Kalam Cosmological Argument ~ History and Argument

The following short documentary on the Kalam Cosmological Argument was made by http://www.damaris.org.

Based on Sufficient Reason

(See an excellent article at The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

P1) A contingent being exists.

  1. This contingent being is caused either (1) by itself, or (2) by another.
  2. If it were caused by itself, it would have to precede itself in existence, which is impossible.

P2) Therefore, this contingent being (2) is caused by another, i.e., depends on something else for its existence.

P3) That which causes (provides the sufficient reason for) the existence of any contingent being must be either (3) another contingent being, or (4) a non-contingent being (necessary) being.

  1. If 3, then this contingent cause must itself be caused by another, and so onto infinity.

P4) Therefore, that which causes (provides the sufficient reason for) the existence of any contingent being must be either (5) an infinite series of contingent beings, or (4) a necessary being.

P5) An infinite series of contingent beings (5) is incapable of yielding a sufficient reason for the existence of any being.

P6) Therefore, a necessary being (4) exists!

Based on the Principle of Existential Causality

  1. Some limited, changing being[s] exist.
  2. The present existence of every limited, changing being is caused by another.
  3. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes of being.
  4. Therefore, there is a first Cause of the present existence of these beings.
  5. This first Cause must be infinite, necessary, eternal, simple, unchangeable and one.
  6. This first uncaused Cause is identical with the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition

A mix of both

  1. Something exists (e.g., I do);
  2. I am a contingent being;
  3. Nothing cannot cause something;
  4. Only a Necessary Being can cause a contingent being;
  5. Therefore, I am caused to exist by a Necessary Being;
  6. But I am personal, rational, and moral kind of being (since I engage in these kinds of activities);
  7. Therefore this Necessary Being must be a personal, rational, and moral kind of being, since I am similar to him by the Principle of Analogy;
  8. But a Necessary Being cannot be contingent (i.e., not necessary) in its being which would be a contradiction;
  9. Therefore, this Necessary Being is personal, rational, and moral in a necessary way, not in a contingent way;
  10. This Necessary Being is also eternal, uncaused, unchanging, unlimited, and one, since a Necessary Being cannot come to be, be caused by another, undergo change, be limited by any possibility of what it could be (a Necessary Being has no possibility to be other than it is), or to be more than one Being (since there cannot be two infinite beings);
  11. Therefore, one necessary, eternal, uncaused, unlimited (=infinite), rational, personal, and moral being exists;
  12. Such a Being is appropriately called “God” in the theistic sense, because he possesses all the essential characteristics of a theistic God;
  13. Therefore, the theistic God exists.

What properties must such a cause of the universe possess? By the very nature of the case, the cause of space and time must transcend space and time and therefore exist timelessly and nonspatially (at least without the universe). This transcendent cause must therefore be changeless and immaterial, since anything that is timeless must also be unchanging, and anything that is changeless must be nonphysical and immaterial (since material things are constantly changing at the molecular and atomic levels). Such an entity must be beginningless and uncaused, at least in the sense of lacking any prior causal conditions, since there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. Ockham’s razor—the principle which states that we should not multiply causes beyond necessity—will shave away any other causes, since only one cause is required to explain the effect. This entity must be unimaginably powerful, if not omnipotent, since it created the universe without any material cause.

Finally, and most remarkably, such a transcendent first cause is plausibly personal. Two reasons can be given for this conclusion. First, the personhood of the first cause of the universe is implied by its timelessness and immateriality. The only entities which can possess such properties are either minds or abstract objects, like numbers. But abstract objects don’t stand in causal relations. The number 7, for example, can’t cause anything. Therefore, the transcendent cause of the origin of the universe must be an unembodied mind.

Second, this same conclusion is implied by the origin of an effect with a beginning from a beginningless cause. We’ve concluded that the beginning of the universe was the effect of a first cause. By the nature of the case, that cause cannot have either a beginning of its existence or any prior cause. It just exists changelessly without beginning, and a finite time ago it brought the universe into existence. Now this is exceedingly odd. The cause is in some sense eternal and yet the effect which it produced is not eternal but began to exist a finite time ago. How can this be? If the necessary and sufficient conditions for the effect are eternal, then why isn’t the effect also eternal? How can the cause exist without the effect?

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. Philosophers call this type of causation “agent causation,” and because the agent is free, he can initiate new effects by freely bringing about conditions which were not previously present. Thus, a finite time ago a Creator endowed with free will could have freely brought the world into being at that moment. In this way, the Creator could exist changelessly and eternally but freely create the world in time. By exercising his causal power, he brings it about that a world with a beginning comes to exist? So the cause is eternal, but the effect is not. In this way, then, it is possible for the temporal universe to have come to exist from an eternal cause: through the free will of a personal Creator.

We may therefore conclude that a personal Creator of the universe exists, who is uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and unimaginably powerful.

William Lane Craig and Chad Meister, God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2009), 16-17.

From the video description:

Logos Apologia made and edited this awesome video which demonstrates the scientific fact of the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God’s existence. Over and over again, it has been demonstrated that science (contrary to popular stereotypes) is on the side of theists and not atheists. From Logos Apologia:

“Everything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause.”

Why couldn’t natural forces have produced the universe? Because there was no nature and there were no natural forces ontologically prior to the Big Bang—nature itself was created at the Big Bang. That means the cause of the universe must be something beyond nature—something we would call supernatural. It also means that the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be:

spaceless because it created space
timeless because it created time
immaterial because it created matter
powerful because it created out of nothing
intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed
personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something (impersonal forces don’t make choices).

Turek & Geisler. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. CrosswayBooks; 2004.

Thanks to Dr. Frank Turek, Dr. William Lane Craig, RC Sproul, as well as Dr. Henry F. Schaefer III

Click to enlarge the following (if need be)

Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics,

cf., cosmological argument.

Godly Contradictions? Rocks, Evil, God’s Origin

Another good read on this can be found at Evidence for God. Similkarly, a common challenge that includes the same categorical mistake has to do with “Can God make a rock soo big He cannot lift it?” Go to a previous post of mine where a paper, a video, and my Power Point presentation on the matter are.

Power Point – Can God Make a Rock So Big That by Papa Giorgio

Can God Make A Rock So Big He Cannot Lift It? by Papa Giorgio