William Lane Craig (WLC) is best known for his formulation and defence of the Kalaam Cosmological Argument (KCA), even although he is responsible for and present other arguments to the same end, i.e. demonstrating that on the evidence a god exists or the God of Christianity exists. Whilst there is much material available recording the debate on the arguments it’s necessary to record on this section of my blog some of the bad arguments made against them. Further to that it will put on record the many unjustified, unsubstantiated, and purely insulting, ad hominem assertions that atheists – usually ignore of his arguments – throw around as if doing so often enough will make one of them, any of them, true.
A summary lecture containing some of his arguments can and ought to be viewed at:
And his most famed argument, the KCA can and ought to be viewed in full as presented by WLC at
The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe – http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html
As always anything recorded as a bad argument is open to challenge and discussion.
Fallacious Attack on Craig #1
“Everyone of William Lane Craig’s arguments for gods existence has been refuted or shown to fail scientifically”.
The fallacious nature of this assertion is obvious from simply noting the fact that not all of Craig’s arguments for the existence of god contain recourse to science in their premises or support of them. The ontological argument, the argument from objective morality, the argument from accepted facts by NT scholars/historians are examples of arguments where science is not appealed to, in any form, in leading from the premises to the conclusion. Since this is the case then what is there in them that could be shown to ‘fail scientifically’? The answer is nothing and if any of the arguments were deductively sound or inductively strong or indeed false then it would be so on some other basis than science.
Fallacious Objections on Premise One of the KCA #000
Premise One ‘does beg the question…it assumes a beginning’.
The fallacious nature of this assertion can be seen from the following valid but unsound argument:
P1 Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
P2. Nothing begins to exist.
P3 Therefore nothing has a cause of its existence.
If it were the case that P1 assumed a beginning then it could never go on validly to P2 which states the exact contrary. This demonstrates clearly that no assumption of a beginning is contained within P1 and in a different argument from the KCA the premise could be part of an argument that since nothing begins to exist therefore nothing has a cause. What invalidates the argument above is the fact that things do begin to exist (come into being).
Premise One – implicitly inserts God into it making the argument circular
This attempted ‘easy’ refutation of Craig’s KCA can be found at: http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Circular_argument
It read thus on the KCA:
A noted example of circular argument is one known as “Kalam Cosmological argument”.
Its structure is this:
1. Everything which begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.
The refutation of the Kalam Cosmological argument is actually rather simple:
The first premise “begins to exist” implies that things that do not begin to exist do not need a cause; they’ve always existed.
So, the challenge becomes to name some things that do not conform to this qualification, things that have always existed.
“God” is the most ready response, but is there anything else in the category of things that do not begin to exist? Is there any reason to think that there are?
If not, that is if god is the only thing that never began to exist, then the argument MUST read thus:
1. Everything which is not god has a cause.
2. The universe is not god.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
So, the person attempting to use Kalam to prove the existence of god is implicitly putting god into the premise, thereby rendering the argument hopelessly circular.
The flaw in this argument is wrong thinking that P1 of the KCA only allows for God to be an example of something that did not begin to exist. That is false as it could equally be the universe (and indeed some argue that the universe is such an example of something that did not begin to exist being past eternal). Since P1 allows for both God and the Universe to be things that do not begin to exist then it is not true that god is implicitly put into premise 1. What is true that with both options being possible the argument continues on to show that one of those possibilities must be excluded based on good scientific and philosophical reasons. Even on that the only conclusion that is then made in the formal part of the KCA is that universe had a cause of its existence. It is then reasoned, again, from more than possible option that the necessary properties this cause must have is what most people call God and that it is therefore rational to believe that God exists. There is no circularity as charged ans the simple refutation is shown to be a failed attempt to refute the KCA based on either a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of it.