Leibnizian & Kalam Cosmological Argument REFUTED - William-Lane Craig
I received a request from someone challenging me to debunk William-Lane Craig’s version of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. I couldn’t care less for creationist arguments since they all die at the moment of their inception – i.e. the conceptual level. But I will do a very thorough analysis so that everyone understands just how ridiculous all Creationist arguments and theories are, whether peddled by Traditional Priests, or by Contemporary Priests like Lemaitre, Hawking, Penrose, Krauss, et all.
This article will clearly demonstrate in no ambiguous terms, the reasons why GOD DOESN’T EXIST; in the form of a detailed analysis accompanied by rational explanations. It’s important to realize that the objective here is NOT to “prove” or give “evidence” for why God doesn’t exist. Such endeavours are irrational and instantly debunked because they are based on emotions and opinions. So if you are looking for such nonsense, I suggest you join an Atheist Club.
This article will use the Scientific Method to analyze and rationally explain why Creation from God is impossible. In particular, it will explain why it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to have existed before, during, and after the supposed event of Creation, and hence conclude that God (The Creator) does not exist.
This article is not meant to convert theists from their BELIEF that God exists, just as it’s not meant to convert atheists from their BELIEF that God doesn’t exist. But if both groups are particularly sensitive to this issue, I will warn them in advance to skip this article altogether. It is not my intention to rock the foundation of people’s faith, especially the faith of theists, atheists, and agnostics alike.
WHAT IS A RATIONAL ARGUMENT?
When it comes to creation, or any argument claiming to apply to REALITY, it had better be a rational one without any ontological contradictions. An argument that is objective and rational has NO provision for knowledge, wisdom, truth, lies, proof, absolutes, right/wrong, correct/incorrect, faith, belief, experiment, observations, evidence, testimony, credentials, authority, etc....as these are all OPINIONS whose resolution is dependent upon the subjective interpretations of an observer. Any statement, argument, or Theory about reality is either rational or irrational. It is either objective or it isn’t. It either has contradictions or it doesn’t. It either makes sense or it doesn’t. It can either be understood or it can’t. That is the only reliable basis by which we can possibly judge the multitude of claims made by the opportunistic and self-serving human species.
If such arguments:
- Use ambiguous, undefined, or misunderstood KEY terms.
- Reify concepts into objects.
- Propose objects with dualities (i.e. something is both an object AND a concept).
- Perform VERBS on concepts, rather than on real objects.
- Use concepts that perform VERBS.
- Rely on surrealistic or supernatural mediators for descriptions and explanations.
- Cannot be conceptualized and visualized as a movie on the big screen.
- Cannot be understood by the audience because they violate logic, grammar, reason.
- Embody ontological contradictions.
....then such arguments are IRRATIONAL, they are not objective, and they certainly cannot be understood by anyone, not even their author. They have no purpose other than to use deception to sway mindless followers in their favour.
I promise that I will be as objective as possible in my analysis of Craig’s argument. In fact, I will be so objective and analytical, that you will hate me!
THE LEIBNIZIAN COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was searching for some type of explanation for existence. He wanted to explain why anything exists at all. What was this “anything” that Leibniz was referring to? Well, according to William-Lane Craig, it was ‘the’ Universe. Craig agrees with Leibniz that God was that reasonable explanation for the existence of ‘the’ Universe. But merely asserting that God is THE explanation doesn’t make it so. An explanation must present all the ontological details demonstrating how it is possible for a being such as God, to move and “create” out of nothing, or out of Himself.
It should also be noted that Craig is an avid supporter of mainstream science and Big Bang Cosmology, as he authoritatively references them in his arguments. He claims that the Big Bang supports the “theistic” position of God’s first-cause creation, rather than the “atheistic” position of acausal creation. After I analyze Craig’s argument, I will proceed to explain why both the “theistic” and “atheistic” positions of CREATION are not only irrational, but are also the hallmark of lunacy!
William-Lane Craig has reformulated Leibniz’s Cosmological Argument in the following manner:
P1: Anything that exists has an explanation for its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
P2: If the universe has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is God.
P3: The universe exists
P4: Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3)
P5: Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from 2, 4)*
*From William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith (3rd ed.), 106.
In 1979 Craig published the Kalam Cosmlogical Argument (below), which is considered by theologians all over the world as one of, if not, the BEST Cosmological Argument. In fact, Craig has boasted that nobody has been able to refute his argument from the countless debates he has had over the years. But what Craig doesn’t boast about, is that he always turns down MY requests for a debate!
P(1): Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
P(2): The universe began to exist.
P(3): Therefore, the universe has a cause.
The Kalam and Leibnizian arguments are similar in that they make the same irrational claim: objects BEGIN to exist, and in particular....the word “Universe” refers to an object that began to exist.
Why did Craig reformulate Leibniz’s Cosmological Argument? He wanted to formulate it into a logically sound and airtight deductive argument, where each premise logically follows from the previous one. He is delusional if he thinks that any logical argument, whether it is sound, valid, airtight or otherwise; somehow applies to nature’s reality. But what Craig hasn’t learned all those years as a Scholar, Logician, and Philosopher, is that logical arguments have nothing to do with nature’s reality. Nothing!!
Here is Craig himself boasting that his Leibnizian argument is so airtight, that it is unavoidable and MUST be accepted:
“Now this is a logically AIRTIGHT argument. That is to say, if the 3 premises are true, then the conclusion is UNAVOIDABLE. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the conclusion. It doesn’t matter if you have other objections to God’s existence. So long as you grant the premises, you HAVE TO ACCEPT the conclusion.” -- William-Lane Craig
You can view his presentation here:
Well Dr. Craig.....here is another example of a logically airtight deductive argument that you HAVE TO ACCEPT, even if you don’t like the conclusion:
P1: The human body is made up of cells.
P2: Cells are invisible to the naked eye.
C: Therefore, the human body is invisible to the naked eye.
