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A Reply to the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

1. Introduction and some terminology .


2. An analysis of the proposed creato r, and the proposed creation account .
2.1. Timelessness.
2. 1 .1 . Timelessness and change.
2.1.2 Timelessness, changelessness and quiescence.
2.1. 2 .1. A brief analysis.
2.1. 2 .2. ome terminology.
2.1. 2 .!. Changes and infinity.
2.1. 2 .". #iscrete time.
2.1. 2 .$. An absolute temporal beginning.
2.1. 2 .% & o ontological difference.
2.1. ! . Timelessness sans creatio n. 'ore on Craig(s description .
2.1. " . 'etrically amorphous time.
2. 2. Conclusions based on the analysis of the proposed creator .
!. T h e f irst p remise of the KCA.
!.1. )eginning to e*ist and coming into e*istence . A n alternati+e principle .
!.2. Arguments in support of the first premise.
!.2.1. &othing comes from nothing .
!.2.2. Another alternati+e principle.
!.2. ! . Is the uni+erse an un,ustified e*ception-
!.2.". .mpirical e+idence.
4. The econd /remise of the KCA.
". 1. 0ilbert(s 0otel.
". 2. 1rim reapers.
". ! . Aristotelian2d iscrete time , infinite regres s and more grim reapers.
". " . 1rim placers and3or grim signalers.
". ". 1. /ossibility of a grim placer.
". " .2. Compressibility of spacetime.
". " .! . Infinitary patch4or5 and binary patch4or5 .
".".". )inary patch4or5 suffices.
".".$. Infinite past, undefeated.
". $ . An infinity by successi+e addition-
". $ .1. Tristram handy.
".$.2. 'ethuselah.
". $ .! . 6rbits and parity.
". % . cientific cosmology .
". % .1. The 7riedmann89ema:tre 'odel.
". % .2. The )orde2 1uth2 ;ilen5in Theorem.
". %. !. 6ther arguments based on scientific cosmology .
". % .". Cyclic models and others for an infinite past .
$. Conclusio ns .
%. &otes.
<. R eferences.
1. Introduction and some terminology.
a. The premises and conclusion of the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) can be stated as
follows: = r 1>
P1. Eer!thing that begins to e"ist has a cause.
P#. The unierse began to e"ist.
C. The unierse has a cause.
The KCA is defended b! some theist philosophers in combination with other arguments intended to
bridge the gap between the conclusion that the unierse has a cause and a conclusion that the cause
of the unierse is a being with certain properties$ in particular a personal agent of great power.
% will call the combination of the KCA with those other arguments$ &KCA'(.
%n this essa!$ % will assess the KCA'$ and argue that it proides no support for the conclusion that
there is a powerful personal agent who created the unierse$ both b! challenging the premises of the
KCA itself$ and the creation account proposed in usual ersions of the KCA'.
b. % will focus mostl! on )illiam *ane Craig+s ersion of the KCA'$ but % will also assess some
alternatie arguments.
c. % will use the word ,-argument+ to denote (depending on conte"t) either formal arguments (i.e.$
premises and conclusion)$ or the arguments (in the sense of -arguing a case+) gien in defense of
said premises. these usages are common and shouldn+t cause confusion$ gien conte"t.
d. % will call the parts of this essa! -sections+ and -subsections+$ without using /sub0subsections/ or
similar terms. Conte"t and some lin1s between different parts of this essa! should preent
ambiguit!.
e. 2! ,incoherent, % mean that a claim is either meaningless$ or meaningful but contradictor!.
2. An analysis of the proposed creator, and the proposed creation account.
According to )illiam *ane Craig$ the creator proposed b! the KCA' is a personal being who is
timeless without creation$ and temporal with creation.
2ut that raises 3uestions li1e: -)hat does the word -timeless+ mean$ in this conte"t4, ,%s such claim
coherent4, -%s it compatible with the premises of the KCA4,$ etc.
%n this section % will assess some of those issues$ and generall! Craig+s creation account.
2.1. Timelessness.
The word -timeless+ is not a word collo3uiall! used$ in the releant sense.5 1 6
7et$ Craig does not seem to proide a clear definition$ which leaes the matter of the meaning of the
claim that 8od is timeless without creation but temporal with creation$ obscure at best.
%n order to tr! to understand what Craig means b! -timeless+$ or at least to appro"imate the concept$
one potential approach would be to loo1 at a list of entities that Craig calls &timeless( and at a list of
entities that he does not call &timeless( 0 and much better !et$ entities that he clearl! would
categori9e as not timeless 0$ and tr! to grasp the meaning of the term -timeless+ from that.
:ow$ entities that are not called &timeless( b! Craig are eas! to find. ;oreoer$ he claims that 8od
is temporal with creation$ and gien his argumentation$ it seems clear that his position is that$ sa!$
horses$ planets$ humans$ etc.$ are not timeless.
<n the other hand$ entities that Craig calls &timeless( are not so eas! to find. Craig gies the
e"ample of a number5r#6$ but he+s not a Platonist$ and furthermore$ 3uestions the e"istence of
numbers. 5r=] >till$ we ma! understand his e"ample as impl!ing that if &numbers e"ist( were true ?
as an ontological claim 0$ then a number would be an e"ample of a timeless entit!.
@oweer$ that e"ample alone does not suffice to grasp the meaning of the word in Craig+s usage.
:or does the combination of the e"ample of a number and the er! different e"ample of 8od.
>till$ perhaps we ma! add to the list some e"amples of entities ? or alleged entities ? called
&timeless( b! some other philosophers. ;a!be Craig and those other philosophers are all using the
word -timeless+ in the same sense.
%f so$ on the list of timeless entities ? or candidates to timeless entities$ if the! were entities and
e"isted 0$ we would hae$ sa!$ the number A$ the set of natural numbers$ the proposition that water
is H2O, etc.
<n the list of non0timeless entities$ we would hae trains$ planets$ humans$ mos3uitoes$ iruses$
telephones$ apples$ oranges$ human souls if the! e"isted$ etc.
@oweer$ if one tried to grasp the meaning of -timeless+ based on those lists$ it would seem obious
that personal beings are not timeless.
%f it+s not obious that personal beings are neer timeless$ then that approach to grasping the
meaning of the word -timeless+, in this conte"t does not wor1 at all ? at least$ not for me.
Perhaps$ gien Craig+s relational theor! of time$ it might be said that being timeless is at least
e3uialent to not standing in temporal relationships$ een if the meaning is not the same. That does
not seem to help much in m! iew$ but it+s something. ;oreoer$ there is another wa! of at least
approaching Craig+s concept of timelessness$ namel! considering some of the conse3uences of
timelessness according to Craig$ which one ma! deduce from some of his statements.
>o$ based on that$ and een though what Craig means b! -timeless+ remains obscure$ % will proceed
to anal!9e some of his claims.
2.1.1. Timelessness and change.
Craig claims that in his timeless state$ 8od is changeless$ or unchanging. @oweer$ Craig also
claims that 8od can change and changed and ceased to be timeless.5 r B 6
2ut how can we ma1e sense of those claims4
)e can understand the idea that an obCect < remains changeless for a while and then changes. That
means that < remains unchanged as time goes by$ during some period$ and after that period ends$ <
changes.
@oweer$ clearl! that is not applicable here$ since that would impl! that 8od+s changeless state
obtains during a temporal interal through which 8od remains unchanged$ !et Craig is claiming
timelessness in addition to changelessness$ and while Craig+s usage of the word -timeless+, is not
clear$ it is at least clear that a timeless state cannot be one during which time goes b!.
>o$ the claim of changelessness is also er! obscure.
;oreoer$ in the conte"t of his defense of the KCA$ Craig claims that instantaneous changes are
impossible$ and that eer! eentDchange has a finite$ non09ero duration. 5 r A 6
>o$ let+s consider the change in 8od from being timeless to being temporal. That is surel! a change$
in the usual sense of the word -change+ 0 which is Craig+s usage 0$ and so it follows from Craig+s
claims that it has a finite$ non09ero duration$ sa! d E F.
Thus$ there is a temporal interal of non09ero duration d that ends at the first temporal state of the
world$ namel! the first state at which 8od is temporal. That entails there was a temporal interal of
non09ero duration d before there was time. 2ut that is absurd.
