This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Kalam Cosmological Argument Essay

1298 words - 5 pages

For the purposes of this debate, I take the sign of a poor argument to be that the negation of the premises are more plausible than their affirmations. With that in mind, kohai must demonstrate that the following premises are probably false:


1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

We come first to premise (1), which is confirmed in virtually ever area of our sense experience. Even quantum fluctuations, which many suppose to be uncaused, are causally conditioned in that they depend on the existence of a pre-existing quantum vacuum. Indeed, if we suppose (1) to be false, then there is nothing preventing just anything and everything from popping into existence anywhere and at any time. But obviously this doesn't happen -- the universe exhibits regular law-like behavior.

In fact, we see that (1) is a logically necessary truth, the denial of which is self-contradictory. As David Oderberg argues:

We are asked to countenance the possibility of the following situation: the nonexistence of anything followed by the existence of something. The words “followed by” are crucial — how are they to be interpreted? What they cannot mean is that there is at one time nothing and at a subsequent time something, because the nonexistence of anything is supposed toinclude time: to say that at one time there is nothing whatsoever is self-defeating because it is to say that there is a time at which nothing exists — hence something did exist. But it is hard to see how else we are supposed to understand “followed by”; or when the denier of the causal principle says that it is possible for something to come from nothing what are we to understand by “from”? Again it cannot have a causal sense because something is supposed to have come into existence uncaused. All that appears to be left is a timeless contradiction — the existence of nothing and the existence of something. [1]

Moreover, even if it was shown that there could be such things as effects without causes (Nevermind that it would destroy the idea of causal regularity as we see it), this only barely scratches the KCA. We can simply recast the argument in inductive terms, arguing that it is probable that whatever begins to exist has a cause, and from that draw the conclusion that the universe probably has a cause. Even this less stringent formulation of the KCA is enough to satisfy the conditions of being a good argument.

Dan Barker (Who my opponent is sure to cite), argues that P1 is question-begging because the only member of the class of objects which do not begin to exist is God. Hence P1 becomes "Everything except God needs a cause." However, this criticism is grossly off-point. First, the modified-P1 is simply not logically equivalent to P1. If we recast the KCA using M-P1, then the argument becomes structurally invalid. Second, M-P1 confuses meaning with reference. The two premises may refer to the same object, but...

Find Another Essay On The Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

1245 words - 5 pages be. This is contradictory. Also, by definition, God is uncaused. There are two forms of the cosmological argument. One is the Kalam argument: Like all cosmological arguments, the kalam cosmological argument is an argument from the existence of the world or universe to the existence of God. The existence of the universe, such arguments claim, stands in need of explanation. The only adequate explanation, the

The cosmological argument for the existence of God

1445 words - 6 pages argument relies on science. The kalam argument says that everything that exists must have a cause. But we have seen that that is no longer true. The theory of the big bang, that the universe started in a little point and then exploded and is getting bigger. Scientists are saying that the universe is getting bigger suggests that there was a starting point, which is the big bang. But the big bang is only a theory and hasn't been proven. One of the main strengths of the cosmological argument is that how could any thing come from nothing. If using the big bang theory, how did the big bang happen itself? I believe in 1 God but think that the weaknesses are stronger than the strengths.

The Reasons Why Some Thinkers Rejected the Cosmological Argument

862 words - 3 pages The Reasons Why Some Thinkers Rejected the Cosmological Argument Aquinas’s argument was as follows: If the universe was infinite, it would have an infinite number of days. The end of an infinite series of days can never be reached, so today would never arrive. However, today has arrived, so the past cannot be infinite. Time began when the universe began, which was an event. Events are caused; therefore there must have

The Ontological Argument Presented by Descartes and the Cosmological Argument Presented by Aquinas

1455 words - 6 pages The Ontological Argument Presented by Descartes and the Cosmological Argument Presented by Aquinas Descartes, often called the father of modern philosophy, developed Anselm’s argument, in attempting to prove God’s existence from simply the meaning of the word ‘God’. The ontological argument is a priori argument, such arguments use logic to prove an initial definition to be correct. The basis of these arguments depends upon

