This is the second round of Destroying the Kalam Cosmological Argument!!!!! Last time Tim Stratton successfully fended off four arguments that could have totally annihilated him!!! Can he refute another four objections or will he be completely owned?!?!? Let’s see!
Round 2: Begin!
5) Regarding infinite regress, we cross infinites all the time. Any distance or amount of time can be divided into infinitely small “slices.”
This objection is making the mistake of confusing an actual infinite with a potential infinite. An actual infinite amount of things cannot logically be accumulated within the confines of time and space. Let’s think about this logically by contemplating this question: Is it possible to accumulate an actually infinite amount of grains of sand? If you answer, “yes,” where in the universe would you store an actual amount of grains of sand? Why couldn’t you add one more grain of sand? Why not billions more? Why not an infinite amount more?
Now, potential infinities are different than actual infinities. Even Allan Guth (mentioned in round 1) points this out in his inflationary theory. He postulates that bubble universes will continue to form into the infinite future, however, since this whole process had a beginning, whatever universe is currently bubbling off from another universe has an actual finite number attached to it. That is to say, it is countable!
The term, “infinity,” in this sense is simply referring to the limit that is placed on the amount of universes that will be able to be counted. In this sense, there is no limit as we can always add one more countable universe to the finite amount of other universes that preceded it.
Let’s think about this theologically. I have evidence and logical reason to believe that I am a soul that can exist apart from my body and be present with the Lord. Thus, if I can exist apart from my body and utter praises to the Lord for eternity, can I ever utter an actual infinite amount of praises to God?
The answer is “of course not,” because I have not been uttering praises to God from past eternity. Since I uttered a first praise to God, the one that followed that praise was my second praise, and the one that followed that was the third praise I uttered, and the one that followed that was my fourth. Every praise I utter is countable with an ordinal number attached to it. If I praise God for eternity, this list will grow and get bigger and bigger; however, it will always be countable. It is never actually infinite, but it is a potential infinite because I will never come to a completion and stop uttering the praises of God.
With a proper understanding regarding the differences between actual and potential infinities, let’s get back to the question as it is stated above: “Any distance or amount of time can be divided into infinitely small slices.” Yes, you can pick any distance and divide it in two. Let’s start with an inch. It can be divided into 2 and you will then have two – half inches. Take one of the half inches and divide it by 2 and you will get a quarter of an inch. Take that slice and divide it by 2 to get an eighth of an inch. Do it again and get a sixteenth of an inch. Do it again and get a thirty-second of an inch and so on and so forth. You can do this math with no limit at all. There is nothing that will stop you from logically being able to divide whatever measurement you are currently counting by 2 to get another figure to divide by 2 again. However, you will never reach your final “infinitieth division!” That is logically impossible.
6) Christians believe God is infinite: infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, etc. So isn’t God an example of an actual infinite?
As the French say, this is a farcon de parer, or a manner of speaking. When Christians use the word “infinite” to describe God’s attributes, we are not referring to an actual quantity, but rather, God’s quality! Moreover, if one wanted to make it about quantities, it would be a potential infinite (not an actual). For example: There is no feat God cannot accomplish which is logically possible. There are seemingly an infinite amount of worlds God could logically create; thus, God’s creative power is infinite in that there is not a finite amount of worlds that God can create (however, I argue that there are a finite amount of worlds available for God to create if He endows the creatures in that world with libertarian free will).
Let’s discuss God’s infinite knowledge. When Christians think of God as omniscient, we mean that there is no proposition that could be uttered in which God does not know the truth-value. That is to say, God knows any and all propositions are either true or false, and knows which ones are true and which ones are false.
One might have a hard time contemplating this concept as it seems that an actual infinite of propositions exist. However, many philosophers do not think that abstract objects such as “propositions” actually exist. If they do, they do not exist in time and space and therefore, it would not violate the impossibility of an actual amount of things existing in the space-time universe. Here is a short article I wrote on the topic of abstract objects.
7) If everything that exists needs a cause, who (or what) caused God?
To answer this question, we need to think logically about time once again. In a previous article I wrote the following:
If the cause of the universe transcends space-time, then, it must have been “timeless.” This means that whatever the cause was would have had no beginning (i.e., eternal), because a beginning necessitates time to already be in existence. If the cause existed apart from time and had no beginning, we can infer logically that this cause had no cause of its own, as it logically never began to exist, and therefore, it exists necessarily.
With that in mind, it is logically incoherent to demand that a necessary being with no beginning needs — or even has — something that caused it to come into existence. That is the height of illogicality! The Kalam does not state that whatever exists needs a cause. The first premise makes it clear: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.”
8) Ockham’s Razor dictates we shouldn’t multiply hypotheses any more than we need to. So we should always prefer a natural explanation for the universe to a supernatural one.
Does Ockham’s Razor state that we should affirm logical incoherence? Is it logically coherent to state that the cause of all nature should be a natural cause? Should we even have it on the table as a possibly? Of course not as it is utterly incoherent to state “nature existed before all nature existed.”
We should prefer simple AND logical explanations. We should never even entertain logically incoherent hypotheses.
That’s it for round two! Tim Stratton has successfully fended off eight arguments that totally destroy the Kalam Cosmological Argument!!!!! But we still have one more round to go. Will Stratton survive or will he be totally owned?!?! Stay tuned for the final round!