Article #8 - Series: Good Arguments for God's Existence

The Kalam Cosmological Argument
This is one of the best Cosmological Arguments for God's Existence in use today.  As you know, a Cosmological argument seeks to prove God's existence from what we know about the beginning of the universe.  This argument is deceptively simple, and very easy to remember since it only has 3 steps.  It also has a huge range of scientific and philosophical evidence supporting it, which makes it very powerful in today's society.  This argument has enjoyed a long and wide appeal among both Christians and Muslim theologians. Its form is simple and straightforward.

1.       Whatever begins to exist has a cause for its coming into being.
  • We know this from the Law of Causality
  • We know this from our common experience
2.       The universe began to exist.
      Philosophical Evidence that the universe had a point of beginning
         - It is impossible to cross an Actual Infinite.
            - It is impossible for an Actual Infinite to exist.

3.       Therefore, the universe has a cause for its coming into being.

Grant the first premise. (Most people—outside of asylums and graduate schools would consider it not only true, but certainly and obviously true.)
Is the second premise true? Did the universe—the collection of all things bounded by space and time—begin to exist? This premise has recently received powerful support from natural science—from so—called Big Bang Cosmology.
> Scientific Evidence that the universe had a point of beginning: 
     - S econd Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy)
     - U niverse is expanding (Edwin Hubble - 1920's)
     R adiation Heat (Cosmic Micorwave Background Radiation)
     - G alaxial Ripples + Matter (COBE satellite discovery)
    - E instein’s equation: E=mc2
But there are philosophical arguments in its favor as well. Can an infinite task ever be done or completed? If, in order to reach a certain end, infinitely many steps had to precede it, could the end ever be reached? Of course not—not even in an infinite time. For an infinite time would be unending, just as the steps would be. In other words, no end would ever be reached. The task would—could—never be completed.
But what about the step just before the end? Could that point ever be reached? Well, if the task is really infinite, then an infinity of steps must also have preceded it. And therefore the step just before the end could also never be reached. But then neither could the step just before that one. In fact, no step in the sequence could be reached, because an infinity of steps must always have preceded any step; must always have been gone through one by one before it. The problem comes from supposing that an infinite sequence could ever reach, by temporal succession, any point at all.
Now if the universe never began, then it always was. If it always was, then it is infinitely old. If it is infinitely old, then an infinite amount of time would have to have elapsed before (say) today. And so an infinite number of days must have been completed—one day succeeding another, one bit of time being added to what went before—in order for the present day to arrive. But this exactly parallels the problem of an infinite task. If the present day has been reached, then the actually infinite sequence of history has reached this present point: in fact, has been completed up to this point—for at any present point the whole past must already have happened. But an infinite sequence of steps could never have reached this present point—or any point before it.
So, either the present day has not been reached, or the process of reaching it was not infinite. But obviously the present day has been reached. So the process of reaching it was not infinite. In other words, the universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause for its coming into being, a Creator.
It is intersting to realize the qualities that this Creator woud have if He created physical universe that we know of:
  1. The Creator would be a personal being with a MIND/PERSON, for it exercised a choice/decision in creating the universe.
  2. The Creator would have to be TIMELESS, for it created all of time.
  3. The Creator would have to be IMMATERIAL, for it created all of the material realm.
  4. The Creator would have to basically be ALL-POWERFUL, for it created all energy and matte we know of out of nothingness.
  5. The Creator would have to be basically be ALL-KNOWING, for it engineered the entire cosmos with all of it's precise fine-tuned laws for supporting complex life forms.
  6. The Creator would have to be a NECESSARY Being, since all other things and beings in the universe came out of it and would be dependant/contingent upon it. 
Isn't it interesting that these are all qualities of the God of Scripture: A Person which is timeless, immaterial, all-powerful, all-knowing, and a metaphysically Necessary Being?  Fascinating.