The Cosmological Argument

Christian apologist William Lane Craig sets up a false dilemma--given the Big Bang, either (1) the universe came out of nothing or (2) the universe had a cause, which Craig believes must be God. As the argument goes, for something to come out of nothing is a logical contradiction; therefore, something caused the universe, something timeless, spaceless, immaterial. Keep in mind that we don't know enough about cosmology to make these kinds of assertions. The Big Bang theory applies to the beginning of the expansion of the universe; there may have been a contraction phase before the Big Bang, but let's leave that for another time. Craig gets to God by setting up another false dilemma--there are only two things that fit the criteria of being both timeless and spaceless, and these are (a) abstract objects, e.g., numbers, and (b) a "disembodied mind." He tries to railroad us into option (b) because he needs the "disembodied mind" to support his desired conclusion of a "personal creator," i.e., God. He asserts that (a), abstract objects, can not cause anything; therefore, we are left with (b), a "disembodied mind," as the "inference to the best possible explanation." But this is absurd. A timeless, spaceless "disembodied mind" is incoherent. Minds depend on brains. We have no evidence for minds outside of nervous systems. A "disembodied mind" is incomprehensible gibberish. And if it is incoherent, it is inadmissible as part of a premise. Incoherent premises do not yield sound arguments. I would reject disembodied minds along with unicorns and flying spaghetti monsters. Again, a valid logical inference is only as sound as its premises. An unscrupulous logician can begin with his desired conclusion and then work backwards to a set of premises that would render the conclusion valid. You can obtain all manner of wacky but valid inferences if your premises are not constrained by empirical data. In the end, one may posit disembodied minds, fairies, unicorns, or, name fantasy superhero of choice, but it's a matter of wishful thinking, not sound logic.

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  • Paul Monroe

    Just because science is still working on how the big bang started isn't a reason to cop out and say God did it. The laws of physics as an explanation are self contained, whereas a God is not; just like you said, Tonya, where did God come from? I love how Christians assume it was THEIR God in this argument. They can NEVER prove that only one God and not multiple made the Universe. The Cosmological Argument is a false dichotomy.

  • Michael Penn

    Some people think "god did it" but they talk around explaining god in ways that prove "god came out of nothing."

    Hello! Does anybody get this? Apparently theists do not understand it!

  • Grinning Cat

    Occam's Razor so obviously applies here! If a god could have always existed, or arisen out of nothing, then so too could the universe or whatever preceded it -- no spooks needed, no need for imaginary unicorns in one's shoes.