The kalam cosmological argument proceeds in three stages: first, it provides evidence that the universe had a beginning. Second, it maintains that the universe had a cause and that this cause must have existed in a spaceless, timeless, immaterial state. Third, it gives reasons for why the cause was a personal agent. [The kalam argument also presupposes a “relational” and “A-theory” of time]
In a previous post, I argued that the causal premise in the Kalam Cosmological Argument gains support from an Aristotelian understanding of possibility and actuality. We discovered that if the universe began to exist, then it must have been possible for it to begin to exist. Such a possibility is best understood as a potentiality or power residing in an actual thing – namely, a cause.
The Kalam cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God defended most notably by William Lane Craig, research professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. The argument has its roots in Islamic philosophy and can be stated as follows  :
Here is the video of a debate recently attended at the University of Toronto on the question of cosmic and biological origins. The three speakers in the debate were Lawrence Krauss (atheism), Stephen Meyer (intelligent design), and Denis Lamoureux (theistic evolution), and there were well over 1000 people (some hostile) in attendance during its filming in Convocation Hall, at Wycliff College. I hope you enjoy it!
For those of you interested in the topic of confirming evidence, particularly as it relates to evidence for religion and for competing views like naturalism, this lecture series is for you. Dr. Phillip Wiebe is an expert on this subject and has done some great work on religious experience, specifically Christic Visions, Spirits, and the Shroud of Turin. He is also my former logic professor!
Antony Flew’s book, There is a God(2007), is a helpful resource for someone trying to decide whether there are good grounds for believing in God. It requires some interest in philosophical topics, but it isn’t too technical and the storyline carries the reader forward despite some difficult spots. Flew insists that his conversion to deism (after being an atheist for most of his professional career) was the outcome of following Socrates’ dictum, ‘follow the evidence wherever it leads.’
Flew begins the book by tracing his early childhood years and the experiences of evil that convinced him to embrace atheism during his adolescence. He then recounts all the ways he used to argue against the existence of God during his career as a respected philosopher: e.g. the presumption of atheism, the incoherence of theism, the failure of theistic proofs, problems with falsifying theism, etc.
According to There Is a God (2007), Flew’s thinking about God changed upon finding adequate responses to his atheistic arguments and weighing new evidence from science, cosmology, and contingency. The conclusion of the book is that deism (not atheism) the most likely position to be true compared to its alternatives. He still denies belief in any revealed religion (due to the problem of evil) but he seems particularly impressed with the historical testimony to the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
I’d recommend this book to any serious seeker of truth – whether a believer, skeptic, or agnostic – if only because it is refreshing to see an academic giant of Flew’s caliber change his mind at the risk of being dismissed by his colleagues.
Lately I have been writing about the argument from evil against the existence of God. This argument claims that the occurrence of evil in the world is more likely if atheism is true than if theism is true. Theists typically respond that while God hates evil, he nevertheless has morally sufficient reasons for permitting it. And God’s reasons are only sufficient if He has no better way of securing Continue reading Is Theodicy At Odds with Humanitarianism?→
Lately I have been writing about the argument from evil against the existence God. This argument is meant to show that God’s existence is unlikely given the fact that we suffer at the hands of nature and our fellow creatures.