The first cause argument (Blogathon 4/49)

JT again!  Don’t worry.  Michaelyn is taking over soon, so you won’t have to put up with me for much longer.

On Saturday, while Christina was blogging herself into insanity for the benefit of secular activists, she wrote about the argument for god that most vexed her.

I had a really hard time with the cosmological argument. You know (from wiki):

A version of the cosmological argument could be stated as follows:

  1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
  2. causal loop cannot exist.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

Snip.

In light of the Big Bang theory, a stylized version of argument has emerged (sometimes called the Kalam cosmological argument, the following form of which was set forth by William Lane Craig[7]):

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

This is one of the most popular ones we see from theists.  “Everything has a cause!  God is what caused existence!  He’s the unmoved mover!”

Of course, as many will be quick to point out, theists then practically wank themselves trying to attach a slew of other attributes (like intelligence) to this unmoved mover.

But here’s the deal: they already believe something can exist without a cause because they believe in god.  Whether they think god sprung into existence inexplicably or whether they think he always existed, the theist already believes these things are possible.  They must, otherwise their belief in a god who exists that way would die.

So if things can exist without a cause, why not matter and the resulting laws of physics?  We know those things exist.  We know they create order all by themselves over time.

It does the theist no good to say, “These things cannot happen, but they happened in my belief!”  It’s like writing someone an email to say the internet can’t exist.

This is post 4 of 49 for Blogathon.

Total donors is at 214 (if we hit 300 by 7am tomorrow, even if those donations are just the $5 minimum, 20 campers at Camp Quest Ohio will get to pie Michaelyn or JT in the face)!  There will be pictures.  That link also has some other ideas for pledging for Blogathon. :)

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