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What is the Kalām Cosmological Argument?

The classic formula for the Cosmological Proof presented in my previous blog post starts with the premise, “Everything that exists has a cause.” However, it has been pointed out that if God exists, then God also must have a cause. But, since God has always existed, an alternative argument has been proposed. William Lane Craig calls this the Kalām Cosmological Argument. It goes as follows: 

Premise A: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Premise B: The universe began to exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

It can be demonstrated scientifically that the universe had a beginning. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that “Things left to themselves tend towards disorder.” In a closed system (like the universe), the total amount of usable energy is decreasing and will eventually run out. Scientifically, this is referred to as entropy. Because of entropy, the universe moves irresistibly towards disorder. Because of entropy, the batteries in my flashlight stop working. Because of entropy, a perpetual motion machine is impossible. Because of entropy, the sun will eventually run out of energy and become a cold, dark ball. The fact that the sun is shining proves that the universe had a beginning. Since the universe moves towards disorder, the fact that there is order in the universe today proves the universe had a beginning. And since the universe had a beginning, it must have had a cause. 

That something could be caused by nothing is not an answer that Science accepts in any field of knowledge except in the case of the existence of the universe. If an explosion happens in a science lab, the scientists try to figure out which two chemicals reacted together to cause the explosion. They don’t  throw their hands up in the air and say, “That explosion was caused by nothing.” Such an answer would be unsatisfactory as an explanation for the explosion. Equally as unsatisfactory should be Science’s answer to question of existence. Saying that creation does not need a Creator is an explanation that is unjustified by the evidence of the universe. 

Nothing that comes into existence has done so without a cause. A painting needs a painter. A house needs a builder. A watch needs a watchmaker. An egg needs a chicken. The beauty of arguing that God is the Uncaused Cause is that he really is the only satisfactory answer to the question, “Where did it all come from?” When applying the Kalām Cosmological Argument to God, this rationale follows:

Premise A: Everything that beings to exist has a cause.

Premise B: God did not begin to exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, God does not have a cause. 

The chain of causation ends with God because he alone has no beginning. But God is larger than simply a Being without beginning. As Craig goes on to propose, “If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who, unlike the universe, is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.” All this about God can be known through the nature of the universe that he brought into existence. Consider:

  1. 1. The cause of the universe must transcend the universe in the same way that a painter is not part of his painting. 
  2. 2. The cause of all matter must be immaterial because to create matter one cannot be bound by matter. 
  3. 3. The cause of all space must be nonphysical or else the cause would be bound by space. 
  4. 4. The cause of all time must be timeless or else the cause would be limited by time. 
  5. 5. The cause of energy must be infinitely powerful or it would not be able to create so much energy 
  6. 6. The cause of all meaning must be personal in nature because meaning cannot arise from non-meaning. 

These observations from the universe reveal much about God.  When I think about the universe and everything in it, when I think about the world I live in and the creatures I share it with—from infinitely complex human to not-so-simple amoeba—all of it convinces me of this: 

God is THERE!

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About the Author:  Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.

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