The Kalam Cosmological Argument benefits from recent discoveries in science and thus establishes a strong case for the existence of God.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!
In our last lesson, we covered the Argument from Being for the existence of God. The argument from being does not depend on scientific facts, it only depends on human logic which science itself depends on and presupposes.
The modern version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is an argument that partly relies on current discoveries in science.
Throughout history, the argument has gone through different phases. In this lesson, we will cover the modern version of the argument. What is different with the Kalam Cosmological Argument is that it is not only in some ways simpler, but its premises are also supported by scientific discoveries in modern cosmology.
So let us begin!
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The Kalam Cosmological Argument, as it is termed today, goes back to the 11th century. Contributors to this argument were Muslim thinkers like Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and even al-Ghazzali.
In recent times, the argument has been revived, modernized and strengthened with modern discoveries in physics and cosmology.
The argument goes like this:
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause
- The universe began to exist
- The universe has a cause
- If the universe as a cause, then that cause is God.
- God exists
I know what you’re thinking, how do you jump to the assumption that God caused the universe to exist? Well, wait a second, let’s open up the arguments one by one:
1) Nothing can begin to exist without a cause. To believe so means that something can come from nothing which is impossible. As one popular Christian philosopher and theologian puts it, to believe this is even worse than magic. It is worse than pulling a rabbit out of a hat for at least with magic you have a hat and a magician. Here you have nothing at all!
a. If things can pop into existence out of nothing, then why don’t we see this happening all the time? Our everyday experience and science confirms that nothing can come out of existence from nothing. And hey, if you’re thinking about virtual particles in quantum physics, then no, they don’t come out of nothing, they come out of a quantum vacuum.
2) What about the universe beginning to exist? Can’t it be eternal? No.
a. First, there is the second law of thermodynamics. This law tells us that the universe is slowly running out of useable energy. If the universe had been existing from eternity, then we wouldn’t be observing energy in the universe at this moment.
b. The Standard Big Bang Theory teaches us that the universe had a beginning and was finite. The fact that the universe is expanding shows that the universe came from a single point in the finite past.
c. Some will try to give alternative models of the big bang. However, three leading physicists and cosmologists, Arvind Borde, Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin have shown that the universe has a beginning. I quote: “any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be eternal in the past, but must have an absolute beginning.” End quote. As they continue, scientists, quote “can no longer hide behind a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” End-quote.
d. Yeah, this applies to all models of the universe, including the theory of the multiverse!
Now, we know that it is very plausible that the universe had a beginning and thus a cause. But how can we conclude that God is that cause? Well, let’s look at it this way:
We know that the universe cannot cause itself, as it would have to exist prior to itself and cause it to begin. The logic here is circular and self-contradicting.
Our universe, or even the multiverse, are made up of space, time and matter. The cause, being beyond the universe since it created it, must be spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused and very, very powerful.
We only know of two candidates that fit this description, abstract numbers and an unembodied mind.
Abstract numbers, however, do not fit into this as they are not “very powerful” and do not stand in causal relations.
The only other option we have left is an unembodied mind.
So the universe was caused by something that is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused, very powerful and has an unembodied conscious and intelligent mind. This is very close to the definition of God.
This was a short and quick version of the argument. The argument is larger than what we just presented. In order to learn more about it as well as the facts that support its logical premises, please take a look at our further reading section.
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
a disturbance in a quantum field
the branch of mechanics that deals with the mathematical description of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles, incorporating the concepts of quantization of energy, wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, and the correspondence principle.
How is God conceived in Islam?
A He is spaceless, timeless, immaterial, uncaused, very powerful and has an unembodied conscious and intelligent mind.
The Kalam Cosmological Argument by William Lane Craig