Rebutting the rebooted rebuttal

Recently, I read an article that was designed to be a rebuttal of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Overall, a lot of it was a re-hash of arguments that William Lane Craig answered elsewhere, but I felt a response was needed, so what follows is that.

First of all, I had to read this twice to actually believe what I was reading. To start, he tries to list a definition of actual infinite to argue against the impossibility of an actual infinite of past events. The problem exists is that he’s dealing with the wrong definition. He’s referring to an abstract set of numbers and a pure mathematical definition of actual infinite. But what is relevant in this case is not the pure definition of actual infinite, but a set of actual infinite things (in this case, moments/intervals of time). This is like using the definition of the number nine to disprove that a set of nine things cannot exist (and probably wouldn’t anyway, since, we all remember, seven eight nine….)

He then goes on to argue two things, that  “1. Any pre-existing entity/entities that caused the universe do not have to be personal with a mind and will. 2. Any cause of the universe does not have to be the god of the Bible. No reason is given why biblical mythology should be taken more seriously than other bronze age mythology.” But, the Kalam Cosmological Argument (hereafter KCA) does not aspire to prove #2, so that point is irrelevant (especially when you consider that the argument was originally conceived of by a 12th century Muslim…) As far as #1 is concerned, it does indeed imply that, even if it obviously does not explicitly state it within KCA itself. Keep in mind that the Big Bang produced time, space, and matter. Therefore, anything existing prior to that, must be timeless, spaceless, and immaterial. Consider also that the since change is moving from one state with respect to another with respect to time, and time had yet to come into being, it must also be changeless. Given all that, we also know that the universe is a metaphysically contingent entity. This mean it did not have to exist, and did not always exist (also backed up by current scientific evidence). Also, it is obvious that the sufficient conditions for the universe to exist or begin did not always exist, otherwise the universe would have always existed as well. Nothing could have changed for these sufficient conditions for the universe to begin because the cause must be changeless. But, also from what was just stated, also immaterial (thereby eliminating possible material causes), timeless, and spaceless, all causing a non-necessary event. The best explanation for this is a personal mind willing something to happen. If there is an appeal to something as-of-yet unknown, it is up to that person to supply a.) good, compelling reason as to why this is a better explanation, and b.) a good explanation of what this thing is. This issue is also addressed (admittedly a tad sparingly) here: ,… , and… .

The counterargument offered immediately after this borders on absurdity. He tries here to argue that there was no beginning to the universe by establishing some form of contradiction. First of all, it is obvious the universe began to exist because all scientific evidence points to that, and so here he for some reason chooses to ignore all of this. This alone proves that his S1 and S2 states are distinct. Furthermore, they would be distinct just by there very definition since non-being and being are obviously distinct from each other by the virtue of what they are, and so none of his four possibilities are applicable or even relevant. His dismissal of his possibilities 3 and 4 are undermined by the nature of the Big Bang itself. With the Big Bang we can see that it is possible for an event to be prior to the creation of time, or simultaneous with time itself.

There are two possibilities for the occurrence of the Big Bang in relation to the creation of time. Let’s say that the point at which time came into being is t, and the Big Bang is t-1. Since time came into existence with the Big Bang, and the Big Bang occurred, then t-1 happened first, then time came into being at t. Or, the other possibility is that the Big Bang occurred and time came into being at the same moment, or t-1 and t are simultaneous. So, we can see just from this that either something can occur prior to time coming into being, or where cause and effect co-occur. Frankly I’m not sure why he finds this so hard to grasp, especially since after denying the beginning of the universe, he then goes on to base a couple more arguments on his understanding of the beginning of the universe.


His counterexample also confuses me. He states that some things in quantum physics begin to exist without cause while also stating their cause at the same time! Carbon-12 is caused to exist by radioactive decay, and particle-antiparticle creation is caused to exist by matter-antimatter collision. He seems to be conflating and/or confusing cause and randomness here. The law of cause and effect used in the KCA is also not the law of physics mentioned by the author, but a logical law of cause and effect. So here he seems to be confusing that as well.

The issue with Schodinger’s cat does not apply since Schrodinger’s cat is an epistemological problem, not an actual reality problem.


The circularity objection also does not make since. God would obviously not be included in the set of NBE, and the set of NBE is empty _by definition_, and would only include things as an intellectual exercise.


The equivocation objection is nothing more than the author reading things into the KCA that are simply not there. The KCA states clearly that “_whatever_ begins to exist…”, not just things he seems to suggest it means.


The objection of special pleading is ridiculous because it is not obvious that God had to begin to exist at all. In fact, it is up to the atheist to first demonstrate that He did indeed begin to exist for this objection to even be relevant. God, by definition, furthermore, is a metaphysically necessary being. That means that He within Himself provides the sufficient conditions for His existence (which is the definition of metaphysical necessity), and therefore must have always existed if He does exist (and therefore, never had a point where He began to exist). Appealing to the possibility of multiple causes violates Occam’s Razor, and it is up to the objector to demonstrate why it is better to consider a multiplication of causes rather than just one.


The appeal to a fallacy of composition is ironic because the author himself uses the laws of thermodynamics and time to argue against the KCA, and thereby commits the same fallacy himself. But, since this is not a physical law of the universe it would not be considered a subset of the universe anyway. Also, it would take some compelling reasons to think that this did not apply to the whole universe. Because otherwise we would encounter a situation in which a universe popped out of nothing for no reason, completely uncaused. We then have to ask ourselves, why then are universes not still popping into existence all the time? Why all of a sudden are they no longer popping into existence from nothing, since there is no rhyme or reason to why they do or do not. We would expect to see whole universes coming into existence all the time. And since the universe is a thing of great magnitude, and anything within it is obviously of less magnitude than a whole universe, why do we not see lots of other things popping into existence? Why didn’t a horse suddenly come into existence on my work table today? Why didn’t I come home to three dogs instead of just one? Or a three headed Cerberus? It would certainly make my dating life a lot easier if I could just wait around for a tall, attractive blond to suddenly appear before me already married to me.


His false dichotomy is really not a false dichotomy at all, and would obviously not be the case since we’re talking about the beginning of the universe and all things that constitute known natural causes would be subsequent to that (after 10^-43 seconds after if I remember right….) All in all, this does not seem to be to be much of a defeater of KCA


Atheism’s problem of truth.

It is no surprise that Atheists have values. Many are very upstanding people, not the baby-murdering, puppy-kicking deviants some might expect them to be. Most, especially the more out-spoken of their kind value truth. They believe that truth is important, it is valuable and worth pursuing. That is the very reason they preach that their view is superior to that of religion, because they have truth on their side and it is better to know the truth than not. They say that religion preaches lies and deceives people, and that should be avoided because that is not true.

Implicit in all this, though, is that truth is good, not-truth is bad.

Let me know if any Atheists reading this disagree with anything I’ve said so far. I think it’s safe to say that atheists think truth is good, otherwise they wouldn’t be so vocal about the issue.

Here’s the thing though: this is inconsistent with their own worldview.

To say that truth is good and not-truth is bad is to assign an inherent moral value to truth and non-truth. This is more than saying it is nice to pursue or know truth, or that you personally prefer to do so. This is to say that even if everyone on the planet unquestionably believed non-truth, this would be bad and it would still be better to believe what is true.

If perhaps you think an atheist might disagree with that statement, I would simply pose this scenario. Let’s say that everyone on earth unquestionably believed that the earth was only 6,000 years old, and God created every life form in six days fully formed (and for clarification, I am not a Young-Earth Creationist.). Would this be bad, good, or neither?

The thing about valuing truth, to insisting that other people believe it, to say it is the better way to go, to assign a moral value to truth, implies morality. It is to imply an objective morality by which we judge truth to be good and assign it that value.

Simply put:

1. If truth is morally good, then there is an objective morality

2. Truth is morally good

3. Therefore, there is an objective morality (from 1 & 2).

If we bypass the problems materialistic/naturalistic atheists would have with the existence of abstract things such as an objective morality, we can focus on the big problem this poses for atheism  as a whole.

Simply put: if objective morality exists, then God must exist.

Now, others have written extensively on the moral argument for God’s existence (see point 3 here, for instance) But, let’s summarize the argument here:

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.

  2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.

  3. Therefore, God exists.

Let’s then insert my argument from above:

Simply put:

1. If truth is morally good, then there is an objective morality

2. Truth is morally good

3. Therefore, there is an objective morality

And combine the two into:

1. If God does not exist, then moral values and duties do not exist.

2. If truth is morally good, then moral values and duties do exist.

3. Truth is morally good.

4. Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist (from 2 & 3).

5. Therefore, God exists (from 1 & 4).


There he sits. My dad. In his chair, with his cushions, playing video games. His figure is more gaunt that it used to be. The slope in his neck and shoulders belies the tall, proud man he used to be. But in there, you can still perceive a glimmer of quiet strength. The strength that now is imbued on me and runs in my veins. The same strength that undoubtedly runs in my son’s veins. He has lost much, and sacrificed much in his life. But God has seen him through all of it.

Now, though, the Parkinson’s has taken away that man from us. The dementia resulting from it has addled his mind. He weaves conspiracy theories everywhere and is paranoid to a fault. He is a shadow of the man he used to be. 

