In my studies of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, I’ve come across some interesting objections. Some of these objections are good objections and some are just held high among YouTube, atheist laymen. This article will deal with the good objections and a link will be given to Dr. Craig’s response to the online YouTube objections. I’ll give my opinions and refutations of ten good objections to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
Objection #1: What if the Big Bang Theory is wrong?
Big Bang Cosmology is accepted among the majority of cosmologists, physicists, and other scientists that deal with these fields of science. If this theory is proven wrong, then we must remain neutral on whether the universe had a beginning or not. Until a future model of science proves the universe is eternal, then we must withhold judgment about the universe origins. The Laws of Thermodynamics is proven science and is understood as fact. These laws would still prove the beginning of the universe and so would the philosophical arguments.
Objection #2: Quantum Vacuums have shown that something can come from nothing.
Quantum Vacuums are described by Lawrence Krauss as vacuums of empty space that subatomic particles pop into existence without of a cause. These vacuums are described as nothing. This commits the fallacy of equivocation because it switches the definition of nothing. Nothing is not anything, but a Quantum Vacuum is something. A Quantum Vacuum is a sea of fluctuation of energy that pop these particles into existence. A Quantum Vacuum is not nothing in the philosophical sense, but in the scientific sense which are two complete different definitions of nothing.
Objection #3: The first premise doesn’t apply to the universe, since time began at the Big Bang.
Time began at the universe, so A theory of time only applies to the universe. The first premise is everything that begins to exist has a cause. Either a material cause or a sufficient cause. Something cannot come from nothing because out of nothing, nothing comes. If you deny this, then you have a heavy burden of proof. Science lives by this rule and would be destroyed if something could come from nothing. Why doesn’t a desk, a copy of myself, or anything else pop into existence out of nothing at any time. We just don’t see this and it’s reasonable to conclude that the same applies to the universe. If this rule doesn’t apply to the universe, then why doesn’t a universe pop into existence by nothing in our universe? God, an unchanging and timeless being which could solve this objection at the end of the day.
Objection #4: The singularity is infinite and eternal of just matter.
When we trace the expansion of the universe backwards, we find that there was a singular moment when there was no time, space, or matter. This right of the back shows that there could not be a singular point with an eternal and infinite amount of matter. Also, general relativity would show this to be false as well because it shows that time, matter, and space are relative. If one comes into existence, then they all have to. If space didn’t exist, then where would matter be. If time didn’t exist, then when would matter be. The Big Bang theory shows at least time coming into existence, so it follows that matter and space do as well.
Objection #5: It’s a God of the Gaps argument.
Does this argument plug in God to explain something that we don’t understand? Is the argument just one big appeal to ignorance? At first glance, this objection may seem reasonable, but under cross-examination it just falls apart. I would refer you to my article on the appeal to ignorance fallacy to explain what this fallacy is. I’ll leave a link in this article. This is a philosophical argument that is not used to explain some sort of scientific phenomenon that we can’t explain. Science that we understand is actually used to help reinforce the second premise, that the universe began to exist. In fact, we are using God to explain something that we do understand such as the fact that the universe had a beginning and that everything that begins to exist has a cause. You would have to refute these premises to accuse the argument of explaining something that we don’t understand. Finally, if you claim that science will one day have an explanation, then you must state what the explanation is. Otherwise, you commit the appeal to ignorance fallacy because you are appealing to something that we don’t know anything about. This would be a future naturalistic explanation to explain the origin of the universe. It would also beg the question because you assume there will be a naturalistic explanation. This sounds like blind faith to me.
Objection #6: Why does the Cause have to be God?
Time, matter, and space had a beginning so the cause cannot be contained of these three things. To say otherwise would be begging the question. The cause would have to be uncaused because we have to stop at a certain point because otherwise we are left with an infinite regress. It’s not special pleading because atheists like David Hume have assumed that the universe had always existed. The cause would also be very powerful to be able to create a universe. This is what we mean by God, a timeless, space less, immaterial, powerful, uncaused, eternal being.
Objection #7: Why would the cause have to conscious/personal?
The wind causes a leaf to fall of a tree, so why would the cause not be an impersonal force like the wind. Would it not be special pleading to say the cause of the universe is a being of some sort. The person claiming this would be missing the point and would realize the special case. There are three reasons why the cause of the universe would have to be a mind. First, there are two main immaterial realities. Abstract objects like numbers or an unembodied mind. Minds have freewill capability and would be able to cause the universe. Abstract objects have no causing power, but an abstract mind like God could. Secondly, the cause would have to be a mind because if this cause was an unconscious object, then it’s effect would be eternal as well. Think of water freezing. If the cause of water freezing was eternal, then it’s effect like the cause would be eternal. A mind could make a choice and its effect would not be an eternal effect. Finally, the initial conditions set at the big bang are fine-tuned, such as the expansion rate of the universe after the big bang. This would imply rationality, which implies a type of mind. These are three main reasons for why the cause would be a mind.
Objection #8: Could the multiverse have caused our universe?
It’s possible that that there’s many universes that caused our universe, but it’s just not reasonable to believe. First of all, there’s no evidence for the multiverse at all. We also must remember that we could not access something physical like this because our universe is a closed system. It’s more of a metaphysical, philosophical question than a scientific question because it can’t be proved or disproved by the scientific method. Also, The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem help shows that any universe expanding is finite in the past. Essentially, the whole show of the multiverse would need a beginning. It also seems to push the problem back even more because the second law of thermodynamics would still apply to these other universes. The multiverse is also an objection to the fine-tuning argument, so I’ll give the rest of my critique of it in my future articles on the fine-tuning argument. At the end of the day, the multiverse is just highly speculative.
Objection #9: What about an oscillating universe model?
Even though it’s not accepted by most cosmologists, it’s still an objection that’s possible. Has the universe been contracting and expanding for eternity? First, this claim needs to be proved and it has not meant its burden of proof. However, I will give my arguments against this model’s existence. The second law of thermodynamics is highly understood and would refute this model. It would require more energy for the universe to expand and contract multiple times, so we would expect the universe to reach heat death eventually. Obviously, we are not in heat death. The philosophical arguments would help against this oscillating universe as well. This would have to be an infinite process, but we know we can’t have an actually infinite number of events. This oscillating universe would leave us with an infinite regression that destroys science. Going with Occam’s razor, it’s more simply to infer the universe had a beginning. Finally, the most disastrous thing to this model is our current law of gravity. If the universe crunched back on itself, then it would not be able to expand again.
Objection #10: Who created God?
If everything needs a cause, then what caused God? Every time I present this argument to my atheist friends, they always ask this question. The first premise is everything that begins to exist has a cause. Unless you can prove that an uncaused thing like God had a beginning, then this is a nonsensical question. Asking this question leads to an infinite regress which again, would destroy science. This is also another objection to the fine-tuning argument, so the design aspect will be dealt with in future articles. Why couldn’t the universe cause itself? The universe began to exist, so the cause must be something other than the universe. It would be like me saying that I gave birth to myself. It’s simply nonsensical and a question begging statement. This question is the biggest strawman of all arguments against the existence of God.
These questions and objections are worth the discussion. The Kalam Cosmological argument is a logically valid argument in its syllogistic form and has sound premises. It has withstood its scrutiny and objections. Since it’s a successful argument, we can infer that a theistic God is the cause of the universe. For extra resources, check out the links given below.
Kalam Cosmological Argument:
Appeal to Ignorance Fallacy:
Extra resources that deal with even more objections:
Dr. Craigs response to online laymen objections: