Home » The Kalam Cosmological Argument – Who Caused the Universe?

P1 Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

a) in order for something to be brought into existence, it needs to exist in potentiality, and needs an agent or object to actualize it.

b) “Nothing” is the lack of all being, and therefore does not contain potentiality or actuality.

c) Therefore, something cannot come into being from nothing.

p2 The Universe began to exist.

a) Expansion of the universe, and the cosmic microwave background radiation is evidence that points to a beginning of the universe.

b) An ACTUAL (numberless) infinite is NOT a countable number. An ACTUAL infinite remains the same – even if you add or subtract as many zeros as you want from it. it DOESN’T change. Since the physical universe is always changing, the universe must have had a beginning.

c) A POTENTIAL infinite, with a starting point, can be counted by adding as many zeros as you want, and it continues to change. The material causality of events requires change to exist. Therefore, the universe MUST have had a beginning point.

● William Lane Craig, The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Wipf &
Stock, 1979).
● Mark Nowacki, The Kalam Cosmological Argument for God
(Prometheus, 2007).
● Craig and Sinclair, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument,” in Craig
and Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology
(Blackwell, 2009), 101-200.
● Calum Miller, “A Bayesian Formulation of the Kalam Cosmological
Argument,” Religious Studies 50/4 (2014), pp. 521-534.

Pruss’ Kalam Cosmological Argument

1) Something has a cause.
2) There are no causal loops.
3) Nothing has an infinite causal history.
4) So, there is an uncaused cause. (1-3)
5) If there is an uncaused cause, God exists.
6) So, God exists.

● Alexander Pruss, Infinity, Causation, and Paradox (Oxford,

Craig has thoroughly discussed the Kalam. I’ve skimmed his two-volume series on the Kalam and it makes a sound case. I closely related this to the ontological arguments about the creation of the universe, e.g. the Big Bang. If we exist, time must have had a beginning, since there cannot be an infinite amount of time before the present.

The rabbit hole goes deep in the ontological arguments. We all come to understand these premises based on our own experience and presuppositions as well. Logic is a fine tool, but we must always note our prior observations and conclusions.

Also in this series:

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ACIM on Perception
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