Craig actuall! addressed this obCection or an essentiall! similar one on his website5 r G 6 $ and
contended that:
a. )hen he defines what &eent( means5 r A 6 $ in the conte"t of his defense of the KCA$ he+s
tr!ing to rule out instantaneous changes$ and in that technical sense of -eent+,$ an!thing that
is instantaneous would not count as an eent.
b. The creation of the unierse b! 8od or$ for that matter$ 8od+s changing from timeless to
temporal$ would not 3ualif! as an eent in that sense$ since it+s instantaneous.
c. )hen he said that 8od changed and ceased to be timeless$ he was using the word -change+
in a different sense from the sense in which he was using that word in the conte"t of the
Kalam Cosmological Argument. Hurthermore$ when he said that 8od changed$ in that conte"t$
he merel! meant that 8od+s properties at his timeless state are different from his properties at
his first temporal state. 5 r G 6
d. %n an! case$ an! problem can be resoled simpl! b! stipulating$ in the conte"t of the
defense of the KCA$ that one is tal1ing about changes of e3ual$ non09ero and arbitrar!
duration$ so the alleged contradiction can be resoled simpl! b! a clarification of one+s terms.
5 r G 6
@oweer$ all four claims a0d. aboe are mista1en$ for the following reasons:
a. Craig defined ,-eent+ to mean -an! change+$ and then claimed that because an! change
ta1es time$ then under that definition$ there cannot be an! instantaneous eents$ which is
another wa! of sa!ing that because an! change ta1es time$ there cannot be an! instantaneous
changes.
@oweer$ it+s not the case that an!thing instantaneous would not count as an ,-eent+ in that
sense of -eent+ if that instantaneous thing were a change. An! change$ instantaneous or not$
would be an eent$ b! definition. Iather$ in the conte"t of that defense of the KCA$ Craig
claims that any change takes time 5 r A 6 $ and from that and the definition of ,-eent+ as ,an!
change+ 0 rather than from the definition of -eent+ alone ? he concludes that there are no
instantaneous eents.
%n that conte"t$ Craig does not define -change+. Iather$ he uses ,-change+ in the usual sense$
and defines -eent+, in terms of -change+,.
The obCection here is that the change in 8od from his timeless state to his first temporal state
would be$ well$ a change$ and as such$ b! Craig+s own claims$ it would hae a finite$ non09ero
duration$ resulting in a contradiction.
b. As before$ since -eent+ means -an! change+ in the sense in which Craig uses the term
-eent+, in the conte"t of his defense of the KCA$ 8od+s becoming temporal does 3ualif! as an
eent$ since that is clearl! a change in 8od. %f said change in 8od were instantaneous and had
no finite$ non09ero duration$ then that would contradict Craigs claim that an! change ta1es
time$ and has a finite$ non09ero duration.
c. %f b! sa!ing that 8od changed and ceased to be timeless$ Craig had merel! meant that
8od+s properties at his timeless state are different from the properties 8od has at his first
temporal state$ then for that matter Craig might as well had said that 8od changed and ceased
to be temporal$ becoming timeless. 2ut clearl!$ in conte"t$ that would be a er! different
claim.
>o$ considering conte"t$ one can ascertain that Craig did not merel! mean that 8od has
different properties at those two states.
;oreoer$ we can tell that when he said that 8od changed$ Craig meant that...8od changed$
using the word -change+, in the usual sense of that word in English.
The usual sense of -change+ is also the wa! in which Craig used -change+ in the conte"t of the
defense of the KCA as well5 r A 6 $ since he defined -eent+ in terms of change$ but gae no
definition of -change+ or made an! suggestion that he was using -change+ in a non0standard$
technical fashion.
d. >tipulating that one is going to tal1 about those eents in particular does not change the fact
that the claim that an! change ta1es time and has a finite$ non09ero duration$ plus the claim
that 8od changed from a timeless state to a first temporal state$ entails a contradiction. The
contradiction still follows from Craig+s claims.
%n m! assessment$ Craig+s contradictor! claims plus the fact that in his repl! to the obCection
mentioned aboe he misunderstood the claims he had made earlier$ onl! compound the problem of
the obscurit! of his creation account$ raising serious doubts about his own understanding of the
position he+s defending$ and of the coherence of said position.
>till$ we ma! consider whether there is a wa! out for a defender of a position similar to Craig+s.
%f there were a wa! out of this particular difficult!$ it would re3uire den!ing that an! change ta1es a
positie amount of time$ since time before time ma1es no sense$ and 8od clearl! changes$ on
Craig+s description or similar ones$ from a state at which he+s timeless$ to a state at which he is not
timeless.
@oweer$ den!ing that an! change ta1es a positie amount of time would raise another difficult!$
namel! that instantaneous changes seem to be a problem under a theor! of time that maintains that
time is discrete$ which is the 1ind of theor! defended b! Craig and usuall! espoused b! defenders
of the KCA'.
;ore precisel!$ if time is dense$ and ? for instance ? there are two temporal interals AJ5a$ b) and
2J5b$ c)$ then the temporal distance between A and 2 is 9ero. %f P obtains all through A$ and KP
obtains all through 2$ there is a sense in which it ma1es sense to sa! that the change from P+s
obtaining to P+s not obtaining is instantaneous. 7et$ if time is discrete$ this option is not aailable$
and it+s hard to see how one can ma1e sense of instantaneous changes in discrete time.
2ut let+s consider other difficulties$ independent from the preious obCection.
2.1.2. Timelessness, changelessness and quiescence.
According to Craig$ the unierse cannot hae e"isted in an &absolutel! 3uiescent state($ li1e 8od+s
? alleged ? initial timeless state. 5 r A 6
@oweer$ as in the case of changelessness$ that raises the 3uestion of how we can ma1e sense of
such a claim5 # 6 . Lsuall!$ we would understand that a 3uiescent obCect is one that is at rest as time
goes by$ but gien Craig+s claim of timelessness$ the claim of 3uiescence is pu99ling.
%n the rest of this subsection$ % will continue to anal!9e that claim$ as well as the claim of
changelessness in the conte"t of his creation account.
2.1.2.1. A brief analysis.
*et+s consider first two scenarios$ ordering states of the world causall!.
cenario a?
First state of the world:
Timeless state >. The onl! obCect that e"ists is <. 5 = 6
Second state of the world:
Temporal state. tJF. The obCects are < and L$ and < is the cause of the e"istence of L.
hird state of the world:
Temporal state. tJr E F. The obCects are <$ L and$ perhaps some other obCects.
cenario b?
First state of the world:
%nitial temporal state. tJF. The onl! obCect is <.
Second state of the world:
Temporal state. tJrEF. The obCects are < and L$ and < is the cause of the e"istence of L.
hird state of the world:
Temporal state. tJs E r. The obCects are <$ L and$ perhaps some other obCects.
>o$ allegedl! and going b! Craig+s statements$ the 5causall!6 first state of the world would be
changeless andDor absolutel! 3uiescent in scenario a$ but neither changeless nor 3uiescent in
scenario b. 5 # 6
2ut that seems clearl! false$ since the first scenario and the second seem to be e!actly the same in
terms of changes and lac1 of 3uiescence. %n particular$ the entit! < at the first stage of the world
changes from that state to the second state of the world in the two scenarios.
;oreoer$ if$ in scenario b$ obCect < begins to e"ist$ then it seems so does obCect < in scenario a$
and so in particular$ Craig+s 8od would be an entit! that begins to e"ist but has no cause of his
e"istence$ contradicting premise 1 of the KCA.
<n the other hand$ if it is not the case that in scenario b$ obCect < begins to e"ists$ then for that
matter it might be$ for all we 1now$ that if the past is finite$ it is not the case that the unierse begins
to e"ist$ contradicting premise # of the KCA.
%n brief$ those -two+ scenarios appear to be ontologicall! identical$ despite the label -timeless+ in the
first one$ and rather than two scenarios$ it seems to be one with different labels.
At this point$ someone might suggest that scenario a might not properl! represent Craig+s iew of
8od+s being timeless without creation and temporal with it$ and that perhaps$ on his iew$ there
might not be a first temporal state at tJF$ but instead an open temporal interal of the form (F$ u6 for
some uEF$ and that there are times arbitraril! close to 9ero$ but not an initial moment. @oweer$
Craig+s position entails that such open interal is impossible because it would be an actual infinit!$
so this obCection would fail.
%n the following subsections$ % will anal!9e this matter in greater detail.
2.1.2.2. ome terminology and assumptions for the rest of subsectio n 2.1.! .
