Towards a more persuasive kalām cosmological argument : permitting the actual infinite
Erasmus, Jacobus Petrus
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In this study I argue that the kalām cosmological argument (KCA) is an important theistic argument that can and should be revised to a more persuasive argument that permits the existence of the actual infinite. In order to reach this conclusion, firstly I evaluate the philosophical and historical significance of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo and show that, based on the fact that the KCA supports this doctrine, the KCA is an important theistic argument which merits being revised into a more persuasive argument. Furthermore, I argue that the KCA is valuable because (1) it promotes interfaith dialogue, (2) it promotes interdisciplinary dialogue and, (3) it sheds light on the divine attributes. Secondly, after presenting a brief historical survey of the KCA, I argue that historically, the most important argument in support of the KCA is the philosophical argument against the possibility of an actual infinite. I then argue, thirdly, that the argument against the actual infinite is problematic for it results in the KCA being incompatible with both Platonism and the standard definition of omniscience. Thus, a version of the KCA that permits the actual infinite is more persuasive than a version that denies the actual infinite. Finally, I defend two philosophical arguments in favour of a beginning of the universe and that do not deny the actual infinite. I them supplement these arguments with a third philosophical argument to support the view that it is impossible for science, by itself, to justify a belief in a past eternal universe.
- Humanities