Presentism and Infinite History
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” While the world definitely had a beginning, there’s a question of whether we can prove this by reason alone (i.e., by philosophical arguments). Defenders of the Kalaam cosmological argument often use an argument like this one, which is found in William Lane Craig’s book Reasonable Faith: 1) An actually infinite number of things cannot exist.2) A beginningless series of events in time entails an... Read More
Using the Kalaam Argument Correctly
In recent years, one of the most popular arguments for the existence of God has been the Kalaam cosmological argument. Ultimately, I think this argument is successful, but many of the ways it has been employed are unsuccessful. It is an argument that needs to be used carefully—with the proper qualifiers. Stating the Argument We can state the Kalaam argument like this: 1) Everything that has a beginning has a cause.2) The universe has a beginning.3) Therefore,... Read More
Traversing an Infinite?
by Jimmy Akin
Filed under The Existence of God, Uncategorized
God created the universe a finite time ago, but there’s a question of whether we can prove this by reason alone. Defenders of the Kalaam cosmological argument often claim that the universe cannot have an infinite history because “traversing an infinite” is impossible. In his book Reasonable Faith (pp. 120-124), William Lane Craig puts the argument this way 1. The series of events in time is a collection formed by adding one member after another2.... Read More
What’s Wrong with the Countdown Paradox?
Sometimes defenders of the Kalaam cosmological argument defend its second premise (i.e., that the world couldn’t have an infinite past) by proposing a paradox involving counting. The line of reasoning goes something like this: A. Suppose that the universe has an infinite history (the kind of history you’d need to do an infinite countdown).B. Suppose that a person has been counting down the infinite set of negative numbers (. . . -3, -2, -1) for all eternity,... Read More
The Top 5 Problems with Contemporary Christian Apologetics
by Dr. Randal Rauser
Filed under Man, Religion
I spend a lot of time criticizing contemporary Christian apologetics. Since I am myself a Christian apologist, that might seem a bit strange. But it is, in fact, simply a practical outworking of my commitment to what I call the 50/50 Rule: 50/50 rule: devote as much time to (a) defending the beliefs of your opponents and critiquing your own beliefs as you devote to (b) critiquing the beliefs of your opponents and defending your own beliefs.... Read More
Why Does the Universe Exist? Atheist Physicist Sean Carroll Answers…
by Brandon Vogt
Filed under Christianity and Science, Cosmology
I have to admit, when I first opened Sean Carroll's new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (Dutton, 2016) I immediately flipped to chapter 25, titled "Why Does the Universe Exist?" For many thinkers, ancient and modern, this is the philosophical question: why is there something rather than nothing? Your answer to this question drives your answers to most other big questions, including those about God, meaning, morality, and more. So I was... Read More
So You Think You Understand the Cosmological Argument?
by Dr. Edward Feser
Filed under The Existence of God
NOTE: Dr. Feser's contributions at Strange Notions were originally posted on his own blog, and therefore lose some of their context when reprinted here. Dr. Feser explains why that matters. Most people who comment on the cosmological argument demonstrably do not know what they are talking about. This includes all the prominent New Atheist writers. It very definitely includes most of the people who hang out in Jerry Coyne’s comboxes. It also includes most scientists. ... Read More