1. % will use use bold$ italic$ uppercase letters (e.g.$ J, K$ etc.) to denote finite temporal interals$
and bold italic lowercase letters (e.g.$ t, u$ etc.) to denote temporal instants. % will also number them
(e.g.$ t(1), t(2)$ etc.).
2. )hen % tal1 of temporal interals or instants$ %+m tal1ing about actual features of the world ?
whateer those happen to be 0$ not about mathematical models.
!. )hen % spea1 of temporal interals$ %+m assuming those interals are of finite duration$ though
not necessaril! of e3ual duration.
". 2! ,M, % mean -earlier than+$ in the usual$ temporal sense of -earlier+,. Hor instance$ JMK means
that J and K do not oerlap in an! interal of non09ero duration$ and J happens earlier than K.
$. @hen I pro+e lemmas, unless other4ise stated, I(m assuming any parts of Craig(s position,
as required. %n other words$ those lemmas are statements that follow from Craig+s position. % will
e"plain wh! that is his position when such e"planation is needed.
2.1.2.!. Changes and infinity.
9emma 1? %nfinitel! man! actual changes in the world are impossible$ regardless of whether
their duration is e3ual.
Proof:
This can easil! be seen in Craig+s defense of the KCA. Hor e"ample$ he claims that an infinite
temporal regress is an actual infinit!. 5 r N 6 %n conte"t$ Craig is tal1ing about changes of e3ual
temporal length$ but clearl!$ his claim that the! constitute an actual infinit! in the sense of
cardinalit! does not depend on their length$ and he claims that such infinities are impossible.
2.1.2.". #iscrete time
#efinition: A temporal interal J has propert! O if and onl! if there is some positie integer
:(J)$ such that J does not hae more than :(J) temporal subinterals different from each
other. E3uialentl!$ J has propert! O if and onl! if it is not the case that there are more actual
different temporal subinterals of J than an! natural number.
9emma 2? %f there are temporal interals$ then eer! temporal interal J has propert! O.
Proof:
*et+s assume there is a temporal interal J that does not hae propert! O.
2! lemma 1$ there are onl! finitel! man! actual changes that happen in the world during J. >o$ let
m A # be a natural number greater than the number of actual changes during B.
>ince J does not hae propert! O$ there is some natural number r A C2D mE (for instance)$ such that
J actuall! has r different temporal subinterals$ J(1), J(2), J(3).., J(r).
*et us consider the following changes$ for 1 in P1$...$r01Q
.C5E? 1od changes from not 5no4ing that J(k) is past to 5no4ing that J(k) is past.
7C5E? 1od changes from not 5no4ing that J(k) is present to 5no4ing that J(k) is present.
:ote that those are actual changes in the world$ more precisel! in the mind of 8od. 8ien that the
interals are different from each other$ there are at least r21 A m distinct changes$ contradicting the
assumption. That proes lemma #$ under the assumption that 8od e"ists$ which is clearl! Craig+s
position.
9emma !? %f there are temporal interals$ eer! such interal J is diided in finitel! man!
ordered temporal interals$ each of which has no actual proper subinterals.
Proof:
*et n(J) be the total number of actual temporal subinterals of each subinteral J; b! lemma 2 . n(J)
is finite for all J.
Then$ gien some interal K$ if n(K)J1$ we+re through$ since K has no proper subinterals.
>uppose that lemma = is true for an! J such that n(J) R n$ for some n E 1$ and let K be such that
n(K)Jn.
Then$ let K(1) be a proper subinteral of K. Then$ b! h!pothesis$ the lemma applies both to K(1)
and to an! part of K before and after K(1). Then$ b! induction$ the lemma is proed.
9emma "? %f there are temporal instants$ then for eer! two instants t and u such that t M u$
there is some nonnegatie integer :(t, u)$ such that there are no more than :(t, u) instants
between t and u.
Proof:
>imilar to the proof of lemma #$ with the re3uired changes to address instants instead of interals.
9emma $: Either there are temporal interals that do not hae actual diisions (i.e.$ no actual
proper subinterals)$ or there are instants.
Proof:
<n a tensed theor! of time$ temporal becoming is a real feature of the world$ so if there are no
interals$ it seems clear that there are instants. %f there are interals$ there are interals that don,t
hae actual diisions in smaller interals$ b! lemma =.
2.1.!.$. An absolute temporal beginning
9emma %? %f there are temporal interals$ there is an absolutel! first such temporal interal
K()$ which has no actual proper subinterals. ;oreoer$ if there is more than one interal$
then there is a second such interal K(1) with no proper subinterals. 8enerall! the past is
composed of finitel! man! such temporal interals$ each of which has no proper subinterals.
Proof: *et+s assume there are infinitel! man! past interals PK(n)F, for all natural numbers n.
*et+s consider the eents
1CnE? 1od changes from not 5no4ing that K(n) is past to 5no4ing that K(n) is past.
0CnE? 1od changes from not 5no4ing that K(n) is present to 5no4ing that K(n) is
present.
Then$ there are infinitel! man! actual past changes$ contradicting lemma 1.
That proes that if there are temporal interals$ there are finitel! man! past ones$ assuming that 8od
e"ists ? which is Craig+s position 0$ and other parts of his position.
>ince each such interal is diided in finitel! man! subinterals each of which has no proper
subinterals b! preious lemmas$ then it follows that if there are temporal interals$ then there are
finitel! man! past interals with no proper subdiisions$ and a first such interal K().
%f there is some other interal J such that begins earlier than J than K()$ then b! lemma = we can
diide J in interals that are not further diided$ and one of them would be earlier than K()$ a
contradiction.
2! a similar procedure$ we can construct a second one$ and so on$ and the total number up to the
present time must be finite b! lemma 1$ since otherwise we could construct an infinite se3uence of
temporal changes.
That proes lemma G.
9emma <? %f there are temporal instants$ there is a first temporal instant t(). >imilarl!$ there
is a second instant t(1)$ a third one t(2)$ and generall! the past is composed of a finite number
of such instants.
Proof:
*i1e the proof of lemma G$ remoing superfluous parts and ma1ing the necessar! changes to
address instants instead of interals.
9emma G: Either there is a first temporal instant t(), or a first interal K() that has no
proper temporal subinterals.
Proof:
%t follows from lemmas A$ G$ and N.
9emma H: There is an absolute first$ temporal state of the world T(F)$ with no temporall!
proper states contained in it. ;oreoer$ there is a second such state T(1)$ a third T(#)$ and
generall! the past if composed of finitel! man! such states.
%f there are instants$ then let T(n) be the state of the world at t(n), for all different past instants$
ta1ing t(n) M t(n'1). %t+s clear$ then$ for 1En$ T(1) is different from T(n)$ though we ma! as well
proe that too$ as follows: Hor 1En$ at T(1) 8od 1nows that t(n) is past and that there are at least n
past instants$ whereas at T(n)$ it is not the case that 8od 1nows that t(n) is past and it is not the case
that 8od 1nows that there are at least n past instants.
>o$ if 1En$ then the states T(1) and T(n) are actuall! different from each other. Also$ since each T(n)
corresponds to a single instant$ it has no proper temporal subdiisions.
%f there are no instants$ then there are interals with no proper subinterals b! lemma A. >o$ let T(n)
be the state of the world at K(n)$ for all past interals with no proper temporal subinterals$ and
ta1ing K(n) M K(n!1).
Then$ for 1En$ at T(1) 8od 1nows that K(n) is past and that there are at least n past interals with no
proper subinterals$ whereas at T(n)$ it is not the case that 8od 1nows that K(n) is past and it is not
the case that 8od 1nows that there are at least n past interals with no proper subinterals. >o$ if
1En$ then the states of the world T(1) and T(n) are different from each other.
Also$ since each T(n) corresponds to a single interal with no proper subinterals$ there are no
actual temporal diisions in each state T(n).
This establishes lemma S.
2.1.!.%. &o ontological difference
*et+s consider now the following two scenarios$ ordering the states in terms of causal priorit!.
cenario 1?
First state of the world:
Timeless state >.
The onl! obCect is 8od$ which e"ists timelessl! at > and without a cause of his e"istence.
Second state of the world:
Hirst temporal state T(F).
8od e"ists temporall!$ and the unierse5 B 6 e"ists. The change from the first to the second state
of the world$ including the creation of the unierse and 8od+s own change from timeless to
temporal$ ta1es place because 8od intends to bring it about.
hird state of the world:
>econd temporal state T(1). The obCects are 8od$ the unierse$ and perhaps some other
obCects.
cenario 2?