But what he used to be wasn’t always that great. He made it clear to me far more times than not that he saw me as a complete failure in life, thought all my decisions were horrible and held me in the shadow of himself and my little sister. He left a legacy in me of self-doubt, feeling incredibly insignificant in life, and a terrible fear that I will be a father like he was.

It wasn’t all bad, though. He’s the one that sparked my passion for science, he built the foundation for reason, strength, and a hard work ethic in me. Taught me right from wrong, and how to treat a woman.

Why do I write all this? Because in my father’s life one of the few constants that he held onto were fear and worry. These things motivated his every decision, every motivation. He spent a lifetime running from them. Guarding against them.

Sure, they led to a lot of really good safety precautions and wise decisions. But, it also led to the very thing that is now killing him. The intense stress from a lifetime of fear has put him in that chair, in the condition he’s in now. And yet, he still clings to it. Still killing him.

I write this to illustrate what worry accomplishes. Nothing at best, decay of our lives at worst.

Christ said in Matthew 6:25-33

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


I especially like verse 27:

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?


Luke 12 adds this part after that line (verse 26):

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?


Worry does exactly that: nothing. Think about it, just by the act of worrying itself, what has that ever accomplished? I can worry about getting a job, but that does not make a job appear. I can worry about getting into an accident, but that doesn’t make me a safer driver. With all I’ve gone through it’s become incredibly clear to me how little worrying actually accomplishes…..

Now, there is a difference between concern and worry. There’s also a difference between judicious decision making and worry. Worry is a feeling. You might think that “Well, this feeling may not accomplish anything, but it can lead to me doing something which will accomplish something.” But, I would add, worry is not a necessary component in that equation. You can decide to do what is needed, wise, or right without worrying. I can be concerned about something without worrying about it. But the key lies in the decision. Neither of those things necessarily leads to a decision or action. I can decide to be a safer driver because it is the wise thing to do without worrying about getting into an accident. And I know that getting a job is something I need to do to support my son and myself without worrying about it. 

Sometimes we need to separate feeling and action.

This is where trust is inserted. Trusting in the Lord is usually a bigger leap than trusting in another person. A person you can see right there, get verbal or even written confirmation that that person intends to do such-and-such a thing. You can have all sorts of visual or other types of confirmation that it is being or has been done.

With God, you just have to trust the big, abstract guy in the sky.

But, with trusting, with doing, comes ability. It is only through doing sometimes that you can learn to do anything. It’s one of the hardest things you will ever do, and just when you get better at it usually it will suddenly get harder again. But, oftentimes, it is the only way to see results.

The social argument against the problem of evil

Connectedness is something that is highly prevalent in today’s society. It’s almost become the core of our culture now. Smart phones, the internet, social networking, etc. Everything we do seems connected to everything else we do, and it’s all posted on Facebook or Twitter.

But that’s not the type of connectedness I’m talking about. Think about it this way: how many people do you know? How many of those people do you have strong ties to, minor ties to, or interact at all with on a regular basis? Our lives are intertwined with the lives of others, Things that happen in our lives and to us affect those around us. 

One thing that really hit me in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy are the reactions of the perpetrators’ family and friends. The older of the two brothers had a wife and small son. They have parents. While the whole world was reeling from the tragedy, these people were mourning the loss of their sons, father, and husband.

Shortly after this I read a particular passage of the Bible in the book of Matthew:

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 ” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “

(Matthew 13:24-30).

One of the things this parable states is that in the world there are good people and bad. No duh, right? Often I have wondered why God doesn’t strike down those who do evil. A lot of people wonder that. It’s often argued that God and evil cannot coexist. That if God is all loving and all powerful, then He would not allow evil to happen. I’ve addressed this issue in some of my previous posts, In short, God cannot both preserve the free will of human beings and restrict their decisions, such a thing is a logical contradiction, and logical contradictions cannot exist. For the sake of argument, let’s grant this (meaning if you got all in a harrumph over what I just said, uncross your arms and suspend your disbelief for a second….), and then we can wonder “Well, okay, if God doesn’t prevent evil things from happening, why not strike down evil people before or when they do evil?”

This is where the parable comes in. We are all interconnected. Nothing happens to us without affecting others. The Boston bombers got what they deserved, but in doing so it crushed their family, people not in any way guilty for what happened. The bad people, the weeds, are so entangled with the wheat, the good people, that there is no way to pull up the weeds without puling up some of the wheat with it. God told Lot that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if even one righteous person lived there. If God were to blot out an evil person, how many righteous would be affected? Wipe out the son, and it crushes the mother. Wipe out the husband, and it crushes and irrevocably affects the child and wife for the worse. God doesn’t wipe out the evil person, people curse Him. God wipes him out, and people curse Him also. Sounds like a tough situation to me.

Perhaps the reason an all-loving God doesn’t wipe out the evil-doers, is because He is all-loving.