Today I am answering the following Quora question on the Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Is there a flaw in the Kalam cosmological argument?
I assume you mean the form of the argument made popular by William Lane Craig. Which takes this essential form:
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause
- Therefore God must have created it.
Let me show why this does not work.
- Yes, whatever begins to exist generally does have a cause. Which is to say that it did not always exist and did not come about by magic.
However, the universe is not a thing. The concept of the universe refers to the totality of everything that exists. Regardless of what exists, we can lump everything that exists under the concept “universe”.
But does the universe have a cause? Well, yes the concept of the universe has a cause. The need to refer to the totality of existence.
But does existence have a cause? No, it does not. Existence has always existed. No matter how far “back in time” you go, you will always find that something has existed.
There is no alternative to existence. There is no point at which nothing existed. And if there was, there would be nothing to cause existence to come into being.
Therefore since existence has always existed and there is nothing that could cause the universe to come into existence, existence cannot have a cause.
- Since the universe refers to everything in existence, for the universe to have a cause, existence would have to have a cause. But we have shown that existence has no cause.
- Therefore since the existence has no cause, the universe has no cause.
I could go on and point out the Kalam Cosmological Argument has many flaws.
Firstly, the first premise applies to God. If God exists, then God must have a cause. According to Christians, God began to exist therefore god had to have a cause.
So what caused God? And if something caused God, then that thing must have existed and something must have caused that to exist.
And so on you, have an infinite series of creators that must have created each other.
Why does God get to be an uncaused entity? Logically he could not be. And if something created God, is that creator more powerful than God. If so, then that more powerful entity must be created by a yet more powerful entity.
So you have an infinite series of increasingly more powerful God-creating Creator gods.
Which is clearly logically absurd.
It also greatly diminishes the importance of God as the ultimate creator. Since he is merely the last in the line of an endless line of more powerful creator Gods.
Which means that God cannot be omnipotent. Why? Because there is now a long series of entities far more powerful than God is.
That or all the other gods are just as powerful and God is part of an endless series of gods of equal power than created each other. It is Gods all the way down.
Which rather diminishes the uniqueness of God.
Or, God gets to be the exception to logic and was able to magically create himself.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument is of course an example of the special pleading fallacy.
What is the special pleading fallacy? That is when you establish a principle such as “everything must have a cause” and then make arbitrary exceptions to that principle for no reason.
In other words, you make a claim and then make exceptions to it for no reason. Everything is meant to adhere to the principle except for the things which you make exceptions for.
This creates a double standard where your opponents are expected to adhere to your principles but you get to make exceptions without providing any reason for why your exceptions are valid.
If we are allowed to make God immune to logic, why bother with logic at all? Why not just assume that the universe is magic?
Or, more logically, that the Kalam Cosmological argument is invalid.
But of course, the fact that this is entirely illogical is not going to bother Creationists such as Craig. Since they are perfectly willing to use logic as long as does not apply to God or anything in the Bible.
Which is why it is pointless to argue with them. As they will never listen to logic or reason when it clashes with what they have accepted on faith. For no reason and against all reason.
It is therefore rather pointless to point any of this out to them. As once you have closed your mind to logic and reason, you have closed your mind to reality. And such people cannot be reasoned with. It would be rather a waste of time to try….