First state of the world:
Hirst temporal state T(F).
The onl! obCect is 8od$ who e"ists temporall! at T(F) and without a cause.
Second state of the world:
>econd temporal state T(1).
8od e"ists temporall!$ and the unierse e"ists. The change from the first to the second state of
the world$ including the creation of the unierse$ ta1es place because 8od intends to bring it
about.
hird state of the world:
Third temporal state T(#). The obCects are 8od$ the unierse$ and the same other obCects as in
scenario 1 (if an!)$ with the same causes.
%t appears that een though the word -timeless+ is used in the first scenario$ the first causal state in
scenario 1 is ontologicall! no different li1e the first temporal and causal state T(F) in scenario #. %n
other words$ it seems those aren+t reall! two scenarios$ but one scenario with two different labels.
This is so because:
i. %n both cases$ what we hae is a first state of the world changing into the ne"t$ then the
ne"t$ and so on.
ii. %n both cases$ 8od e"ists without a cause of his e"istence at the first state of the world.
iii. %n both cases$ the unierse e"ists at the second state of the world$ and e"ists because 8od
intends to bring it about$ and so on.
i. 8enerall!$ one is not able to find a distinction on those states b! inspection of the
description$ other than the difference in the words that are used.
Also$ sa!ing that the difference between the two scenarios is that one state ? namel!$ state > in
scenario 1 ? is timeless and changeless and the other ? namel!$ T(F) in scenario # ? is temporal and
changing$ or that in one of them there at least one tensed fact$ whereas in the other one there are no
tensed facts$ etc.$ would fail to address the obCection$ since that would Cust amount to denying that
there is no ontological difference$ without e"plaining how or why that is so$ which is a burden on
the defender of the KCA ' $ since it seems intuitiel! er! plausible that the states are ontologicall!
identical Cust b! loo1ing at the description of those states$ regardless of the word -timeless+.
%n particular$ one can tell that despite the claim that the first state in scenario 1 is said to be timeless$
it is not changeless. %n fact$ -both+ states are not changeless$ and for the same reason$ namel! that
Cust as 8od changes from his first to his second state in scenario #$ he does so in scenario 1.
>o$ it seems it remains the case that there is an entit! ? i.e.$ 8od ? that e"ists at a first state of the
world and without a cause of his e"istence$ changes to a second state$ then to a third one$ etc.$
regardless of whether the first state of that entit! is called "timeless.
Thus$ if the concept of timelessness is coherent and entails changelessness$ then scenario 1 is
improperl! described as timeless$ since the first state is not changeless$ and hence not timeless. %t
appears$ then$ that scenario 1 is Cust scenario #$ plus a false claim of timelessness.
*et+s consider now potential obCections$ claiming ontological differences between scenario 1 and
scenario #.
"b#ection 1$ #n ontological difference between scenario $ and scenario 2 is that temporal
states of %od must change as time goes by, whereas the timeless state S in scenario 1 could
ha&e remained unchanged'
(n other words, if %od e!ists at temporal state )*+ , as in scenario # ?, then necessarily,
there will be a second temporal state )$+, and necessarily, %od will change from )*+ to
)$+' On the other hand, if %od e!ists in a timeless state S )as in scenario 1+, then it is
%ossible, gi&en that first timeless state S of %od, that %od ne&er changes'
The problem with that obCection is that it follows from an! creation h!potheses posited b!
defenders of the KCA ' ? i'e', gi&en what %ods first state actually would ha&e been, based on the
implications of their claims ,$ that it is im%ossible that 8od neer changes gien that particular first
allegedl! timeless state >$ which shows both scenario 1 and scenario # are indistinguishable in that
regard as well$ as the following reasoning shows (as usual$ the states of the world are ordered
causall!):
cenario !?
First state of the world:
Timeless state >. The onl! obCect is 8od$ who e"ists timelessl! at > and without a cause.
Second state of the world:
Temporal state T(F). 8od e"ists temporall!$ and the unierse e"ists temporall!. The change
from the first to the second state of the world$ including the creation of the unierse and 8od+s
own change from timeless to temporal$ ta1es place because 8od intends to bring it about.
cenario "?
First state of the world:
Timeless state >,. The onl! obCect is 8od$ which e"ists timelessl! at >, and without a cause.
There are no temporal states of the world.
%n scenario =$ if 8od does not intend at the allegedly timeless state & to change$ then at T(F) 8od
-ust found himself altered.
%n other words$ if 8od+s intent to change does not e"ist at the allegedly timeless state & $ then the
change is not something brought about because 8od intends to bring it about$ but something that
happened to %od$ be!ond his intent.
That is so because the change under consideration is a change in 8od+s state$ and from the causally
first state >' %n other words$ it+s a change from S to T(F)'
>o$ if 8od does not intend at S to bring about the change$ then said change cannot hae been caused
b! 8od+s intent at T(F) or at an! later state of the world$ gien that > is causally prior to T(F) and to
an! other state.
@oweer$ that contradicts the h!pothesis that the change in scenario = happens because %od intends
to bring it about$ rather than being something that happens to 8od.
Thus$ at >, 8od intends to bring about the change. @ence$ gien 8od+s state at > in scenario =$ it is
impossible that 8od does not change$ since 8od can,t fail to bring about what he intends to bring
about.
;oreoer$ Cust as in scenario = it is impossible that 8od does not change$ the same is true and for
the same reasons in scenario 1. Also$ the state > in scenario = is different from the state >, in
scenario B$ in which 8od does not change$ and so he does not intend to change.
>o$ if the concept of timelessness is coherent and state >, in scenario B is a timeless state$ then that
state is ontologicall! different from an! initial state of the actual world posited b! defenders of the
KCA'$ which ? despite claims of timelessness ? remains ontologicall! indistinguishable from a
first temporal state$ as far as one can tell.
At this point$ someone might suggest that$ in scenario =$ 8od e"ercised his libertarian free will at
T(F) to bring about the change$ but at S$ it is not the case that he intends to change.
@oweer$ leaing aside issues about the coherence of libertarian free will$ that is impossible for the
same reasons % gae aboe$ namel! that since the change under consideration is 8od+s change from
S to )*+$ it was not decided at T(F) or later$ due to the causal priorit! of >.
Thus$ as shown aboe$ at S 8od intends to change$ and gi&en S$ necessaril! 8od changes.
%f that conclusion is incompatible with 8od+s haing libertarian free will at >$ then that would not
bloc1 the conclusion % proed aboe ? since the argument goes through Cust as well 0$ so that would
onl! mean that Craig+s description is incompatible with 8od+s haing libertarian free will at >$
creating a new problem for Craig+s account$ rather than resoling one.
<n the other hand$ if that conclusion is compatible with 8od+s haing libertarian free will at >$ the
point remains that gi&en S$ necessaril! 8od changes$ and so obCection 1 fails.
"b#ection 2. #n ontological difference between scenario $ and scenario 2 is that gi&en the
first temporal state of %od in scenario 2, it is not only necessary but causally necessary that
the state changes, whereas gi&en timeless state S in scenario 1$ it is necessary that %od
changes, but not causally necessary'
Actuall!$ een if sometimes a state of affairs can determine but not causall! determine following
states$ this is not the case of the state > and 8od+s being in a different state later$ since gi&en S$ it is
necessar! and causally necessar! that 8od changes.
The reason for that is that the change in 8od from the timeless state > to the first temporal state T(F)
is a change from the causally first state of the world, and brought about by %od. >o$ gien that what
causes 8od to change from the first state > is that 8od intends to change$ and nothing at T(F) or
generall! later than > could hae caused a change from S$ then 8od intends to change at S$ and that
is causall! sufficient to bring about that %od changes'
"b#ection 3. .hile its true that there is no ontological difference between scenario 1 and
scenario 2, the initial state in both scenarios is timeless, not temporal' he scenario
improperly described is scenario 2, rather than scenario $'
Assuming for the sa1e of the argument that the first state of 8od is somehow is properl! called
-timeless+ in scenario 1 for some reason$ then it seems that the same is true of the first state of the
uni&erse in the following scenario$ understanding that metaph!sical time begins with the unierse.
cenario $?
First state of the world:
The unierse e"ists without a cause of its e"istence. :othing else e"ists ? there ma! or ma!
not be some things in the unierse$ but nothing be!ond the unierse.
