, he could enter time, but that’s a different topic altogether." (Craig)

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