Before the Beginning


Regarding the Kalam Cosmological Argument, I’ve already argued for the idea that physical reality entails a timeless cause.

Given this, I don’t think much need be said to show that a timeless cause would, of necessity, be immaterial. Matter, if it is to be anything like what we think of as matter, requires constant motion at the atomic, sub-atomic, and molecular levels.

This is over and above the fact that matter wouldn’t cause anything without a medium of time through which it could move.

Nor do I think it is unreasonable to conclude that an immaterial object would transcend space. This is not quite as strong an argument, of course. If one believes that non-material things can exist in space, one could claim that an immaterial being could still be spacial.

Still, we have very good reason to think that the space of the universe began with the Big Bang, and no good reason to think that there is any space outside the universe (pop-science hype notwithstanding).

Even more obvious is the conclusion that such a cause is immensely powerful pose any problems. Obviously, the power to create a universe is beyond human comprehension.

As such, we seem to have a timeless, immaterial, unimaginably powerful cause of the universe that probably transcends space as well.

For the longest time, I wondered why the atheists I knew were so resistant to these conclusions. So far, none of this contradicts atheism (as this cause could still be impersonal). For some time, I assumed that the reaction was simply an emotional response to what the atheist knew what was coming.

Whether or not that is true, there is an intellectual reason for resistance here:

Though this hasn’t contradicted atheism, it has contradicted materialism.

The argument has already concluded that there is more to reality than the material. So, while we may not have (yet) shown atheism to be false, we have dealt a serious blow to the metaphysical basis for atheism in the modern world.

So, even if the materialist wants to maintain that the argument can’t get past this point, damage to materialism has already been done.

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