P1 is true, and P2 is true.
Does the conclusion make sense even though this is a scholarly argument that is logically “airtight” according to Dr. Craig? YEAH RIGHT!!
In fact, almost ALL, if not all, logical arguments, no matter how logically airtight and logically unavoidable they are claimed to be,....have inherent fallacies built into them. These fallacies are “unavoidable” due to the artificial nature of logic, especially when rigging-up premises in order to obtain your desired conclusion. My argument above, and Craig’s cosmological arguments are no exception. Can you spot the fallacies in both? Keep reading and you’ll see how I expose the major fallacies and ontological contradictions built into Craig’s cosmological arguments.
REMEMBER: Nature is not based on systems of logic. Nature is NOT asserted axiomatically. Nature never went to school, never managed to acquire a Ph.D, and couldn’t care less about the petty logical, philosophical, religious, and mathematical arguments that humans prove to each other. Nature’s job is to perpetually move atoms from one location to another. As such, we can only rationally EXPLAIN nature’s events, and NOT inject our OPINIONS and EMOTIONS into nature.
As humans, we can only conceptualize nature’s reality. Then we must use language to exemplify reality into an objective, unambiguous, contradiction-free, and rational discourse that we can comprehend. If we cannot objectively comprehend Craig’s argument, or if it is based on contradictions, then it has nothing to do with reality.
As we unravel Craig’s argument, you will be SHOCKED to discover his irrationality in the most basic fundamental areas of Physics 101, especially the Scientific Method. You will be SHOCKED to discover that he doesn’t even understand that ‘cause’ is a verb, and that an object (wrapped by space) is necessary to mediate a causal action upon another object. You will be SHOCKED to discover that Craig is peddling irrational arguments which even “he” doesn’t understand. So how can YOU possibly understand them?
So let’s analyze Craig’s Leibnizian argument line-by-line, and as you shall see, we will refute not only the Leibnizian, the Kalam, and all cosmological arguments, ....but we will summarily refute ALL Creation arguments, including the Big Bang theory, in one fell swoop! Sounds too good to be “true”? Just keep reading....
We first start by defining the key terms which exemplify nature’s reality. We understand that nature is composed of objects (matter) and space (nothing). Without objects and their background of space, we can’t even begin to talk about reality. But ever since humans came on board and started communicating with formal language, they have also conceived of and expressed their concepts as “noun terms” in ordinary speech. Since we are trying to analyze Craig’s argument as objectively as possible, Craig will appreciate that we will avoid ordinary speech and focus instead on unambiguous scientific language. The following are unambiguous definitions for the key terms that will be referenced in this analysis.
Object: That which has shape.
Concept: A relation between objects;
Space: That which lacks shape; (synonym: nothing, void, vacuum).
Universe: A concept that relates objects (matter i.e. atoms) and space (nothing).
Location: The set of static distances to all other objects.
Exist: Physical presence (referring to an object that has location; synonym: real).
Theologians, Philosophers, Logicians, and Mathematicians are always under the impression that they have communicated their ideas effectively when in fact nothing of the sort has occurred. The presenter cannot have any idea of what he is talking about if he takes the KEY terms of his argument for granted. When he extrapolates the definitions of ordinary speech into a context, which he claims, applies to reality, he doesn’t even realize that a rigorous definition of the same key terms destroys his entire argument. Those who peddle such petty logical arguments have no idea what their terms mean, or how they apply to reality, or how important they are for an objective and rational discourse.
The reason why ordinary speech pervades all logical arguments, is because these people depend on poetry, euphemisms, metaphors, colloquialisms, emotion,....along with the deliberately-injected confusion of multiple ambiguous definitions. And all for the purposes of peddling their logical wares and proving everything under the Sun. But I will NOT let them get away with murder.....that I promise you! I am setting a criterion of utmost objectivity so that all of us can understand what we are talking about when we use such key terms as: ‘exist’, ‘object’, ‘space’.
Nonetheless, if the reader feels that the definitions of these key terms are too rigorous for their tastes, the onus is on them to provide their own unambiguous definitions that can be used consistently within their argument. In that case it would be extremely easy to identify any inconsistencies or contradictions associated with my terms above. A definition doesn't just become ambiguous or inconsistent because you or I say so. If it can be used in more than ONE context, it is ambiguous no matter what I or anyone else claims. If a term is ambiguous, inconsistent, irrational or contradictory, then it has no use in a rational argument, especially one that exemplifies nature’s reality.
WHAT IS GOD?
God is a Hypothesis: Let us “assume” God exists.
Without exception, this is what all theologians assume whenever they reference the word God. God cannot be proven to exist as it is impossible to prove that anything exists, like your right arm for instance, much less an assumed object, like God.
Since Craig makes vacuous reference to the word ‘God’, we must first unambiguously resolve whether God is an object or a concept. The big 3 Monotheistic Religions purport an ETERNAL anthropomorphic intelligent BEING which they have named God. God is assumed to be “The Creator” in an ontological situation where there was NO space, atoms or time before His Creation.
Since God is a ‘being’, He must necessarily have some type of structure. Without a doubt, He has the intrinsic property of ‘shape’ to give him,.....what else.....but FORM! Without form, God cannot possibly exist, as existence without form is impossible in ANY context. Why? Because He would otherwise be inseparable from the background that surrounds Him. He would blend and become continuous with, and actually “be” the background!
Regardless, God is often illustrated (see attached image) to have ‘shape’, so we will assume that for the purposes of Craig’s argument, that the above image is a “reasonable” illustration of God. So God is clearly an object, but this does not imply that God is visible. God can most certainly be invisible and extremely elusive, like the many real existing things in nature which are invisible and elusive to us. The issue here is: Can we conceive whether God is an anthropomorphic being, a rock, a cube, liquid, gas, etc. We can certainly conceive how an invisible atom looks like, right? So there is no reason whatsoever not to conceive of a reasonable depiction of God. Accuracy is irrelevant for our purposes, as God can be female for all we care.
