Updated: Jan 16
The Kalam Cosmological Argument
This is the Network’s Foundation Series: Part 1 of 3
The Kalam Cosmological Argument is an argument for a God that caused the universe to come into existence. Below is the argument:
Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.
The first premise states: whatever begins to exist has a cause. This premise should not have to be debated because, if one disagrees, one literally believes that whatever begins to exist comes from nothing. Something cannot even come “from” nothing, because there is nothing to come from. So, it is safe to say that the first premise cannot be refuted.
The second premise states: The universe began to exist. The only other counter to this premise is to say that the universe is eternal. However, the evidence for a finite universe, and therefore a universe with a beginning, is greater than that of an eternal universe. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created nor destroyed; and the second law of thermodynamics basically states that the amount of usable energy in the universe is decreasing. Now, if the universe did not have a beginning, then it must be eternal. However, how can the universe be eternal if there is never new usable energy and the amount of usable energy is decreasing? Secondly, through redshift measuring, scientists have determined that the universe is expanding. Meaning, the universe’s expansion can be brought back to one single point in space and time in which it all started. All this points to the universe having a beginning.
The universe has a cause. The Kalam Cosmological argument is a logically valid one; so, if the first two premises are true then the conclusion must also be true. For argument’s sake, the first two premises will be considered to be, at the very least, most likely true. Therefore, the conclusion is, at the very least, most likely true.
Who or What is the Cause?
So, from all that has been said, it is known that something must have caused the universe into existence. That something has to be uncaused and therefore timeless. This is because it is logically impossible to have an infinite regress of events; meaning, it is impossible for there to be an infinite regress of causers. The cause is also, most likely, spaceless—due to the fact that it transcends the universe and, presumably, space began for the “purpose”/purpose of matter filling it. It also has to be extremely powerful in order to bring this reality into existence from what this reality would call—nothing.
Lastly, it has to be personal. William Lane Craig explains Al-Ghazali’s argument for a personal causer by first showing the problem to the Kalam Cosmological argument. In his words, the problem being: “If a cause is sufficient to produce its effect, then if the cause is there, the effect must be there, too.” This means that the effect should be there as long as the causer is there. To explain this concept further, consider the following analogy:
Imagine an air-conditioning unit that is eternal and can never break down or run out of power. This unit keeps a room filled with cool air and will do so for eternity. Meaning, as long as the air-conditioning unit is there, so is the cool air. That will always be the case, for eternity. Now, consider a room that has no air-conditioning. This room is void of cool air and always will be if there is no air-conditioning. Unless someone puts an air-conditioning unit in, the room will always be without cool air. In comes a guy, who decides to put an air-conditioning unit in—filling the room with cool air. The room is now ("now" describes the beginning) filled with cool air.
Imagine the room as the void. The air-conditioning unit fills that void with cool air. (Think of the filled void as the universe.) If there was an eternal air-conditioning unit, then you would have an eternally filled void (an eternal universe). However, if there could not have been an eternally filled void, then there must have been a time in which someone decided to fill that void.
To clarify, there has to be a first cause, that cause, therefore, has to be eternal. If that cause is impersonal (without the ability to choose) then, because it exists, so too must the universe exist--which would imply an eternal universe. However, if it is a personal being, then it could have chosen to bring the universe into existence.
Since it has been shown that the universe had a beginning it can be concluded that God exist.
William Lane Craig. "The Kalam Cosmological Argument." 2015. Reasonablefaith.Org.
 William Lane Craig, "The Kalam Cosmological Argument," 2015, Reasonablefaith.Org, https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-kalam-cosmological-argument/