Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Basic Argument of the Kalam:
P1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence.
P2. The universe began to exist (i.e. it is not infinite).
C: universe has a cause of its existence.

P1 is problematic, but forget about it for now.
The crux of the argument is P2. Craig tries to prove this by trying to show that an actual-infinite series of events is impossible in the external world. If the universe had no beginning then the past is an actual-infinite series. An actually-infinite series of events have elapsed before now. And this is impossible, because he says we would never get to the present if an infinite number of events had to come first. (the future is a potential-infinite, because its series of events are not realized and complete)
This is basically Kant’s thesis in the first antinomy. I get a sour feeling he is restating or repackaging Kant’s thesis, or whatever (I realize this is an ancient argument too though) and at the same time ignoring Kant’s antithesis.
Craig also has some scientific arguments that are supposed to show the world had a beginning, but I don’t really care about those. I wouldn’t base an argument for the existence of god on a dubious big bang theory, and which would be inductive at best. I think.
I’m pretty sure the argument can work with a Newtonian view of time, or a relational one, that doesn’t matter.

Does anybody think they can tackle the dubiousness of P2, keeping in mind this business about Craig’s impossibility of actual-infinities of events, or in Kantian terms, successive synthesis?

You might want to say well even if the universe had a beginning it is an actual-infinite series, because there is an infinity of finite parts in a finite part. (You can divide a finite space ad infinitum). But that devil William Lane Craig is saying that this is still a potential-infinite because one must divide that finite part ad infinitum, and this is impossible. Or maybe he’s saying successive synthesis ad infinitum can only be a theoretical endevour. Well whatever. Somehow Craig has managed to subtle his way over too much of the history of philosophy, and we need to make him pay, and on his home court (ie stabbing P2, and not simply invoking Kant’s view of time)

Do you mean to tackle a disproof of P2? How about a universe of eternal recurrence. Only loophole i can think of right now. I always liked the Kalam Cosmological Argument – good Medieval Muslim philosophy!

yeah pretty much that’s all I can think about

Even though I don’t believe that it is really an impossibility the one of actual-infinities of events.

yes, it definitely is a repackaging of the first antinomy (and zeno as well…)

the argument is defeated the same way zeno’s paradoxes of motion are defeated… (e.g. to move from point a to point b traveller c must first move half the distance, but before moving that half, a prior half must be moved, and a prior half and a prior half ad infinitum… this renders motion impossible because you cannot move an infinite number of halves first…) time and distance are measurement and measurer relative… to claim that something exists before or after the measurement is pure speculation and can never be known or empirically verified… to claim that an infinite number of events occurred prior in time and experience to this present event is fine (there are an infinite number of points in space between point a and point b, and an infinite number of divisions of time between any two moments) when you have two end points between which to measure… but if you only have one end of the measurement it becomes pure speculation and guesswork as to the other end because it doesn’t exist…

how is the problem solved? simply by counting with measurements the measurer understands… to move to point b from point a, simply move and count 1 step. one doesn’t count by infinitesemals…

to move back in time to the first event stops with the origin of one’s existence… what exists before or after is mere speculation…


I guess you could find out the nature of the Universe by seeking out that old man deep within the forest and ask him,“Where were you the night the Universe was created?”