Between the 9th to 12th centuries, the cosmological argument developed as a concept within Islamic theology. Similarly, if the number of days extends infinitely into the past, how did we arrive at today? Copyright © 2021 Classical Christian Thinking with Jamie. The mathematical impossibility of forming an actual infinite by successive addition. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) is a different approach, proposed by Muslim philosophers in the Middle Ages. The metaphysical impossibility of an actually infinite series of past events by citing David Hilbert’s famous Hilbert’s Hotel thought experiment and Laurence Sterne’s story of Tristram Shandy. Some have been around for centuries, and new arguments are popping up every day. Rather the energy locked up in a vacuum fluctuates spontaneously in such a way as to convert into evanescent particles that return almost immediately to the vacuum.”. Finally, if you wanted to observe the fall of the dominoes, where does one start since there is no beginning or no ending to the chain? Honestly, I do find the Kalam argument (KCA) powerful, but of course I first encountered it from the perspective of a believer. However, most opponents of the cosmological argument aren’t contesting the evidence, but rather the character of the cause. The principle is obvious to anybody who understands it. When physicists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose collaborated on their research concerning the singularity, they concluded that general relativity and the observable universe supported the notion that a beginning of space and time occurred at the singularity, and thus the Big Bang Theory is now accepted almost universally among scientists. The universe began to exist. The Principle of Proportional Causality (PPC), which states that whatever is present in the effect must be somehow present in the cause, would require the patterns and information of the universe to be present within the cause somehow. It does not behove you to say that an infinite regress of causes is impossible.”, “A finite effect can give only a finite cause, or at most an infinite series of such causes. The most prominent form of the argument, as defended by William Lane Craig, states the Kalam cosmological argument as the following brief syllogism: Given the conclusion, Craig appends a further premise and conclusion based upon a conceptual analysis of the properties of the cause of the universe: If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists who sans (without) the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful. 3 For anybody who really contemplates it, it should be obvious that whatever begins to exist has a cause. As the creator of time, space … In addition to the above arguments, several points can be made which draw further conclusions about the nature of the cause. It consists of two premises and a conclusion. We did not even assume that gravity is described by Einstein’s equations. He states, “Being only comes from being. Morriston asserts that causal laws are physical processes for which we have intuitive knowledge in the context of events within time and space, but that such intuitions do not hold true for the beginning of time itself. So, he concludes that this is a kind of first principle of metaphysics. Therefore, an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and infinitely powerful. There are different forms of the argument. St. Thomas Aquinas, the most famous philosopher of the Middle Ages, adapted an argument he found in his reading of Aristotle to form one of the earliest and the most influential versions of the cosmological argument. Something cannot come into existence out of nothing. The universe (consisting of space & time) began to exist, thus Space & Time had a cause. If the PPC is not accepted, given that the cause of the universe must be a personal and free agent, the complexity and precision of the universe implies extreme intelligence. Also, if there is a hard stop in the future for the number of days, and yet we posit an infinite past, wouldn’t the end of the chain of days have already arrived an infinite amount of time ago? Things don’t just pop into existence uncaused out of non-being. Since the two premises of the kalam cosmological argument are true, the conclusion necessarily and inescapably follows – namely, that the Universe has a cause for its existence. Referring to the implications of Classical Theism that follow from this argument, Craig writes: “… transcending the entire universe there exists a cause which brought the universe into being ex nihilo … our whole universe was caused to exist by something beyond it and greater than it. Scientific confirmation against a past-infinite universe in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Since this information cannot exist in a material way (e.g., how a ball possesses a spherical pattern), it must exist in an immaterial way. For those of you unaware of what exactly the Kalam Cosmological Argument is, here it is: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. As Aristotle said, you shouldn’t try to prove the obvious by the less obvious.”4, “Sometimes I’ll say to audiences, ‘Nobody here in the audience is worried that while we are here listening to this talk that back home in your living room a horse might have popped into being out of nothing and is defiling the carpet while we talk.’ We don’t worry about those kinds of things. In addition to Occam’s Razor, it may be argued that the unicity and coherence of the universe implies a single agent behind the creation of the universe. Kalam is a valid logical syllogism with invalid or unvalidated premises. you get a god out as a conclusion. Therefore, the cause must possess all information in the universe and is thus all-knowing. Graham Oppy, J. L. Mackie and Wes Morriston have objected to the intuitiveness of the first premise. There are a handful of famous arguments for the existence of a god. It is the opposite... […] Quran was written in the 7th century CE. “–Defenders Podcast, “The Cosmological Argument (Part 1)” | Reasonable Faith,”. Therefore, a beginningless series of past events cannot exist. It should be easy to observe the absurdities here. Imagine a series of infinite dominoes lined up. To describe the nature of all matter, Sagan (an atheist) appealed to a first cause. Although it hadnumerous defenders through the centuries, it received new life in therecent voluminous writings of William Lane Craig. (the two I had were not really real debates) The child mortality rate in the United States, for children under the … The Kalam cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. If you have any suggestions, questions or need help please feel free to contact us. Craig formulates thekalām cosmological argument this way (in Craig and Smith1993: chap. The law of causality suggests that every effect that begins must have a prior cause. We don’t even have experience of the coming into being of anything remotely analogous to the “initial singularity” that figures in the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.”. While refutation exists from those who hold to a philosophy of naturalistic materialism, the rationality of a supernatural cause of all things is evident from both philosophical reasoning and scientific evidence. It was refined in the 11th century by Al-Ghazali (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), and in the 12th by Ibn Rushd (Averroes). On the impossibility of actual infinities, Craig asserts: Michael Martin disagrees with these assertions by Craig, saying: “Craig’s a priori arguments are unsound or show at most that actual infinities have odd properties. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence. The Spiritual Life © 2020. It is at this point in space-time where all known physical laws break down.5, This point is called a singularity in mathematics, where formulas reach an undefined amount- in this case an infinite, and as we’ve already determined is irrational because an actual infinite set of things is an impossibility. the Kalam Cosmological Argument Instigator / Con 20 Jarrett_Ludolph 1510 rating 4 debates 75.0% won Topic #2467 the Kalam Cosmological Argument Status Finished All stages have been completed. Scientists and Philosophers alike are engendered to ask the questions why and how. Answer: This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the claim. 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography says: Earth’s Crisis and Evolution Series- Part 1 Finding Commonality in Religious and Spiritual Pathways – SacredFireofKnowledge says: Premise one: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.”, Premise two: “The universe began to exist.”, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), “Initial Arguments: A Defense of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God”, “Cosmological Argument: The Causal Principle and Quantum Physics”, 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography, ... [Trackback] [...] Read More Infos here: slife.org/ethics-in-religion/ [...], […] https://www.discovermongolia.mn/about-mongolia/culture-art-history/religion-in-mongolia https://slife.org/mongolian-shamanism/ https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-religions-are-practiced-in-mongolia.html […], ... [Trackback] [...] Find More Informations here: slife.org/western-slang-lingo-and-phrases/ [...], ... [Trackback] [...] Read More: slife.org/mens-rights-movement/ [...]. Posted in CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY , CREATION SCIENCE , RATIONAL FAITH . Philosopher Michael Martin has also referred to quantum vacuum fluctuation models to support the idea of a universe with uncaused beginnings. Huduth argument (in contemporary Western philosophy known as Kalam Cosmological argument) is an argument for the existence of God which rests on the idea that the universe has a beginning in time. Why or why not? His conception of first causeis the idea that the universe must have been caused by something which was itself uncaused, which he asserted was God. Andrew Loke has argued against the metaphysical possibility of a beginningless universe as well as that of an actual infinite existing in the real world. He concludes that subatomic physics is not a proven exception to the first premise. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. But, imagine that we could prove In his book A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss has proposed how quantum mechanics can explain how space-time and matter can emerge from ‘nothing’ (referring to the quantum vacuum). Another criticism comes from Thomist philosopher Dr. Edward Feser who claims that past and future events are potential rather than actual, meaning that an infinite past could exist in a similar way to how an infinite number of potential halfway points exist between any two given points (as was discussed in one of Zeno’s paradoxes). A common objection to premise one appeals to the phenomenon of quantum indeterminacy, where, at the subatomic level, the causal principle appears to break down. In the subsequent Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, published in 2009, Craig discusses the properties of the cause of the universe, explaining how they follow by entailment from the initial syllogism of the Kalam cosmological argument: Craig concludes that the cause of the existence of the universe is an “uncaused, personal Creator … who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful”; remarking upon the theological implications of this union of properties. Given that the Kalam cosmological argument is a deductive argument, if both premises are true, the truth of the conclusion follows necessarily. Help Fuel This Blog…Buy us a Cup Of Coffee if you would…. A classic which has recently been re-polished and re-popularized, it has withstood the test of time in its field. There have been many versions of the cosmological argument, but the KCA hearkens back to a Muslim theologian named Al-Ghazali. The first premise seems to be self-evident, which any rational person would take as true without dissent. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy which deals with the ultimate questions of what is real and what exists, metaphysics asks about the nature of ultimate reality. 2. This premise is supportable both philosophically and scientifically. The first premiss of the kalam cosmological argument is obviously more plausibly true than its contradictory. The argument is very simple in its structure. The argument generally goes something like this: This argument presupposes presentism or the A Theory of time. It is named after the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism) from which its key ideas originated. Good day, Mr Minton, I've happened to stumble upon your blog post on the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and I seem to have a few objections which I don't think you have ever addressed, whether in that blog post or in the blog category. supernatural. It is very simple and easy to memorize. In 1929, Edwin Hubble observed that wherever you look, distant galaxies are moving away from us, also inferring that at some earlier time all matter would have to be in the same place. The Kalam cosmological argument has received criticism from philosophers such as J. L. Mackie, Graham Oppy, Michael Martin, Quentin Smith, physicists Paul Davies, Lawrence Krauss and Victor Stenger, and authors such as Dan Barker. Then, it was used by Islam to argue for the existence of a theistic worldview and the Islamic religion and became unfavored by Christians. If A Theory is correct, all past moments would have to occur before the present, which would vindicate the first premise. The cosmological argument shows that in fact it is quite reasonable to believe that God does exist. The only assumption that we made was that the expansion rate of the universe never gets below some nonzero value, no matter how small.”, Victor J. Stenger has referred to the Aguirre-Gratton model for eternal inflation as an exemplar by which others disagree with the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. Pretty obvious.”7. At most, this Kalam argument shows that some personal agent or agents created the universe. To remain reasonable, one must agree that these sound like certain attributes of the Christian God. the mental concept of a sphere). Almost there! Since Craig’s original publication, the Kalam cosmological argument has elicited public debate between Craig and Graham Oppy, Adolf Grünbaum, J. L. Mackie and Quentin Smith, and has been used in Christian Apologetics. He and his wife met in high school and celebrated their 20th year of marriage in 2020. Modern discourse encompasses the fields of both philosophy and science (quantum physics and cosmology), which Bruce Reichenbach summarises as: “… whether there needs to be a cause of the first natural existent, whether something like the universe can be finite and yet not have a beginning, and the nature of infinities and their connection with reality”. It has recently been argued that a defense of the Kalam cosmological argument does not have to involve such a commitment to the A-theory. Further, Aristotle described metaphysics as the study of being. Isn't it intolerant to say that Christianity is the I think that pretty much covers it. Balashov claims: “Despite the fact that presentism has the firm backing of common sense and eternalism revolts against it, eternalism is widely regarded as almost the default view in contemporary debates, and presentism as a highly problematic view.”. It reached medieval Christian philosophy in the 13th century and was discussed by Bonaventure, as well as Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (I, q.2, a.3) and Summa Contra Gentiles (I, 13). In reply, Craig has maintained that causal laws are unrestricted metaphysical truths that are “not contingent upon the properties, causal powers, and dispositions of the natural kinds of substances which happen to exist”, remarking: “The history of twentieth century astrophysical cosmology belies Morriston’s claim that people have no strong intuitions about the need of a causal explanation of the origin of time and the universe.”