Second state of the world:
The unierse has changed and e"ists in its second state. :othing else e"ists.
Tust as 8od e"ists without a cause in scenario1$ scenario #$ and scenario =$ the unierse5 B 6 e"ists
without a cause in scenario A. And Cust as 8od changes from the first to the second state of the
world in scenario 1 $ scenario #$ and scenario =$ the unierse so changes in scenario A.
After that$ 8od in those scenarios continues to change from one state of the world to the ne"t$ and
the same is true of the unierse in scenario A.
Also$ when the unierse changes from its first state to its second state$ there is no preious change$
and no period during which the unierse remains unchanged. 2ut that is e'actly what happens in the
case of 8od in scenario 1.
8ien the aboe$ there seems to be no sense of "/uiescent or "changeless in which the uni&erse
would fail to be /uiescent or changeless in scenario 0, but %od wouldnt fail to be so in scenario$'
>o$ there seems to be no ontological difference that would Custif! den!ing that the first state of 8od
is temporal in scenario1$ but wouldn+t Custif! den!ing that the first state of the unierse is temporal
in scenario A.
>omeone might suggest that in scenario1 and scenario #$ the change from the first to the second
state of the world$ including the creation of the unierse and 8od+s own change from timeless to
temporal$ ta1es place because 8od intends to bring it about$ whereas in scenario A$ the cause of the
change is not specified.
@oweer$ that would be unrelated to the issue of changelessness$ 3uiescence$ etc.$ and in an! case$
we ma! as well further specif! the scenario and add that$ in scenario A$ the change from the first to
the second state of the unierse is brought about b! the unierse+s conditions at its first state
(including$ of course$ an! particles if there are an!$ etc.$ and generall! the unierse+s causal powers
andDor causal powers of the particles$ etc.)$ regardless of whether we put that in terms of substances
and causal powers and liabilities$ or in terms of substances and laws$ or in some other wa!.
Thus$ the unierse$ which has certain conditions in its first state$ brings about the change to its
second state$ Cust as 8od and his intent at the first state brings about the change in scenario1.
)e ma! also stipulate if we so choose ? though we don+t need to ? that the change indeterministic
in scenario A$ so that gien the first state of the unierse$ there is more than one possible second
state$ but onl! one actuall! obtains. or we ma! alternatiel! ma1e it deterministic$ etc.
%n an! case$ that would not ma1e an! difference in terms of changelessness or 3uiescence.
2.1.". Timelessness sans creation. 'ore on Craig(s description.
%n this subsection$ % will address a more elaborate description of 8od+s alleged timelessness sans
creation$ which Craig gies in one of his articles5 r U 6 .
%n that article too$ he claims that sans creation$ 8od is changeless.
@oweer$ as % argued aboe$ that claim would be false. ;ore precisel!$ in the account of creation
that Craig gies$ 8od is not changeless$ but changes Cust as he or the unierse would change in
scenarios in which there is no allegedl! timeless state of affairs.
%n addition$ Craig claims that 8od is immobile. @ow can one ma1e sense of such a claim4
%t ma1es sense$ of course$ to sa! that an obCect remains immobile for a while$ so as time goes b!$ the
obCect does not moe with respect to some frame of reference. 2ut here the claim does not seem to
be about spatial moement$ so plausibl! the claim is e3uialent to the claim of changelessness$
which has the shortcomings alread! addressed.
Else$ Craig would hae to e"plain what he means.
That aside$ Craig gies an argument in support of the iew that in his changeless state$ 8od is also
timeless. A first and decisie problem is that$ as argued aboe$ the state in 3uestion ? i.e.$ the first
state of 8od ? would not be changeless. 2ut let+s consider Craig+s argument in greater detail:
@e claims that there is a possible world ? sa!$ ), 0 in which 8od refrains from creating an!thing$
and claims that in that case$ the state in 3uestion can be plausibl! and coherentl! conceied of as
&timeless(.
Then$ he argues that similarl!$ the first state of 8od in the actual world is timeless$ since there is no
intrinsic difference between the first state at the actual world and the first state at ),. Craig also
claims that the initial segments of the actual world T) and the other world ), would be identical.
%t+s still not clear to me what Craig means b! ,-timeless+ 0 if an!thing 0$ but leaing that aside$ the
claim that there is no intrinsic difference between the two states is false$ at least in an! releant
sense of -intrinsic+$ as the following argument shows:
*et > be the first state of the actual world T)$ according to Craig+s description. Then$ 8od e"ists at
>$ and nothing else e"ists at >. *et >, be the onl! state of the world ),$ at which 8od e"ists alone.
Then$ gi&en >$ necessarily %od changes$ as the anal!sis of scenario = aboe shows.
<n the other hand$ gi&en S1, it is not the case that necessarily, %od changes$ as the anal!sis of
scenario B aboe shows. Hurthermore$ gi&en S1, necessarily %od does not change , though the fact
that gien >,$ it+s not the case that 8od necessaril! changes$ is sufficient to establish that the states
are not intrinsicall! identical$ as Craig claims.
>imilar considerations appl! to causal necessit!$ also as argued aboe.
As for the claim that the initial segments would be identical$ it is also false$ since an! initial
segment of T) on Craig+s account would contain the first state >$ which is a state at which 8od and
onl! 8od e"ists$ and such that gi&en such state >$ necessarily 8od changes$ whereas that is not true
of an! initial segment of ),.
>o$ if one assumes Craig+s account of creation$ then gien an! initial segment of the actual world$
necessaril! change occurs. )hether which changes occur are determined b! such initial state is
another matter$ but there is no need to discuss it in this conte"t$ since the obCections succeed either
wa!.
%n light of the fact that gien an! initial segment of the actual world assuming Craig+s account of
creation$ change necessaril! follows$ whereas it+s not the case that gien an! initial segment of ),$
change necessaril! follows$ we ought to conclude that Craig+s claim is not true$ and the initial
segments are not identical.
Alternatiel!$ and to ma1e the point shorter$ an! initial segment of T) contains > but not >,$
whereas an! initial segment of T, contains >, but not >. @ence$ the!+re not identical.
>imilar considerations can be made with regard to casual necessit!$ also as argued earlier.
*et+s consider now two potential obCections:
"b#ection ($ The difference between > and >, described aboe is not intrinsic, whereas the
difference between T(F) in scenario 2 and > in scenario $ or scenario 2 is intrinsic.
That obCection claims that there is a difference between T(F) and >$ but does not e"plain how there
is that difference$ or what 1ind of difference that would be$ or wh! it would be intrinsic. >a!ing that
> is intrinsicall! li1e >, does not seem to address the problem$ because b! the descriptions$ > seems
indistinguishable from T(F)$ but releantl! different from >, 0 een assuming >, is coherent$ which is
not clear$ either (e.g.$ how can we ma1e sense of a person who does not change at all$ not een in
his states of mind4 %t seems he wouldn+t een thin1$ feel$ or do an!thing$ not een in his mind. if so$
how can he be conscious4 2ut *et+s let that pass).
"b#ection )$ %ods state of mind at S resembles more %ods state of mind at S1 than it
resembles the state of mind that %od would ha&e at an initial temporal state, li3e the state
)*+ presented in scenario 2'
*eaing aside that it+s not at all clear that it+s coherent to posit an! state of mind ? or an! person$ for
that matter ? in a purportedl! timeless changeless state li1e >,$ obCection A ma1es a claim of a
difference without an! e"planation as to how the state of mind of 8od in > and T(F) would be
different$ and further$ different in a sense that is connected to the issue of time.
8ien that > and the first state at T(F) in scenario # appear not to be different at all$ based on the
descriptions ? as argued aboe 0$ there appears to be no good reason to accept this obCection$ either$
at least until a defender of a KCA' can e"plain that difference coherentl!.
2.1.$ 'etrically amorphous time.
)hile Craig reCects >winburne and Padgett+s account of undifferentiated time before creation 5rU6$
he contends that a ariant of it would be compatible with 8od+s creation.
>o$ someone might tr! to combine the KCA with an account li1e that$ instead of timelessness.
@oweer. the account in 3uestion is obscure as well$ and those defending it would hae the burden
of e"plaining what the! mean. 2ut moreoer$ for that matter$ if the account is coherent$ the! would
hae to e"plain wh! 8od would be the onl! or most plausible candidate for e"isting in this 1ind of
amorphous time$ rather than some weird 3uantum thing$ or space$ or something along those lines.