The bottom line is that most theologians will tell you that God IS an anthropomorphic being; and that we are made in His image i.e. form. No complaints there.
Yet many others prefer to hide and protect their God in a veil of mystery, and thus will claim that God is one of the following concepts: spirit, infinite entity, transcendent being, dimensionless being, transcendent mind, incorporeal mind, intelligence, absolute truth, love, energy, force, force-field, quantum particle, space-time, etc. God CANNOT ontologically be ‘a’ concept. All concepts are artificial as they were conceived by man, and they do not exist in nature. No matter how hard He and His followers try.....God cannot elude being an entity with form i.e. an OBJECT!
For those who disagree that God is an ‘object’, then by necessity they concede that God is either ‘space’ or a ‘concept’ (both nothing), and doesn’t exist. Otherwise the onus is on them to rationally explain their position or provide a positively-predicated definition for God. And I am all ears if they wish to go this route.
Since we are able to point to, and conceptualize the God object (a necessary requirement for all objects), then we have reasonably enunciated Craig’s Hypothesis. This is effectively what Craig “assumes” or “hypothesizes” whenever he uses the word ‘God’. Note that the specific details and attributes of God are of no significance for the purposes of this presentation. The issue at hand is whether God is an object or a concept. And God MUST be an object for the purposes of Craig’s argument otherwise it he has no argument. So I am being very generous by elucidating Craig’s God Hypothesis, and avoiding, what could have been an instant self-refutation for Craig’s argument.
ANALYSIS of P1:
In reference to “Anything that exists”, we must understand that only real objects which have the intrinsic property of ‘shape’, and the extrinsic property of ‘location’, can be said to ‘exist’. This is what gives them ‘form’ and ‘presence’ to perform causal actions in nature. There is nothing else in nature which can be said to ‘exist’. Those who disagree, should be able to conceptualize and demonstrate just one example of something which doesn’t have shape and location, but can rationally be said to exist.
Now this doesn’t mean that objects invisible to the human eye cannot exist. Air atoms exist and are invisible, even though they have shape and location, which allows the aggregated SURFACE of the atoms to come in contact with a tree and push it to the ground during a hurricane. Similarly, nature is composed of many invisible objects which are the mediators of phenomena such as: light, gravity, magnetism, electricity, etc.
So clearly, existence has no dependency on what we can see or touch. Existence is observer-independent. Either something exists or it doesn’t, all on its own, and pursuant to the definition of ‘exist’; irrespective of what anybody claims. This is a black or white issue. There is no grey area, no probabilities, no experiments, no evidence, and no axiomatic systems of logic when it comes to the reality of nature. Existence is not a predicate, and not a property of real objects, as real objects already exist. The only intrinsic observer-independent property that objects have all on their own, is ‘shape’ – nothing else.
In reference to “has an explanation for its existence”, it is irrational to claim that an object, any object, has an explanation for its existence. Existence and objects have nothing to do with explanations. We point to objects and name them. We formulate explanations of consummated events by using the objects as ACTORS in the explanation. Craig is definitely not a Scientist! He confuses a Hypothesis (assumption) with a Theory (explanation). Existence can never be a “Theory” in the Scientific Method; it can only be an assumption in the “Hypothesis” stage.
Existence can only be conceptualized by us humans; it can never be explained nor proven by any mechanism. It is IMPOSSIBE to prove that an object exists, as any such attempt will lead to observer-dependent subjectivity, absurdities, and contradictions. This is why existence can only be DEFINED, and NEVER PROVEN – because it is observer-independent!
If we can conceive of objects and illustrate them, then they certainly “can” exist in nature; as long as they are not embodied with ontological contradictions. Such hypothetical objects, like God for instance, will comprise the assumptions of the Hypothesis stage. Then the Theory will use these objects to rationally explain the claim of Creation, or Noah’s Flood, for example.
In reference to “either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause”, it is irrational to claim that existence is “caused”, externally or otherwise. Objects exist by the very nature of their atoms. Existence, and in particular, atoms, have no beginning and no end. Existence cannot be caused. Those who disagree are welcome to explain their grievances.
There is no such thing as ‘a’ CAUSE. Cause is a verb, it necessarily alludes to the motion of an already existing object. Cause is what ‘something’ does, not what something is. All verbs (creation, motion, cause, action) are predicated upon the existence of objects in space.
In order to CAUSE an event, there must necessarily be a real object which “mediates” causal action upon another real object. There are NO object-independent or even space-independent causal actions. Only real objects in space can possibly perform/mediate their causal actions upon other real objects by way of physical surface-to-surface contact. Without physical contact, it is impossible to mediate causes.
Craig is irrationally reifying the word “cause” from a concept (verb) into an object (noun) by referencing it as: ‘an’ external cause, all on its own....like ‘an’ apple. Concepts like “love” don’t move mountains or mediate actions, only objects like “bulldozers” can move mountains. He is introducing surrealism by treating “cause” as an independent thing/object which runs around the Universe performing events.
So clearly, in the present context of “external cause”, it is only possible for an object acting as a mediator, to physically ASSEMBLE a new object from other pre-existing objects (matter). Absolutely ALL verbs (causes/actions) require a physical object to mediate their action. This means that existence is a definite necessity and it precedes any cause/action.
It is impossible to realize any scenario where an object A, imparts causal action upon another object B, without at least 2 real objects, A and B, existing. Such notions are ontological impossibilities.
This means that in order for God to be able to perform an external causal activity, one or more objects MUST be present in addition to God. God cannot perform motion (cause) on nothing. The only option available to God is that He performs causal action on Himself! We will discuss this option below.
First and foremost, creation is a metaphysical contradiction. It defies rational thought. It's not a matter of "knowing" or “proving”. It is a matter of conceptualizing a rational mechanism by which an ontological scenario of no space and no matter, gives rise to space and matter. But since creation means “something from nothing” or a Universe from nothing, then it is an ontological contradiction as well, and as we shall see, it’s impossible.
But if creation means “something from God”, where God performs causal actions on Himself, then clearly, God MUST be an object from which all the matter (atoms) in nature came from – no exceptions! Let’s assume that God sacrificed a portion of his matter in order disperse it in nature. But BEFORE God can perform such a generous loving action, He MUST first meet one crucial criterion: GOD MUST HAVE SHAPE!
It’s irrelevant how powerful or invisible God is. If God is an object that moves (to perform causal actions), God cannot elude being surrounded by space. It is space that ultimately encloses God “the object”, grants Him form, and allows His structural being the freedom to move and perform actions. If God is an object residing outside of space, what medium does Craig propose that God moves through? What medium is it that contours and gives shape to God during those crucial moments when He has yet to create space and matter?
The medium can either be matter or space (nothing); there is no other option. If the medium is matter (any type of substance), then God would forever be frozen in a solid block of matter without the ability to move, or even think, as no displacement of matter is possible without space. If God wants to move, then space is the ONLY option which He can be surrounded with. Otherwise God is permanently immobilized.
Since space must necessarily enclose and contour God, this makes space at least as formidable as the Almighty! God could not have created space because space necessarily precedes Him. The God Hypothesis assumes God to be eternal, but space is already OMNIPRESENT AND ETERNAL! There is no other way about it. Space is there without God, but God can’t exist without space. Had it been possible for God to even attempt to escape this eternal omnipresent prison we call space, He would have lost His most precious superpower: FORM; and be reduced to nothing.
God can be as all-powerful as He wants, but since space doesn’t have a border, even He cannot cross that which has no boundaries. It is absurd to propose that God is outside of space (transcends it), looking in at space AND matter from a bird’s-eye perspective. Therefore, God cannot do without the background of space that grants Him form & being.
Q: For what would God be otherwise?
The theist can kick and scream all he wants that: “You can’t see, touch, hear, smell, or taste God. We can never know His greatness. God is something that goes beyond what you see and what you realize by physical observations.”
But that’s NOT the issue. God can be as invisible and as elusive as He wants to be. Whether we are “blind” to His greatness is irrelevant! Since God is said to be SOMETHING rather than NOTHING, He is necessarily some type of entity with structure and shape that are irrelevant to our knowledge or understanding. Hence He has ‘form’ & ‘being’ all on His own, just as all entities do, otherwise He wouldn’t exist.
Since space is eternal and omnipresent, and God cannot exist without space contouring Him, it rationally follows that God did NOT create space!!!!!
So God is NOT all powerful as He is so blindly asserted by theologians and theists! Since Craig maintains that God “created” space, then this is clearly an ontological contradiction. Space is IMPOSSIBLE to create as it is omnipresent and necessarily wraps all objects. God MUST be IN space in order to move and perform causal actions, like “create”. God’s omnipotentcy is irrelevant....this particular magic trick He CANNOT do.....NO WAY!
Even still....how does one create ‘nothing’? What is it that they are going to create anyway? Space was already there! Neither God, nor a singularity, nor a primeval atom, can create that which is necessary to give them form and the ability to move.
Ontologically speaking, there are TONS of things which God cannot do, some of them are:
- God cannot make something be itself and NOT itself, at the same time, or even conceive of such a scenario.
- God cannot conceive of a square circle, let alone make one.
- God cannot conceive of parallel-intersecting objects, let alone make one.
- God cannot create something that has form and doesn’t have form, or even conceive of such a scenario.
- God cannot make discrete “causes” that perform actions. All causes are mediated by objects wrapped by space (verbs cannot “perform” events on their own, only objects can).
- God cannot perform causes, or even move and think, without the omnipresent background of space surrounding His being.
- God cannot, have shape and yet be shapeless at the same time.
- God cannot be an object and a concept.
- God cannot alter the speed of light.
- God cannot create time. Just like us, He can only “conceive” it.
So “omnipotence”, “transcendence”, and “eternal being” are clearly impossible for the God Hypothesis.
It is painfully obvious that the more we critically analyze God and His alleged creation, the more of His superpowers God loses. God is clearly humbled by space’s obsessive persistence to “omnipotently” wrap “omnipresent” nothingness around ALL objects, including Himself. Space has no border, no beginning and no end. So space forbids any object, including God, to transcend it. God cannot plead or bargain with that which is nothing (space). Omnipresent space couldn’t care less for authorities, idols, status symbols, or anything else that humans can conceive of.
And now that we have rationally explained WHY God cannot “transcend” space AND “create” space at the same time, since space preceded God, the natural question arises: WHO or WHAT CREATED GOD?
If there is a God, then God was definitely created “within” space. This means that matter necessarily preceded God. It had to, because space forbids God to be a ‘creator’. So if God is said to exist, then it follows that God was naturally ASSEMBLED by matter and not created from nothing. This means that matter is indeed eternal......and as for God.....He would just be a simple being, either like us, or some other life form. But God’s ontology is irrelevant. The key issue is that God would not be an eternal being, nor a Creator. God would be no different (purpose-wise) than any other living creature in the Universe.
Therefore these contradictions show the God Hypothesis to be INVALID in accordance with the Scientific Method. The God Hypothesis is invalid not because I say so. It is invalid because it is impossible for God to precede omnipresent space, which must necessarily contour Him. Consequently, God is not eternal, and the only way He could exist, is if He was naturally assembled from eternal matter. These ontological contradictions cannot be avoided in any conceivable creation context. This exact same argument summarily debunks the singularity, primeval atom, infinite mass point, etc. purported by its religious followers who BELIEVE that it gave “birth” to the Big Bang.
