The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Value of Arguments

  • No full proofs (no all compelling arguments), rather just more probable.

  • This means that rhetoric (being a convincing speaking), makes a difference.

  • Further, when you make an argument you should try to do it from the background of the person that you are speaking to.

  • God can and does use these to draw people to himself.

 

The Burden of Proof

  • “The burden of proof is the responsibility someone has to defend or give evidence for his view. Generally, the rule can be summed up this way: Whoever makes the claim bears the burden.” Greg Koukl, Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions, 59.

  • I.e. the theist since he says there is a God needs to give his reasons for thinking this. The atheist since he says there is no god needs to give his reasons for this. The default position is the weak agnostic who says I do not know if there is a god or not.

 

Assessing Arguments - example

  1. All men are Mortal.

  2. Socrates is a man.

  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

 

WLC’s Cosmological Argument

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

  2. The universe began to exist.

  3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

Video from: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/kalam

 

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

  1. Something cannot come from nothing. Even virtual particles emerge out of the quantum vacuum, which is filled with energy and governed by physical laws.

  2. If something can come into being from nothing, why can't anything or everything come into being from nothing? 'Nothingness' has no properties or constraints.

  3. God did not begin to exist; He is a necessarily existing being.

 

2. The universe began to exist.

  1. An actual infinite number of past events cannot concretely exist (only potential infinite or actual infinite in abstraction else absurdities result such as Hilbert’s Hotel). If the universe were past eternal, there would be an infinite number of past events.

  2. A series formed successively cannot be actually infinite (just potentially as there would always be more elements to count).

  3. The Second Lay of Thermodynamics states that a closed system will eventually run out of useable energy (lead to a state of entropy). If an actual infinite amount of time had passed, the universe should have run out of energy by now. Scientists have showed that any universe, which has on average been expanding, must have a beginning.

  4. The 'Big Bang' theory shows that the entire universe, including space and time, are finite and has a starting point, the initial cosmological singularity. We have strong scientific evidence as we can observe that galaxies are moving away from each other (Scientists have detected cosmic background microwave radiation that is best explained as a vestige of the Big Bang).

 

3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

  1. The cause must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused, and incredibly powerful. It must also be personal, as only a personal being can make a decision to create the universe (abstract objects do not cause anything).

 

Leibniz’s Cosmological Argument

  1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause [A version of PSR].

  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

  3. The universe exists.

  4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3)

  5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from 2, 4).

 

A Note on Argumentation

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. 51%

  2. The universe began to exist.  51%

  3. Therefore the universe has a cause. 51%x51% = 26%

  • So individually you need 71% x 71% = 50.4%

  • Or cumulatively Cosmological (say 26%) + Teleological (26%) = 45% + Moral (26%) = 59%                               

 

Pascal’s Wager

                     God exists             God does not exist

Believe        infinite gain           finite loss

Disbelieve  infinite loss            finite gain

 

What if there is no God?

  • Then there is no meaning in life…

  • Morality is relative, just pragmatics…

  • There is no hope for the future…

 

Define “God”

  • “The term “God,” is traditionally understood, signifies a personal being who is worthy of worship.” Gould, BTCOG, pg 1.

  • The being who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

  • God refers to the greatest possible being (or maximally excellent being).

 

Who Made God?

  • Once you understand what God is (by definition) you realize this question is incoherent. Who made the unmade?

  • God exists necessarily.

 

Definition of Atheism

  • The belief that “there is no God.”

  • Not “one who lacks belief in God.”

  • Loke’s Cosmological Argument

  • There cannot be an infinite regress of cause-and-effect

  • (Because an actual infinite has a greater number than what could be counted by the process of counting one event after another.)

  • Therefore there must be a First Cause of the universe.

 

Recommended Resources

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