The true relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields—what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields.”. Scientists and Philosophers alike are engendered to ask the questions why and how. The Kalam cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Further, Aristotle described metaphysics as the study of being. For this, he cites the example of a parent “creating” a child who eventually becomes greater than he or she. Whether evaluating simple cells or the entire universe, the scientist’s role is to determine a cause to the observable evidence. Today this argument, largely forgotten since the time of Kant, is once again back at center stage. If you aren’t familiar with the KCA, here is a version of it: Craig notes: “Hume himself clearly believed in the causal principle. According to Craig, this is the crucial premise of the argument. In private correspondence with Stenger, Vilenkin remarked how the Aguirre-Gratton model attempts to evade a beginning by reversing the “arrow of time” at t = 0, but that: “This makes the moment t = 0 rather special. On the contrary, for all he shows, there may have been trillions of personal agents involved in the creation.”. Scientific evidence that the universe began to exist a finite time ago at the Big Bang. This is where the Kalam Cosmological Argument’s second premise and conclusion are supported. Pages Businesses Nonprofit Organization Reasonable Faith Videos The Kalam Cosmological Argument Al-Ghazali was unconvinced by the first-cause arguments of Al-Kindi, arguing that only the infinite per se is impossible, arguing for the possibility of the infinite per accidens. The most commonly used form is “horizontal,” also known as the kalam cosmological argument. The argument’s key underpinning idea is the metaphysical impossibility of actual infinities and of a temporally past-infinite universe, traced by Craig to 11th-century Persian Muslim scholastic philosopher Al-Ghazali. Craig justifies premise two using both physical arguments with evidence from cosmology and physics, and metaphysical arguments for the impossibility of actual infinities in reality. But for information to exist in an immaterial way is what is classically defined as intellect (e.g. The argument is as follows: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The Kalam Cosmological Argument The Cosmological Argument attempted to prove that, regardless of whether or not the universe has a finite past, it requires a cause that is outside of the universe. 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography says: Earth’s Crisis and Evolution Series- Part 1 Finding Commonality in Religious and Spiritual Pathways – SacredFireofKnowledge says: Premise one: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.”, Premise two: “The universe began to exist.”, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), “Initial Arguments: A Defense of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God”, “Cosmological Argument: The Causal Principle and Quantum Physics”, 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography, ... 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Good day, Mr Minton, I've happened to stumble upon your blog post on the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and I seem to have a few objections which I don't think you have ever addressed, whether in that blog post or in the blog category. Whatever begins to exist has a cause. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa theologiae, presented two versions of the cosmological argument: the first-cause argument and the argument from contingency. His conception of first causeis the idea that the universe must have been caused by something which was itself uncaused, which he asserted was God. Martin also claims that Craig has not justified his claim of creation “ex nihilo“, pointing out that the universe may have been created from pre-existing material in a timeless or eternal state. At most, this Kalam argument shows that some personal agent or agents created the universe. The term kalam is Arabic and means “eternal.” Being only comes from being. The Kalam Cosmological Argument leads us to the conclusion that the universe does, indeed, have a cause. Scientific confirmation against a past-infinite universe in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Since an actual infinite number of things can’t actually exist, then the universe can’t be infinite in the past and must have a beginning. Moreover, that the Causal Principle cannot be extrapolated to the universe from inductive experience. How can one add or subtract from infinities? Things don’t just pop into existence uncaused out of non-being. He states: “We have no experience of the origin of worlds to tell us that worlds don’t come into existence like that. Therefore, one... […] Sunni Muslims perform the following: […]. Popular astronomer Carl Sagan, when explaining how stars contain the necessary materials for life, once said, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” 1. There have been many versions of the cosmological argument, but the KCA hearkens back to a Muslim theologian named Al-Ghazali. Anscombe, who point out the phenomenological and logical problems in inferring factual possibility from conceivability. If the PPC is not accepted, given that the cause of