Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


IS THE KALAM ARGUMENT RIGHT TO SAY THE UNIVERSE HAD A CAUSE?

 

This is part of William Lane Craig's Kalam argument for the possibility of a personal creator God

Whatever begins to exist has a cause


The universe began to exist
 
Conclusion: The universe has a cause.

We won't say any more about it except that he thinks the cause is God. We are going to test what we have read so far.

THE MATHEMATICAL ERRORS
 
Maybe there was no beginning?
 
Before now was there an infinity of moments?
 
Religion says no and that there must be a first cause of all causes that causes itself.
 
But why can’t there be an infinity of causes and no first cause?
 
It is reckoned we would not even have a now for you cannot cross an infinity of present moments to get to this one or any one. But that argument is a contradiction. It says there are countless moments which means there is a now for all of them used to be a now. The believers are so anxious to make faith in God as first cause reasonable that they would resort to contradictions to do it.
 
Numbers are infinite in both ways: there is no end to the negative minus numbers and no end to the positive ones and yet we can have five or whatever items. Infinite and non-infinite are compatible. This is the answer to those who say that if there is an infinity of events before us then it would follow that for the present moment to happen infinity would be completed and that is not possible.
 
They might answer that numbers are just concepts not things and they are talking about things such as time. Numbers are more than concepts for nothing would exist without them and they are about moments and things. So for this moment to exist would mean that that an infinity was completed which seems impossible. Think of it this way, there are minus numbers like –1 and –2 and so on and positive numbers like 1+2+3. If you start with a positive one you can count on forever and ever for there is no end. But say you have to start not with –1 which is the last minus number but the first minus number. You will have nowhere to start for the series at both the negative end is infinite - the same as it is with the positive end. So the question is how can there be a beginning? But infinity can be understood as an infinity of finities - an infinity of beginnings. It would be just like having an infinity of marbles would not mean that each individual marble was infinite or the first one. There is no beginning but there is beginnings.
 
They will say that that positive numbers like one two and three and so on exist but negative numbers of things do not. You do not have minus-5 cats. But you do in the same way you have minus-100 cats for you could have these cats and don’t so its minus. No matter what number you pick, there is countless numbers before it and after. There could be literally countless moments before the present moment.
 
Infinite numbers in maths or whatever means that there can be an infinity of moments in time or an infinity of events for an event is a number. It may be event number 1000 or whatever but it couldn’t happen without being a number. But the set is numberless. Also, you can see from temperature that there can be an infinity of causes when there could be different levels of cold ad infinitum and infinite levels of heat ad infinitum.
 
Numbers are positive or negative. Then you have the infinite set …-2,-1, and the infinite set 1,2… going away from each other in opposite directions and they meet at point zero. Or do you? They are the one set. Two opposite infinites cancel. If you have a yes infinite and a no infinite you have nothing but 0. Because they are different, one being negative and the other being positive, they are mistaken for two sets.
 
That is numbers so we can ask if there positive time and negative time? Negative time could be going backwards but be engineered to appear to be going forwards. But how could reversing time seem to go forward? It is no sillier than making a person think five minutes is a day long. Time could be going backwards but reality is going backwards too and starting at the end. That can happen as easily as it can start at the beginning. This does make sense. It would explain the illusion of time going forward if that is what is happening now.
 
The alleged absurdity of an infinity of moments being past us is grasped by Turton in his The Truth of Christianity (page 5). But he is wrong. It seems absurd if you imagine time going in the one direction – forward and forever. But what if there is time that goes forward like our time seems to and there is time that goes backward but in such a way that it seems to go forward? Time could be going backward though our perception thinks not. Our perception is not relevant to the question because if time were going backwards and meant to look forward that illusion is what you would expect. I am thinking of the same scenario as with negative and positive numbers. Time is an infinite set.
 
Also, you could say that evil is minus good and then there is good meaning that there is an infinity of levels of minus good and an infinity of levels of good. Or you could say that good is minus evil and then there is positive evil just like there are negative and positive numbers. There are countless levels of good you could choose and yet you are able to choose something. Picking one level does not mean there has to be a beginning.
 
Many Christians use the Kalam argument to show that there had to have been a beginning. They argue that in order to get to some place in time, an infinity of steps as in moments, had to precede it which raises the question could the end ever be reached? They think or pretend to think that no is the answer. They think that if time always existed then we would not have a present moment for an infinite number of moments came before and you cannot get to the end of an infinite number. It has no beginning and no end. You are from point A to point B. You can make any number of midpoints. In theory you are going through an infinity of midpoints. So you should be unable to get from A to B. But you are able. There is something wrong then with the Kalam argument but what? It can be proven false by demonstration and by logic. Walk from one end of the room to the other and you refute it. What does mathematics say about it? Consider calculus. Calculus says that just because the way from A to B is infinitely divisible does not mean it is infinitely divided. Imagine there is an infinity of midpoints. Calculus says, "The reason the infinite summation of midpoints converges to a limit is that each successive distance between midpoints is smaller than the previous."
 
There is no such thing as the number infinite. Infinity is not an actual number. Thus if there is an infinity of past events you cannot count them. Infinite means countless. To say there is an infinity of past events/moments makes sense. Saying there is an infinite number of them does not. They cannot be counted because they are infinite. But the point is that there might not have been a beginning and so no need for a first cause or God as in first cause.
 
The fact of the matter is, the present moment is here no matter what we think of the idea of infinite moments leading up to it. That is another reason to regard the first cause as a mere guess if not absurd.
 
SO?
 
The Kalam argument for God is based on errors in mathematics and logic. It is really at best an assumption posing as an argument. The argument treats infinity as a number and says that if events go back to infinity so that there is no first event then that is an actual infinity and that is not possible. There can be no second second if there was no first. So there was a beginning for an actual infinity cannot be possible. But then they say that God is actually infinite and thus contradict themselves. Arguments for God are based on the notion than an actual infinity in creation is impossible. There is a total infinite difference between something and nothing. Is creation then not guilty of assuming an actual infinite after all? Yes! So the Kalam actually is self-refuting and despite itself attempts to refute God.
 
APPENDIX
 
Whatever begins to exist has a cause

The universe began to exist
 
Conclusion: The universe has a cause.
 
The Kalam is a wordplay. It says that everything that began to exist has a cause and that includes the universe. The following argument follows how it thinks and shows it is unintelligible. Kalam errs in treating the universe as a unit when it is a collection. Thus you cannot say that all of it came from the same creator or God.

Everything that falls from the orange tree is an orange.

The branch fell from the tree.

Therefore the branch is an orange.