2.2. Conclusions based on the analysis of the proposed creator.
2ased on the anal!sis so far$ in m! assessment one ought to reCect the KCA' as defended b! Craig$
or releantl! similar ersions$ since:
a. %t+s not clear that the idea of a timeless agent is coherent.
b. Een if a timeless agent is coherent$ it+s not clear that the idea of an agent that is timeless
sans creation but temporal with creation is coherent.
c. There are strong reasons to thin1 that the creator proposed b! Craig actuall! would be an
entit! that begins to e"ist but has no cause of his e"istence$ contradicting premise 1 of the
KCA.
d. %f the creator proposed b! Craig for some reason can be properl! called -timeless+ sans
creation$ but temporal with it ? which seems &ery implausible gien the preious subsections
0$ it seems that plausibl!$ the same would appl! to the unierse if it had a first state$ which on
its own would bloc1 the KCA$ as argued earlier.
%t might be suggested that$ perhaps$ some ersions of the KCA' defended b! other philosophers
fare better.
@oweer$ as long as the! claim that there is a personal creator that is timeless sans creation and
temporal with creation$ or ma1e an! similar claims$ it seems that the same problems will li1el!
arise$ and such claim seems to be a 1e! part of the KCA'$ at least in all usual ariants.
%n an! case$ an! defender of the KCA' ought to e"plain what the! mean when the! sa! that the
creator is timeless without creation and temporal with it$ or b! an! alternatie but also obscure
claims the! ma1e etc.$ and in particular$ e"plain how it+s not the case that 8od begins to e"ist in
their model of creation.
All that said$ % will address the premises of the KCA and the arguments offered in support of them
in the rest of the essa!$ and % will raise a number of obCections that do not depend on an! of the
preious ones.
!. The first premise of the KCA.
The first premise of the KCA states:
P1. Eer!thing that begins to e"ist has a cause.
%n this section$ % will assess first the meaning of the first premise$ and then arguments gien in
support of it.
!.1. )eginning to e*ist and coming into e*istence. An alternati+e principle.
%n his defense of the KCA$ )illiam *ane Craig assumes an understanding of -begins to e"ist+5 r S 6
which % will call ,C0begins0to0e"ist,$ and which can be stated as follows:
An entit! V C0begins to e"ist at t if and onl! if the following conditions obtain:
C456i' 7 e!ists at t, and its a tensed fact that 7 e!ists at t'
C456ii' here are no states of the world at which 7 e!ists timelessly'
C456iii' 5ither there is no t1 8 t such that 7 e!ists at t1, or any t1 8 t at which 7 e!isted is
separated from t by an inter&al of positi&e duration'
%n that definition$ V ranges oer entities$ and t oer instants or interals of finite$ non09ero duration.
*et+s briefl! anal!9e the conditions:
C456i' 7 e!ists at t, and its a tensed fact that 7 e!ists at t'
The re3uirement that V,s e"istence at t be a tensed fact$ in particular$ rules out that an! obCects begin
to e"ist if a tenseless theor! of time is true.
%t seems odd to me that Craig would include tense in the definition of /begins to e"ist/$ but he
argues that$ under a tenseless theor! of time$ a unierse with a first eent did not begin to e"ist Cust
as a meter stic1 does not begin to e"ist Cust because it has a first centimeter.5 r S 6
That argument sounds odd to me as well$ since while a meter stic1 does not begin to e!ist in irtue
of haing a first centimeter$ that,s not releant$ since haing a first centimeter is a spatial$ not a
temporal claim$ while ,begins to e"ist, 0 at least$ in this conte"t ? is clearl! a claim about time$ not
space.
%n fact$ the stic1 in 3uestion ma! properl! be said to hae a beginning in space because it has a first
centimeter 0 at least if there is no demand for an arbitraril! precise spatial beginning 0$ as long as
we ? e"plicitl! or b! conte"t ? pic1 a direction in space to sa! which centimeter is first and which
last$ or which endpoint is the spatial beginning and which one is the spatial end.
2ut similarl!$ een if a tenseless theor! of time is true$ the stic1 does hae a beginning in time if
there is$ for instance$ a first year at which it e!ists , at least if there is no demand for an arbitraril!
precise temporal beginning$ and a fu99! beginning will do 0$ and in the case of time$ we needn,t
specificall! pic1 the direction$ since the direction from past to future is alread! implicit in our
language.
That does not appear to be a difficult! for a temporal beginning of e"istence under a timeless theor!
of time. %ntuitiel!$ to sa! that the stic1 begins to e"ist seems to be the same as to sa! that the stic1
has a temporal beginning$ or a beginning in time$ and then it follows that the stic1 does begin to
e"ist$ regardless of whether a tenseless theor! of time is true.
C456ii' here are no states of the world at which 7 e!ists timelessly'
This is an een odder condition$ since the term -timeless+ is e"tremel! odd on its own$ to sa! the
least. %t+s not clear that it+s een being used coherentl! b! Craig$ as % argued earlier. 2ut %,e alread!
addressed the matter of timelessness$ so % will go no further on this point$ and assume from now on
and for the sa1e of the argument that the concept of C0begins0to0e"ist is a coherent concept.
C456iii' 5ither there is no t1 8 t such that 7 e!ists at t1, or any t1 8 t at which 7 e!isted is
separated from t by an inter&al'
This condition$ together with the fact that t ranges oer instants or interals of positie finite
duration$ entails that if there is a finite open interal (F$t6 at the beginning of the unierse$ then the
unierse began to e"ist. %t+s a debatable matter whether that respects our usual terminolog!$ gien
that it+s arguable whether the metric of time is intrinsic. 2ut % will no go further on this$ either$ and
will grant for the sa1e of the argument that the metric is intrinsic.
%n addition to giing that definition$ Craig understands ,begins to e"ist, and ,comes into being, as
semanticall! identical. %n fact$ he actuall! defines ,begins to e"ist, to mean the same as ,coming into
being,$ and then defines /comes into being/. 5 r S 6
% don,t thin1 that that captures the meaning of ,comes into being, or ,comes into e"istence,.
The idea of coming into e"istence ? or coming into being. % see no semantic difference between the
two e"pressions ? seems to impl! a change in the state of the world$ plausibl! from a state at some
time t, at which some entit! V does not e"ist$ to a later state at a time t E t,$ at which V does e"ist.
8ranted$ someone might sa! that the idea of coming into e"istence does not re3uire that the
preious state of the world at which V does not e"ist be temporal, and a causall! prior state suffices$
een if it+s a timeless state. Hor the reasons % e"plained earlier$ there are serious 3uestions about the
coherence of a timeless state that is causall! prior to a first temporal state. )e ma! assume here for
the sa1e of the argument that it is coherent in order to assess the first premise and some ariants$ but
it remains the case that % cannot ma1e an! sense of such a state$ so it+s hard for me to ma1e an!
intuitie assessment on that.
>till$ in an! case$ we ma! *et+s leae the issue of the coherence of a timeless cause of a first
temporal state and define temporally coming into e"istence$ or coming into e"istence in time, as
follows:
An entit! V temporally comes into e!istence or into being at t if and onl! if the following
conditions obtain:
TC%E0i: V e"ists at t.
TC%E0ii: There is a time t, R t such that V does not e"ist at t,.
TC%E0iii: There is no time t,, such that V e"ists at t,,$ and t, R t,, R t.
%n this conte"t$ V is also an! entit!$ and t an! instant or an! temporal interal of positie duration.
8ien those definitions$ *et+s consider another potential principles$ as an alternatie to premise 1.
P1,: Eer!thing that temporall! comes into e"istence has a cause of its e"istence.
% do not claim that the principle is true. %t ma! well be challenged. @oweer$ % offer it in order to
compare it with the principle offered in premise 1 of the KCA$ since % find P1, to be a lot more
intuitiel! plausible$ at least if one assumes that there might be a beginning of time ? a matter % will
consider in the ne"t subsection.
!.2. Arguments in support of the first premise.
%n this section$ % will consider arguments in support of the first premise gien b! )illiam *ane
Craig in his defenses of the Kalam Cosmological Argument =r 1 I >.
!.2.1. &othing comes from nothing.
Craig maintains that the principle that nothing comes from nothing is intuitie and supports the first
premise. %n this conte"t$ he points out that obCects don,t Cust pop into e"istence without a cause$ and
proides e"amples b! considering h!pothetical scenarios in which certain obCects come into
e"istence without a cause$ and pointing out that those scenarios are counterintuitie.
