Archive for April, 2009

Why The Cosmological Argument Doesn't Work

April 20, 2009

At my church back home they used to be really into whoever the current apologetic champion of the moment was. I remember at one point this included such fabulous thinkers as Rush Limbaugh and Ted Haggard, but let’s not shoot fish in a barrel.

William Lane Craig has been on or near the top of that pile for a long time now. As Common Sense Atheism points out (they have a huge archive of WLC debates and articles, BTW, the host is quite thorough), he’s been doing this since high school and is really a masterbater- er, uh… master debater.

Anyways, all the various versions of the cosmological argument seem fatally flawed to me. Either way, we must start with something we can’t really justify other than to posit, and that’s something that existed for eternity. Since nobody I know wants to argue that something can come from nothing, it seems there’s no way around this. Either God always existed, or non-conscious matter/energy always existed.

WLC would have us believe we should believe it was God, but if we’re going to grant WLC the premise that God can exist forever, doesn’t he also have to grant us the premise that matter/energy can exist forever? After all, it’s a fundamental law of thermodynamics that matter cannot be created or destroyed, so we even have a rational foundation for the claim that matter/energy always existed. Of course, it’s also true that modern understandings of physics literally disintegrate by Planck Time, so it’s probably not nearly as easy as I posit, but I think the bottom line is that cosmological arguments just don’t work.

If God can exist forever, so can matter/energy.