the universe must be a personal and free agent, the complexity and precision of the universe implies extreme intelligence. If God made everything, who made God? Furthermore, Since the cause of the universe must exist outside time, space, and all material, the cause must be spaceless, timeless, and non-material; i.e. That is why Craig describes the first premise of his argument as a first principle of metaphysics. I would say no less special than a true beginning of the universe.”, At the “State of the Universe” conference at Cambridge University in January 2012, Vilenkin discussed problems with various theories that would claim to avoid the need for a cosmological beginning, alleging the untenability of eternal inflation, cyclic and cosmic egg models, eventually concluding: “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”. He writes: “According to the hypothesis under consideration, it has been established that all the beings in the world have a cause. A beginningless series of past events involves an actually infinite number of things. The Kalam Cosmological Argument leads us to the conclusion that the universe does, indeed, have a cause. For it is no secret that one of the most important conceptions of what theists mean by ‘God’ is Creator of heaven and earth.”. It is named after the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism) from which its key ideas originated. For those of you unaware of what exactly the Kalam Cosmological Argument is, here it is: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. In 1929, Edwin Hubble observed that wherever you look, distant galaxies are moving away from us, also inferring that at some earlier time all matter would have to be in the same place. The Kalam cosmological argument is based on the concept of the prime-mover, introduced by Aristotle, and entered early Christian or Neoplatonist philosophy in Late Antiquity, being developed by John Philoponus. What we can do after this is explore what it means to be a cause of the universe. The Kalam cosmological argument has been reintroduced with some rigour into the philosophy of religion through the work of analytic philosopher William Lane Craig. The cosmological argument shows that in fact it is quite reasonable to believe that God does exist. A fundamental role of science is to explore cause and effect relationships. As the creator of time, space … An actually infinite number of things cannot exist. The Borde–Guth–Vilenkin theorem, a cosmological theorem which deduces that any universe that has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary. According to the kalam, there can be only one itself-uncaused-and-eternal thing that causes all other things, and that first cause is God. It reached medieval Christian philosophy in the 13th century and was discussed by Bonaventure, as well as Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (I, q.2, a.3) and Summa Contra Gentiles (I, 13). Since the two premises of the kalam cosmological argument are true, the conclusion necessarily and inescapably follows – namely, that the Universe has a cause for its existence. Aren't all religions basically the same? http://reasonablefaith.org - Hear special guest Dr. William Lane Craig walk us through the Kalam Cosmological Argument. However, most opponents of the cosmological argument aren’t contesting the evidence, but rather the character of the cause. The latter would allow the universe to exist tenselessly as a four-dimensional space-time block, under which circumstances the universe would not “begin to exist”: “From start to finish, the kalam cosmological argument is predicated upon the A-Theory of time. The universe began to exist. Any defense you could give of the principle would be based upon premises which are less obvious than the principle itself. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Therefore, the cause must possess all information in the universe and is thus all-knowing. Then, it was used by Islam to argue for the existence of a theistic worldview and the Islamic religion and became unfavored by Christians. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence. This latter fact is well known, however, and shows nothing about whether it is logically impossible to have actual infinities in the real world.”. Despite Craig’s claim that theories postulating that the universe ‘could pop into existence uncaused’ are incapable of ‘sincere affirmation,’ such similar theories are in fact being taken seriously by scientists.”. Islamic perspectives may be divided into positive Aristotelian responses strongly supporting the argument, such as those by Al-Kindi, and Averroes, and negative responses critical of it, including those by Al-Ghazali and Muhammad Iqbal. Then, you are able to deduce a number of attributes of this first cause that make it plausibly identifiable as God. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. What is the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God? Craig formulates the Kalam as follows: P1. But, imagine that we could prove Craig formulates thekalām cosmological argument this way (in Craig and Smith1993: chap. It is the opposite... […] Quran was written in the 7th century CE. One such argument is the kalam cosmological argument. This is the formulation of the argument which I understand you to be using: 1. Being does not arise from non-being. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. The argument is that unless God exists, this question is unanswerable. "Kalam" is a school of thought that tries to defend Islam intellectually against criticisms. Further, if you want to add to the chain of dominoes, how do you get to the end of an infinite chain to add one more domino into the chain? (the two I had were not really real debates) The child mortality rate in the United States, for children under the … Since Craig’s original publication, the Kalam cosmological argument has elicited public debate between Craig and Graham Oppy, Adolf Grünbaum, J. L. Mackie and Quentin Smith, and has been used in Christian Apologetics. If both philosophy and science conclude that there was a beginning to our universe (a first event), then we should also inquire about the first cause if it is our desire to understand the truth about our world and its existence. In a critique of Craig’s book The Kalam Cosmological Argument, published in 1979, Michael Martin states: “It should be obvious that Craig’s conclusion that a single personal agent created the universe is a non sequitur. It is at this point in space-time where all known physical laws break down.5, This point is called a singularity in mathematics, where formulas reach an undefined amount- in this case an infinite, and as we’ve already determined is irrational because an actual infinite set of things is an impossibility. Abstract objects, the only other ontological category known to have the properties of being uncaused, spaceless, timeless and immaterial, do not sit in causal relationships, nor can they exercise volitional causal power. The conclusion is that an actual infinite number of things cannot exist in reality. They are usually presented Finally, if you wanted to observe the fall of the dominoes, where does one start since there is no beginning or no ending to the chain? The Kalām cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God; named for the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism), it was popularized by William Lane Craig in hisThe Kalām Cosmological Argument (1979). Therefore, a beginningless series of past events cannot exist. Therefore, the universe cannot be infinitely old. Honestly, I do find the Kalam argument (KCA) powerful, but of course I first encountered it from the perspective of a believer. He made this statement implying that the only thing made “from scratch” or out of nothing is the universe itself, therefore, everything else in existence is contingent on the universe’s beginning. Let’s take a brief look at the two premises. The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) is a different approach, proposed by Muslim philosophers in the Middle Ages. There are a handful of famous arguments for the existence of a god. Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. But, if the logical conclusion still fails to garner a reasonable acknowledgment, Professor Greg Koukl sums it up, “Here’s the simplified version: A Big Bang needs a big Banger. Craig has criticised Balashov for adopting a verificationist methodology that fails to address the metaphysical and theological foundations of the A-theory. The claim of the first premise is “whatever begins to exist had a cause.” It’s often demonstrated by listing the causal principle “something cannot come from nothing,” or ex nihilo, nihilo fit. Similarly, in light of both philosophical argument and scientific evidence, its second premiss, though more controversial The first-cause argument begins with the fact that there is change in the world, and a change is always the effect of some cause or causes. 1): 1. So, if Einstein’s gravity requires some modification, our conclusion will still hold. St. Thomas Aquinas, the most famous philosopher of the Middle Ages, adapted an argument he found in his reading of Aristotle to form one of the earliest and the most influential versions of the cosmological argument. Its historic proponents include Al-Kindi, Al-Ghazali, and St. Bonaventure. The first two are purely philosophical arguments; the second two are scientific confirmations of the conclusion reached by the philosophical arguments. On the topic of virtual particles, he writes: “For virtual particles do not literally come into existence spontaneously out of nothing. Basically, this is saying that things don’t come into being out of nothing. The cosmological argument shows that in fact it is quite reasonable to believe that God does exist. Philosopher Quentin Smith has cited the example of virtual particles, which appear and disappear from observation, apparently at random, to assert the tenability of uncaused natural phenomena. What can we say about this cause? The universe began to exist. supernatural. This feature distinguishes it from other cosmological arguments, such as that of Thomas Aquinas, which rests on the impossibility of a causally ordered infinite regress, and those of Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, which refer to the Principle of Sufficient Reason. I think that pretty much covers it. He and his wife met in high school and celebrated their 20th year of marriage in 2020. Kalam is a valid logical syllogism with invalid or unvalidated premises. Similarly, if the number of days extends infinitely into the past, how