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The Kalam Cosmological Argument is Correct (most likely Plausible)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 876 times Debate No: 76548
Debate Rounds (4)
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In this debate, I will try to show that Kalam Cosmological Argument is most likely NOT plausible. For this debate, we will use the William Lane Craig's version of the argument:

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2. The Universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Please note that this will be a debate over William Lane Craig's version, and not any other variant. Good Luck to whomever accepts.

R1: Acceptance

R2: Arguments

R3: Rebttals

R4: More Rebuttals and Conclusions



I accept!

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you Miles_Donahue for accepting this debate. In this round I will present my arguments as to why I think the Kalam Cosmological argument is not sound, and why it does not prove the existence of God. Also note that KCA is a deductive argument, which means that both premises MUST be true in order for the conclusion to follow. If even one premise is not sufficiently supported, the whole argument falls.

The KCA once again:

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause;
  2. The Universe began to exist;
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause

Argument 1: Things don’t begin to exist

The only justification for this premise is intuition and common experience, and it makes this premise nothing more than just a baseless assertion.

The fact is that we don’t have any intuition on things coming into existence; only things changing from pre-existing material.

For example, the car that you drive never “began to exist”. The car is made up of matter that has always existed. We have simply rearranged this matter and have labeled it to be a car. This applies everywhere. Your house is made up of certain types of rocks, bricks, dirt etc. All the matter your house is made up of has just been rearranged. Your house never “began to exist”; it’s just pre-arranged material.

This leads me to my next argument against premise 1.

Argument 2: Material Causation

Specifically, this premise is trying to state that everything that begins to exist has an efficient cause

However, if intuition is the only justification for this premise, then I could very well change KCA to the following:

  1. Everything material that begins to exist has a material cause
  2. The Universe began to exist
  3. Therefore, the universe has a material cause

If we follow this argument’s conclusion it means that something material must have always existed. This however, would go against the idea that the universe was created by a God from nothing (which is what this argument is trying to prove in the first place).

The only way my material causation argument can be rejected is if my opponent has good arguments and evidence that show BOTH of the following to be true:

  1. All of material reality had an absolute beginning
  2. The Universe was preceded by nothing (except for God of course)

Proving the above two statements is the only way my opponent can get rid of the notion that everything material that begins to exist has a material cause.

My opponent does have the burden of proof here to show that material causation is decisively not the case, or we are left to ponder which type of causation we should use for the argument.

Argument 3: Quantum Physics and Mechanics

Many physicists reject the notion that everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Quantum events have a way of just happening, without any cause, as when a radioactive atom decays at a random time.” – [1]

Uncaused, random quantum fluctuations in a flat, empty, featureless space-time can produce local regions with positive or negative curvature” [2]

In a Quantum Vacuum, virtual particles come into existence from nothing, as explained by Lawrence Krauss [3].

Now, I’m positive that my opponent would tell me that the nothing that Krauss refers to is not actually nothing, and that a Quantum Vacuum is in fact something. However, even Alexander Vilenkin (someone who Dr.Craig himself likes to use to back up his premise 2, which will be discussed later), states that:

“[T]he state of 'nothing' cannot be identified with absolute nothingness. The tunneling is described by the laws of quantum mechanics, and thus 'nothing' should be subject to these laws. The laws of physics must have existed, even though there was no universe.” [4]

Premise 2: The Universe Began to Exist


When we are talking about the origin of the universe, the fact is that we simply do not yet know how to explain it.

Dr.Craig himself admits this by saying: “It is true that an accurate physical description of the universe prior to the Planck time remains unknown and perhaps always will remain unknown, thereby affording room for speculations aimed at averting the origin of time and space implied in the expanding universe.” [5]

When trying to support this second premise, Dr.Craig likes to use two main arguments. I’ll object to those two.

Argument 3: Big Bang Singularity Theorem

To prove that the Universe began to exist, a piece of evidence the Dr.Craig uses is The Big Bang Singularity Theorem. This is DIFFERENT from the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory explains the expansion of the universe after the first Plank Second (also referred to as the Plank Epoch), which is 1 second that is multiplied by 10^-44 [6].