. Being only comes from being. The universe began to … If time is tenseless, then the universe never really comes into being, and, therefore, the quest for a cause of its coming into being is misconceived.”. Craig formulates the Kalam as follows: P1. He presupposes throughout the Enquiry that events have causes, and in 1754 he wrote to John Stewart, ‘But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that anything might arise without a cause'”. Craig defends the first premise as follows: According to Reichenbach, “the Causal Principle has been the subject of extended criticism”, which can be divided into philosophical and scientific criticisms. He writes: “According to the hypothesis under consideration, it has been established that all the beings in the world have a cause. Now, let the cause itself have a cause, and the cause of the cause have yet another cause, and so on ad infinitum. Therefore, it follows that the universe cannot be infinitely old and began to exist. Since space, time, and matter have a beginning, a first effect, it would follow that its cause must be space-less, timeless, and matter-less. For this, he cites the example of a parent “creating” a child who eventually becomes greater than he or she. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. Al-Ghazali was unconvinced by the first-cause arguments of Al-Kindi, arguing that only the infinite per se is impossible, arguing for the possibility of the infinite per accidens. That is the purpose of the Kalam Cosmological argument, to explore the possibility of a supernatural first cause. But for information to exist in an immaterial way is what is classically defined as intellect (e.g. Anscombe, who point out the phenomenological and logical problems in inferring factual possibility from conceivability. The Kalam Cosmological Argument leads us to the conclusion that the universe does, indeed, have a cause. Philosopher Yuri Balashov has criticised Craig’s attempt to reconcile the A-theory with special relativity by relying on a ‘neo‐Lorentzian interpretation’ of Special Relativity. In private correspondence with Stenger, Vilenkin remarked how the Aguirre-Gratton model attempts to evade a beginning by reversing the “arrow of time” at t = 0, but that: “This makes the moment t = 0 rather special. Craig notes: “Hume himself clearly believed in the causal principle. It is named after the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism) from which its key ideas originated. 2. What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God? Furthermore, Since the cause of the universe must exist outside time, space, and all material, the cause must be spaceless, timeless, and non-material; i.e. Every effect requires a cause adequate to explain it. Craig maintains that the Kalam cosmological argument involves a commitment to the A-theory of time, also known as the “tensed theory of time” or presentism, as opposed to its alternative, the B-theory of time, also known as the “tenseless theory of time” or eternalism. It can be summarized in the following syllogism: That in a nutshell is the argument. The Kalam cosmological argument is based on the concept of the prime-mover, introduced by Aristotle, and entered early Christian or Neoplatonist philosophy in Late Antiquity, being developed by John Philoponus. Therefore This latter fact is well known, however, and shows nothing about whether it is logically impossible to have actual infinities in the real world.”. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. But, if the logical conclusion still fails to garner a reasonable acknowledgment, Professor Greg Koukl sums it up, “Here’s the simplified version: A Big Bang needs a big Banger. PRIMARY SOURCE: Dr. Craig Videos; Kalam Cosmological Argument. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. Let’s take a brief look at the two premises. If both philosophy and science conclude that there was a beginning to our universe (a first event), then we should also inquire about the first cause if it is our desire to understand the truth about our world and its existence. Quantum mechanics does not in fact posit something coming from nothing, but rather things coming from the quantum vacuum–which is not “nothing.” Since an actual infinite number of things can’t actually exist, then the universe can’t be infinite in the past and must have a beginning. If anyone has any material objections to the Kalam proof , … One such argument is the kalam cosmological argument. […] This literature was highly treasured by many Jewish enthusiasts, in... […] Judea and the Therapeutae in Egypt, were said to have a “secret”... […] (طهارة, ṭaharah) is an essential aspect of Islam. The Cosmological Argument (also known as the Kalam cosmological argument), is a philosophical argument for the existence of God or a first cause that brought the entire universe into existence. According to Michael Martin, the cosmological arguments presented by Craig, Bruce Reichenbach, and Richard Swinburne are “among the most sophisticated and well argued in contemporary theological philosophy”. The Kalam Cosmological Argument, edited by Paul Copan with William Lane Craig, focuses excluaively on one of the a posteriori arguments for the existence of God: the Kalam cosmological argument. This is where the Kalam Cosmological Argument’s second premise and conclusion are supported. How can one add or subtract from infinities? Therefore, only. Craig cannot validly