1 Doubts about the Kalām Cosmological Argument Wes Morriston For more than thirty years, William Lane Craig has vigorously championed the kalām cosmological argument. The argument begins with two familiar premises: (1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause. (2) The universe came into existence. From (1) and (2) it follows that the universe has a cause. Further reflection is then supposed to show that this cause must have been a non-temporal, unchanging, immaterial, and unimaginably powerful person who created the universe out of nothing. In the present essay, I shall explore and evaluate the case for accepting the two main premises of the kalām argument. Before proceeding further, however, I want to make sure that the word universe is understood in a sense strong enough to enable the friends of the kalām argument to reach the conclusion they are aiming for that the universe was created out of nothing by a person having the impressive features mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph. In order, for example, to show that the cause of the universe is a timeless, unchanging, and immaterial being who created it out of nothing, we need to know that it is the cause not just of the space, time, and matter of our universe, but of the space, time, and matter of any universe that might ever have existed. So the claim we need to investigate is whether the whole of physical reality must have a beginning and a cause. With this understood, let us turn our attention to the case for premise 2.
2 Scientific arguments for premise 2 Two scientific considerations one based on the expansion of the universe, the other on its thermodynamic properties are offered in support of premise 2. In my opinion, neither of these arguments settles the matter, but my principal interest lies elsewhere and my treatment will have to be brief. Expansion and the big bang It is a commonplace that the history of the universe can be traced back to a big bang that (according to current estimates) occurred about 13.7 billion years ago. Unfortunately matters are not that simple. At best, the extrapolated Hubble expansion takes us back to a time when the universe was in a state of extremely high energy and density. At seconds after the big bang, it is thought to have been about 100 billion electron volts (100 GeV); at seconds, it rises to GeV. 1 When energy levels are that high, quantum effects are extremely significant, physics is entirely speculative, and just about everything is up for grabs. In such an extreme situation it isn t clear what physical laws apply, and although the implications of this are often missed the physics of the early universe is far too unsettled to enable us to extrapolate all the way back to a time zero. 2 Indeed, to speak of the early universe at all is a bit of a 1 See Monton (2008). 2 One scientist I consulted (Michael Shull, Professor of Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and College Professor of Distinction at the University of Colorado in Boulder) put the matter succinctly in correspondence: I find it surprising that someone would claim that the extrapolated Hubble expansion, back to time zero (13.7 billion years ago) was the start of everything. We know so little about the laws of physics at these times, small lengths, enormous energies, even the nature of space and the vacuum
3 misnomer; what we re really talking about here is just the universe as far back in time as we can see, given currently well-established physical theory. 3 There is yet another reason for skepticism about this source of evidence for premise 2. Even if we could extrapolate all the way back to a time zero, this would establish merely that the spacetime of our universe has a beginning. It would give us no reason to conclude that there is nothing on the other side of that beginning (an earlier universe operating in accordance with quite different physical laws, perhaps?), and no reason therefore to think that the whole order of nature (physical reality as a whole) has an absolute beginning. 4 There is, to be sure, an ongoing riot of speculation about these matters; but for the present, there is no telling which, if any, of the hypotheses currently being explored and tested will win out. Until the physicists have sorted things out on empirical grounds, I do not think we should rush to judgment. 5 3 Philosopher of physics Bradley Monton offers an extraordinarily clear, careful, and well-informed presentation of the general line of argument briefly developed here (Monton 2008). 4 A layperson might wonder whether it makes any sense to talk about what happened before the beginning of spacetime. It s quite clear, however, that it can make sense. To borrow an illustration from Craig (1992, 238-9), one can imagine an immaterial Creator doing a sort of countdown to creation: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fiat lux! Here we have a temporal sequence whose members occur prior to the beginning of our spacetime. Craig himself calls this a "knockdown argument" for the conclusion that time as it plays a role in physics is at best a measure of time rather than constitutive or definitive of time (1998, 350-1). 5 Craig and Sinclair have done a remarkable job of summarizing and critically evaluating the theories currently on offer (Craig 2009). I have neither the expertise nor the space to contribute to this fascinating debate. But there is no getting around the fact that there is as yet nothing even remotely approaching a true scientific consensus about these matters.
4 The thermodynamic properties of the universe Craig also stresses a second scientific consideration. Given the second law of thermodynamics, the universe must, in a finite amount of time, arrive at a state of equilibrium and suffer heat death. So if the history of the universe did not have a beginning, heat death would always already have taken place. Since that has not happened, we are invited to conclude that the universe has not always existed and that there must have been an absolute beginning. The problem with this argument is (once again) that we don t know enough about the so-called early universe to say just how far back the second law reaches. Consequently, we are unable to say how long the universe might have been in that mysterious early state. The most we are therefore entitled to conclude is that the history of entropy has a beginning. Philosophical arguments for an absolute beginning There are, however, two purely philosophical arguments for premise 2. Both seek to show that a beginningless series of discrete events is impossible. If this could be established (and if we could assume that the history of the universe consists in a series of discrete events), then we would not have to wait for the physicists to sort things out to conclude that the universe has a beginning at least in the sense that there must have been a very first event in its history. 6 6 Neither argument establishes that the earliest event has a beginning edge, but I shall be making nothing of this qualification here. For some helpful remarks on this topic, see Craig (2009, 184-5).