The Big bang Singularity Theorem is an attempt to explain what happened before the first Plank Second. It attempts to describe this by assuming that General Relativity holds at extremely small scales before the first Plank Second [6]. What do we get? Well, we get infinite density and temperature [7].

So why does it not support the KCA?

The Big Bang Singularity Theorem is disregarded by cosmologists. This is because the idea that General Relativity doesn’t hold to be true before the first Plank Second [6]. Before the first Plank second, everything is “Quantum Gravitational chaos at the first instant of the Big Bang [8].” Sadly, we don’t have a good understanding of Quantum Gravity yet. This is why we can’t figure out what happened before the first Plank Second. But regardless, since the singularity Theorem itself was trying to use General Relativity, and we know that it doesn’t hold.

We conclude that there was no actual singularity in the beginning of our space-time universe.

Furthermore, even if we were to assume for a moment that the Singularity Theorem did work, it wouldn’t prove that all of matter and energy had an absolute beginning AND was preceded by nothing (remember, these are the two things I said that my opponent had to prove in my first argument in order to make sure that the idea of material causation isn’t ruled out.) What’s to say that the universe didn’t exist in a state of infinite density and temperature before it started expanding?

Argument 4: Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem

Another popular Theorem that Dr.Craig likes to use to support his second premise is the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem. This Theorem states that any universe that is expanding could not have an infinite past. And our universe is expanding.

However, this doesn’t justify saying that the Universe was preceded by nothing and had an absolute beginning. My opponent has to decisively show that efficient causation is the only type of causation that can be used for this argument.

Vilenkin himself doesn’t agree with Craig! He thinks that our space-time universe didn’t always exist, but the energy that makes it up has always existed [8]. It is possible that our universe began after a quantum nucleation event [8]. Now, Quantum Nucleation has not been 100% proven correct, and I’m not saying that that is how the universe began. I’m just saying that the BGV Theorem doesn’t prove that the universe had an absolute beginning preceded by nothing.

At the end we come down to two ideas. Either some type of material or energy always existed or some god always existed. So which one do we choose? Well, it’s not definitive, but that’s the problem. Unless it’s shown to be highly likely that one is the better one to choose over the other, we just don’t know. And since the KCA is trying to prove the existence of god, it has the proof of showing that its method is correct.





[4] Many Worlds in One (2006), Page 181

[5] “Creation out of nothing” (2004) pg.246


[7] Hawking, S. W.; Ellis, G. F. R. (1973). The Large-Scale Structure of Space-Time




We've decided to switch our roles, so to speak. See; for our revised debate.
Debate Round No. 2


Just some filler.


More filler.
Debate Round No. 3


I don't think my opponent's link from the last round is working. The new debate is here:


And we are off!
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by n7 1 year ago

You could always make a thread in the forums asking if someone wants to join you.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
No worries :) Good luck and hopefully you face a good challenge.
Posted by SnapDragonFizzle 1 year ago
ahh, It seems that Miles_Donahue ended up accepting the debate! Well, I'm sorry, but I really don't think I can handle doing two KCA debates at once. Is it possible that we could debate after my debate with Miles_Donahue? It's my fault really. I should have sent you the challenge immediately I suppose.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
Just let us know when you're ready.
Posted by SnapDragonFizzle 1 year ago
Alright, I've thought about it. I'd be ok if you guys did a 2 vs 1. I would just like to have a couple of days before you accept. I'll send you a debate challenge. Can you accept on June 17th? Just to give me some time to get my thoughts together.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
I don't want to be unfair to you, that's all, especially that you're new and n7 is a very good debater.
Posted by SnapDragonFizzle 1 year ago
It sounds interesting. The only problem is that I'm very new to this website, I don't really know anyone
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
@SnapDragonFizzle - Are you ok with me teaming up with @n7? Feel free to include someone else from your end if you want.
Posted by n7 1 year ago

I'd take this debate as a DA.

Two on one debate would be great.
Posted by SnapDragonFizzle 1 year ago
hm... I guess your right. I'll change the debate name
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