The Kalam Cosmological argument is arguably the most common arguments that are used by theists and perhaps by deists too. This is an argument from ‘Causality‘. It is recently being defended by a famous philosopher and christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig. The form of the argument is this:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
4. If the universe has a cause, then the cause must be a transcendental, spaceless, time independent, immaterial, extremely powerful conscious being, in other words, God.
5. Therefore, God exists.
Top to bottom, it seems like a complete logical collapse of atheism. But it, in fact, fails to raise a scientific concern. Let me check the validity of this argument by exploring each premises.
Premise No. 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
This is known as the law of causality. Now, this exactly matches with our everyday experiences. Our common sense tells us that everything that happens now must be a consequence of an occurrence of the past. The interesting part is that causality takes place only when time is in existence. This is a vital point, where time doesn’t exist, causality is irrelevant. But wait, this is not how cosmology works. We have to create a mathematical model of our universe and then check it by observation. If you ask, is there a scientific model of the universe where it has an uncaused beginning? And if there is, does it match with all the data available? The answer for both is, yes, there is(perhaps there ‘are’) and it does agree with all the data available.
One of the popular models among these is the model of Prf. Lawrence Krauss. Even though I studied that model, I will prefer not to make this article too technical. You can turn your head around it briefly by watching this video.
So, cosmologists have a theory which explains all the data and points to a universe with an uncaused beginning. This implies that we have an alternative of the God hypothesis. But hold on, do we really have it?
Just like the other big questions, apologists have succeeded to come up with a typical response to this problem also. The most simplistic way to present it, is that they are saying “The ‘nothing’ from which Prf. Krauss claims the universe came uncaused from, is not really ‘nothing'”.
They think that the ‘nothing’ Prf. Krauss is referring to is the ‘quantum vacuum’ which many physicists address as ‘A rich physical state’. This is a major strawman. To be simple(again, avoiding to be technical) the model suggests that the universe came from empty space, which Prf. Krauss says is the ‘simplest’ form of nothing. Because when the Kalam Cosmological argument was first developed, people really thought that empty space is absolutely nothing. But to be fair, it isn’t the case. Prf. Krauss admits that empty space, which has considerable energy, cannot be called ‘nothing’. There he describes how empty space itself can come of from a rather fundamental version of nothingness, in this case, no space, no time, no radiation, not anything! Apologists have forgot to respond to this technically, after all, reading just the preface of a book doesn’t help you much!
This model is now referred as a ‘plausible’ hypothesis. Does it prove that the model is true? Of course not! But it does imply that this premise isn’t scientifically sound. Human conception of thinking inside of a box made of space, time and dimensions can be wrong when it comes outside the box.
Premise No. 2. The universe began to exist.
It is a widely accepted idea among cosmologists that the universe did begin to exist. Although it is not beyond all doubt that the universe had a beginning. There are other possibilities and models. Like, what if the big bang singularity existed eternally in the past? But apologists have a problem with this idea of infinity, they say infinity is a thing which cannot exist in reality, although the irony comes when they say God has infinite knowledge. Let’s take one of the responses from Dr. Craig, he says,”Imagine that you have infinite numbers of coins in your room, you take all the odd number coins, how many remain? Infinite! Now imagine that you take all the other coins except three, how many remain? Well, three! In both cases, you take an identical number of coins from an identical numbers of coins and you finish up with getting contradictory results!”. Now, as you should observe if you do not have any religious mindset, is that, he did only clear out the point that the properties and implications of the concept of infinity is different than the other numbers. Consider the number Pi, it has infinite decimals, if you take out the odd numbers from those, infinite remain, but if you take all except three, three remain. So, it seems that Pi is a actually existing infinity, which is awkward to apologists. This premise is scientifically acceptable, but not scientifically undoubted. It can’t be taken as an absolutely proven statement.
Conclusion No. 1. Therefore, the universe had a cause.
Not necessarily, though. All of the previous premises are just established claims. So, the conclusion is not sound either.
Premise No. 3. If the universe had a cause, then the cause must be a transcendental, spaceless, time independent, immaterial, extremely powerful conscious being, in other words, God.
It is an odd argument. The universe is complex, so it needs an explanation. And the explanation is another more complex being creating it? In this context, one can use the Higgs field method and see how it is applied to understand the origins. Higgs Boson can cause the big bang.
Conclusion No. 2. Therefore, God exists.
Throughout this article, I have tried to check the core premises of this argument, and it turns out that they are in fact unsound. It ultimately becomes an argument that can only be used for personal satisfaction if the premises matches with the user’s opinion. It is not a scientifically sound argument.
I hope you enjoyed the read, I am open to all, you can give your responses at the comment section. Have a nice day, and if the day is about to finish, good night.