did we arrive at today? Basically, you put a god into the premises and (surprise!) the Kalam Cosmological Argument Instigator / Con 20 Jarrett_Ludolph 1510 rating 4 debates 75.0% won Topic #2467 the Kalam Cosmological Argument Status Finished All stages have been completed. What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God? Therefore, it follows that the universe cannot be infinitely old and began to exist. The only assumption that we made was that the expansion rate of the universe never gets below some nonzero value, no matter how small.”, Victor J. Stenger has referred to the Aguirre-Gratton model for eternal inflation as an exemplar by which others disagree with the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. The Spiritual Life © 2020. The metaphysical impossibility of an actually infinite series of past events by citing David Hilbert’s famous Hilbert’s Hotel thought experiment and Laurence Sterne’s story of Tristram Shandy. It was popularized in the western world by William Lane Craig in his book, The Kalām Cosmological Argument (1979). Some have been around for centuries, and new arguments are popping up every day. Balashov claims: “Despite the fact that presentism has the firm backing of common sense and eternalism revolts against it, eternalism is widely regarded as almost the default view in contemporary debates, and presentism as a highly problematic view.”. If anyone has any material objections to the Kalam proof , … Although it hadnumerous defenders through the centuries, it received new life in therecent voluminous writings of William Lane Craig. The Kalam Cosmological Argument, edited by Paul Copan with William Lane Craig, focuses excluaively on one of the a posteriori arguments for the existence of God: the Kalam cosmological argument. you get a god out as a conclusion. Craig holds four arguments in favor of the beginning of the universe. We made no assumptions about the material content of the universe. Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy which deals with the ultimate questions of what is real and what exists, metaphysics asks about the nature of ultimate reality. The first argument and backing for the second premise, “The Universe Began to Exist,” is philosophical. In addition to the above arguments, several points can be made which draw further conclusions about the nature of the cause. All Rights Reserved. Along with much of classical Greek philosophy, the concept was adopted into medieval Islamic tradition, where it received its fullest articulation at the hands of Muslim scholars, most directly by Islamic theologians of the Sunni tradition. 3 For anybody who really contemplates it, it should be obvious that whatever begins to exist has a cause. My response in the video includes more detail. A simple thought experiment demonstrates that an actual infinite number of things that are countable leads to absurdities. On a B-Theory of time, the universe does not in fact come into being or become actual at the Big Bang; it just exists tenselessly as a four-dimensional space-time block that is finitely extended in the earlier than direction. Modern discourse encompasses the fields of both philosophy and science (quantum physics and cosmology), which Bruce Reichenbach summarises as: “… whether there needs to be a cause of the first natural existent, whether something like the universe can be finite and yet not have a beginning, and the nature of infinities and their connection with reality”. Likewise, Craig has argued that the quantum vacuum, in containing quantifiable, measurable energy, cannot be described as ‘nothing’, therefore, that phenomena originating from the quantum vacuum cannot be described as ‘uncaused’. Huduth argument (in contemporary Western philosophy known as Kalam Cosmological argument) is an argument for the existence of God which rests on the idea that the universe has a beginning in time. The Principle of Proportional Causality (PPC), which states that whatever is present in the effect must be somehow present in the cause, would require the patterns and information of the universe to be present within the cause somehow. This argument has been criticised by Bruce Reichenbach and G.E.M. Craig cannot validly conclude that a single agent is the creator. I think the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God is one of the strongest defences for Theism that I have read. Graham Oppy, J. L. Mackie and Wes Morriston have objected to the intuitiveness of the first premise. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of itsexistence. The Kalam cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. An alternative way to argue against the past eternity of the universe is through the impossibility of traversing (counting/crossing/completing) infinity. The first premiss of the kalam cosmological argument is obviously more plausibly true than its contradictory. Researched and synthesized by Christian philosopher, William Lane Craig, the argument has its roots in early Christianity as a response to Greek philosophy which advocated an eternal universe. Craig has defended the A-theory against objections from J. M. E. McTaggart and hybrid A–B theorists. Help Fuel This Blog…Buy us a Cup Of Coffee if you would…. Philosophically, Craig states that this statement is a first principle of metaphysics. Why or