5 First philosophical argument: the impossibility of an actual infinite The first of these arguments employs the concept of an actual infinite, which Craig defines as a collection of definite and discrete members whose number is greater than any natural number 0, 1, 2, 3, (2008, 116). A beginningless series of discrete events could be placed in one-to-one correlation with the natural numbers. The number of events in such a series would therefore be ℵ 0 (the first transfinite cardinal); so it would be an actual infinite in the sense just defined. If it could be established that an actual infinite could not exist in the real world, then it would follow that a beginningless series of discrete events is impossible and we would have the absolute beginning we are looking for. Craig has tried to show just this. Actually infinite collections, he believes, have absurd properties that make them impossible. By way of illustration and argument, he asks us to consider the case of Hilbert s Hotel (2008, 108ff). This imaginary hotel has infinitely many rooms, each of which accommodates a single person. So what s the problem? Well, even if the hotel were full, space could still be found for more guests without kicking anyone out or making anyone double up or building any new rooms. All we d have to do to make space for a single new guest would be to move each current guest to the next room. To make infinitely many rooms available, we could have each current guest move to the room with double his or her old room number. This feature of a Hilbert s Hotel is alleged to be absurd, and the absurdity is blamed entirely on the fact that the hotel is infinite. Craig also stresses another implication this one having to do with inverse arithmetical operations. If the guests in rooms other than (say) the first three checked
6 out, the hotel would be virtually emptied only three guests would remain. But if the guests in every other room checked out, infinitely many guests would remain. And yet precisely the same number (ℵ 0 ) of guests would have checked out. This, Craig thinks, is obviously absurd. Arithmetic avoids these implications by leaving subtraction undefined for infinity. But while that may keep things working smoothly in the strange world of mathematics, Craig points out that in the real world there is nothing to prevent guests from checking out of a hotel. From this, he once again draws the conclusion that there could be no such thing as an infinite hotel. The lesson, of course, is supposed to be completely general. A true actual infinite, Craig says, is metaphysically impossible across-the-board. If, for example, numbers existed in reality, they would constitute an actual infinite; so Craig thinks we should adopt an anti-realist view of mathematical objects (2008, 117). The same of course goes for an infinite (because beginningless) series of discrete events. What are we to make of these claims? Some friends of the actual infinite respond by saying that the properties of the infinite are simply different from those of the finite. Of course we can t build an infinite hotel. But a God who could create the whole of physical reality out of nothing could make a universe as large as he liked even an infinitely large one. And if He did, He could certainly put an infinite hotel into it. A hotel like that would indeed have the weird properties highlighted above. But so what? Although I have a good deal of sympathy for this reaction, I want to press a subtler objection. The supposed absurdities of a Hilbert s Hotel do not follow merely from its infinity, but rather from what happens when infinity is combined with other
7 features of this imaginary hotel. If the guests could not be moved, they could not be moved to other rooms in such a way as to make room for new guests. Nor would we have to worry about how many guests would remain when different actual infinities of guests have left the hotel. It is not at all clear, then, that Craig is entitled to conclude that no actual infinite whatever is possible. To see this, notice that mathematical objects (if there are such) are not movable. So the allegedly absurd implications of a Hilbert s Hotel do not afflict infinite collections of them. More importantly for our purposes, past events are not movable. Unlike the guests in a hotel, who can leave their rooms, past events are absolutely inseparable from their respective temporal locations. Once an event has occurred at a particular time, it can t be moved to some other time. The signing of the Declaration of Independence, for instance, cannot be moved out of July 4, Of course, time continued to pass, and new events were (and continue to be) added to those that had already occurred when the signing of the Declaration had been completed. But that is no more absurd than making space for new guests by building new rooms. It may be thought that I have taken the infinite hotel example too literally. Even if (per impossibile) the guests could not be moved, we would still have the following absurd implication. Hilbert s Hotel could have accommodated the same guests in its even-numbered rooms, and infinitely many additional guests in its odd-numbered rooms. This won t help to refute realism about mathematical objects, since there is no interesting sense in which they could have occupied different locations. But it might be thought that it does demonstrate the absurdity of a beginningless series of discrete events. How so? Well, if we distinguish between the beginningless series of events and the
8 beginningless series of temporal locations at which they occur, then it might seem that the same events could have been spread out in time in such a way as to make room for infinitely many more events. 7 Whether this is genuinely possible depends, I think, on our view of time. On a relational view, the series of events and the series of temporal locations are inseparable and it makes no sense to suppose that the same events could have been distributed across the same temporal locations in a totally different way. But suppose we waive that point, and (at least for the sake of argument) adopt an absolute view of the nature of time. Have we (at last) arrived at a genuine absurdity? At something that makes it clear that a beginningless series of events is impossible? I won t address this question directly. What I will do instead is to argue that such a conclusion would come at a heavy price, since it would force us to conclude that an endless series of future events is no less impossible than a beginningless one. A favorite verse of a much loved hymn comes to mind: When we ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We ve no less days to sing God s praise, Than when we first begun. Of course, we shall never arrive at a time at which we have already said infinitely many heavenly praises. At each stage in the imagined future series of praises, we ll have said only finitely many. But that makes no difference to the point I am about to make. If you ask, How many distinct praises will be said? the only sensible answer is, infinitely many. 7 For a helpful development of this point, see Moreland (2003, 381-2).
