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EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Volumes on Criticisms and Defenses of the Kalam Argument

In November 2017, Bloomsbury Academic will publish The Kalam Cosmological Argument: Philosophical Arguments for the Finitude of the Past, vol 1, and then The Kalam Cosmological Argument: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe, vol. 2, co-edited by former EPS presidents, William Lane Craig and Paul Copan. William Lane Craig is a Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and at Houston Baptist University. Paul Copan is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University

From the publisher's description for volume 1:
Did the universe begin to exist? If so, did it have a cause? Or could it have come into existence uncaused, from nothing? These questions are taken up by the medieval-though recently-revived-kalam cosmological argument, which has arguably been the most discussed philosophical argument for God's existence in recent decades. The kalam's line of reasoning maintains that the series of past events cannot be infinite but rather is finite. Since the universe could not have come into being uncaused, there must be a transcendent cause of the universe's beginning, a conclusion supportive of theism. This anthology on the philosophical arguments for the finitude of the past asks: Is an infinite series of past events metaphysically possible? Should actual infinites be restricted to theoretical mathematics, or can an actual infinite exist in the concrete world? These essays by kalam proponents and detractors engage in lively debate about the nature of infinity and its conundrums; about frequently-used kalam argument paradoxes of Tristram Shandy, the Grim Reaper, and Hilbert's Hotel; and about the infinity of the future.

From the publisher's description for volume 2:
The ancient kalam cosmological argument maintains that the series of past events is finite and that therefore the universe began to exist. Two recent scientific discoveries have yielded plausible prima facie physical evidence for the beginning of the universe. The expansion of the universe points to its beginning-to a Big Bang-as one retraces the universe's expansion in time. And the second law of thermodynamics, which implies that the universe's energy is progressively degrading, suggests that the universe began with an initial low entropy condition. The kalam cosmological argument-perhaps the most discussed philosophical argument for God's existence in recent decades-maintains that whatever begins to exist must have a cause. And since the universe began to exist, there must be a transcendent cause of its beginning, a conclusion which is confirmatory of theism. So this medieval argument for the finitude of the past has received fresh wind in its sails from recent scientific discoveries. This collection reviews and assesses the merits of the latest scientific evidences for the universe's beginning. It ends with the kalam argument's conclusion that the universe has a cause-a personal cause with properties of theological significance.

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