What If Someone Rejects the First Premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

As Christians, how should we respond when someone rejects the idea that whatever begins to exist has a cause?


00:00 Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The premise seems so obvious. It seems so

00:05 reasonable, yet some are willing to sacrifice common sense and reason to

00:09 avoid where this premise leads.

00:15 The Kalam Cosmological Argument states that whatever begins to exist has a

00:20 cause. The universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause. Now,

00:25 this is a logically valid argument, which means that if the premises are true, then

00:30 the conclusion follows. Now, given that the second premise, that the universe

00:34 began to exist, is supported by both observational physics and theoretical

00:40 physics, those who want to avoid the conclusion are forced to deny the first

00:45 premise. Now, when someone denies that whatever begins to exist has a cause, I

00:50 have a question for them. How did you come to that conclusion? What are the

00:55 reasons that you have for thinking that something like cows or comets or the

01:00 cosmos can begin to exist without a cause of its existence? All of our

01:06 experience supports the first premise. Something cannot come into being

01:10 uncaused out of nothing. In fact, this is a metaphysical principle that seems to

01:16 govern all of reality without any known exception. Imagine a mom is cleaning up

01:21 her son's bedroom, and she finds cigarettes. When she confronts her son, he

01:26 tells her that those cigarettes just popped into existence in his bedroom

01:30 uncaused out of nothing. Should she believe him? No. Why not? Something cannot

01:38 come from nothing. Believing that something can come from nothing is

01:42 actually worse than magic. At least when a magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat,

01:48 well, there's a hat and a magician. In my opinion, most people who deny the first

01:54 premise are not being intellectually honest. They don't really believe that

01:58 things can come into existence uncaused out of nothing, but they don't want to

02:04 face the conclusion that the universe has a transcendent cause, a cause that is

02:10 beyond time and space, that's immaterial and, extremely powerful. This sounds too

02:15 much like God. As a result, they exchange what's intuitive and from our experience,

02:21 what is irrational.

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Tim Barnett