Hello my question is about the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I personally do agree with the premises and the conclusion, however a person on youtube said that you cannot say that an infinite regress does not make sense but an infinite being does. So my questions are what is the difference between an infinite regress and an infinite being, can you say they are both absurd? Does an infinite being make sense?

There doesn't seem to be any reason to say that an infinite regress "does not make sense" but that an infinite being does. There exist infinite progressions of things, particularly in mathematics. Can there be an infinity of real things? Or of physical things? Or of instants in time? Plainly different arguments are needed in each case, since at least on a Platonist view numbers are real if not physical. So some "regresses" or progressions or series or sequences do "make sense" and others don't. Now what about an infinite being? I suppose the question here is as always what is meant. Could there be a being infinite in wisdom, for example, or infinite in power, and so forth? There seems no obvious reason why not. Would an infinite being, in this sense, occupy the entire physical universe? Well, only if the being is physical and the universe is infinite in extent. But only a very few theologies have a physical or "corporeal" God, Hobbes' for example. So it seems that the standard conception in which God has infinite attributes is intelligible, and some infinite series don't make sense (e.g. an infinite series of events leading up to a present event, since one could never take the last step, since there is no last step (see the work of the Imperial College mathematician Gerald Whitrow, and an article by him on the subject in Brit. J. Phil. Sci.) 29 (1978), 39-45, arguing that Cantor's theory of infinite sets does not resolve the problem of whether the universe is infinite or not). On the other hand the first premise (that whatever begins to exist has a cause) of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is one I have never been able to accept. Why should every event have a cause? One difficulty with this is that then the causing event must have a cause, so that if this is impossible, as by the argument that an infinite series of temporal instants cannot exist, then we have a counterexample to the first premise, and a contradiction! We do better to look for a reason for the appearance of the first event. So Leibniz for example imagines (in "On the Radical ["radicalii", or Ultimate] Origination of Things" of 1697) that there is a book on geometry that is "eternal", and that copies of it were successively copied from this eternal book, one after another. Whether you imagine there was a first book in time or that the books in time are infinite backwards in time, 'we may always wonder why such books have existed from all time; that is, why books exist at all and why they are thus written,' and why the wholeseries exists in the first place. The Principle of Sufficient Reason (that there is always a perfectly good reason why what happens happens as it does and not something else) seems to me on much firmer ground than the Principle of Universal Causation (that every event has a cause).

I myself have much more sympathy for the major premise of the KCA, "Whatever begins to exist is caused to exist," than for the minor premise, "The universe began to exist." It's true that the major premise faces pressure from quantum mechanics, but only from those interpretations of quantum mechanics that presume indeterminism. The minor premise is often thought to gain support from physical cosmology, but I have my doubts about that. It's one thing to admit that our equations go silent at the instant of the Big Bang, quite another to insist that nothing, not even time, existed prior to that instant.

Anyway, to your question. Some infinite regresses clearly make sense, such as the regress generated by starting with 0 and subtracting 1 from every result you get. There is nothing absurd about that regress unless there is something absurd about the set of negative integers. By the same token, I see no reason why states of the universe cannot go back infinitely far into the past.

To object that "The universe would never have got started" is to beg the question against the view that the universe didn't need to get started. If there is nothing absurd in the idea that the universe (in one state or another) will never end, I see nothing absurd in the idea that the universe never began but has always existed. Indeed, I find the idea that the universe is infinite in both the earlier and the later directions easier to fathom than the idea that it is finite in either direction.

Because it is eminently deniable that the universe began to exist, we aren't forced to speculate about the nature of whatever would be needed to cause the universe to begin to exist.

Just a quick response to a point Stephen makes. He writes, 'It is eminently deniable that the universe began to exist.' However you phrase it, is deniable that the universe began to exist, but not "eminently" so. The evidence from physics is absolutely overwhelming. There are detailed measurements of the expansion rate of the universe extrapolated backwards and the explanation of Hubble's Law, the 4% background microwave radiation, which gave Penzias and Wilson the Nobel Prize in 1978, the existence of clouds of light gases, and so on and so on. How can you reasonably deny all this? In my view the logical arguments, though obviously they do not converge on a date of 13.8B years for the age of the universe, are also compelling, such as Whitrow's, discussed in my note above.

A response to Jonathan's point: To deny that the universe had a beginning is not to deny that a Big Bang occurred several billion years ago, nor is it to discount the evidence for such an event. But the available evidence doesn't imply, and it may not even favor, the claim that a Big Bang event occurs only once rather than cyclically, with the cycles going back, in principle, forever. So I stand by "eminently."

While I'm at it: Jonathan wrote that "some infinite series don't make sense (e.g. an infinite series of events leading up to a present event, since one could never take the last step, since there is no last step)." I take it that Jonathan meant to write "there is no first step," since we're talking about a series that is infinite in the earlier direction. But either way -- "first" or "last" -- his reasoning sounds like Zeno's argument that I can never begin to traverse (or finish traversing) any distance because there is never a first (or a last) fraction of the distance that I traverse. That argument is invalid. I can traverse all of the fractions of the distance even though there is no first, last, or nth fraction that I traverse.

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