If Craig wants to salvage his God, then he needs to propose another God Hypothesis where God is not an “eternal creator” if He is to be an intelligent being like us. Then God would still have the freedom to write Bibles and pass them on to us. Otherwise, the moment God is conceptualized to be an eternal being; He instantly gets reduced to nothing more than an irrelevant being. I have rationally explained why an Eternal Creator is an ontological contradiction and therefore IMPOSSIBLE.
Therefore: P1 = FAIL
Remember: There are no ontological contradictions in nature’s reality. There can be no "new objects" that can be created from nothing, or from an assumed eternal Creator. And no objects can be annihilated into nothing. All objects are necessarily wrapped by the background of space before they can exist. An object cannot "begin to exist". Such notions are completely IMPOSSIBLE, as we have demonstrated above.
But Craig finds this notion absurd, and surely will PROTEST:
“....have I always existed? That is so absurd, to think that I never began to exist, even though the material stuff out of which I am made, existed before me....it’s just irrational....” -- William-Lane Craig
His comments can be viewed here at the 2:00 min mark:
Either Craig is not cut out to be a critical thinker, or he is equivocating by using the term ‘exist’ ambiguously in order to intentionally mislead us. He is misrepresenting the term ‘life’ with the term ‘exist’. We can say that Craig’s LIFE began at conception and ended at death, but the atoms that make up his body are eternally existent. Atoms cannot be created or destroyed. New objects can only be “assembled” from eternal atoms. The word “creation” implies “from nothing”. As far as nature is concerned, objects only ‘exist’ in PRESENT MODE. Nature is static and stateless – it has no memory. Nature does not know of any objects that ‘existed’ in the past or that ‘will exist’ in the future.
The Greeks had already reasoned and understood that existence does not have a beginning or an end. Parmenides said: “there can be no such things as coming-into-being, passing-out-of-being or not-being”. Aristotle was the first to document an argument for the reasons why matter and space are eternal.
So under Craig’s context, at which point did Craig “begin” to exist? As an egg; at conception; as an embryo, etc? None! We can define ‘life’ as beginning at any such point. But the matter we are made from is eternally existent in present mode. The carpenter did not "create" the table; he just moved wood atoms around to “assemble” a continuous solid block of matter (object). Did the table “begin” to exist? No! The best we can do is establish a point where the table’s “assembly” began.
Religion has brainwashed humanity with the ILLUSION OF SEPARATION. Religion has forced upon humanity its doctrine of Discrete Objects and Discrete Concepts. It is irrational to think of reality as DISCRETE under any context. Reality can only be described as a ‘unity’ rather than a ‘multiplicity’. Reality can only be described as a “seamless continuum” rather than a subjectively sliced domain of sub-domains.
The boundaries that humans subconsciously project onto reality are NOT really there. Separation is ultimately an illusion. Reality is rationally described as an uninterrupted process which has NO beginning or end. No matter where we decide to draw the line for a beginning, it will always be an arbitrary decision on our part. Humans are in the habit of projecting their own subjective mental construct of consciousness onto their proceedings. In reality there is only a continuum of “causal actions” and “change effects”. The effects are not separated from their causes, and the causes are not separated from their effects. An object, like a human, never comes INTO existence, except as an illusion to an observer. Nothing in the Universe has a beginning or an end. The causal processes imparted on any specific object CANNOT be separated from the totality of continuous causal processes in the Universe. It’s only observers who conceptualize and incessantly slice up the continuum of reality into discrete objects and concepts. It takes an observer to decide where one event ends and another begins. The way in which humans subjectively delineate reality into discrete entities, is similar to how they delineate the Earth’s surface into lines of longitude and latitude, or even into boundaries between nations and states. Such notions are not part of reality, existence, or the Universe!
It is very useful for humans to slice up reality into discrete notions and use them in appropriate contexts within society. But we must not forget that the independentness of these supposed ‘discrete’ notions is only an ILLUSION projected by our own conceptions of these issues. But alas, people like Craig do forget, and end up making fools of themselves in public when they dogmatically assert that “objects begin to exist”. The boundaries and contracts we subjectively perceive in reality are “appearances” only! They are notions which are conceived by an observer with a particular kind of perspective. In Craig’s case, it would be the perspective of his Religion and agenda. Outside of this observer-dependent perspective, Mother Nature couldn’t care less – reality is always observer-independent!
The way in which humans carve up reality into beginnings and endings is so subjective and arbitrary, that we could have easily chosen to slice it up in a different manner altogether. But for the most part, we have chosen to slice up reality in a manner that is more natural and practical for cohabitating in societies where we have common goals and values. And this in turn directly affects the kind of reality that we “perceive”; unless of course, you are able to understand that the basis of these perceptions have no direct bearing on reality.
The important issue to understand here is:
Only concepts, like motion (verb) can have a BEGINNING (verb) or an ENDING (verb). Exist is not a verb, as it implies no motion/action. Exist is an “ADJECTIVE”, and in reality it describes that which is objectified by its static presence i.e. physically real. Exist does not predicate motion (causal action). Exist is STATIC and NOT dynamic!
So then how is it possible for Craig’s God to “cause” objects to exist? I will be happy to entertain ANY rational explanation on this issue. See First Cause Argument REFUTED for further details.
Craig gets an “F” in grammar. He doesn’t understand the grammatical scope, usage, and meaning of word ‘exist’. In particular, he doesn’t understand the difference between static concepts (object, exist), and dynamic concepts (causality, action, motion).
You can say: “the marathon began”, “the service began”, “his work began”....
But you cannot say: “the car began”, “his body began”, “the tree began”....
Sorry Dr. Craig, you really need to get an education not only in Philosophy, Logic, and Physics,.....but also in GRAMMAR!
Dr. Craig is not qualified to lecture or educate anybody on issues of ontology/existence, much less have an opinion on them.
It is painfully clear, that “knowledge”, “proof”, “evidence”, or “authority” (whether decorated by Ph.D’s or Nobel’s), has absolutely nothing to do with the issue of “creation”. The issue of creation is easily resolved and debunked at the conceptual level....no matter what the context!