@oweer$ the e"amples he proides as obiousl! counterintuitie are all e"amples of obCects
temporall! coming into e!istence without a cause$ in the sense in which % defined ,temporall! com es
into e"istence, earlier .
%t is true that those scenarios are also e"amples of obCects that would begin to e"ist without a cause$
and een C0begin0to0e"ist without a cause if a tensed theor! of time is true.
@oweer$ it ma! er! well be that the feature that ma1es it intuitie that those obCects probabl!
hae causes is that the! temporall! come into e"istence$ not that the! begin to e"ist ? or ma!be it+s
some other feature.
<n that note$ there is eidence against the iew that what ma1es it intuitie ? at least to me. readers
are inited to use their own intuitions and chec1 for themseles$ of course ? that the obCects in those
h!pothetical scenarios probabl! hae causes is not the fact that those obCects begin to e"ist$ or that
the! C0 begins0to0e"ist . The eidence in 3uestion comes precisel! from considering a h!pothetical
scenario in which time begins to e"ist at tJF. %n that scenario$ % find it particularl! counterintuiti&e
that any of the obCects that e"ist at tJF would hae efficient causes. As for other$ non0efficient
causes$ it+s less clear$ but at least$ it+s not intuitie that the! all do hae such causes. Iather$ it+s
intuitie that some of those obCects do not hae causes.
>o$ after considering that$ premise 1, still loo1s intuitie5 A 6 $ but premise 1 does not.
>o$ on intuitie grounds$ one ma! reCect premise 1.
%ncidentall!$ the defender of the KCA is appealing to intuitions in support of premise 1$ and then
arguing that time has a beginning as a means of supporting premise #. 2ut if time has a beginning$
then premise 1 becomes counterintuiti&e' >o$ if the appeal to intuitions in the conte"t of the KCA is
acceptable ? as the defender of the KCA maintains 0$ then the KCA ought to be reCected ? at least$
going b! m! intuitions.
%ncidentall!$ also$ een Craig+s e"amples ? li1e$ sa!$ a horse coming into e"istence without a cause
? are counterintuitie as e"amples of what might actually happen. % do not see an! good reason to
thin1 it+s metaphysically impossible for an! of that to happen. At least$ if conceiabilit! is a guide to
metaph!sical possibilit!$ the! seems conceiable. The reason that those eents do not actually
happen ma! er! well hae to do with the causal structure of the actual world$ but not with what+s
metaph!sicall! possible. >till$ the other considerations %+m giing are enough to reCect the KCA on
intuitie grounds$ regardless of the issue of metaph!sical possibilit!.
!.2.2. Another alternati+e principle.
After further considering m! intuitions on the matter b! contemplating more scenarios (but which
don+t inole a beginning of time)$ it also seems intuitiel! plausible to me$ after reflection$ that for
eer! obCect < that e"ists at some time t$ there is some time u R t$ and some obCect L at u which is a
cause of <+s e"istence at t'
%f that is so$ then perhaps it+s the fact that E e"ists at t which ma1es it intuitie that there is an obCect
E, at some earlier time t, which is a cause of E+s e"istence at t$ and thus that there are causes of E,s
e"istence at any time t.
8ien that$ we ma! consider the following alternatie premise:
P1,,: Hor eer! obCect < that e"ists at t$ there e"ists a time u R t$ and some obCect L that e"ists
at u$ such that L at u is a cause of <+s e"istence at t.
@ere$ t and u might be instants or finite interals$ and L might or might not be < at a preious time.
P1,, does seem intuitiel! plausible to me. 2ut P1,, would be a problem for the defender of the
KCA$ since P1,, is in conflict with the second premise of the KCA$ since it leads to an infinite past.
That said$ P1,, is problematic$ since some people hae intuitions against infinite regress. <n that
note$ personall! % used to hae conflicting intuitions on the matter$ and % used to thin1 infinite
regress was impossible$ though upon further reflection$ now regress seems more intuitie to me
than a beginning. 5 G 6
%n an! case$ if P#,, is reCected$ if one considers a scenario in which time has a beginning$ then P1
appears intuitiel! er! implausible$ whereas premise P1, remains unaffected$ and appears still
intuitiel! plausible ? at least$ at the actual world 0$ so we+re bac1 to choosing P1, instead of P1. 5 A 6
>o$ based on those considerations$ % would be inclined to tentatiel! accept P1, as plausibl! actuall!
true$ but reCect P1$ at least as long as one considers the h!pothesis that time had a beginning as a
lie option.
>till$ een the acceptance of P1, is tentatie$ since it+s not clear that our intuitions are so reliable in
cases inoling all of time$ a small dense unierse$ etc. 5 A 6 $ and leaing aside the issue of
metaph!sical necessit!.
<f course$ someone might sa! that her intuitions are different. % inite readers to ma1e their own
assessments$ but % would suggest that premise 1 is intuitie under the assumption that there is no
beginning of time$ and counterintuitie under the assumption that there is a beginning of time$
whereas premise 1, is intuitie either wa! ? as alwa!s$ as long as the premise is considered a claim
about the actual world$ or similar worlds$ etc.
As claims of metaph!sical necessit! ? which is what Craig is claiming in the case of premise 1 0$ %
see no significant intuitie support for either P1 or P1,. 2ut still$ een as a candidate for a
metaph!sicall! necessar! principle$ P1, seems at least a lot more intuitiel! plausible to me than P1$
een if P1, is not particularl! plausible$ either.
!.2.!. Is the uni+erse an un,ustified e*ception-
Another argument that Craig ma1es is that ma1ing an e"ception for the unierse would be ad0hoc.
@e as1s wh! wouldn,t ordinar! obCects come into e"istence all around us$ without causes$ if
unierses could do that.
2ut leaing aside for now the agueness andDor obscurit! (at best) 5 B 6 of the word -unierse+$ if
time had a beginning$ it ma! well be that the releant difference is that the unierse did not
temporall! come into e"istence. in other words$ assuming that time had a beginning$ the unierse
began to e"ist or een C0began to e"ist$ but did not temporall! come into e"istence. That seems a
lot more intuitie to me that Craig+s model in which there is a beginning of time and !et what e"ists
at the beginning has efficient causes ? not to mention that the coherence of Craig+s model is
doubtful.
At this point$ someone might obCect to the preious considerations and suggest that m! intuitions
are unusual. 5 A 6
%n particular$ the! might raise 3uestions li1e: -@aen+t scientists continued to loo1 for a cause of the
2ig 2ang4 )h! haen+t the! stopped loo1ing for causes4 Wid andDor do the! hae different
intuitions4,
@oweer$ the fact is that the 2ig 2ang model does not proide an understanding of the unierse
be!ond a certain point in the past$ where effects from forces other than grait! should be ta1en into
consideration$ and some scientists are tr!ing to figure out the causes of a er! hot$ dense$ and small
unierse that e"isted about 1=.N billion !ears. 2ut those scientists seem to be as1ing the 3uestion:
,)hat caused the state in which the unierse was dense$ small and hot4, (or similar 3uestions)$ on
the understanding that before the first state of the unierse that can be reliabl! described with
present0da! models$ there were other states of the unierse that are be!ond the descriptie
capabilities of current scientific understanding.
;oreoer$ while it ma! be that if some scientists assess that our uni&erse began to e"ist$ in some
limited sense of -unierse+$ that would not entail an assumption that time had a beginning$ and so
the! might loo1 for causes earlier in time ? for instance.
%n the end$ readers will ma1e their own intuitie assessments of course$ but % don+t thin1 m!
intuitie assessments with regard to premise 1 and premise 1, are unusual. %n an! case$ % inite
readers to assess the matter b! their own intuitions: As % see it$ premise 1 is intuitie under the
assumption that time does not hae a beginning$ and er! counterintuitie under the assumption that
time does hae a beginning. Premise 1, is intuitie either wa!.
