Kalaam Cosmological Argument Question Guide

Section 1

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1:What is a philosophical argument?

A concept or anything that is immediately present to your mind.

A set of premises from which a conclusion can be inferred which are themselves supported by either further arguments or basic intuitions.

2:Why is the Kalaam a Cosmological Argument?

Because it uses the idea of a First Cause to prove the existence of God.

Because it attempts to prove the existence of God with the existence of the universe.

3:The Kalaam originated in the 500’s from a school of Christians led by John Philoponus. What led them to do this?

Because they wanted a way to prove the existence of God.

Because they believed God created the Universe.

4:The syllogism for the Kalaam is: P1-Everything that begins to exist has a cause of it’s existence. P2- The Universe Began to Exist. C-Therefore, the universe has a cause of it’s existence. This is a valid syllogism. Why?

Because if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true.

Because the premises are more plausibly true than their negations, so we are rationally justified in holding the conclusion.

5: Romans 1: 18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world Gods invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (NIV) What is the excuse Paul is talking about?

God has given us the Bible, so everyone can know about God.

God has given us the universe, so everyone can know about God.

Section 2

6: Why doesn’t the Kalaam mention God?

It does, there is more to it than simply the basic syllogism. Further arguments are possible once the conclusion is reached since the cause of the universe must be timeless but also must exist.

Because anything that creates the universe would have to be God.

7: Which of these is a good reason to believe premise 1 (Anything that begins to exist has a cause of it’s existence.)?

It just seems intuitively impossible. If a wizard brings something into being with magic, the magic is an unseen cause. But we are talking about literally no cause at all.

It becomes impossible to ever explain why anything and everything doesn’t pop into existence all the time without a cause.

Because it would allow unstoppable forces to meet immovable objects, which is metaphysically impossible.

8: Some atheists argue that we observe quantum particles popping into existence from nothing in quantum physics all the time. So it is possible. Why are they wrong?

We haven’t observed things coming into existence with literally no cause at all. Rather, it seems particles emerge from empty space. But empty space is not nothing. You can measure how much empty space you have, but you can’t measure how much nothing you have.

The people working in Quantum Physics are simply being deceptive because they want to discredit God’s existence.

If we did observe something coming into existence without a physical cause, we would only know that. Nothing and any Supernatural cause would be equally invisible. So science can only rule out a physical cause.

9: Psalm 19 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Is this passage talking about the Kalaam?

No. It’s talking about the beauty of nature and the evidence of intelligent design in the natural world.

It’s talking about all evidence and arguments for God, both known and unknown.

Section 3

10:Some atheists argue that science hasn’t proven the universe began to exist. What is wrong with their argument here?

The Kalaam can be defended by only using logical reasoning.

The Big Bang Theory proves the creation of the universe.

The Big Bang Theory would prove the universe came into being without a cause. But it is fortunately an unproven theory in science and only a theory.

11:Some atheists cling do an old idea called “Scientism” which held that science is the only way to prove anything true. Therefore, the Kalaam can’t be defended using only logical reasoning. What logical fallacy are they committing?

Self Contradiction

Hasty Generalization

Circular Reasoning

12:Imagine an infinitely large barrel of apples. Number them 1,2,3,4,5…. out to infinity. Take out the even numbered apples. How many do you have left? Put them back in. Now take out all the apples. Put them back in. Take out all of them but ten. How many do you have left?

Infinity, Zero, and Ten

Half of Infinity, Zero, and Ten.

13:If the universe has no beginning, how many days passed before ten days ago? How odd numbered days passed before today? How many days passed in total?

Infinity, Infinity, Infinity

Undefinable, Undefinable, Undefinable

14: If the universe is infinitely old, then is today the day at the end of forever?

Yes

No

15: Imagine that Jupiter orbits the sun half as fast as Earth. Also imagine that they have been doing so from a beginningless past. How many orbits have Jupiter and Earth respectively completed?

Infinity and Infinity x 2

Infinity and Infinity

16:Tristan Shandy has been writing his daily diary since a beginningless past. But he takes an entire year to complete one day in the diary. How far behind is he today?

He is infinitely far behind.

He is not behind at all.

17: In philosophy, we use a thought experiment called “possible worlds.” Some argue that we can’t use math to prove the Kalaam because math cannot be trusted. Is there a possible world where the number three is not the sum of 1 and 2?

No. As David Hume put it, 1+2 and 3 are different ways of saying the exact same thing, so they are an analytic truth and cannot be untrue

Yes. David Hume was an atheist, and cannot be trusted. God could have created a world where 1+2 is not the same as 3.

Yes. Numbers don’t exist, so math doesn’t apply to reality.

18: John 8: 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.-- Why were they going to stone Jesus?

He claimed to be older than Abraham.

He claimed to be currently there before Abraham was born.

