Kalam Cosmological Argument
The Kalam cosmological argument is often used by theists, especially Christians and Muslims, to philosophically justify their belief in God. It goes as follows:
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
- The universe began to exist. (“Universe” is defined as all matter, energy, and time.)
- Therefore, the universe has a cause.
They follow with the claim that the cause for the universe has to be an uncaused cause, or God.
The trouble with this is: “God” is nowhere mentioned in the premises, and so is not a valid conclusion within this logical structure.
We as humans have not observed “everything.” In fact, the amount of observations we have made pale in comparison to “everything” there is. There may be “Black Swans” we haven’t come across. Also:
The law of conservation of energy - energy can neither be created nor destroyed—only converted from one form of energy to another.
We have not observed anything “begin to exist” in the sense that it came from nothing. Everything we have observed so far is a rearrangement of atoms or energy. So this premise is either ill-defined or invalid.
Even if it was hypothetically true, we could not demonstrate it well enough to make it epistemologically acceptable.
Before the Planck Epoch of the Big Bang, physics as we know it break down. We simply don’t know what happened beyond this point in time. Everything we can come up with is pure speculation.
Was there a singularity of compact matter and energy? If so where did this come from? Are there multiple universes? Was the universe created out of nothing by an uncaused, timeless, free-thinking agent? If so, where did that come from? (Thoughts need brains, and there must be a cause for brains to exist.)
We don’t know. And when we don’t know something, the most honest position is to admit “I don’t know.” It’s not epistemologically sound to jump to a conclusion without evidence.
fallacy of composition - inferring that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole.
The Kalam argument is as flawed as inferring that because every man has a mother, mankind as a whole must also have a mother. Or that because a chocolate chip is made from chocolate, the entire chocolate chip cookie must also be made from chocolate.
Just because things within the universe appear to have causes, it doesn’t automatically follow that the universe itself had a cause.
By Occam’s razor, “the universe has always existed (in some form)” is simpler than “a God has always existed and created the universe.”
While the Kalam Cosmological Argument may sound like a convincing argument on the surface, the 3 points fail on philosophical and empirical grounds.