The Kalâm Cosmological Argument is a more contemporary or “updated” version of the cosmological argument which attempts to prove the existence of God by appealing to the principle of universal causality. Similar arguments are found in the theologies of Judaism and Christianity where it is known as the “uncaused cause” or “first cause” argument. But at best this argument, a favorite of theists like Craig, is simply an illusion of explanatory depth. On Craig’s website Reasonable Faith he posits:
1. The Cosmological Argument from ContingencyThe cosmological argument comes in a variety of forms. Here’s a simple version of the famous version from contingency:1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.3. The universe exists.4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3).5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God (from 2, 4).Now this is a logically airtight argument. That is to say, if the premises are true, then the conclusion is unavoidable. It doesn’t matter if we don’t like the conclusion. It doesn’t matter if we have other objections to God’s existence. So long as we grant the three premises, we have to accept the conclusion. So the question is this: Which is more plausible—that those premises are true or that they are false?
2. The Kalam Cosmological Argument
Based on the Beginning of the UniverseHere’s a different version of the cosmological argument, which I have called the kalam cosmological argument in honor of its medieval Muslim proponents (kalam is the Arabic word for theology):1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.2. The universe began to exist.3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.Once we reach the conclusion that the universe has a cause, we can then analyze what properties such a cause must have and assess its theological significance.
Once again I must reiterate, the real science suggests the universe came from nothing! (See the well known Physicist Lawrence Krauss explain in detail the reasons for why modern cosmologists believe the universe arose from nothing HERE. And if you ask who is more correct: The philosopher or the expert physicist when it comes to matters of cosmology, I think the answer is plainly obvious).
What we can’t say is that the universe exists because of God, or claim that God exists because the universe does,as this is circular reasoning—and it is flawed, not only because it begs the question, but it also is contrary to what the real evidence reveals—i.e. that the universe appears that it may have come from nothing (See: The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe by Roger Penrose, The Comprehensible Cosmos: Where Do the Laws of Physics Come From? by Victor J. Stenger, and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene).
Consequently, this is why Richard Dawkins continues to refuse to debate Craig at all. Dawkins is a strict rationalist, perhaps one of the strictest, and Craig is just a good speaker. And as Dawkins has rightly pointed out, he doesn't have the time to waste arguing with someone who won't even begin to try to see past his own "God delusion." We must understand that from a rationalist's perspective, and from a skeptic who relies upon the scientific method to quantify facts about reality and hopefully derive at a more or less accurate conclusion, Craig's theological conjectures aren't relevant truths so much as philosophical speculations and superstitious suppositions based on irrational faith-based assumptions and misinformed/misconstrued science. And Richard Dawkins is right, there are better things to be investigating than circular what-if arguments based on fallacies and not authentic facts about nature.
I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Reason is not to faith as fact is not to delusion.
The philosopher Matt McCormick has stated this about the futility of debating William Lane Craig:
...it’s a mistake for serious philosophical atheists to devote too much time and energy to dealing with Craig because he’s a person in this field who seems to be shouting the loudest and the most. Craig’s arguments have been dealt with at length and with devastating consequences by many people, including myself. Craig is rarely deterred by any of these critiques, and he is not prone to acknowledge any objection or weakness no matter how clearly it has been illustrated. But we shouldn’t mistake his pit-bull persistence and rhetorical skill in defending Christianity for something other than what it is. The unassailability of Christianity in his mind bestows a weird kind of pointlessness to his debates. As he and his followers see it, debates can only serve to corroborate what they already know is true—Jesus is lord. If Craig “wins,” which he often does given his skill, then that just vindicates Christian belief once again, if he doesn’t (and few of his supporters would acknowledge that this ever happens), it doesn’t matter because he would never change his mind, and the private, magical, Holy Spirit knowledge he has in his mind makes any consideration of arguments or the evidence irrelevant. At this point, given what he’s said about the indefeasibilty of Christian belief, I’m not inclined to take anything that Craig or his followers say seriously until I’m convinced that they are playing the same game with the same rules of rationality that the rest of us are. An essential principle of rationality, as I see it, is that all beliefs are defeasible, and subject to the tribunal of reason.
I agree, however, that Hitchens tends to be long winded, verbose, and likes the sound of his own voice. This verbosity and narcissism suit him well enough as he is a popular intellectual icon and a charismatic speaker. However, I do see how this pompousness may come off seeming a tad on the arrogant side not to mention immodestly sophist. Meanwhile, Craig puts on an air of intellectualism for his audience, but any intellectual will see right through Craig’s rather strained and puerile arguments.