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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: January 2007

11 - Kalam Cosmological Arguments for Atheism

from Part II - The Case against Theism


Cosmological arguments for God's existence have two parts. The first part aims to establish that there is a cause of the universe. The second part aims to establish that this cause is God or God's act of creation. My goal is to show that this second “theistic ” part is unsound and that there is a sound “atheistic ” second part that shows that the universe is self-caused.

The cosmological and teleological arguments are two types of arguments for the existence of God. They are different from other types in that they are about the entire universe; the cosmological argument seeks to find a causal explanation of why some universe exists, and the teleological argument seeks to find an explanation of the designed or apparently designed nature of the universe. In this way they differ from the ontological and conceptual arguments, which are a priori, and from the arguments from mystical experience, moral conscience, and human consciousness. The cosmological and teleological arguments are about the empirical facts of the universe, the mystical, moral, and consciousness arguments are about empirical facts concerning humans, and the ontological and conceptualist arguments endeavor to deduce God's existence from a priori concepts alone, without needing any observational evidence about the universe.

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The Cambridge Companion to Atheism
  • Online ISBN: 9781139001182
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