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The Kalam Argument Semester 1

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Philosophy 1022E
Cathy Thorpe

The Kalam Argument September-24-13 7:31 AM William lang craig The word kalam is an Arabic word meaning roughly, speech or discourse. It is used, in islam, to designate the tradition of philosophical theology. The basic kalam argument Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence The universe has an existence Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence Defense of the first premise Things can't just pop into existence No creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) Everything that happens has to have a cause It seems unthinkable that "something could come of nothing" Defense of the second premise If the universe had no beginning, then its age would be infinite, actually infinite. Its history would be an actually infinite series Actually infinite series are impossible. Therefore the universe had a beginning. Actual vs. potential infinities A potentially infinite series is like the natural number series: 1,2,3,4…. And you can just keep going forever. An actual infinite series would be a series in which you have already reached infinity. Suppose you have a library with an infinite number of books numbered sequentially. Now suppose you remove all the odd-numbered books to a new library. How many books are left in the old library. Only half as many but still an infinite number. Some infinities are bigger than others. Suppose Sally has been in hell for eternity, except for one day a year - Christmas Day - when she is allowed to be in Heaven. And Suppose James has been in heaven for eternity, except for Christmas Day, which he spends in Hell. We think that Sally has been in
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