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The Kalām Cosmological Argument Paperback – May 24, 2000

3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Lane Craig, Ph.D. is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Jan and their two teenage children Charity and John. At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until 1994.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (May 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157910438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579104382
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the Kalam Cosmological Argument, PhD and ThD William Lane Craig sets forth what I think is the single most convincing argument for the existence of G-d. Dr. Craig divides his book into three parts.
In part one, Dr. Craig gives a historical account of the Kalam argument. He first talks about the history of Arabic philosophy and it's relation to the Kalam argument. After this, Dr. Craig explains the Kalam models used by three Arabic theologians. They are, in order: al-Kindi, Saadia, and al-Ghazali. Some of thier aruments are, of course, a bit outdated and crude, but not all.
In the second part of The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Craig gives a modern defense. He formulates the argument as so:
1.)Everything that begins to exist has a cause of it's existence
2.)The universe began to exist
3.)Therefore, the universe has a cause
Since the second premis of the argument is obviously the most important, Dr. Craig defends this first in two ways. First, with two philosophical arguments, and second, with empirical evidence. In regards to the former, Dr. Craig argues that an actual infinite composed of definte and distinct finite members cannot exist in reality. He does this by showing the various paradoxes and absurdities that arise in inifite set theory (which may be fine for the realm of mathmatics but the results for the real world are too unbeliveable). He also gives "real life" examples such as Hilberts Hotel and Tristram Shandy. Since actual infinites cannot exist in reality, Dr. Craig reasons that an actual infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite and therefore an actual infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. He then gives a second argument that has two do with actual infinites and time.
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Format: Paperback
The other reviews here are quite comprehensive, so it will be difficult to add something new. However, I will try.
I have seen Craig in debate numerous times, read one of his other books ("Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics) and he is the best intellectually respectable defenders of Christianity alive today. Comparing his debates to this book shows that Craig has a wide range and knows how to argue at a level appropriate to his audience. Craig can talk to the interested public and academic philosophers alike. This book definitely falls into the second category (Craig did his first Ph. D on it) and it is aimed at those who want a comprehensive defense of this one particular argument for God's existence.
The book is divided into two main sections. A historical review of the argument as it was originally presented by various Islamic philosophers about a thousand years ago starts the book. I found most of the arguments here comprehensible because Craig had the foresight to put the arguments into a chart, so that you can visually see the progression of the ideas. For most readers, this material will be completely new. Islamic philosophers are rarely covered in first year university and courses on such topics are few and far between.
The second section is the modern defense of the kalam cosmological argument. Craig arguments are of two types; philosophical (using mathematics as his evidence) and scientific or empirical (using astronomy and physics as his evidence). The mathematics arguments are extremely difficult to follow and I think most readers will only understand parts of it.
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Format: Paperback
This was Craig's first book on the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA)published in 1979. If one wants to begin reading up on this particular cosmological argument, then this is the place to start. The argument is a simple modus ponens, with airtight premises. As a philosopher, I must say that this was what got me interested in cosmological arguments. This argument is usually expressed in only 18 words, and yet it communicates so much. Unfortunately, this argument has received a lot of non-academic attention from laymen and other popularists/sensationalists from within the rather unsavory internet community. This has predictably brought forth vast amounts of unsophisticated responses, desperate to avoid the conclusion of the KCA. But, within academia on the other hand, this is a very cogent argument that lends to deep cosmological and metaphysical considerations. It does not look like amazon has included the table of contents for viewers to see at the time that I am writing this.Read more ›
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