in category Kalam (Theology)

What is the kalam argument for proving the existence of God?

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The kalam cosmological argument as a proof for God's existence originated with the mediaeval Arabic theologians (mutakallimoon) and the philosophers (faylasoof). Two of the most important versions of this argument emerged from their writings: the argument from temporal regress and the argument from contingency.

It was later inherited by the West, though virtually every anthology and book ignores their contribution, where it became the centre of controversy.

Historically great thinkers opposed each other on both sides of the debate: Ghazali vs ibn Rushd, Saadia vs Maimonides, Bonaventure vs Aquinas.

The centrally contested issue was whether the temporal series of past events could be actually infinite.

Advocates of the argument believed it could not and the universe had to have had an absolute beginning; and as the universe could not have come into existence uncaused, from nothing, there must exist a primary eternal uncaused cause, a Creator of the universe, or God.

In this answer, I will elaborate the main kalam arguments for Kindi, Ghazali and Saadia who provide exemplary models for it. I will then briefly consider the arguments themselves and what current thinkers across philosophy, theology, maths and science make of them, considering infinity, nature of time, origins of the universe and the nature of God.

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