Can you explain how something can be created from complete nothingness? Better still, please explain WHAT complete nothingness IS, if it is not space.
Nothingness cannot surreptitiously acquire Length, Width, and Height and form an atom. Atoms are eternal, they were neither created, nor can they be destroyed.
ANALYSIS of P2:
In reference to “the universe has an explanation for its existence”, the word “Universe” refers to a CONCEPT, not an object!!
Concepts do not exist, and the only explanation they have is that they are artificially conceived by humans. We “conceive” the relation between space and matter, where matter has shape and location. This relation is what we call “UNIVERSE” – a concept! When using scientific language, there is no ‘the’ before this term, as it is not an object (noun) for the purposes of Physics. Anyone who says “the Universe”, is only treating it as a noun for the purposes of ordinary speech, and not scientific language. So it is irrational to treat the Universe as an object, or to perform actions on it like, “create” it or “move” it or “transcend” it.
Craig is using sleight-of-hand here to reify the concept “Universe” into the object he calls “the Universe”. Then he covertly performs the action of “create” to make this supposed object pop into existence (ie. “begin to exist” in his Kalam argument). This is misleading and intellectually dishonest.
Existence is circumscribed by nature’s reality which only includes objects within space. Nature has no provision for the artificial conceptions of human brains. So it is IMPOSSIBLE for this word, “Universe”, to resolve to any object that can be conceived or illustrated. Only objects exist. Space and ‘the’ Universe DO NOT exist! The nouns of Physics are all, without any doubt, objects, and not concepts. In Physics, it is irrational to claim that “the Universe exists”.
For those who disagree, the onus is on them to illustrate a rough diagram of an object they call Universe, or reference one on the Internet. Only then can they claim that such an object can possibly exist. You can illustrate an apple, a car, a ghost,....and even God! But any attempt to illustrate ‘a’ so-called “Universe object”, will always lead to absurdities and contradictions. Why? Because all objects have shape, and the backdrop for ALL objects, without any doubt, is SPACE! Space is omnipresent. This is the only way an object can exist. An asserted ‘shapeless’ object is an abstract concept which does not exist.
I have already debunked such nonsense as “Universe object” in my hubs on the Big Bang Religion.
So Craig’s argument FAILS at this point because ‘the’ Universe is not a discrete object that can be created by God, or assembled from eternal matter. What Craig has to demonstrate via a rational explanation, is that SPACE and ATOMS can indeed be created. He has no explanations. He only has irrational and surrealistic assertions.
So what is the “explanation” that Craig has given? None!
In reference to “that explanation is God”, part of his argument, since Craig provided NO explanation which uses the God object as an “actor”, to rationally account for the “existence” or “creation” of ‘the’ surrealistic Universe object, either “causal” or otherwise,....his argument FAILS miserably at this point.
Existence can neither be explained nor proven. Such notions are artificial, observer-dependent, and irrational. Existence is always defined so that we can unambiguously understand what it means: “to exist”. But the existence of objects is always assumed as part of one’s Hypothesis, so they can later be used as actors in an explanation of a Theory.
Objects, such as God, in and of themselves are never explanations in any context. They are only actors who perform causal actions upon other objects.
The actor (God) alone cannot be used as a vacuous explanation for the creation of ‘the’ Universe object, nor of ‘space’ and ‘matter’. Craig has already proposed the God Hypothesis. Craig’s Hypothesis has assumed the existence of God. But unfortunately he has NOT provided a Theory. The Theory is the EXPLANATION which uses the actor, God, to rationally explain how ‘space’ and ‘matter’ can possibly be created via this “external cause” which he asserts. Craig always uses science to give weight and authority to his arguments, but when it comes down to it, he eludes the Scientific Method by completely dodging the explanations which underlie his theoretical claims.
Therefore: P2 = FAIL
For those who wish to help out poor Craig, and salvage his reputation,......they can fill in the blanks of his Theory below. I will be very happy to entertain such an explanation.
Hypothesis: Assume God exists. For the exhibits stage of my hypothesis, I have illustrated God (image attached). The initial scene only includes God. There is NO space (nothing) and NO matter (atoms). There is no Universe.
Theory: I will now use God, from my Hypothesis, as a mediator/actor to rationally explain the creation of ‘the’ Universe, or space (nothing) and matter (atoms) as follows_____________________________________________
But before anybody is foolish enough to attempt to fill in the blanks, they should first read ANALYSIS of P1 in order to understand the lunacy inherent in Craig’s Creation argument. Since space is necessarily required to give God form & being, God cannot create space. If God wants to exist, then He is already in the eternal prison we call space, just like the rest of us. And if He does exist, then matter necessarily preceded Him, as He was ASSEMBLED from eternal atoms, just like the rest of us!
ANALYSIS of P3:
In reference to “The universe exists”, the word UNIVERSE refers to a concept. So this statement has the same contradictions discussed above.
Therefore: P3 = FAIL
ANALYSIS of P4:
In reference to “the universe has an explanation of its existence (from P1, P3)”,....NOT SO FAST!......ABSOLUTELY NO EXPLANATION WAS PROVIDED!!! Both P1 and P3 have failed.
But the reader is welcome to fill in the blanks for Craig’s missing explanation above.
Therefore: P4 = FAIL
ANALYSIS of P5:
In reference to “the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from P2, P4)”,....NOT SO FAST!......ABSOLUTELY NO EXPLANATION WAS PROVIDED!!! Both P2 and P4 have failed.
But the reader is welcome to fill in the blanks for Craig’s missing explanation above.
Therefore: P5 = FAIL
CONCLUSION: EPIC FAIL!!
Craig has conveniently used the following sleights-of-hand as “loopholes” in his argument....
