Dear Dr. Craig,
I was wondering whether a plausible reason why naturalists reject the causal premiss of the kalam argument is that many of them hold a concept of causation in terms of "events", not of things.
This contrast with the Aristotelian and medieval concepts of causes in terms of "things", not of events.
In the recently published scholarly book "The Oxford Handbook of Causation", philosopher John Marenbon comments:
"Most medieval discussion about causation in the medieval Aristotelian and Neoplatonic traditions conceives causes as things -- in most cases, corporeal (a father) or incorporeal (the Agent Intellect) substances. The effects of causes are often things too (for instance, the father is the cause of his son), although causes of motion are also discussed." (p. 52)
As Marenbon explains, "things" (not events) were the relata of the causal relation.
But according most contemporary naturalists (as J.P.Moreland has explained so well), events (not things) are the relata of the causal relation, i.e., only events can be causes or effects.
I think this point has interesting implications, because in your formulation of the kalam, you're explicit that you're talking about things (not about events). In fact, explicitly you have written that the causal principle is fully compatible with the existence of uncaused events (quantum events, for example).
As I once commented to you in a letter, Mario Bunge also includes some spontaneous events in the brain (which are supposed to be "uncaused"), as evidence that the causal principle (regarding events) is not always valid. But Bunge agrees with the causal principle regarding things, because he thinks that the principle "out of nothing nothing comes" is a basic principle of metaphysics and science.
Is not possible that part of the denialism by naturalists of the causal principle in the kalam argument is due to notion of causes in terms of things and not of events which is inherent in your formulation of the kalam argument?
Do you think is it possible to defend a version of the kalam in terms of events alone?
See the "The Oxford Handbook of Causation" (Oxford University Press, 2012) for further discussions on medieval and contemporary philosophical theories of causation.