conclude that a single agent is the creator. A first state of the material world cannot have a material explanation and must originate, Even if positing a plurality of causes prior to the origin of the universe, the causal chain must terminate in a cause which is absolutely first and, Agent causation, volitional action, is the only ontological condition in which an effect can arise in the absence of prior determining conditions. Researched and synthesized by Christian philosopher, William Lane Craig, the argument has its roots in early Christianity as a response to Greek philosophy which advocated an eternal universe. So, if Einstein’s gravity requires some modification, our conclusion will still hold. One of the earliest formulations of the cosmological argument in Islamic tradition comes from Al-Ghazali, who writes: “Every being which begins has a cause for its beginning; now the world is a being which begins; therefore, it possesses a cause for its beginning.”. Craig justifies premise two using both physical arguments with evidence from cosmology and physics, and metaphysical arguments for the impossibility of actual infinities in reality. I’ll outline two of the arguments used as backing for the second premise here and recommend you read Craig’s books to explore further. Here’s the argument in a deductive syllogism: Another great argument for the second premise, “The Universe Began to Exist,” is derived from the field of physics. This is basically just another way of claiming something has always existed, and The Kalam Cosmological Argument The Cosmological Argument attempted to prove that, regardless of whether or not the universe has a finite past, it requires a cause that is outside of the universe. Philosopher of science David Albert has criticised the use of the term ‘nothing’ in describing the quantum vacuum. The first two are purely philosophical arguments; the second two are scientific confirmations of the conclusion reached by the philosophical arguments. If you aren’t familiar with the KCA, here is a version of it: 1): 1. Oppy states: “Mackie, [Adolf] Grunbaum, [Quentin] Smith and I—among many others—have taken issue with the first premise: why should it be supposed that absolutely everything which begins to exist has a cause for its beginning to exist?”. The Kalam cosmological argument has been reintroduced with some rigour into the philosophy of religion through the work of analytic philosopher William Lane Craig. Mackie affirms that there is no good reason to assume a priori that an uncaused beginning of all things is impossible. The Kalam is an apologetics argument that claims everything has to have a cause except for the thing the arguer is claiming exists without a cause. A beginningless series of past events involves an actually infinite number of things. What is the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God? The Kalam Cosmological Argument leads us to the conclusion that the universe does, indeed, have a cause. Craig has revived it as a tenable and viable argument for today’s time and culture, in its original use to argue for the existence of God. Craig has defended the A-theory against objections from J. M. E. McTaggart and hybrid A–B theorists. Further, if you want to add to the chain of dominoes, how do you get to the end of an infinite chain to add one more domino into the chain? Let’s begin: The Kalam Cosmological Argument 2 is currently one of the most researched and referred to arguments for the existence of God because its formulation encapsulates a philosophical and scientific evaluation on the origins of the universe and causality. "Kalam" is a school of thought that tries to defend Islam intellectually against criticisms. Likewise, Craig has argued that the quantum vacuum, in containing quantifiable, measurable energy, cannot be described as ‘nothing’, therefore, that phenomena originating from the quantum vacuum cannot be described as ‘uncaused’. To finish the series at a certain point, and to elevate one member of the series to the dignity of an un-caused first cause, is to set at naught the very law of causation on which the whole argument proceeds.”, According to the atheist philosopher Quentin Smith, “a count of the articles in the philosophy journals shows that more articles have been published about Craig’s defense of the Kalam argument than have been published about any other philosopher’s contemporary formulation of an argument for God’s existence.”. Craig replies that the phenomenon of indeterminism is specific to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, pointing out that this is only one of a number of different interpretations, some of which he states are fully deterministic (mentioning David Bohm) and none of which are as yet known to be true. The first-cause argument begins with the fact that there is change in the world, and a change is always the effect of some cause or causes. Craig has defended the A-theory against objections from J. M. E. McTaggart and hybrid A–B theorists to before! To anybody who understands it arguments in favor of the beginning to knock down entire! Within Islamic THEOLOGY infinity being endless of time would have to start the of... Deductive argument, if Einstein ’ s role is to explore cause and effect relationships ”. Past events can not be infinitely old and began to exist has a of... Against objections from J. M. E. 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