Kalam Arguement

So, a while back I watched the Sean Carroll vs William Lane Craig debate and found it to be completely lop sided in favor of Professor Carroll.

But I was more perplexed by William Lane Craig’s presentation of the Kalam Cosmological argument.

I shall check and copy it verbatim from the YouTube video, but this wiki entry has his proposition, so I thought I would use this…

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

Given the conclusion, Craig appends a further premise and conclusion based upon a conceptual analysis of the properties of the cause

  1. The universe has a cause.
  2. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists who sans (without) the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.
  3. Therefore, an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and infinitely powerful. ***

Now, whilst I do not agree with even the opening statements, especially that the ‘universe begun to exist’… I am completely baffled by how we get to this part…

“If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists who sans (without) the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.”

Why must it? Surely he is just privilaging his theistic beliefs and a fallacious comment that doesn’t account for all possibilities.

There is zero proof of the supernatural or anything outside of the universe we reside within!

I strongly dislike how there is no rational link of how we get to God… especially his specific flavor of God… how does he know its not Thor? Or Zeus? Perhaps even David Lo Pan? Why a male? Why a being?

There is zero proof, so the argument of astrophysics supports the notion of a Christian God is utter bollocks.

It feels like one is having a chat with an articulate lunatic!

He starts by reading Shakespeare St Crispins day speech from Henry V then goes nuts…
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers… I WAS CREATED BY INVISIBLE COSMIC DONKEYSSSS!”

Its tragic as he appears well read, articulate and far less annoying then most apologists, such as Sy Ten Blubbermouth… yet, he cannot demonstrate causality to his God.

Its simply a God of the gaps in my opinion.

Perhaps someone here may enlighten me if I’m missing something?!

The Kalam argument of first cause/cosmological goes back to Aristotle, through Aquinas to Craig and has been thoroughly debunked.

I suggest have a look at Aquinas Five ways/ Five proofs [for the existence of god]
Hint; if everything has a cause,what caused the first cause.? To claim it is exempt from cause is a special pleading fallacy.

One can also argue that the statement ‘everything has a cause’ is a claim, not a statement of fact. IE we really don’t know if that claim is true.

Below from wikipedia

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That is like 8 or 9 postulates disguised as one! This is brilliant, and really shows why Craig is at the top of his field (and by field, I mean these kinds of apologists).

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No, you haven’t missed anything Hero.
What you experience following Dr Craig’s ‘logic’ is what every other sane person experiences, that sense that one has fallen into a worm hole, jumped forward in time, and missed that salient bit where Craig explains the existence of a god in the first place.
I distrust arguments that rely on too many ‘ifs’.

Craig has proved his lack of intellectual integrity and disabuse of truth in his interview where he admits that if presented with utterly undeniable incontestable evidence, if that evidence contradicted his preferred scripture, he would shaft the evidence and run with scripture.
I recall another discussion/debate in which he insisted that all the little children recorded in Deuteronomy as having had their brains dashed out or being killed in the Jewish Lebensraum Genocide of Canaan were not killed on the orders of a cruel inhuman ‘God’, because their little souls were taken to heaven as they had committed no sin. If ever he looked like a complete psychopath, the self satisfied look on his face when he made that announcement proved to me he was quietly insane and could quite calmly justify any horrific monstrosity or act.

But Dr. Craig is not alone in all this. I am currently detailing, in my own amateurish manner, Professor Behe’s testimony from Kitzmiller vs Dover and the Professor’s insistence that his ‘intelligent design’ and 'irreducible complexity ’ are legitimate examples of the scientific method because they are based on evidence of observation (it sure looks like it was designed) and application of inductive reasoning (…so…therefore?..it’s a god!) reeks of the same deluded nonsense that Craig demonstrates.
In the theist mind ‘God’ simply exists before anything else can be
discussed and all arguments and evidence that prove the existence of that ‘God’ are already established as a priority. This stance doesn’t lead to truth but it certainly does save a lot of time.
Later in the trial under cross examination Behe displays the same blinkered attitude of Craig when he arrogantly denies even the existence of any scientific literature that contradicts his pet beliefs. Then when Rothschild presented him with stacks of books and papers written in direct response to his claims and those of creationism generally, he merely discounted them all as being incorrect and at the very least, ‘insufficient’.
I think at this point Judge Jones (a Christian) might have already decided that creationism/intelligent design/irreducible complexity were not science and quietly that Behe was as deluded as Craig, but that’s just my call.

But Hero, back to more important issues with your OP…are you really saying in all seriousness that you don’t beleive in INVISIBLE COSMIC DONKEYSSS?!! Man, you really have missed something here!

