Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument

In this blog post, I wish to address some of the arguments against the Kalam Cosmological Argument. This blog is not to be comprehensive, but it is meant to deconstruct some of the most popular objections.

Objection 1: In the first premise, it is stated whatever begins to exist has a cause. We simply do not know whether this is true due to our lack of complete understanding of the universe.

Reply to Objection 1: This argument tries to use ignorance of the universe in its favor when it very well could be applied in the other direction, given everything known to begin to exist does have a cause. To say something can come from nothing flies in the face of everyday experience and scientific evidence. Nothing has no properties. It has no matter, energy, time, or even space. Also, a core principle of science involved using preexisting material to reach conclusions from natural patterns and sensory experience through the scientific method. Therefore, the question, “How can something come from nothing?” is not a question of science. It is a question of philosophy.

Objection 2: If God is the Creator of the universe, then who created Him?

Reply to Objection 2: This argument tries to submit that before an explanation can be deemed reliable, one must deposit an explanation of the explanation, but in order for that explanation to be sufficient, you must give an explanation for the explanation of the explanation. As one can deduce, this line of reasoning will always lead to an infinite number of explanations so that nothing can ever be explained, and science is destroyed. Eventually, one must reach a chief cause which necessarily exists because of its nature. It cannot not exist. Many philosophers contend God is this necessarily existing being. Contingent things cannot exist ad infinitum as was demonstrated in the argument. One must eventually deposit an end.

Objection 3: How can God, who is eternal, be the cause of an effect which is not eternal?

Reply to Objection 3: This objection tries to use God’s eternal nature to disprove the finite nature of the universe. These people contend that because God exists externally, then His effects must be eternal. If a cause is eternal, the effect is eternal; however, the problem with this objection is that it assumes God to act more like a machine than a Being with a free will. Because God has freedom of the will, He is able to create despite being eternal. For example, a man sitting down from eternity can choose to stand up (so long as he has the ability). The same applies with God. He exists independent of time, yet He is able to choose when to and when to not create due to His free will.

Objection 4: If the B-Theory of time is correct, then nothing can truly begin to exist, disproving the first premise.

Reply to Objection 4: The B-Theory of time basically submits a “tense-less” theory of time. On this view, all of time is equally real. There is no past, present, or future as all events are equally existent. On this theory, nothing comes into and out of being, as we would normally assume (which is the A-Theory), rather, everything equally exists. Temporal becoming is an illusion. Nothing can begin or finish existing.

The problem with this view is that it cannot adequately cope with the notion of change. If everything is equally existent, then things cannot undergo genuine change. Change intrinsically involves temporal becoming, so if the B-theory is true, change is illusory. The problem then is that change does exist. Things undergo different states such as an object moving from a solid state to a liquid one. On that basis, one has good reason to question the validity of the B-theory.

Objection 5: Stephen Hawking contends in his book, The Grand Design, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” So what need for a Creator if the universe can create itself?

Reply to Objection 5: There are two glaring problems with this statement. First, he says, “Because there is a law of gravity [because there is something], the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” The first part of this sentence debunks the second. If there is a law of gravity, then the universe could not create itself ex nihilo. It would be creating itself out of something, not nothing. One must explain where the law of gravity came from.

Second, he states, “…the universe can and will create itself…” As John Lennox pointed out, if one tells you that X creates Y, then what is one doing? He is presupposing the existence of X in order to explain Y. Y cannot exist without X. Now, if one said X creates X, then what is one doing? He is presupposing the existence of X in order to explain X, but that cannot be right. If X explains X then X already exists, then X cannot be the cause of X. Something must already exist in order to create, even when X is equal to the universe.

 

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

 

 

One thought on “Objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument

  1. Pingback: On the Existence of God: Leibniz’ Contingency Argument – The Resident Theologian

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