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  • Created by: Ebony
  • Created on: 13-06-10 11:46

The Kalam Argument:

If anything begins to exist, then you can ask what caused it.

For example, one could ask- what caused me? (my birth) In a sense, my parents. And then we could ask what caused my parents. And so on. We can go back to the beginning of the universe and then ask, "what caused the universe?". If

...The universe began to exist...

..Then it must have a cause of it's existence. Something can't come out of nothing.

What we need is something that causes the thing to exist, but the existence of which isn't caused itself.

Only God can be such a thing- as the uncaused cause, the unmoved mover..etc.

There are three key issues which need to be addressed to defend this argument. First, is the causal principle, that everything which begins to exist has a cause. Secondly, does the universe have a beginning? And thirdly, must that explanation be God?

The Causal Principle:

- must every event have a cause?

Hume argues that we cannot be certain that everything has a cause. By contrast, it is not an analytic truth either. In other words it is not a statement which is true by definition tautologous i.e. we cannot know intrisically the statement "every effect has a cause" (however is "every event has an effect" different?) Also "something cannot come out of nothing is not analytic. Hume argued that synthetic truths are known aposteriori through experience. And although our experience is that everything has a cause, can this principle be applied to the beginning of the universe?

First, the beginnings of the universe are not something we have experience of. Second, the beginning ofthe universe is not an event like evts that happen within the universe. It would not ocuur in space or time simply because these things can into existence along with the universe. So there is a distinction between events in and beyond the universe. If this is the cause, then if everything within the universe has a cause, we cannot be sure this applies to the beginning of the universe or not. We cannot apply principles we have developed for events within the universe to the universe as a whole. Bertrand Russel is famous for his belief that the universe is simply a Brute fact; the universe is just there, and that


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