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The Kalam Cosmological Argument Essay

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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:

KCA

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 c...


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... it cannot be explained scientifically, as this would imply the existence of antecedent determining conditions. Because there are no prior determining conditions, the cause of the universe must be personal and uncaused, for how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect? Moreover, the cause must transcend both matter and time to create matter and time. Finally, in order to create the universe ex nihilo, this cause must be enormously powerful, if not omnipotent. One is warranted in concluding that therefore, God exists.

With that, I now turn it over to kohai for his opening argument.




Works Cited

1. David S. Oderberg, "Traversal of the Infinite, the “Big Bang” and the Kalam Cosmological Argument", Philosophia Christi 4 (2002): 305-36
2. Alexander Pruss, "From the Grim Reaper Paradox to the Kalaam Argument" http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com...


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