kalam criticism

The Bill Craig version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument goes like this:

p1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
p2. The universe began to exist.
c. The universe has a cause.

Some have put forward the objection(s) that we’ve never observed anything ‘come into existence’ in the sense of ‘ex nihilo’ (out of nothing).  Everything that we might normally think of as a freshly existing object has not come into existence ‘ex nihilo’, but from prior existing materials.  Premise 1 and 2 thus become the same point, and the ‘argument’ becomes an assertion.

I think I agree.

If we divide “coming into existence” into the senses of a) from prior-existing things and b) from non-existence, then it seems to me (I’m happy to be shown wrong?) that Craig’s form of the argument involves either an error of repetition (collapses into an assertion) or an error of irrelevance (leaves out other premises):

The repetitive error could be stated as such:

p1. Whatever (the only possible thing is the universe) begins to exist (from non-existence) has a cause.
p2. The universe (i.e. the only possible thing that could begin to exist from non-existence) began to exist.
c. The universe has a cause.

The irrelevant error could be stated as such:

p1. Whatever begins to exist (from prior existing things) have a (shaping kind of) cause.
p2. The universe began to exist (from non-existence).
c. The universe has a (??? kind of) cause.

* * *

And now for a completely random attempt by yours truly at constructing an argument which gets to the same conclusion by a different route… (which turns out to be an adaptation of Aristotle)

p1. In any possible world, a mobile is contingent upon a mover (which itself may be moved).
p2. In any possible world, an infinite number of moved movers is impossible.
c. Therefore, all mobiles, including moved movers (i.e. the universe), are contingent upon an unmoved mover.

logical argument

Of all the theistic proofs, the cosmological argument is clearest and simplest:

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. The Universe has a Cause.

A helpful deductive version is stated as follows:

  1. A contingent being (a being that if it exists can not-exist) exists.
  2. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence.
  3. The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself.
  4. What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being.
  5. Contingent beings alone cannot provide an adequate causal account or explanation for the existence of a contingent being.
  6. Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being.
  7. Therefore, a necessary being (a being that if it exists cannot not-exist) exists.

The key issue is whether or not the world (including concepts such as universe, multiverse, etc.) is a) self-caused, eternal and infinite or other-caused, temporal and finite – and I maintain that this is not an issue which science can determine.

first

A) “Who or what made God?”

B) “The question assumes that God is the sort of being whose existence is contingent on something else.”

A) “Why couldn’t God be like that?”

B) “Well, one of the most basic ideas about God is that God is the First Cause.”

A) “…but what would have caused this ‘First Cause’…?”

B) “I said First, which means nothing before.”