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TLblog- The Kalam Cosmological Argument- (Part 3) by Rand Wagner
I’ve attempted to demonstrate in the two previous posts that the the universe had a beginning. The Kalam argument states that whatever begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist; therefore the universe has a cause. In this post I would like to show that the cause of the universe is who we call God. Some atheists, at this point, undoubtedly cry out if everything needs a cause then what caused God? This argument has been dealt with elsewhere but let me briefly state that we are not arguing that everything needs a cause. We are arguing that all contingent things need a cause and the universe is a contingent thing. There have been attempts to refute the idea that things which have a beginning (contingent things) need a cause. I will not attempt here to respond to those arguments because I think it is sufficinet to simply state that- nothing is nothing, nothing can do nothing, therefore nothing can cause nothing. Everything that comes into being is caused to come into being- It did not spring out of non-being.
Must the cause of the universe be God? Philosopher Douglas Geivett in his work on the Kalam argument states: “Something identifiable can reasonable be proposed as the cause of the beginning of the universe…such that it fulfills the requirements of an adequate causal explanation for the origin of the universe.” Dr. Geivett calls this Cause, God and argues for several characteristics that describe this Being. I don’t intend to go into much depth regarding the conclusion that an Agent of very similar characteristics as that of classical theism has indeed created the universe. Here is the line of reasoning- briefly.
Dr. Geivett argues that the Agent exposed in the Kalam is One which is “fully transcendent” standing apart from the created order as a timeless being. This Being appears self-subsistent in that it is timeless and uncaused- not self caused. Furthermore this Being is a personal being, acting from the intention to create a physical world. The Agent is mindful likely having a purpose to create. Also, the production of the physical universe ex-nihilo (out of nothing) implies the work of a tremendously powerful and unimaginably intelligent Agent. I think the argument at some level also implies that the Agent is very good (despite the problem of evil)- considering the order, beauty, and goodness we observe. Finally, Dr. Geivett writes:
“Since our actual physical universe would not exist if this Agent had not created it, the whole of the physical universe is a source of evidence to be further excavated and developed, with the very good prospect of finding out more about the Creator and learning something about the Creator’s intentions…the Kalam sets the stage for a fuller inquiry into the nature of God and God’s relationship to the world, a world especially remarkable for being inhabited by other agents. The evidence of design, of moral repsonsibility, of beauty, of consciouosness, of the human hankering for the Transcendent, of religious experience, of patterns in history, and so forth, all acquire a compelling cumulative force pointing to a fuller composite description of the Creator of the universe.”
The Kalam argument makes a strong case for the existence of a Being of unimaginable power who caused the universe to come into existence. If successfull, the Kalam refutes naturalism. Because of the tremendous import of the question of a Creator, we ought to take the conclusions of the Kalam and further seek to uncover our Creators identity- an identity which seems to parallel the God who is revealed in the Bible. This is just one of many arguments that point to a personal Creator God.