9 I anticipate the following objection. The series of future praises is a merely potential infinite. It is, in Craig s words, a collection that is increasing toward infinity as a limit but never gets there. Such a collection, Craig says, is really indefinite, not infinite (2008, ). This objection is badly confused. The salient points are these. In the first place, the series of praises, each of which will be said, is not growing since each of its members has yet to occur. Even when the first of those praises is said, the series of future praises will still not be growing. Instead (if the passage of time is real), it is the series of praises that have been said that will begin having members added to it. In the second place, there need be nothing indefinite about a series of future events. To see this, suppose that God has exercised his supreme power in such a way as to determine that a single angel Gabriel, say will speak certain words of praise at regular intervals forever. Suppose further that God has left none of the details open, and that each of Gabriel s future praises is both pre-determined and completely determinate specified down to the smallest detail. Under these circumstances, there is a one-to-one correspondence between Gabriel s future praises and the natural numbers. So his future praises must count as a collection of definite and discrete members whose number is greater than any natural number. They are therefore an actual infinite, and whatever paradoxes may be implied by the hypothesis of a beginningless series of past events must also be implied by this endless series of pre-determined (and determinate) future events. In response to this worry, Craig distinguishes between two questions: (i) how many praises will be said? and (ii) what is the number of praises that will be said? The
10 answer to the first question, he says, is potentially infinitely many. But the answer to the second question is none : there simply is no number such that it is the number of praises that will be said (2010, 454-5). I have already given my reasons for thinking that a series of future praises such as the one I have imagined does not satisfy Craig s own definition of a potential infinite. But what of his answer to the second question? Why does he think that none is the right answer to the question about the number of praises in my imagined series of future praises? The answer might appear to be that Craig is a presentist who thinks that there is no number of future events because future events don t exist. Now most philosophers could not give this answer, since they are eternalists. According to them, temporal becoming is illusory and there is no difference in ontological status between present events and future ones. But what if Craig were right in supposing that only present events exist? Would that help his case? It might seem not, since it would oblige him to say that there is no number of past events either. But Craig is ready with an explanation. Even though past events do not exist, he says, they are still part of the actual world in a way that future events are not, since the actual world comprises everything that has happened (2010, 456). What s going on here? Well, Craig appears to be drawing a distinction between saying that something exists and saying that it is actual. Past events don t exist; but they are actual because they have become so. Future events, by contrast, neither exist nor are they actual. Unlike past events, they have yet to become actual. What should we make of this distinction? Is it the case that something that will occur (especially if it has already been determined to occur) is less a part of actuality
11 than something that has occurred? That seems like a stretch to me; but even if it were true it would not help Craig s case, since the items in a collection do not have to be actual in his special sense in order to be numerable. To see this, suppose that instead of pre-determining each member of an endless series of praise-events, God merely predetermines each member of a finite series. For definiteness, suppose that he creates a perfectly functioning timer, sets it to ten minutes, and fixes things up in such a way that Gabriel cannot help saying certain words of praise whenever the timer registers that an additional minute has passed. Does the fact that Gabriel s future praises have not yet been actualized entail that they are numberless? Not at all. The number of praises, each of which will occur, is obviously ten. 8 Let us return, then, to the case of an endless series of praise-events. Unlike a series of ten, there will never be a time at which all the events in an endless series of future events have been actualized. Does this imply that none is the correct answer to the question about the number of future praise-events? It does not. As long as each of those future events is definite and discrete and determined to happen, they can be placed in one-to-one correspondence with the natural numbers, and their number must be ℵ 0 (the first transfinite cardinal number). Their ontological status (whatever it turns out to be) 8 Notice that I did not say that that the number of praises that will have occurred is ten. That s true too, but it is important to distinguish between the following questions: (i) How many will have occurred when all have been said? (ii) How many are such that each will be said? The answer to (ii) is the same as the answer to (i) for any finite series of future events, but not for an infinite one.
