It Is Not „Special Pleading” to Say God Is Without A Cause and Has God Existed for an Infinite Number of Years?

English: This photo was taken by my wife durin...In 2011 Dr William Lane Craig spoke at the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) in Hungary. While they he spoke on the topic, „Five Arguments for Theism” and took questions from the audience to accompany his lecture. In this clip, Dr Craig answers a question concerning how the Kalam Cosmological Argument concerns God. Is it ‘special pleading’ to say God is without a cause?

Why it is not ‘special pleading’

Very often, it will be said by people, „If everything has a cause, what is God’s cause?” This objection is based upon a confusion between the contingency argument and this cosmological argument. The contingency argument says that everything that exists  has an explanation of its existence. This argument says that everything that begins to exist has a cause. And by conflating these two together, people have come up with the idea that everything that exists  has a cause. And that’s just a confusion. It is everything that begins to exist has a cause. If something begins to exist, that means it comes into being. And, given that out of nothing, nothing comes. The things cannot pop into being from nonbeing. Anything that begins to exist must have a cause.

But, God doesn’t need to have a cause, because He never came into being. He’s an eternal reality. And, this isn’t special pleading for God. That is what the atheist has always said about the universe- that matter and energy are eternal. The universe has always existed, and therefore, the universe doesn’t need a cause. It’s just that in light of premise 2, that explanation has now been called into question.

So, all this argument requires is that anything that comes into being, or begins to exist needs a cause. It wouldn’t apply to an eternally existing thing. If you want to ask about eternally existing things, then go back to the contingency argument, which says that everything that exists has an explanation, either in a necessity of its own nature or in an external cause. And, I think this helps to clarify again why in that first argument in that contingency argument, I differentiate it between explanations and causes. God, on that first argument does have an explanation as to why He exists, but He doesn’t have a cause.

VIDEO by drcraigvideos

Has God Existed for an Infinite Number of Years?

Dr. William Lane Craig:

Doesn’t the eternity of God imply that God has existed for an infinite number of years? Or an infinite amount of past time? No, I don’t think it does. In fact, what I’ve argued is that God’s eternity means he’s timelessness, at least without the universe. That God is the Creator of time and space, transcends time and space, so that God existing alone, without the universe is timeless. And time had a beginning.

Time is only finite, according to modern cosmology. It’s about 13.7 billion years ago. And there simply is no such thing as 15 billion years ago, or 20 billion years ago. That’s pure imagination. But, there really is no such time because time began about 13.7 billion years ago. So, God existing alone without the universe would simply be timeless. He wouldn’t exist through an infinite number of years, or an infinite number of hours. And that’s why the question is meaningless. Why didn’t God create the world sooner? If God had existed through an infinite number of years prior to creation, we could meaningfully ask, „Well, why did he wait so long? Why didn’t God create the world sooner?

But, if time begins at the moment of creation, then I think you can see that’s a meaningless question. There is no point ‘sooner’ at which He could have created the universe. Time simply begins at the moment of creation. So, even eternity wouldn’t involve an actual infinity in God, given that He transcends time and created time.

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