I wanted to find the best argument in a video format for the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I refer here to a YouTube video series covering a presentation by Philosopher and Christian Apologist William Lane Craig. The poster of the videos has included a very useful outline of the argument from Craig's perspective, which I've quoted below the videos. It's a rather long presentation. Each video is 30 or more minutes in length. I will open this up to discussion on the basic premises of his argument. The video presentation is in Eight parts:
The poster of the videos included the following outline of Craig's argument, which I believe is helpful:
COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT by William Lane Craig
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
2.1 First Philosophical Argument
2.11 An actually infinite number of things cannot exist.
2.12 A beginningless series of past events involves an actually infinite
number of things.
2.13 Therefore, a beginningless series of past events cannot exist.
2.2 Second Philosophical Argument
2.11 An actually infinite collection of things cannot be formed by
2.12 The series of past events is a collection of things formed by
2.13 Therefore, The series of past events cannot be actually infinite.
2.3 First Scientific Confirmation
2.4 Second Scientific Confirmation
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
4. If the universe has a cause, it is uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, unimaginably powerful, and personal.
4.1 The cause is uncaused.
4.2 The cause is beginningless.
4.3 The cause is changeless.
4.4 The cause is immaterial.
4.5 The cause is timeless.
4.6 The cause is spaceless.
4.7 The cause is unimaginably powerful
4.8 The cause is personal.
5. Therefore, a personal Creator of the universe exists, who is uncaused, beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and unimaginably powerful.
Thoughts on Part One:
"Nothing comes from nothing, " or Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
That's the very first premise in the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's Existence.
I want to point out some very important statements by Craig in this video.
First off, he states that "common experience and scientific evidence" confirm premise one. More importantly, he addresses one common objection from materialists and atheists: that the premise is an a priori theistic assumption. Pay particular attention to what Craig states in response: that materialists initially contended that the universe had no beginning. So they argue from the same premise, that if the universe had no beginning it did not come into existence. It was uncaused. So the premise is at least common to both theists and non-theists alike. It's not something that just popped into theistic thinking in order to have a basis for an argument.
One thing he doesn't address here though is the argument (or rather rhetorical question) "Who created God?"
This is another reason why premise one is carefully worded: "Whatever begins to exist...;" Thus the question becomes absurd in light of the premise, and is also maintained as absurd given that the premise is invoked by both materialists and theists. If the rhetorical question is invoked towards the materialist it would go something like this: "Who created the universe?" The materialist would insist that this is absurd, since the universe had no beginning. We are then left with the question: "Did the universe have a beginning?" To state otherwise is to beg the question. Craig maintains that science and common experience confirm the premise. Science in that we know that the universe had a beginning, and experience in that we know that things that begin to exist have a prior cause.
Another important distinction he makes is in regard to things as opposed to events. Things require a cause, but events do not necessarily require a cause.
Thoughts on Part Two:
This seems more like a question and answer presentation than an at length speech presentation.
I did particularly find a problem with part of what Craig presented regarding the infinite hotel, that does not in any way as far as I can tell, detract from the overall argument regarding the untenable nature of actual infinites in space and time. That one illustration regarding moving people from one room to another to make room for one more is rather confusing and I believe unnecessary. The stronger argument is in removing just one or any number of an infinite quantity of guests from a hotel containing an infinite quantity of rooms.
It seems to me that if we had a "finite" hotel; that is a hotel with a finite quantity of rooms, a manager couldn't simply move one person from one room to another to make space; given that all the rooms are full. So logically speaking, it shouldn't work for a hotel with an infinite quantity of rooms. I think this may be the area where some of his students were confused; which shows that they are not about to accept an explanation simply because their professor asserts that it is true.
However, you begin to get a grasp of the absurdity of an actual infinite once you propose subtracting just one or any other number of members from an infinite set.
This becomes the premise for arguing that the universe is necessarily finite, and thus, had a beginning. The argument also works for time as well as for matter or space.
The time argument usually goes like this.
Suppose that time is infinite. This would mean that the amount of time prior to the present moment we find ourselves in is infinite. Yet the time we find ourselves in - the present moment seems to be finite in that we can account for moments in our lives that came before. An exercise in refuting actual infinite time would have one count from 0 (zero) to negative infinity. Since passed time would be symbolized by a negative, while the future would by symbolized by a positive number.
If we can account for finite events in time, then time is itself necessarily finite or we would not be able to account for finite events in time. In fact, the now would never be arrived at, since it would require traversing an actual infinite spans of time.
Another way of looking at it would be to divide a finite period of time; for example, divide an hour into two equal parts and we get a half hour. Divide an infinite span of time into two equal parts and we don't get a half an infinite span of time. What we get are two spans of time that are equally infinite; which is logically untenable.
Thoughts on Part Three:
Infinite Possibilities of Time and Space?
Here Professor Craig seems to have more fine-tuned his arguments regarding infinity and space/time. I'm certain there are more in-depth philosophical presentations of these issues elsewhere, but I think he does a good job of summarizing some of the thought. His focus is on the views of Abu Hamed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazali (1058-1111), who was a proponent of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
I found the discussion regarding the question of an infinite future to be most interesting.
Two Theories of Time
A-Theory: The future does not exist, but is a pure potentiality. It is potentially infinite.
B-Theory: The past, present and future are real and stretched out like a line. Time is only finite, and illusory or subject to one's standpoint.
al-Ghazali, Craig, as well as scripture support an A-Theory view of time.
B-Theory of time would of necessity impart some rather problematic theological views regarding freedom and responsibility. If time is illusory, or subjective to one's standpoint, then it could be interpreted that we are different persons from one point in time to another; such that the person (me) 20 minutes ago who might have committed a particular sin at that time, would not be the same person (me) that is in the present (now). Therefore the person (me) that now exists could not be held responsible for the acts of the person (me) that existed 20 minutes ago. Confusing? Yeah. For some it might up a whole new world of possibilities, but from a logical standpoint it just doesn't seem tenable.