12 provides no more reason for saying that the correct answer to the question about their number is none than it does in the case of a finite series of future events. Even on a presentist view, then, there is no relevant difference between a beginningless series of past events and an endless series of events each of which is determined to occur in the future. The absurdities that supposedly attend a series that can be placed in one-to-one correlation with the natural numbers will afflict an endless series just as much as a beginningless one. To this simple point, the passage of time makes not a particle of difference. At this juncture, a committed finitist might want to bite the bullet and concede that an endless series of future events is (also) impossible. This seems implausible to me, but I cannot prove that it is mistaken. However, I doubt that many advocates of the kalām cosmological argument will be happy with this implication, since most of them believe both in divine omnipotence and in the life everlasting. Given the life everlasting, the future must be endless; and given divine omnipotence, it must be possible for God to cause it to be the case that each of an endless series of praises will be said. Second philosophical argument: successive addition and the actual infinite Let us turn next to Craig s successive addition argument for premise 2. According to this argument, any series of (discrete) events in time must be formed by successive addition. As each event occurs, it is added to those that have already occurred. That goes for a beginningless series of events as much as for any other. However, a beginningless series would be an actual or completed infinite. Since no infinite series can be formed by successive addition, it follows that a beginningless series
13 of events in time has contradictory properties. It must be formed by successive addition (since it is a series of events in time), but it can t be (since it is an actual infinite). A beginningless series of events is therefore absolutely impossible. One obvious worry about this argument concerns the claim that an actual infinite cannot be completed by successive addition. We cannot, of course, begin with a first event and successively add in more events until infinitely many have been added in. But in a beginningless series (if such were possible) there would be no first event. At each stage of the series, infinitely many would already have been added. At each stage, therefore, a different infinite series would already have been completed. Why could a beginningless series of past events not have been formed in this way? Craig explains: [B]efore the present event could occur, the event immediately prior to it would have to occur; and before that event could occur, the event immediately prior to it would have to occur; and so on ad infinitum. So one gets driven back and back into the infinite past, making it impossible for any event to occur. Thus, if the series of past events were beginningless, the present event could not have occurred, which is absurd (2008, 122). Well yes, before the present event occurred, the event immediately prior to it must have occurred; and before it occurred, the one immediately prior to it must have occurred. If, then, a series of events has no beginning, then before any given event in that series occurs, infinitely many previous ones must have occurred. That s all perfectly correct. But it s hard to see what the problem is supposed to be, since on the hypothesis of a beginningless past each of those infinitely many events has occurred. When the present arrives, all of its (infinitely many) predecessors are past.
14 So what does Craig mean when he says that one gets driven back and back into the infinite past? And why does he think this would make it impossible for any event to occur? I suppose one would be driven back and back into the beginningless past if one were (foolishly) looking for the starting point of a series that has no starting point. One would also be driven back and back if one were (again foolishly) trying to enumerate all the events in a series that has no first member. Neither of these projects can succeed. But so what? From the fact that we cannot beginning now complete the task of enumerating all the events in a beginningless series, it does not follow that the present event cannot arrive or that a beginningless series of events that have already arrived is impossible. To suppose otherwise would be to confuse the items to be enumerated with the enumerating of them it would be like arguing that there must be finitely many natural numbers because we can t finish counting them. There is admittedly one way in which the possibility of a beginningless series of past events entails the possibility of an infinite count. Instead of imagining someone who is driven back and back ad infinitum, we must imagine someone who has always already counted out the previous item in a beginningless series. As you might expect, Craig argues that this too is impossible. To say that the infinite past could have been formed by successive addition is like saying that someone has just succeeded in writing down all the negative numbers, ending at 0. We could ask, why didn t he finish counting yesterday or the day before or the year before? By then an infinite time had already elapsed, so that he should already have finished. Thus at no point in the infinite past could we ever find the man finishing his countdown, for by that point he should already be done!
