Sunday 4 August 2013

My Kalām Krash

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore the Universe has a cause of its existence.
This is the Kalām Cosmological Argument for the existence of God — the favourite argument of William Lane Craig. It boils down to "The Universe had to be created by something, ergo, God." The KCA is also related to the argument that out of nothing, nothing comes. So let's look at the KCA a bit more (don't worry, this won't take long, and it doesn't involve any multiverses).

The current cosmological consensus is that the Universe began with the Big Bang, at which both space and time came into being. The essential part of the KCA is the notion of "cause". We know that causes always come before effects, because if cause and effect are simultaneous it's impossible to distinguish between the two. To put this another way, both the cause and the effect, if simultaneous, can be said to have come about spontaneously.

The notion of "before" is dependent on the notion of "time". At the Big Bang there was no time, therefore the common understanding of cause and effect cannot hold. Where the traditional relationship between cause and effect does not apply, the claim that effects depend on causes is no longer supportable. One cannot, therefore, rule out the possibility of the Big Bang arising from nothing, spontaneously — without a cause.

The first premise of the KCA needs to be revised:
  1. Everything that begins to exist (except the Universe) has a cause of its existence.