Welcome to Tuesday Morning Apologetics (TMA). Let’s talk 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.
Last week I asked the following question:
“Why do we observe differences in energy levels?”
And I think there are at least three answers to that question:
1. The Physical World was created with different energy levels.
2. The Physical World is not a closed system.
3. The Physical World has some kind of physical mechanism that produces the differences.
The whole point of this "Energy can't be created or destroyed" objection is to undermine the second premise of the KCA. So, the first answer isn’t available to the challenger here.
Last week I also explained what I mean when I say “Physical World”. That means that the second answer isn’t available to the Naturalist either because they think that only the Physical World exists. However, there are plenty of non-christians out there who believe that the Physical World is not all there is and think it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that the Physical World is eternal and some transcendent god-like entity “disturbed” the Physical World somehow. Even an atheist could go for something like this because all they have to say is, "Whatever this god-like entity is, it’s not really a god or God."
The question then becomes, “Is this ‘disturbance’ adding or ‘creating' energy?”
I’m not sure... but I’m inclined to say, “yes.” And if the answer is “yes”, then the FLT isn’t some kind of metaphysical law. Which would contradict this objection in the same way the first answer does.
Whatever causes the 'disturbance' doesn’t even have to be some kind of conscious entity. Perhaps it could have been some kind of impersonal spiritual force.
But then an additional question needs to asked.
“How does it know when to cause the disturbance?”
But does that question even makes sense in the context of this realm that transcends the Physical World? To me, it seems hard to say definitively one way or another. And by, "Hard to say", I mean, "Impossible."
At least I think it is without any help...
As I said in the previous post, some non-christians like James Fodor think that Dr Craig’s appeal to the SLT could show that naturalism is inconsistent with an infinitely old universe. But, honestly, I’m not so sure. Perhaps we don’t even need to worry about whether the FLT and the SLT are is some way metaphysically binding. Perhaps the Physical World is actually eternal and all that’s required to get a universe like ours going is some kind of quantum indeterminacy. After all, I’ve read about people using the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to get the universe going. The point is that I certainly don’t know enough about quantum mechanics to say that that couldn’t be the case.
The funny thing about all of this is that it could be the case that the universe is eternal AND it is possible to create energy but nothing exists that can. Or maybe the universe is eternal AND something does exist that can create energy but doesn’t/hasn’t. It could even be the case that the Physical World is chronologically finite in the past AND exists eternally as a block entity. OR the Physical World could have been created without having a chronological beginning. OR the universe was created with a chronological beginning but was changed to have no chronological beginning. There are just a ton of options.
And if you're a Christian who thinks those possibilities are far-fetched, then I recommend you rethink the kind of power that the Christian God possesses. But don't feel bad because the perspective everyone has of God is too small. Of course, I'm including myself in that "everyone".
My point here is that there’s literally no way to prove scientifically nor philosophically whether or not the Physical World was created or began to exist. The only way that we could know is if there was some kind of Being who knew and told us.
Therefore, while I personally believe that the second premise is true, I believe that it's true for theological reasons. So, unfortunately, I don’t think that KCA is useful for proving the existence of God. While I'm personally convinced that the formulation of the Kalam is valid and even though I think the premises are true, it doesn’t help prove the existence of God. Because the only way we could really know if the second premise is true is if God Himself told us. Which he did.
So, what do you think? Do you think that the evidence is such that we can prove that the Physical World began to exist? Do you think that this argument is good? Personally, I love the Kalam because I think that it does a great job in acting as a springboard for learning more about God and His creation. And in that way, I think it is a very good argument.