15 In fact, no matter how far back into the past we go, we can never find the man counting at all, for at any point we reach he will already have finished. But if at no point in the past do we find him counting, this contradicts the hypothesis that he has been counting from eternity. This shows again that the formation of an actual infinite by never beginning but reaching an end is as impossible as beginning at a point and trying to reach infinity (2008, 124). This is much too quick for me. Given beginningless time, our man has indeed always already had enough time to complete his count of all the negative numbers, but it does not follow that he must have done so. It s true that we have been given no reason why he is reaching zero just now rather than at some earlier time. I m not sure we couldn t build a reason into our story, but that is a side issue. The important point is this: from the fact that we know of no reason why something is so, it does not follow that it is impossible for it to be so. Must whatever begins to exist have a cause? Let us turn, finally, to premise 1. Why should we believe that everything even the whole of physical reality must have a cause if it begins to exist? Craig claims that this principle is rooted in the metaphysical intuition that something cannot come into being from nothing. If things could just pop into being uncaused out of nothing, he says, then it would be inexplicable why just anything and everything do not come into existence uncaused from nothing (2008, 111). By way of illustration and argument, he asks, Does anyone in his right mind really believe that, say, a raging tiger could suddenly come into existence uncaused, out of nothing, in this room right now?
16 Assuming a negative answer to this question, Craig jumps to the conclusion that the same goes for the universe. If, prior to the existence of the universe, he asks, there was absolutely nothing no God, no space, no time how could the universe possibly have come to exist? (113). Quite a lot has gone wrong here. For one thing, we are invited to characterize the negation of premise 1 in a potentially misleading way. To the philosophically unsophisticated reader, it sounds rather as if Craig is equating the denial of premise 1 with the suggestion that once upon a time ( prior to the existence of the universe ) there was a situation in which nothing at all (not even time) existed and then, out of that black hole of nothingness, the universe popped into existence. This is, to be sure, utter nonsense. There is no time at which there is no time, and if there were nothing at all, there would (of course) be nothing at all not even a popping into existence. But such absurdities are not entailed by the simple denial of the proposition that the beginning of the universe has a cause. In my view, then, advocates of the kalām argument would do well to avoid talking about the impossibility of something coming into existence out of sheer nothingness. It is a source of potential confusion, and it adds nothing to the case for premise 1. Charitably interpreted, the claim that something can t come from nothing just is the claim that nothing can come into existence uncaused. Here is another, more substantive, worry about the way in which Craig defends premise 1. I quite agree that a tiger couldn t spring into existence uncaused. But we have been given no reason to think that what s true of a tiger applies to physical reality as a whole. Remember that we re talking about the origin of the whole natural order here.
17 A tiger comes into existence within the natural order, and within that order it is indeed impossible for things like tigers just to pop into existence. But as far as I can see, there is no comparable context for the origin of physical reality as a whole, and no analogous reason for thinking that it could not have begun to exist uncaused. However, Craig insists that his causal principle is not a merely physical law like the law of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics, which are valid for things within the universe. Instead, he says, it is a metaphysical principle: being cannot come from nonbeing; something cannot come into existence uncaused from nothing. The principle therefore applies to all of reality, and it is thus metaphysically absurd that the universe should pop into being uncaused out of nothing (2008, ; see also 2009, 186-7). Well, yes, that is what Craig claims. Stripped of all the vivid but confusing talk about popping into being uncaused out of nothing, Craig is saying two things: first, that premise 1 is true; and second that it is a metaphysically necessary truth true, I suppose one might say, in all possible worlds. At this point, I believe that Craig has simply lost the thread of the argument. Recall that he began by arguing that this metaphysical principle must be true on the ground that it is required to explain why just anything and everything do not come into existence uncaused from nothing. In response, I have pointed out that the premise of this argument is patently false. Within the natural order, it is quite easy to explain where tigers come from and why they can t just pop into existence. We don t need a general metaphysical principle in order to provide the desired explanation. It is not dialectically apt merely to repeat that the metaphysical principle in question is true.
