Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, September 28 2004




part 2



II.          Kalam Cosmological Argument


(Moreland, Scaling; see also William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith [Crossway, 1994]; Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation from Nothing [Baker, 2004]; William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, God:  A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist [Oxford, 2004])


·        Preliminary:  concepts of (a) the actual infinite and (b) the potential infinite


A.        The universe had a beginning


1.         The impossibility of the actual infinite (distinguish from potential infinite)


a.         Library example/puzzle


b.         Numbers:  even and odd


c.         Lunar and solar revolutions example/puzzle (St. Bonaventure)


d.         Three objections to the puzzles (Will consider only one)


i.          Infinite sets are real (Cantor), so infinite number of events or moments is acceptable


ii.          Response:  philosophy of mathematics.  What are numbers?


(1)        Not possible even in mathematics, or


(2)        Possible in mathematics, but not in reality, or


(3)        Possible in reality, but cannot be traversed


2.         The impossibility of traversing an actual infinite (even if it exists); forming an actual infinite through successive addition, piece by piece…


a.         Causal regress problem (related to contingency argument above)


b.         No counting to infinity—forward or backward