Section 4

19: We’ve seen that the universe cannot be infinitely old. Can the cause of the universe be infinitely old?

Yes

No

20: If the universe cannot be infinitely old, then did it have a beginning?

Yes

No

21: Is it possible for the cause of the universe to be neither infinitely old nor finitely old?

Yes

No

22: Any entity that exists must either be personal or impersonal(thing). Things cause things based on their inherent properties. Fire burns things because it has that property, not because it chooses to. If the first cause of the universe is a thing, then it is all that is necessary for the effect (creation of the universe). Therefore, why is it impossible for the cause of the universe to be impersonal?

Because the cause of the universe must be timeless. And therefore the effect would be timeless and the universe would be eternally beginning to exist. Since the universe has gotten older the cause must be a person.

The only impersonal things that can exist timelessly and cause things are abstract objects like numbers would be if they exist. But the number 7 can’t cause things to happen. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be a personal being.

The creation of the universe clearly shows intentional design. The world is finely tuned for living things and set up perfectly for us to exist. This only comes from a personal designer and not a thing which has no plans or goals.

23: John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.-- Why did God only make the things that have been created? Why didn’t John just say God created everything?

This passage is hard to translate from Greek and the ancient grammar rules make it sound weird in English.

John is saying that God didn’t create Himself because God is eternal.

Section 5

24: Some argue that the movement of time is an illusion and all moments of time still exist. This is called the static theory of time. Are they saying that all events in time are simultaneous?

No. They are saying that time is similar to a spacial dimension. Just like some things are to your left and back but still exist, so also some things are earlier and later but still exist.

Yes and no. The static theory of time is incoherent or at least unclear in how it’s defined.

25: There are three views of Relativity Theory. All of them involve the idea that time slows for you down the faster you move. Does scientific evidence support this?

Yes

No

26: These are the three views of Relativity Theory. The Spacetime model holds that time is statically just another spacial dimension that we don’t know how to draw on a graph. The Special Relativity model holds that as you are I are in motion relative to each other, time moves slower for me than for you and slower for you than for me. The Lorentzian Model holds that there exists an overall time for the universe itself called metaphysical time. But time moves slower for you the faster you move. If you were at perfect rest, then time would move for you exactly the same as metaphysical time. Why do some argue that the Lorentzian Model must be rejected?

It proposes an extra thing, metaphysical time. Therefore it is more complex and Occam’s Razor tells us to always go with the simplest view.

Some scientists tend to reject anything they cannot observe. Since you can never really know if you are at rest, we could never measure and observe metaphysical time. Therefore it doesn’t exist.

Special Relativity can’t work because on a non static theory of time(dynamic), only the present exists. And if no events are simultaneous with each other, nothing exists alongside anything else.

27: Some atheists argue that Relativistic Physics proves that time doesn’t exist with Occam’s Razor. Therefore, the universe has no beginning but also is not infinitely old and the Kalaam is defeated. Now, they are wrong about this. But why are they wrong?

Occam’s Razor is only a tie breaker. But there is good evidence for the existence of time. Anytime you observe things moving or changing. These are reliable observations of time. One can use Occam as a tie breaker, but not to ignore mountains of good evidence.

If you experience a pain in your arm, it is possible for the pain to be an illusion. Maybe your mind is playing tricks on you. But it is not possible for you to be wrong about the fact that you feel the pain. It’s literally impossible. But you experience time purely mentally any time you simply change what you are thinking about. Therefore, any Relativity Theory that doesn’t allow this logically cannot be correct.

28: The other big argument against the Kalaam relies on a different proof for a static theory of time. McTaggart’s paradox says that an event cannot possess the properties of pastness, presentness, and futurity. We also have a paradox from the Ancient Greek philosopher Zeno. How long is the present? If the present is all that exist and the past and future do not, then how long is the present? Aren’t days composed of hours? Aren’t hours composed of minutes? Aren’t minutes composed of seconds? Therefore, the present is composed of the smallest amount of time possible. But that’s an infinitely small division. Therefore, only the present exists and yet that means nothing at all exists. You could try to avoid this by claiming that the present moment is longer than an infinitely small time. But then you are expanding the present out to include pastness, presentness, and futurity. Can this problem be avoided?

Yes. As Aristotle argued, time is not composed of smaller divisions of time. Rather, the duration is logically prior to any divisions of it.

No. Therefore, you have never changed your mind.

29: 1 Corinthians 1: 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.--Is Paul teaching that philosophical arguments like the Kalaam are a bad thing?

No. Greek Philosophers taught that it was logically impossible for God to create the world, enter into it as one of us, and certainly not die for our sins. Paul is condemning that.

Yes. We should just tell the story of Jesus. Arguments for God’s existence are sinful.

No. Paul later tells us that there is a better type of wisdom from God in 1 Cor 2: 1-7.