18 Interestingly, Craig also defends premise 1 on empirical grounds. He says that it is constantly confirmed in our experience, and from this he concludes that even [a]theists who are scientific naturalists have the strongest of motivations to accept it (2008, ). This is surely a bit quick. It s true that we often discover causes, but not always. One wonders what Craig thinks disconfirmation of his principle would look like. But leaving this point aside, one wonders what exactly it is that a scientific naturalist has been given such a strong reason to accept. Is it Craig s all-embracing metaphysical principle, or is it the comparatively modest claim that within the natural order things don t begin to exist without (natural) causes? As far as I can see, Craig has given no reason for preferring the first of these answers. It is also worthy of note that the empirical route is quite a dangerous one for the friends of the kalām argument to take if they want to conclude that the universe was created out of nothing by the will of a timeless and immaterial person a long time ago. Here are some other well-attested empirical generalizations, each of which is incompatible with that hypothesis about the origin of the universe. (A) Material things come from material things. (B) Nothing is ever created out of nothing. (C) Nothing is ever caused by anything that is not itself in time. (D) The mental lives of all persons have temporal duration. (E) All persons are embodied. It might of course be said that while these generalizations apply within the natural order, they do not apply to the natural order as a whole or to its cause. But then, of course, one
19 could reasonably ask why the same should not be said of the claim that whatever begins to exist has a cause. It is also worth pointing out that prima facie, at least, quite a number of these generalizations have as much claim to be metaphysical truths as Craig s premise 1. One might be left with the impression that the friends of the kalām argument are picking and choosing metaphysical principles to suit the needs of the argument they want to make. 9 Concluding remarks This concludes what I have to say about the twin pillars of the kalām argument. I do not claim to have shown that either premise is false merely that they are not adequately supported by the arguments I have discussed. This is, to be sure, a somewhat disappointing conclusion. But (in the spirit of Socrates) I have long thought it important to know when we don t know. For Further Reading William Lane Craig and James D. Sinclair, The Kalām Cosmological Argument, in William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophical Theology (Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, 2009), Paul Draper, A Critique of the Kalām Cosmological Argument, in Louis P. Pojman and Michael Rea (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, sixth edition (Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2011), Wes Morriston, Must Metaphysical Time Have a Beginning? Faith and Philosophy, 20(3), However, Craig does provide an interesting discussion of (B) and (C) (2009, 188-9). For my take on this, see Morriston (2002),
20 Yujin Nagasawa, The Big Bang, Infinity, and the Meaning of Life, The Existence of God (New York: Routledge, 2011), Graham Oppy, Craig and the Kalām Arguments, Arguing About Gods (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2006), Works cited William Lane Craig (1992). The Origin and Creation of the Universe: A Response to Adolf Grünbaum, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43(2), (1998). Design and the Cosmological Argument. In William A. Dembski (ed.) Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, (2008). Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3 rd ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. (2009). The Kalām Cosmological Argument. With James D. Sinclair in William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophical Theology. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, (2010). Taking Tense Seriously in Differentiating Past and Future: A Response to Morriston. Faith and Philosophy 27(4), Bradley Monton (2008). Prolegomena to any Future Physics-Based Metaphysics. Phil-Sci Archive. Accessed March 5, J. P. Moreland (2003). A response to a Platonistic and to a set-theoretic objection to the Kalam cosmological argument. Religious Studies, 39(4), Wes Morriston (2002). Causes and Beginnings in the Kalam Argument: Reply to Craig. Faith and Philosophy, 19(2), ).
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Table of Contents Introduction...4 Meeting and Setting Goals...6 Week 1: The Great Human Questions...9 Week 2: Examining the Ways We Know...15 Week 3: The Christian Worldview...24 Appendix A: The Divine
NOÛS 43:4 (2009) 776 785 Critical Study David Benatar. Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) ELIZABETH HARMAN Princeton University In this
Reality in the Eyes of Descartes and Berkeley By: Nada Shokry 5/21/2013 AUC - Philosophy Shokry, 2 One person's craziness is another person's reality. Tim Burton This quote best describes what one finds
Sorensen on Unknowable Obligations Theodore Sider Utilitas 7 (1995): 273 9 1. Access principles Vagueness in the phrase can know aside, the principle of Access An act is obligatory only if its agent can
1 Must the universe have a cause? Nothing will come of nothing. William Shakespeare, King Lear THE MYSTERIES OF EXISTENCE Why does the universe exist? Why do living things exist? Why do intelligent beings
The Philosophical Importance of Mathematical Logic Bertrand Russell IN SPEAKING OF "Mathematical logic", I use this word in a very broad sense. By it I understand the works of Cantor on transfinite numbers
Omnipotence & prayer Today, we ll be discussing two theological paradoxes: paradoxes arising from the idea of an omnipotent being, and paradoxes arising from the religious practice of prayer. So far, in
The Slate Is Not Empty: Descartes and Locke on Innate Ideas René Descartes and John Locke, two of the principal philosophers who shaped modern philosophy, disagree on several topics; one of them concerns
Lesson 2 The Existence of God Cause & Effect Apologetics Press Introductory Christian Evidences Correspondence Course THE EXISTENCE OF GOD CAUSE & EFFECT One of the most basic issues that the human mind
