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Is the Kalam Cosmological Argument Invalid?

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    Sooner28posted 3 years ago

    The argument usually goes:

    1.  All that begins to exist has a cause.

    2.  The universe began to exist.

    3.  Therefore, the universe has a cause.

    4.  If the universe has a cause, it must be timeless and spaceless.

    5.  God fits that description most effectively.

    6.  Therefore, God exists.

    Sounds convincing right?  Well, it is actually highly misleading, in my opinion.

    The first premise can only be asserted in such a way about "events" in "space-time."  If it is anything other than that, the argument is simply begging the question.  Keeping this in mind, the argument becomes very odd indeed if the first two premises are reformulated.

    1.  All events that begins to exist in space-time have a temporal cause. 

    2.  The universe's beginning was an event that began to exist at a point in space-time.

    3.  Therefore, the universe has a temporal cause. (Time created itself!)

    How absurd is this!!!! 

    In order to avoid this very odd conclusion, the second premise cannot be referring to events in space-time.  It is referring to the "creation" of time and space itself.  Let's try again.

    1.  All  events that begin to exist in space-time have a temporal cause.

    2.  Space-time "began" to exist when the universe "began" to exist.


    It clearly doesn't follow that the universe then had a temporal cause, or any cause really, because premise 1 is referring to events "inside" the universe, whereas the second premise is referring to the universe as a whole.  This is known as the fallacy of composition. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacie … ition.html   A famous example is as follows.  Every 2x4 used to build a house is light, therefore the whole house is light.

    Once the premises are made more explicit, I think it shows this argument is rather weak.

    Am I going wrong here?

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      riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The one who proposed it do not know what a 'cause' is.

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        Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        It has various defenders, but the most famous is the philosopher/theologian William Lane Craig.

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          riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I know. He use the word cause as a noun and not as a verb. "Cause" is a verb, an action mediated by one object on another. So the creator(who was already existing) had to act on another object (which also was existing) to make the universe. That means matter was already there before the creation.
          Existence has no beginning, existence is eternal.

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            Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            That's why they say creation ex nihilo!  Yet, it violates the assumption that something cannot come into existence from nothing!  Unless everything existed forever in the mind of God, God cannot magically pop something into existence either by the sheer force of his thoughts.

            Though, if you are a Berklian idealist...it's perfecto

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              erickcbposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Where there is nothing...lies everything. Paradox.

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                riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It is not paradox, it is nonsense. 'Nothing' is the opposite of 'everything'. Either there is a thing or there is nothing.

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                  erickcbposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Paradox is non definable and mysterious and yet it exists, because we see evidence of it in the every opposites you express. Nothing and something.
                  Where there is nothing.. everything exists..

                  Nothing is infinite. Something is infinite. Two sides to the same coin.
                  Same as Life/death, black/white, space/matter. Neither exists without the other. The outside can't exist without an inside. They are tied together and cannot be separated in their infinite dance.

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                    riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Infinite? There is no infinite thing, that is self refuting. Finite is towards an object, not 'nothing'. Only matter exists, not life or death or black or white?

            2. brotheryochanan profile image61
              brotheryochananposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              the theory goes that something cannot come into being from nothing without an external stimuli. Things do not compile themselves into other things unless there is a manipulator or manipulation.
              Matter did not have to exist before creation. Matter could have been thrown into the mix at the time of creation. In a sense we put gas in a car and get out carbon dioxide.
              What if, God made a little matter there and a little matter here and added all the ingredients together at the same time and waited for the catalyst explosion.

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      erickcbposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The answer is beyond scope really. If you really think about it, the true 'cause' is ultimately irrelevant and farcical.

      As we all know, cause is a dialectical partner to effect. Neither can exist without the other. This means in order for the universe to have a 'cause', that cause would have to be the effect or synthesis of an even greater and prior cause/effect process. If you follow it logically, it continues to regress infinitely....

      How far does the causal rabbit hole go? To infinity and beyond! We are constantly "big banging."

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        riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        That means, the only alternative..... matter and space are eternal.

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        Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Something else I thought about, but I'm not sure if I am just playing word games or not.

        1.  If something exists, it exists within something else.- we exist inside the earth, which then exists inside of space, which exists inside of...

        2.  The universe exists.

        3.  Therefore, the universe exists inside of something else.

        4.  If the universe exists inside of something else, that something else cannot be nothing,.  (nothing has no properties).

        The same objection to the kalam could be made to this though, that I am starting from within the universe, and then extrapolating to the universe itself.

        However, I think it does the raise the question of if there is anything beyond our universe.

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          riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Space is the same as nothing. Universe include space which has no boundaries. when ther is no boundary, we cannot say beyond or outside.

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          erickcbposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          My opinion is that when you get going along this path that it easier to imagine small things rather than large. Start with: universe>galaxy>solar system>earth>human>>cell>molecule>atom>proton>etc...

          Where does the smallest of small reside? and what resides within the smallest 'thing?'

          My guess is eventually you would come out on the ''otherside'' into a universe and the cycle starts all over again.

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    erickcbposted 3 years ago

    If we were to really try and prove this argument of a 'first cause' we would then have to impose a real and true LIMIT to all that exists. If the creation of the universe, physical laws, emotions, the whole picture, were due to some single cause, then that cause is the limit. We would all have to accept then the next logical thing. Therefore, love, experiences, possibilities, imagination, all of these things that make up the great journey that is life, are limited. This also means, that one can only grow as a living being so far before they reach that limit.. Even in death, if there is somewhere else we go, ultimately we must except that that limit will be reached eventually. If there is a first cause, that cause must be accepted as not infinite, because how could infinity "begin" anywhere to be called a "first." First denotes an actual beginning... but we know even numbers go to infinity in both directions.... If we say the beginning is zero...

    0 X infinity = 0
    0 + infinite numbers = infinite numbers >> infinite evolution > infinite possibility
    0 /  infinity =0
    0 - infinite numbers = infinite numbers>> infinite evolution>infinite possibility

    We come full circle every time. Paradox.

    we all know deep down, when one door closes another one opens. Always.

    As Qi-Gon Jinn once said, in Star Wars Episode 1: "There's always a bigger fish."

    1. LauraD093 profile image85
      LauraD093posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Again Sooner28 a three (large cup) java debate. I hope you don't think I take your forums lightly  I have always found them brain-twisters and what if (s) ? Logical deduction and my creative process have never gone hand & hand but with your forums I can step back some and see some things in a different light. I have to agree though it is a paradox /yin/yang and yet another infinite debate...angels dancing on the head of a pin? Perhaps.

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        Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Haha.  If angels are immaterial, the question becomes even more complex!

  3. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 3 years ago

    Personally, I would ask to see proof of #1, #2, #4 and #5

    #1 is an unwarranted supposition, and one that is now being proven to be false.

    #2 is also unwarranted; even if we assume that the big bang happened it was preceded by a singularity.  There is no proof that the entire universe was not a part of that singularity in a different form.

    #4 is, as far as I can tell, a nonsense statement with no connection to reality or even logic in general as the "if" has no connection or correlation to the "then".

    #5 is completely unknown as there is absolutely no definitive description of God.

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      Sooner28posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Check our William Lane Craig's website if you want to see the argument more fully laid out.  I based it on his form.  The end was a little less rigorously presented.

  4. JMcFarland profile image91
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago

    There is a great rebuttal to this argument - try http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Kalam