1) Begging the Question (“Why does the something exist instead of nothing?”),
2) Ambiguous terms (Universe, something, nothing, exists, external cause, explanation),
3) Unresolved objects (God, Universe),
4) Reification of concepts into objects (‘the’ Universe, ‘an’ external cause),
5) Contrary to reason, he claims that his God Hypothesis is an explanation,
6) Poetic and “unscientific” language (“explanation for its existence”, “external cause”, “explanation is God”, “The universe exists”, “something rather than nothing”)
These loopholes allow Craig to introduce dualities that fool you into believing that he has an “explanation” for existence,....specifically, that God is ‘the’ EXPLANATION for the existence of a surrealistic and impossible object he calls ‘the’ UNIVERSE.
This is pure LUNACY!
Logicians, Philosophers, Mathematicians, and Theologians are one and the SAME. They irrationally claim that a Hypothesis IS a Theory. They claim that a ‘singularity’ or a ‘God’ IS an explanation, when in fact; no such explanation has been provided to rationally account for their wild claims. And in order to peddle their silly opinions to their blind followers who are eager to swallow up this nonsense, they underhandedly introduce DULATIES in their arguments by purposely leaving the key terms which make or break their arguments, as undefined. If these key terms (object, concept, space, exist, Universe) are left undefined, then people are left to use their IMAGINATION and EMOTIONS to fill-in the blanks, and blindly accept the argument as proven truth in their hearts.
People need to understand the difference between a Hypothesis and a Theory. Any object, such as God, can only be an ASSUMPTION in your Hypothesis. Craig must conceive of, and rationally explain HOW it is possible for an object like God, to create space and matter. Especially since any object, including God, necessarily requires SPACE to give it form and the ability to move. And this is in accordance with the Scientific Method (Hypothesis + Theory), which Craig wholeheartedly supports. Otherwise, he is just making irrational assertions which belong in the garbage!
It is painfully obvious that Craig is unable to use language to express his argument in rational terms, or even illustrate his argument in a movie. Let’s assume that we can rewind the universal movie tape and arrive at the VERY FIRST bit of matter and space “allegedly” created billions of years ago. There should be no reason why we cannot go to the previous frames or to the first frame of that film, and conceptualize an explanation of how God could have done it. Who is he trying to fool with such nonsensical and contradictory assertions? Does Craig think that everyone will swallow this garbage without even thinking about it? That stuff just doesn't fly among critical thinkers.
Craig is not alone in this arena. Even the mainstream mathematical physicists are creationists themselves, because they were taught to parrot the irrational ideas of Priest Lemaitre, who envisioned the Big Bang as God’s creation. So Craig should not be arguing or debating with atheists, as the typical atheist is no different than a religious creationist! Atheists freely admit that God IS a “possibility”, but they need evidence (i.e. the opinion of an authority) in order to believe the God Hypothesis. A scientist doesn’t believe in a Hypothesis. A scientist uses the objects of his Hypothesis to provide rational explanations of clams. Craig and the Big Bang apologists have failed miserably to provide a single rational explanation for their claim of Creation. And they know they can’t, because the they are proposing surrealism and ontological contradictions which are impossible in nature.
Creation, whether from a God, a singularity, or from nothing (ex nihilo), is IMPOSSIBLE because:
1) Creation is an action requiring motion. Only objects which are surrounded by space, can act as mediators for motion (actions). Thus matter AND space precedes ALL actions, including Creation!
2) God and the Big Bang singularity cannot create space since they both need the background of space in order to exist.
3) God cannot transcend space when space has no borders to cross. Space is borderless, shapeless, non-finite, non-physical, unbounded....it is nothing!
It’s very easy to demonstrate and understand why the irrational claim of Creation is pure BUNK!
But yet Creationists (Theologians & Big Bang Apologists) continue marching forward with their nonsense, oblivious to the impossibility of their position, and just for the sake of tradition and saving face. Nature doesn’t care about human tradition. Nature doesn’t care if humans are too embarrassed to admit that they didn’t have a clue when they made up this “creation” nonsense 2500 years ago. Nature just keeps going about its business.
Nature ensures that atoms can’t lose their shape, and that they always have location. It also ensures that space cannot acquire shape. Nature has no miracles, no magic, and definitely no contradictions. If you have to invoke any of these 3 irrational methods to justify your assumptions, then you are elucidating that you haven’t thought of the problem critically, and that you haven’t understood the ramifications of your assumptions. A contradiction always implies that we, as humans, have taken the easy way out by forming an invalid hypothesis and an irrational explanation. And Craig has clearly demonstrated that with his irrational arguments. He should be ashamed to portray himself as a “Logician”, a “Philosopher”, and a “Scholar”, when he didn’t even use an ounce of grey matter to think through his arguments, before pushing them to the public.
Nobody can conceive, understand, and illustrate in a movie the creation of space & matter being created by a God, a singularity, a primeval atom, or from nothing. Nobody can imagine a square circle, creation, annihilation, or objects/entities without form or without space, much less be qualified to discuss it. These contradictory ideas can only remain in the realm of fantasy, lunacy, and the irrational – they belong in the trash!
Leibniz: “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
First,....the natural response to such a question is: What is “nothing”? Is it the absence of ‘space’ and ‘matter’, as Craig and his creationist buddies who believe in the Big Bang Religion, assert?
Space is ALREADY nothing! You can’t create space from space. As we’ve demonstrated, Creation is not only contradictory and impossible, but it’s pure lunacy.
Homework: Please conceptualize and explain for me what ‘nothing’ means in the context of “the absence of space & matter”. Come back and post your explanation of how space is “different” from nothing.
Second,....such grand cosmic questions beginning with WHY, already presuppose PURPOSE. They are logical fallacies because they implicitly assume the answer within the question itself. This is a classical example of Begging the Question.
Why is there matter in the first place? Where did the matter come from? Why is matter & space created? Why is nature fine-tuned to support life?
It’s like asking: “Did you stop beating your spouse?” The answer is already presupposed in the question itself. Leibniz’s question is already invoking an intelligent being that created space & matter for a purpose,....to support human life!
