Following the last set of posts on the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA), we have…well, what do we have?
Suppose you are skeptical – that may be fair. Which premise do you object to, and why?
For the skeptic, that is the only course of action here. The logic can’t be denied (unless you want to deny logic). Even for a hobbyist of philosophy, that’s pretty easy to see.
Let’s just say, for the sake of explanation, that you don’t like the first premise, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.” You think, vaguely (as I do),* that quantum mechanics must reveal some exception to this rule, or that somewhere down the line, we’ll find something truly astounding, which can’t be anticipated by this kind of logic. Maybe in a Universe with different rules of physics, there are also different rules of logic.
Aside from taking the opportunity to use a phrase like “atheism-of-the-gaps,” what I would point to is the notion that we don’t need 100% certainty of the argument for it to be successful. We just need the premises to be more plausibly true than their denials.
Is it more plausibly true, I would ask, that “Whatever begins to exist has a cause,” or rather, “Some things begin to exist without a cause”? If you think the second statement is true, or just more plausibly true than the first, what example would you give?
If you can’t give an example, why think that some things begin to exist without a cause? Why prefer this over the premise, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause”?
Suppose you can’t find any exceptions or successful objections to either premise. Is this any reason to jump to the conclusion that you must believe in the God of the Bible?
No. I am one of the two Catholic guys, but my aim here is not to make you a Catholic, or Christian, or Jew. What I aim to offer is that belief in God is more rational than the absence of belief. That, I think, is one of the fruits of the KCA – the conclusion, it seems to me, is much more rational than the denial of the conclusion.
Keep in mind, Krauss offers that the multiverse is (perhaps) more rational than the absence of the multiverse. Nevermind that there’s no evidence for its existence^ – it is simply a hypothesis to make sense of the evidence we do have. And I have no interest or need to deny that hypothesis, except that we may be able to explain things without it.
Though no objections have surfaced in previous posts as of this writing, I realize some may come up when there is time for various readers to comment. I’m interested in that conversation.
However, for the sake of this series, I want to continue with this assumption: The KCA is more plausibly true than false. Now what?
*In a bit of permitted confusion, what I mean to say here is that I think vaguely about quantum mechanics, but not that QM will someday prove that things can begin to exist without causes.
^As far as I have read/heard. I suspect we’ll all know it if any evidence does materialize.