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The universe as we know it may have begun to exist. Or it may not.

If a god is put up as the first uncaused cause, one could put up anything which is sufficient as an uncaused cause. There may be some perfectly natural uncaused cause we just don’t know about. The universe as we know it may have budded off from some pre-existing universe ~ maybe, maybe not.

To propose “God”, as that uncaused cause is special pleading, (Wikipedia on ‘Special Pleading’). Can that uncaused cause, (a god), be proved, any more than any other notion of how our universe came to be here? (Spoiler: { Answer = “NO” } ).

Cheers, Mutorc S’yriah.

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I agree Nyar, infact i would say it is a web well spun by Dr Craig.

I just cannot see how he gets to that conclusion, to my mind it appears that literally anything could be placed in that spot.

Again, another comment i agree with.

The argument appears valid in the first few premises, but not sound.

For example, from what I’ve read, most physicists believe an eternal universe is more likely… or perhaps better said as, the evidence leads once to think it to be eternal.

And may I say I agree again, it certainly smacked of special pleading to me.

Indeed. A fallacious argument. Even if it could be shown the universe/multiverse had a cause, not convinced ‘god did it’ could then be reasonably inferred. Just as so far, ‘god did it’ has never actually been proved, on any claim.

During the 1970’s such claims were arse deep in popular reading.Same reasoning, except 'god did it ’ was replaced by ‘aliens did it’. Those books were so popular that they had their own genre.

Premise 1 is based on inductive reasoning on examples occurring within the temporal state of the material universe, and even that can’t be taken as an absolute, else we could rule out miracles with the same reasoning.
Worse still, Craig then unashamedly tries to apply this shaky rule he’s created to a non temporal state before the big bang, and before the material universe exists. Shoddy doesn’t even begin to describe this, and he’s a professional philosopher?

Ahem, premise 1 being violated like a drag queen at a tractor pull, with more known logical fallacies than a Witch doctors training course. He ought to be embarrassed.

More assumptions, and the usual dearth of evidence, and all in his sickeningly pompous and unabashed theistic style. I long ago came to realise Lane Craig is not to be taken seriously.

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I can’t add anything. " Between the 9th to 12th centuries, the cosmological argument developed as a concept within Islamic theology. It was refined in the 11th century by Al-Ghazali The Incoherence of the Philosophers, and in the 12th by Ibn Rushd (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_cosmological_argument#cite_note-14)
It reached medieval Christian philosophy in the 13th century and was discussed by Bonaventure, as well as Thomas Aquinas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas) in his Summa Theologica and [Summa Contra Gentiles].(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summa_Contra_Gentiles)

And this is the very best the modern Christian theologians can offer us. It’s sad. So very sad.

As far as Craig’s second part to the argument, I have seen Blue universe creating bunnies, Rainbow farting unicorns and Big yellow universe creating bananas argued just as successfully.

Craig does nothing but point to a gap that HE creates… (We don’t actually know anything about the origin of the universe and causality breaks down at Planck time). So he creates a gap based on causality and then inserts his version of God into the gap., UTTERLY and COMPLETELY fallacious.

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Which he then excuses from HIS OWN RULE of causality by using a begging the question fallacy to make multiple unevidenced assumptions about the deity he is arguing for. Its risible nonsense.

His argument is constructed on the proposition that the entire cosmos (all of everything) is not eternal. He has to prove that point first.

I think Carl Sagan had an excellent approach to this idea.

If we decided that God created the Universe, then we must–of course–ask the next question: Where did God come from?

If we decided that this is an unanswerable question, then let us skip a step and say that the origin of the Universe is an unanswerable question.

Or, maybe if we decide that God has always existed . . . then we should skip a step and say that the Universe has always existed.

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I apologise for the length of the following but I am convalescing from surgery a week ago, can’t even walk around unassisted and am bored out of my skull. Thanks for your patience, I am sick of being one.

I’m not suggesting that I know any better than Carl about anything, but that line of argument “who created God” never seems to stop theists insisting ‘their’ god can do anything thanks to guys like Anslem who in answer to the Kalam has held sway over people’s intelligence for centuries with his ontological arguments which covers the popular party trick of first thinking of the most really super powerful god you can possibly imagine or pops into your mind and then assuring yourself and your guests that your god is greater than even what you just imagined. But with all unlimited pissing contests this just creates a wet mess with a bad smell.
So with this ontological magic card they can just keep insisting their god can do anything. End. Of. Story. And you are going to burn in Hell for being Just. Too. Smart.