NOÛS 43:2 (2009) 286 314 The Meta-Problem of Change THOMAS HOFWEBER University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1. Introduction One of the central problems in metaphysics over the last so many centuries
1/9 Locke 1: Critique of Innate Ideas This week we are going to begin looking at a new area by turning our attention to the work of John Locke, who is probably the most famous English philosopher of all
1IS JESUS CHRIST WHO HE SAID HE IS? KEY POINTS 1. If Jesus Christ IS NOT who He (and others) claimed He was, the reality of His claims and teachings is invalid. 2. If Jesus Christ IS who He (and others)
Michael Lacewing Substance dualism A substance is traditionally understood as an entity, a thing, that does not depend on another entity in order to exist. Substance dualism holds that there are two fundamentally
Anselm s Ontological Argument for the Existence of God Anselm s argument is an a priori argument; that is, it is an argument that is independent of experience and based solely on concepts and logical relations,
An essay concerning the controversy In this essay I will discuss the ongoing controversy on the subject of teaching Intelligent Design (ID) in high school science classes. The objection against teaching
Skepticism about the external world & the problem of other minds So far in this course we have, broadly speaking, discussed two different sorts of issues: issues connected with the nature of persons (a
An Innocent Investigation D. Joyce, Clark University January 2006 The beginning. Have you ever wondered why every number is either even or odd? I don t mean to ask if you ever wondered whether every number
Philosophical Proof of God: Derived from Principles in Bernard Lonergan s Insight May 2014 Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. Magis Center of Reason and Faith Lonergan s proof may be stated as follows: Introduction
HARVARD COLLEGE Writing Center WRITING CENTER BRIEF GUIDE SERIES A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper The Challenges of Philosophical Writing The aim of the assignments in your philosophy classes
Perspectives in Philosophy Rene Descartes Descartes Philosophy is the search for certainty the search to know, for yourself, what is really true and really false to know which beliefs are reliable. However,
#2 Claims and Reasons 1 Argument Mapping 2: Claims and Reasons We ll start with the very basics here, so be patient. It becomes far more challenging when we apply these basic rules to real arguments, as
Whiplash 1 Matthew 16:21-28 (NRSV) From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
Leibniz s solution to the problem of evil James Franklin Think 5 (Autumn 2003), 97-101 Mark Piper s article `The perennial problem of evil (Think 4) summarises received ideas on the question. They are:
Hume on identity over time and persons phil 20208 Jeff Speaks October 3, 2006 1 Why we have no idea of the self........................... 1 2 Change and identity................................. 2 3 Hume
Philosophy 1100: Introduction to Ethics WRITING A GOOD ETHICS ESSAY The writing of essays in which you argue in support of a position on some moral issue is not something that is intrinsically difficult.
The power of money management One trader lost ($3000) during the course of a year trading one contract of system A. Another trader makes $25,000 trading the same system that year. One trader makes $24,000
Michael Lacewing Personal identity: Physical and psychological continuity theories A FIRST DISTINCTION In order to understand what is at issue in personal identity, it is important to distinguish between
Atheism Richland Creek Community Church The Existence of God: Does America believe in God? Google - What percentage of Americans believe in God? = well over 90%. In fact, over the past 50 years of research
STUDYING THE BOOK OF ROMANS IN SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS Lesson 16 - Life Through the Spirit - Romans 8:1-17 Read the following verses in the Last Days Bible or a translation of your choice. Then discuss
The Top 10 Questions College Students ask about Christianity Written by Russ and Charlene Whitten The questions we will address in this class are as follows: 1. Does God Exist? 2. What about evolution?
A BRIEF ALTHOUGH NOT AS BRIEF AS I D HOPED GUIDE TO WRITING PHILOSOPHY PAPERS Introduction: Philosophical writing is a different sort of beast than that required in other disciplines. The style is on the
1. Descartes, Locke and Berkeley all believe that Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2015 Test 2 Answers a. nothing exists except minds and the ideas in them. b. we can t ever be justified in believing in
Lecture Notes William L. Rowe, The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism (1979) Keith Burgess-Jackson 22 November 2015 Introduction. Rowe (1931-2015) asks and answers three interrelated questions
Metaphysical preliminaries Ted Sider Properties seminar Our questions about properties affect and are affected by the choice of metaphysical tools certain key concepts that frame the debate. 1. Ontology
Subject area: Ethics Title: Injustice causes revolt. Discuss. 1 Injustice causes revolt. Discuss. When we explain phenomena we rely on the assertion of facts. The sun rises because the earth turns on its
CHAPTER 7 ARGUMENTS WITH DEFIITIONAL AND MISSING PREMISES What You ll Learn in this Chapter In Chapters -5, we developed a skill set that s sufficient for the recognition, analysis, evaluation and construction
CORRESPONDING LEVEL WEB #s Defenders: 041207 Detectives: 031207 Developers: 021207 GOD S PLAN FOR THE FUTURE MATERIALS NEEDED Bible; Teacher Preparation Guide (optional supplements: K4T songbook and PowerPoint
Compass Interdisciplinary Virtual Conference 19-30 Oct 2009 10 Things New Scholars should do to get published Duane Wegener Professor of Social Psychology, Purdue University Hello, I hope you re having
THE BIG PICTURE CONTENTS PART I: GOD 1. God: Three in One (p. 15) 2. The Divine Director (p. 27) PART II: ON ANGELS 3. The Birth of the Angels (p. 40) 4. The War in Heaven (p. 50) PART III: THE CREATION
Chapter 23 Squares Modulo p Revised Version of Chapter 23 We learned long ago how to solve linear congruences ax c (mod m) (see Chapter 8). It s now time to take the plunge and move on to quadratic equations.
