William Lane Craig 5 arguments for god debunked part 2 of 5 (Kalam Cosmological argument)
Hi and welcome to part 2 of my attempt to debunk William Lane Craig’s 5 arguments for god. In part 1 we looked at his cosmological argument. This time I am looking at his Kalam Cosmlogical argument. This may be a short article. You can read part 1 here if you have not already done so
Let’s dive straight in:
The Kalam Cosmological Argument Based on the Beginning of the Universe Here’s a different version of the cosmological argument, which I have called the kalam cosmological argument in honor of its medieval Muslim proponents (kalam is the Arabic word for theology):
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. Once we reach the conclusion that the universe has a cause, we can then analyze what properties such a cause must have and assess its theological significance. Now again the argument is logically ironclad. So the only question is whether the two premises are more plausibly true than their denials.
Premise 1 seems obviously true—at the least, more so than its negation. First, it’s rooted in the necessary truth that something cannot come into being uncaused from nothing. To suggest that things could just pop into being uncaused out of nothing is literally worse than magic. Second, if things really could come into being uncaused out of nothing, then it’s inexplicable why just anything and everything do not come into existence uncaused from nothing. Third, premise 1 is constantly confirmed in our experience as we see things that begin to exist being brought about by prior causes.
P1. Straight away in P1 Craig returns to the notion everything MUST have a cause. I addressed this in part 1. We have observed the sudden spontaneous appearance and disappearance of virtual particles which apparently have no cause. It has been shown by Prof Mir Faisal from Toronto university that the universe we live in could have formed from just such a single particle. The laws of physics are shown to breakdown before expansion so anything goes in all honesty. However quantum physics allows for small breaks in the conservation of energy for these particles to appear. P1 is a fail because it is observed that not everything need have a cause. We can also draw a parallel to the everything that begins needs a cause.
Craig assumes his deity existed always, yet seems to believe that energy, which we know exists and can measure, could not have always existed. Very much special pleading. Surely if a god which he cannot show to exist beyond some linguistic gymnastics could always exist then so to could energy. If we are to apply Occam’s Razor to the arument and we simply shave off the deity which is infinitely more complex than or universe and observed energy.
P2. Whoooaaahhh, slow down there Prof Craig. Hold your horses!! Time began a Planck unit after expansion. We dont know if the universe existed in another form or expanded suddenly as a tiny particle inflated faster than the speed of light. We dont know anything for sure before expansion!! To claim the universe began at that moment is a very very dishonest move. We cannot assume this and Craig assumes it fallaciously to try to bolster his argument. I am just going to have to dismiss this as outright assumption fallacy.
To quote Craig, “According to the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe, physical space and time, along with all the matter and energy in the universe, came into being at a point in the past about 13.7 billion years ago”. This is a misrepresentation. The Big Bang model deals with less than a second after expansion, not before. Click here for the Big Bang Paper
“In fact, in 2003 Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin proved that any universe that is, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal in the past but must have an absolute beginning.”, and, “Moreover, in addition to the evidence based on the expansion of the universe, we have thermodynamic evidence for the beginning of the universe. The Second Law of Thermodynamics predicts that in a finite amount of time, the universe will grind down to a cold, dark, dilute, and lifeless state. But if it has already existed for infinite time, the universe should now be in such a desolate condition”. Both comments presuppose the laws of physics applied before expansion. The theory of relativity show this is not the case.
P3. See rebuttal of P1. It need not have had a cause. We cannot reach that conclusion because there are other options which Craig did not consider. Also we cannot reach that conclusion without special pleading and assumption. Although an argument being fallacious does not rule it out, I would say in this case Craig’s dishonesty added to my points regarding other options for the formation of our universe would mean we do not need to take the arguments seriously at all.
Craig’s conclusion is lengthy and relies on an appeal to authority initially quoting Dennett as saying the universe has a cause and that it caused itself. Craig argues, “The cause of the universe must therefore be a transcendent cause beyond the universe and outside of time and space.”. I would agree in part with both Dennett and Craig. the universe could cause itself although cause is a bad term, preferable to say could have formed naturally from a spontaneous event. I would agree with Craig that it formed outside of time and space as time and space did not exist pre-expansion. This does not mean a god must have caused it as is shown in the article linked here.
Such a cause must be without a beginning 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 that 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.
Yes, uncaused, formed naturally from a spontaneous event.
Without beginning, see my reference to special pleading a deity over energy which is more likely to have existed always, although the term always is ridiculous as time only began after expansion. How long is always if there was no time?
Moreover, the personhood of the first cause is also implied since the origin of an effect with a beginning is a cause without a beginning.
Craig needs to personify(deify) his cause but if we go down this road we can simply state it could also have been undetectable spirit like aliens from an undetectable universe in which our version of time does not exist. It does not support his creator god alone. He presents his case like this is the only possible way a universe could form but this is either witholding information as to alternatives or a simple argument from personal ignorance on Professor Craig’s part!!