Posted: Apr 07, 2011 6:38 pm
by Oldskeptic
Shrunk wrote:William Lane Craig seems to be one of the most frequently discussed apolgists for theism on this board. His reputation largely rests on a series of five arguments for the existence of God, which feature regularly in his writings, public speeches and debates. Since these arguments so often arise in discussion on this board, I thought it would be a good idea to have separate threads devoted to each of these to allow discussion of these by those who support Craig, and those who would refute his arguments.

A full discussion of these arguments can be found in Craig's article here. What follows is the introductory paragraph from that article.

2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument Based on the Beginning of the UniverseHere’s a different version of the cosmological argument, which I have called the kalam cosmological argument in honor of its medieval Muslim proponents (kalam is the Arabic word for theology):

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Craig needs to define what he means by, "begins to exist." If he means "begins to exist out of a philosophical absolute absence of anything," the he needs to start with a premise that says something like this, "Things can be come into existence out of the absolute absence of anything," without invoking or assuming an omnipotent creator that can do this.

2. The universe began to exist.

Again Craig needs to define what he means. Began to exist in what way? As a rearrangement of existing stuff, or again out of an absolute absence of everything? If he means a rearrangement then his "creator" god is unnecessary. If he means out of an absolute lack of anything then he needs to confront the first law of thermodynamics. And invoking or assuming this creator god can suspend the first law doesn't work because that is what his argument is trying to prove.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

This is just jumping to a conclusion without a good reason to do so other than having set the premises to lead to the conclusion desired

This is how Craig's argument should go to be anywhere near rational.

1. Everything that begins to exist might have a cause.

2. The universe might have began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe might have had a cause.

4. And I call this hypothetical cause that might exist God.