CROSS EXAMINATION OF AN EXPERT WITNESS IN A CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CASE Mark Montgomery Post Office Box 161 Durham, NC 27702 (919) 680-6249 firstname.lastname@example.org Opinion Testimony by a Pediatrician/Nurse/Counselor/Social
Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? A Plea For Tolerance In The Face Of New Dogmas by Bertrand Russell (1947) I speak as one who was intended by my father to be brought up as a Rationalist. He was quite as
WHAT ARE MATHEMATICAL PROOFS AND WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT? introduction Many students seem to have trouble with the notion of a mathematical proof. People that come to a course like Math 216, who certainly
Whereas I was Blind, Now I See John 9: 1-11; 25 We all know that great hymn well: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me; I once was lost, but now I m found; was blind, but now
1 Summary of Meditations III-V I. THIRD MEDITATION: The existence of God A. Cosmological proof of the Existence of God In the 3rd Meditation, Descartes attempts to prove that God (i) exists, (ii) is the
ON EXTERNAL OBJECTS By Immanuel Kant From Critique of Pure Reason (1781) General Observations on The Transcendental Aesthetic To avoid all misapprehension, it is necessary to explain, as clearly as possible,
1 The Gospel & The Scholars William K. Lewis Fairmont Presbyterian Church College Ministry Team For most of us, our college days are a time in our lives centered around study, research, and learning. We
In Defense of Kantian Moral Theory University of California, Berkeley In this paper, I will argue that Kant provides us with a plausible account of morality. To show that, I will first offer a major criticism
Some key arguments from Meditations III-V I. THIRD MEDITATION: The existence of God A. Cosmological proof of the Existence of God In the 3rd Meditation, Descartes attempts to prove that God (i) exists,
On the Paradox of the Question Theodore Sider Analysis 57 (1997): 97 101 Ned Markosian (1997) tells a story in which philosophers have an opportunity to ask an angel a single question. In order to circumvent
Descartes : The Epistemological Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness Detailed Argument Introduction Despite Descartes mind-body dualism being the most cited aspect of Descartes philosophy in recent philosophical
CHANCE ENCOUNTERS Making Sense of Hypothesis Tests Howard Fincher Learning Development Tutor Upgrade Study Advice Service Oxford Brookes University Howard Fincher 2008 PREFACE This guide has a restricted
Imagining Zombies Coastal Carolina University BIBLID [0873-626X (2014) 38; pp. 107-116] Abstract Philosophers have argued that the conceivability of philosophical zombies creates problems for physicalism.
Michael Lacewing Philosophical argument At the heart of philosophy is philosophical argument. Arguments are different from assertions. Assertions are simply stated; arguments always involve giving reasons.
1 But Then They Are Told Michael Gorman School of Philosophy The Catholic University of America Washington, D.C. 20064 email@example.com The argument I want to discuss appears at the very end of the passage,
Michael Lacewing Kant s deontological ethics DEONTOLOGY Deontologists believe that morality is a matter of duty. We have moral duties to do things which it is right to do and moral duties not to do things
5Questions [How Do I Know What s True?] More consequences for thought and action follow the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question. Mortimer Adler THREE MAIN WORLD VIEWS
Week 32, John 20:24 31 Hook Icebreaker: Break your class into small groups, between four and six people. Ask the following questions: What is the definition of faith? How does someone s faith grow? Describe
Traveling in A- and B- Time Theodore Sider The Monist 88 (2005): 329 335 Some say that presentism precludes time travel into the past since it implies that the past does not exist, but this is a bad argument.
Variables and Hypotheses When asked what part of marketing research presents them with the most difficulty, marketing students often reply that the statistics do. Ask this same question of professional
quentin smith 11 Kalam Cosmological Arguments for Atheism 1. introduction Cosmological arguments for God s existence have two parts. The first part aims to establish that there is a cause of the universe.
Inductive Reasoning Page 1 of 7 Inductive Reasoning We learned that valid deductive thinking begins with at least one universal premise and leads to a conclusion that is believed to be contained in the
Free Will Freedom: To possess freedom of choice is to possess the ability to do otherwise. Furthermore, if one is NOT able to do otherwise (i.e., if one is not free), then one is not responsible for their
Basic Bible Doctrine Study Series Session 1 Salvation and Eternal Security The idea for this study began a long time ago. Regardless of denomination, many, if not most Christians base what they believe
Introduction Descartes Proof of the External World In order to fully overcome the doubts of Meditation I Descartes had to show, in Meditation VI, that he could be certain of the existence of the material
Divine Command Theory 1. Divine Command Theory: This is the view that rightness stems from God s commands: That is, an action is right if God commands it, and wrong if He forbids it. On this view, morality