Exploring the Possibility of Updating the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

1344 words - 5 pages universe as a brute fact rules out requiring an explanation. Supporters of Copleston’s argument claim that god is a better ultimate explanation than the brute fact of the universe. If supporters of the cosmological argument insisted there must be a cause for the universe then surely these critics can insist on a cause for god. If god made the universe, who made god? Another argument is the Kalam argument. This is

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

940 words - 4 pages uncaused causer, which causes everything to happen without itself being caused by anything else. Such an uncaused cause is what people understand by 'God'. This idea was revisited by William Lane Craig who developed the Kalam cosmological argument. He reinforced the contention that the universe must have had a creator by firstly proving that the universe if finite. He proves this by explaining that the present would

The Various Forms of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

2389 words - 10 pages a genus. It could therefore be said that the cosmological argument can work on the assumption that the cause of existing things is not a thing, in which case the above contradiction would disappear. The Kalam argument depends on assumptions that can be rejected, for instance: that every event has a cause; that the universe needs an explanation outside the universe; that the question 'what caused God' is illegitimate

The Key Ideas of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

1709 words - 7 pages The Key Ideas of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God A) The cosmological argument is to prove the existence of god. In this type of argument we are looking at cause and not design. This type of argument is an aposteriori argument because it is based upon experience. Thomas Aquinas puts the key ideas into 3 ways. First way is, motion/change. Nothing can move by itself or change itself. The first thing to

Craig's Argument for the Existence of God

1028 words - 5 pages existence or if it has just always existed. In this paper, I will describe Craig's argument for the existence of God and defend Craig's argument. William Lane Craig is not the original creator of this argument. It was originally created by Ilm al-Kalam, but Craig is a modern philosopher that has restored this argument. In this argument, Craig asserts that the reason the universe exists is because God created it. This cosmological argument

strengths and weaknesses of the ontological argument

983 words - 4 pages of causation. Everything has a cause. Everything itself has a cause. But, you cannot have an infinite number of causes. Therefore there must have been an uncaused causer, which causes everything to happen without itself being caused by anything else. Such an uncaused cause is what people understand by 'God'. This idea was revisited by William Lane Craig who developed the Kalam cosmological argument. He reinforced the

God’s Existence and the importance of the resurrection to Christianity

1518 words - 7 pages demonstrate the existence of a sufficient reason or first cause of the existence of the cosmos, or the universe as a whole. There are three different types of cosmological arguments, the Kalam, Thomist and and Leibnizian cosmological arguments. Proponents of the cosmological argument include Plato, Aristotle, and John Locke. Contemporary defenders include William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne. Aristotle believed the universe existed

Similar Essays

The Cosmological Argument Essay

1863 words - 7 pages wanted to question the notion of causation and medieval physics have argued that the fact the universe has existence means it must have had a beginning. This latter view can be found in the Kalam Cosmological Argument. In its most widely accepted forms the cosmological argument asks questions about the origin of the world around us. If we accept the idea that everything depends on something else for its existence then by

The Main Properties Of The Cosmological Argument

1220 words - 5 pages The Main Properties of the Cosmological Argument The cosmological argument began with Plato and ever since been defended and attacked by many great philosophers. One of the supporters was Leibniz. The cosmological argument is basically an argument about causation. Its major supporter was Thomas Aquinas though Gotfried Leibniz also put forward a simplified version of Aquinas's cosmological argument. The major critics

The Main Strengths Of The Cosmological Argument

871 words - 3 pages The Main Strengths of the Cosmological Argument There are many strengths within the Cosmological Argument which have proven theories and ways to prove the existence of God. Many of these strengths have come from such scholars as; Copleston, Aquinas and Leibniz, all of which have put together major points to prove the existence of a non-contingent being. One of the main

The Cosmological Argument Is Self Contradictory Essay

1160 words - 5 pages The Cosmological Argument, also known as the First Cause Argument, is one of the most important arguments for the existence of God, not only because it is one of the more convincing, but also because it is one of the most used. The thought that everything that happens must have a cause and that the first cause of everything must have been God, is widespread. The cosmological argument is the argument from the existence