Religion gets to examine with varying levels of success all the immeasurable unquantifiable imponderables, like the limits of their gods’ abilities and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But no matter how difficult the question or complicated the word salads are to tie up all the untidy loose ends the answer is always unfailingly “God” unless you are asking “who is responsible for creating evil?”.

Philosophy has never been a strength of mine. For me it sits between Religion and Science which are similar in some respects and totally different in others. Philosophy is a blur of both. More pointedly I have a real problem with Philosophy. It was once the unwitting placeholder for the nascent fields of Science and anything leftover and not bothered with by Religion. Science eventually usurped Philosophy as the more reliable path to knowledge and firmer truth, but it is definitely (beware of incoming), a lesser handmaiden than when she was once one of the Girls.
Philosophy in my simple view is just a tool for determining if we are asking the correct sort of questions that need to be asked in any endeavour which doesn’t really serve either of her old girlfriends’ needs anymore.
The reason being that Religion will insist “God” and Science is just so effective she will eventually sort out from practical experience and KNOW if she is asking the right questions herself; it’s how self-correcting systems work.

But if Philosophy has really taught us anything its that it is really important to ask the correct question, but it’s not even like Philosophy even cares anymore what question is asked because while the theists have had centuries to refine their definitions, postulate exceptions and intelligently worded faultlessly reasoned explanations that can turn black to white and then through all the shades of the electromagnetic spectrum, they still start their arguments with the apriori assumption that a god already exists, therefore anything is possible. Philosophy nods pleasantly and helpfully suggests bringing all that on board for further discussion because Religion loves an audience while Science heads out on another field trip to dig up more evidence.

For my money of these three, only one, Science, has any claim for reality and I don’t care about all the psychological problems involved with unintended bias or prejudices involved in the outcome of experiments, it works because its a critically peer-reviewed self-correcting methodology and because I am using a computer to exchange ideas almost instantaneously with people on the other side of the world who I have never met. Just asking unanswerable questions and talking to the sky could not have achieved any of that. And further, If it had been left to the other two fields of human query and investigation, we could very likely still be discussing and regretting the horrible holy wars fought over the ‘correct or acceptable’ shape of the keys on our keyboards in the eyes of somebody else’s god or in view of their particular ergonomic prejudices.

I was advised by someone much more learned than me that the point is not to ask how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The real question to ask is how small are these angels and how big is the pin. Anselm’s god could make a really really big pin apparently.


And - IMO a tool to play with the imagination. It can stretch our thinking. But imagination and thinking does not equal reality (what occurs in the measurable world).

Often, philosophy can be self-focused with questions (If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?). As though the vibrations reaching the human ear is the only measure of its existence. As though our perception determines “all there is”. It may, for us, and we may imagine that beyond “us” BUT the accuracy or “as close to what is true” does not lie in our entertaining thoughts.

Hallucinating when deprived of food or water (lost in the forest) may temporarily provide an escape for physical discomfort, but does not stop the bodily process of dying.

Or opened the door to germ theory. Angels are germs and viruses :microbe: (lol - good and bad).

In other words, asking the right questions.

For example, creationists seem to ask questions like “what evidence do we have for God being the creator of life, the universe, and everything?” and “what counterarguments against evolution can we find?” and so on. The biologist might ask “what possible mechanisms could contribute and be at play?”, “what is the empirical evidence, and how does it fit in with theory?”, and “what would disprove any of our alternative theories, and do we have evidence that in fact do so?”

HUH? How about… “How can these facts fit into the biblical narrative?” (No one is out collecting facts and coming up with ‘God’ as the answer. Not without engaging in fallacious bullshit.)

Counter arguments? How about, “I didn’t come from no monkey.” or “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

Oh… I have a good one… “Irreducible complexity.” Completely debunked by all the science and even thrown out of court, still they try to push it forward as legitimate science. “I can’t see how anything can get from point A to point B without God.” Insert the God of the gaps as the missing link.

I just thought your version of the questions gave them way too much credit.

One minor amendment. “What is the empirical evidence and does it fit in with the theory?”

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Oh, bother! Does that make me a philosopher? Am I right to be so disturbed? What is the meaning of all this?!! I always wanted to be an aphilosopher!! :thinking:

Such questions need to be shut down from the start because they are poisoning the well. Those types of questions assume that there was a creator, or that there are only two options.

It’s not only the creationists that do that. Also flat-earthers, alternative medicinists (like homeopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, faith and remote healers and other quacks), anti-vaxers, scientologists, conspiracy theorists, holocaust deniers, cooks and angle trisectors, and general science deniers. The list is endless.

I let them have the benefit of doubt, as I was feeling not overwhelmingly cranky.

Actually, “What is the empirical evidence and does it confirm or falsify the theory (in the Popperian sense)?”