Welcome to Tuesday Morning Apologetics (TMA). We’re talking about the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA):
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Our focus is now on the second premise of the KCA which is supported by another philosophical argument called, “The Impossibility of Forming an Actually Infinite Collection of Things by Adding One Member after Another”:
1. The series of events in time is a collection formed by adding one member after another.
2. A collection formed by adding one member after another cannot be actually infinite.
3. Therefore, the series of events in time cannot be actually infinite.
Now, I know I gave the first philosophical argument a hard time for having a terrible acronym (IAINT). But, I just can’t with this one. Sorry, but I won’t be referring to this argument as “IFAICTAOMA”. It’s just not going to happen. Luckily, it doesn’t look like I’ll have to because this argument, as it stands right now, is dead on arrival.
Why is that?
Well, unfortunately, the way the first premise of the argument is written, its truth depends on the A-Theory of Time accurately describing how Time is constituted in the Physical World. But I’ve already written a four part series on Time (see links below). And in it I give reasons for why I’m persuaded that the B-Theory of Time is more plausibly true with regards to Physical Time. Which is important since the KCA depends on, and is focused on, how the Physical World is constituted.
So, even though I am persuaded that this argument is sound (meaning that I think the argument is valid and the premises are true), it’s just not applicable to the Physical World. To me, this argument is great and useful for when we’re discussing and exploring God’s personal Time (which, I'm convinced, is metaphysical in the highest degree). But it’s not useful for Physical Time.
And it’s not just me saying this. Dr Craig himself says,
“On a B-Theory of time, premise (1) is false, for the past, like the future, exists tenselessly and there is no question of the series of events being formed sequentially.”
So far, that's two philosophical arguments down that were supposed to support the second premise of the KCA. The first argument (IAINT) fails to provide sufficient warrant for believing that an actual infinite number of things is plausibly metaphysically impossible. And this second argument just isn't applicable because it seems more plausible that Physical Time is constituted in a B-Theory-like manner. So far, it's not looking good for the second premise of the KCA.
But, wait a minute. That doesn’t mean we’re done talking about the notion of traversing the infinite. There are other arguments that are more relevant to how I think the physical world is constituted and they have interesting implications against naturalism. And that will be the focus of the next couple of articles.
Craig, William. Reasonable Faith 3rd Edition (pg. 120-124). Crossway