Arnold T. Guminski
[ Author Bio ]
This article examines Nowicki's novel version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (N-KCA), and finds it seriously flawed. The N-KCA purportedly shows the factual impossibility of a denumerably infinite set of coexisting concrete entities; and that there would be such a set were an infinite temporal series of events to obtain because each existing substance bears its own necessarily permanent temporal marks and those of its ancestors. Nowicki, professing the A-theory of time, nevertheless maintains that truth-makers of past-event propositions are not tensed facts, according to some correspondence theory of truth, but rather the temporal marks borne by existing substances.
According to one form of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, as expounded by William Lane Craig, there cannot be a beginningless temporal world because the application of Cantorian set theory of transfinite arithmetic to the real world generates counterintuitive absurdities, thereby disclosing that an infinite set of real entities is metaphysically impossible. This Article shows how this is not the case by pursuing a novel approach wherein it is understood that an infinite set of real entities is not a set, considered as a technical term of art, within the meaning of Cantorian theory. This article will appeal to those readers (especially those who accept the principle that there must be a cause for whatever begins to exist) who think that there is something to the Kalam Cosmological Argument that has not as yet been satisfactorily answered by its critics.
In his "The Kalam Cosmological Argument: The Question of the Metaphysical Possibility of an Infinite Set of Real Entities," Guminski showed that the argument by William Lane Craig and others that real infinites are metaphysically impossible presupposes the standard version (SV) of how Cantorian set theory presumably applies to the real world. This is the case because it is the application of SV to the real world which generates counterintuitive absurdities. However, Guminski also showed that there is an alternative version (AV) of applying Cantorian set theory to the real world, the application of which does not generate counterintuitive absurdities. In the present article, he goes on to show that given AV an infinite temporal series is metaphysically possible, and in so doing he reaches a result that should be equally satisfying to both theists and nontheists who are loath to believe that a beginningless temporal world is metaphysically impossible. However much theists and nontheists may disagree about other issues, they are at least able to agree upon one important thing: the Kalam Cosmological Argument fails insofar as it is grounded upon the alleged metaphysical impossibility of an infinite temporal series.
In this third paper about the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA), Guminski shows how William Lane Craig has developed a mutated form of the argument such that it presupposes the metaphysical possibility of an infinite temporal series of finite duration. The Kalam Cosmological Argument As Amended (KCAAA) thus contradicts a key component of the KCA: that any infinite temporal series is metaphysically impossible. The KCAAA relies upon the Standard Big Bang Model as providing the supposed factual basis for concluding that the universe has a finite but indefinite past, thus involving an infinite temporal series of finite duration. Guminski argues why there is good reason to hold that any infinite temporal series of finite duration is metaphysically impossible given the A-theory of time, absolute simultaneity, and some complementary doctrines--assumptions that Craig accepts. Given these assumptions, however, the KCAAA fails.
This is an expanded version of a lecture for the University of Colorado Theology Forum in which Guminski proposes to show why the moral argument for God's existence is unsound. Particular attention is given to the writings of J. P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, and Paul Copan.
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