why not? The law of causality suggests that every effect that begins must have a prior cause. It is very simple and easy to memorize. In his book A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss has proposed how quantum mechanics can explain how space-time and matter can emerge from ‘nothing’ (referring to the quantum vacuum). He concludes that subatomic physics is not a proven exception to the first premise. A classic which has recently been re-polished and re-popularized, it has withstood the test of time in its field. Craig replies that the phenomenon of indeterminism is specific to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, pointing out that this is only one of a number of different interpretations, some of which he states are fully deterministic (mentioning David Bohm) and none of which are as yet known to be true. Philosopher of science David Albert has criticised the use of the term ‘nothing’ in describing the quantum vacuum. Every effect requires a cause adequate to explain it. A common objection to premise one appeals to the phenomenon of quantum indeterminacy, where, at the subatomic level, the causal principle appears to break down. Two central ones are the Kalam argument and the argument from contingent existence. Between the 9th to 12th centuries, the cosmological argument developed as a concept within Islamic theology. He writes: “Even if the universe has a beginning in time, in the light of recently proposed cosmological theories this beginning may be uncaused. Pretty obvious.”7. Because of its historic roots in medieval Islamic theology, I christened the argument “the kalam cosmological argument” (“ kalam ” is the Arabic word for medieval theology). He states, “Being only comes from being. Rather the energy locked up in a vacuum fluctuates spontaneously in such a way as to convert into evanescent particles that return almost immediately to the vacuum.”. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), ← Justin Martyr: Founder of Christian Apologetics. If A Theory is correct, all past moments would have to occur before the present, which would vindicate the first premise. Isn't it intolerant to say that Christianity is the The phrase "first cause" is sometimes used as an alternative noun for God among individuals uncomfortable with the historical and religious meanings as… This premise is supportable both philosophically and scientifically. Almost there! The principle is obvious to anybody who understands it. It is named after the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism) from which its key ideas originated. supernatural. A first state of the material world cannot have a material explanation and must originate, Even if positing a plurality of causes prior to the origin of the universe, the causal chain must terminate in a cause which is absolutely first and, Agent causation, volitional action, is the only ontological condition in which an effect can arise in the absence of prior determining conditions. Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin has stated that even “the absence of space, time and matter” cannot truly be defined as ‘nothing’ given that the laws of physics are still present, though it would be “as close to nothing as you can get”. The ancient philosopher Isaiah declared, “lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these?” (Isaiah 40:26), reminding his people that what we see should lead us to ask why we see it. Quantum mechanics does not in fact posit something coming from nothing, but rather things coming from the quantum vacuum–which is not “nothing.” It can be summarized in the following syllogism: That in a nutshell is the argument. On the impossibility of actual infinities, Craig asserts: Michael Martin disagrees with these assertions by Craig, saying: “Craig’s a priori arguments are unsound or show at most that actual infinities have odd properties. The Kalam is an apologetics argument that claims everything has to have a cause except for the thing the arguer is claiming exists without a cause. It is a very effective argument in defending the philosophical position of theistic worldviews. Professor Alexander Vilenkin, one of the three authors of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, writes: “A remarkable thing about this theorem is its sweeping generality. In reply, Craig has maintained that causal laws are unrestricted metaphysical truths that are “not contingent upon the properties, causal powers, and dispositions of the natural kinds of substances which happen to exist”, remarking: “The history of twentieth century astrophysical cosmology belies Morriston’s claim that people have no strong intuitions about the need of a causal explanation of the origin of time and the universe.”. Philosopher Yuri Balashov has criticised Craig’s attempt to reconcile the A-theory with special relativity by relying on a ‘neo‐Lorentzian interpretation’ of Special Relativity. Craig defends the first premise as follows: According to Reichenbach, “the Causal Principle has been the subject of extended criticism”, which can be divided into philosophical and scientific criticisms. By Einstein ’ s gravity requires some modification, our conclusion will still hold becomes. Understand you to be using: 1 of attributes of the conclusion the. 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