So I would like to ask these Devil’s Advocates the following question: Can you CONCEPTUALIZE and describe for us the scenario where there is no matter AND no space??
Just what exactly is this ‘nothingness’ they speak of? How can this situation be even ontologically possible? The notion of no space and no matter is an ontological impossibility. Such a notion can’t even be pondered in the realm of abstract mathematics. What can they put in their equations....nothing?
Mother Nature does not ask irrational WHY’s. Nature is static; it has no state, no memory, no time, and no opinions. Nature just makes sure that every single atom has SHAPE and LOCATION. As far as nature is concerned, matter EXISTS at the cutting edge of natural events; it only exists in the present. By using shape & location to ensure existence, nature also ensures that atoms cannot escape space (no boundary), and cannot convert into space (lose Length, Width and Height), and that the amount of matter in the universe remains constant (space cannot acquire Length, Width and Height).
So here is how we rationally put Leibniz’s, Craig’s, Big Bang’s, and all creationist arguments to rest:
1) Matter (atoms) and space (nothing) cannot be created or destroyed.
2) Space cannot acquire Length, Width, and Height and convert into matter.
3) Matter cannot lose Length, Width, and Height and convert into space.
4) Space is formless, shapeless, unbounded, unlimited, and borderless. Space cannot vanish/disappear – it is already nothing!
5) Space is omnipresent and surrounds every object. Existence without space is impossible!
6) There is NO object that can occupy all of space, or enclose space - including a supposed “Universe object”.
7) Matter cannot escape or “transcend” space, because space has no boundary. There is no structure, surface, or edge to cross. We are all trapped in “here” (space) for eternity.
8) The Creationist’s assumed scenario where there once was no matter AND no space is inconceivable and ontologically impossible.
9) If there is a God, “He” is serving an eternal prison sentence here too, as not even He can escape this unbounded prison which has NO walls to break out of and NO cracks to slip through. So He'd better work hard and earn his keep, just like all the other inmates. Formless & borderless space humbles the most arrogant of gods, even the God of the Bible. Nevertheless, God couldn’t have built this largest of prisons and simultaneously be unable to escape it – it’s impossible! We have “free will” because God does not, as even ‘He’ cannot escape this prison ‘He’ is credited for building. So if God exists, He is just another insignificant being that satisfies the human involuntary compulsion to worship....He may very well be Queen Elizabeth, Stephen Hawking, or some Hollywood Celebrity. Mindless beings are obsessed with worshipping conceptually-important (authoritative, celebrity, idol) characters.
Therefore, we rationally conclude that matter & space are ETERNAL. God and the Singularity are Hypotheses that die at inception!
a) The God Hypothesis of the big 3 monotheistic religions is invalid not only because it leads to absurdities and contradictions, but because it is ontologically impossible for it to be used in a Theory to rationally account for the Creation of space and matter.
b) The Religion of the Big Bang is absolutely NO different than that of God’s Creation, sans the intelligent being. The Big Bang hypothesizes a 0D singularity having no Length, Width, or Height, and definitely no background to contour it and give it form and existence. This 0D singularity supposedly created not only space and matter, but an artificial concept known as ‘spacetime’. So it is even MORE surrealistic and irrational than any Hypothesis that has ever been conceived by any religion!
The nonsense of Creation under the guise of God, the singularity, or by ANY other mechanism has been put to rest. It is impossible. We’re done!
Nature had no beginning and will have no end. Rocks, gases, stars and atoms recognize no past or future, which are conceptions of a human brain. Nature only functions in PRESENT MODE, and as such, nature is effectively the only perpetual recycling machine – it is non-entropic! Atoms have no ability to rub their elbows against space, grind to a stop, and die. They float in space and interact with each other eternally. God cannot create atoms from scratch. And as such, even He cannot alter the eternal activity of atoms.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU!
For those who disagree, you are free to refute any of the points 1 to 9, or conceptualize for me the creation of matter in any way that you can imagine. Or better still, please conceptualize for me the creation of SPACE!
a) For the Traditional Theists, explain how God can exist without that which gives Him form i.e. space, and yet be able to create space.
b) For the Contemporary Big Bang Theists, explain how your singularity or “whatever you wish to call it”, can exist without that which gives it form i.e. space, and yet be able to move…..go BANG!....EXPAND…...and create space.
These are the tough questions we ask in physics.
So, the ball is in your court, and you need to rationally explain your case. I have already justified why you cannot conceive of, or even imagine the creation of matter and space.
In reality, ‘something’ either has shape or it doesn't. There is NO grey area. God and the Singularity cannot have, and not have, shape simultaneously. God can be invisible like air or like gravity. But even air and gravity are mediated by invisible objects which have shape.
The “burden of explanation” shifts to those who argue that God can or does exist outside the Universe. They need to rationally explain that space has boundaries (i.e., that space is a physical object with shape). Only then can we conceptualize that space is capable of being ‘transcended’ and exited. Does God convert from noun to verb, from structure to action, from finite to incessant when He departs space? What is the meaning of the phrase ‘God exists’ in the context of ‘transcendence’? How does God exist outside of space if He has no form? These are the questions proponents of a transcendent God must answer.
My challenge to all Theists, including Big Bang Apologists, is to provide a physical mechanism that we can all conceptualize, visualize, and understand. A mechanism that we can all watch unfold as a movie on the big screen. And you will have to start from frame #1, and show how NO space and NO matter, can morph into space and matter, or however else you imagine the 'creation of space & matter'. I don't want to put any words in your mouth or influence your thoughts in any way. Be as 'creative' as you want.
REMEMBER: ALWAYS THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
It's religion at its worst when someone blindly believes in authority without asking for an explanation. But don’t feel bad, as not even the proponents of these irrational arguments can understand or explain what they are saying. They don’t have the slightest clue. But they are crossing their fingers and hope that you believe them!