That said$ there are difficulties with appeals to our intuitions about time and space in conte"ts such
as the purported beginning of time$ such as:
a. There ma! be significant differences between the intuitions of different people. There ma!
well een be differences between their pretheoretical intuitions. >o$ perhaps$ and at least on
some the issues under discussion$ there ma! not be one single human normal pretheoretical
intuition on a matter.
b. The intuitions of a person on some of these matters ma! well change oer time$ as that
person learns more about ph!sics$ cosmolog!$ philosoph!$ etc.$ and sometimes it+s difficult to
figure out what a person+s pretheoretical intuitions are.
c. There seems to be no particularl! good reason to thin1 that pretheoretical intuitions are
more reliable than intuitions deeloped later ? let alone more than the intuitions of specialists$
li1e cosmologists.
d. %n an! case$ and plausibl! more importantl!$ modern ph!sics shows that in unfamiliar
enironments li1e something er! small or massie$ things are -weird+$ and our intuitions
about time$ space and related matters do not seem to wor1 well. 2ut the unierse a long time
ago was both er! small and massie.
<f course$ none of that represents a problem for use of our intuitions in dail! life or releantl!
similar cases$ but it raises 3uestions about their reliabilit! in cases li1e those inoled in the
conte"t of discussions of the KCA$ since in that conte"t$ those intuitions are implicitl! used in
all of the unierse.
All that said$ if our intuitions are a reliable guide in this case ? as defenders of the KCA claim or
assume 0$ then for the reasons % e"plained aboe$ % would be inclined to tentatiel! accept premise
1,$ but reCect premise 1 unless one has good reason to beliee that there is no beginning of time.
;oreoer$ if the premises are meant to be metaphysically necessary ,which is what Craig maintains
in the case of premise 1 0, % do not see either premise 1 or premise 1, to be intuitiel! plausible. At
least$ it seems perfectl! conceiable that obCects temporall! come into e"istence without a cause$ so
if conceiabilit! is a good guide to metaph!sical possibilit!$ then that gies us a reason to thin1 that
premise 1, is not metaph!sicall! necessar!$ either. <n the other hand$ if conceiabilit! is not such a
guide$ % do not 1now how else to assess metaph!sical possibilit! in those particular cases.
Iegardless$ leaing aside other possible worlds$ the preious considerations are enough to reCect P1.
;oreoer$ if for some reasons one principle or another ought to be accepted as metaph!sicall!
necessar! ? but that would hae to be argued for 0$ % would sa! that P1, is a lot more intuitiel!
plausible than P1.
!.2.". .mpirical e+idence.
%n addition to the 3uestion of which principle or principles are intuitie$ another 3uestion is whether
empirical eidence supports the first premise. Craig claims that that is so$ and points to a ast
number of e"amples. @oweer:
a. The empirical e"amples that Craig gie would also support P1,,$ which would contradict the
second premise of the KCA.
b. %n an! case$ none of those e"amples faor premise 1 o&er premise $1 . %n fact$ those
e"amples are e"actl! what one would e"pect to see if P1, is true$ but time has a beginning and
P1 is false'
Also$ premise 1, does not become less intuitie een under the assumption that time has a
beginning.
c. Empirical eidence is usuall! a er! poor guide to metaph!sical possibilit!. Hor that matter$
there is plent! of empirical eidence that$ sa!$ people are not capable of fl!ing li1e >uperman.
2ut % do not see an! good reason to thin1 that it+s metaph!sicall! impossible for that to
happen.
8ranted$ someone might tr! to run a KCA claiming onl! that the first premise is true$ rather
than necessaril! true. 2ut in that case$ the obCections that %+m raising and which do not
inole the issue of metaph!sical possibilit! are not affected.
%n addition to all of that$ using a similar argument from empirical eidence$ we ma! find support to
h!potheses such as:
EE1: Actuall!$ eer! intelligent being has at least one non0intelligent cause.
EE#: Actuall!$ eer! agent has at least one cause that is not an agent.
EE=: Actuall!$ eer! personal being has at least one non0personal cause.
And so on. 8ranted$ a defender of the KCA ' might gie other arguments against those inferences$
but that+s a matter the! would hae to deal with when defending their proposed cause of the
unierse ? i.e.$ when tr!ing to go from -The unierse has a cause of its e"istence+ to the conclusion
that the cause is 8od 0$ een if the! managed to establish that the premises of the KCA are correct$
and een leaing aside the problems with the concept of the agent that the! propose.
". The econd /remise of the KCA.
The second premise of the KCA states:
P#. The unierse began to e"ist.
%n addition to the 3uestion of the meaning of -begins to e"ist+$ an important issue is the meaning of
-unierse+,.
Craig stipulates that in the second premise of the KCA$ the unierse is the whole of material realit!.
5 B 6 5 r 1 1 6
)hile it+s not clear what -material+ means$ assuming it+s coherent and precise enough in the conte"t
of the KCA$ it+s clear enough that at least the &whole of material realit!( contains the (or a)
multierse if there is a multierse$ and contains an! uni&erses older than our unierse$ using here
the word -unierse+, in a sense in which it+s sometimes used in astronom! and cosmolog!$ but
which is more restrictie than the sense in which the word -unierse+, is used in the second premise
of the KCA.
@ence$ arguments showing that the unierse$ in that more restrictie sense of the word -unierse+$
began to e"ist$ would fail to proide support for the second premise of the KCA.
% will come bac1 on this point later$ when % assess Craig+s arguments allegedl! based on science.
2ut first % will address other arguments$ made b! Craig$ Pruss$ Koons and )aters.
".1. 0ilbert(s 0otel
The first argument % will consider is the -@ilbert @otel+ argument$ defended b! Craig intended to
show that an actual infinit! is metaph!sicall! impossible. 2ased on that conclusion$ Craig argues
5 r 1 2 6 that an infinite past is metaph!sicall! impossible$ since it would be an actual infinit!. 5 N 6
According to Craig$ the -@ilbert @otel+ argument shows that an actual infinit! is counterintuitie$
and based on that$ he claims that an actual infinit! is plausibl! metaph!sicall! impossible ?
apparentl!$ according to Craig$ it+s counterintuitie from the perspectie of some intuitions of
metaph!sical possibilit!.
>o$ let+s assess the argument:
The @ilbert @otel is a hotel with a denumerable number of rooms$ 5 U 6 and Craig maintains that it+s
the actual application of the concept of infinit! to the real world$ rather than the consideration of
abstract sets$ what brings the counterintuitieness of an infinit! to one+s attention.
<f course$ a hotel li1e the one he proposes is counterintuitie$ since (for e"ample) we would neer
be able to build it$ we wouldn+t be able to communicate with the rooms in real time as in the
proposed scenario$ etc. @oweer$ all of that counterintuitieness seems to hae eer!thing to do
with an infinite hotel$ the capabilities of humans or similar beings$ etc.$ and nothing to do with an
actual infinit!.
<n the other hand$ the alleged counterintuitieness claimed b! Craig seems to result from a
misunderstanding of the meaning of the words$ and disappears once the meaning of the words in the
scenarios he brings up are clarified.
To see this$ let+s consider some of the scenarios Craig proposes as supporting his claim of
counterintuitieness:
7irst scenario?
Craig presents a scenario in which all of the rooms are occupied$ and a new guest arries.
According to him$ somehow the fact that there are no more guests after the arrial is a
problem$ or counterintuitie. @oweer$ that is not the case$ once it+s clear what one means b!
-more guests+$ for the following reasons:
1.a. %n the sense of cardinalit!$ there are no more guests after the new guest arried than
there were before. @oweer$ that merel! means that there is a biCection between the set
of guests before the new arrial$ and the set of guests after the arrial$ which not onl!
not counterintuitie$ but is actuall! as clear as is the fact that there is a biCection between
the set of positie integers and the set of positie integers plus 9ero.
1.b. <n the other hand$ there are seem to be senses of -more guests+ in which there are
more guests after the new arrial than there were before$ li1e the sense that all of the
preious guests are still there$ and there is also a guest who wasn+t there before.
%n terms of sets$ the set of guests before the new guest arries is strictl! contained in the
set of guests after the new guest arries in this case.
Perhaps$ someone might obCect to this second wa! of understanding the e"pression
-more guests+$ since ? for instance ? this would not allow to conclude that the set P1$ #Q
has more elements than the set PBQ.
2ut that obCection would miss the point$ which is that there is nothing problematic about
the matter once the meaning of the e"pression -more guests+ (and related ones$ li1e
-identical number+$ etc.) is clarified. Hor that matter$ we ma! consider another wa! of
spea1ing of numbers of elements$ as follows:
1.c. 9et(s sa! that set A and set 2 hae the same number of elements if and onl! if the
sets AX25 S 6 and 2XA hae the same cardinalit!$ and that A has more elements than 2 if
and onl! if the set AX2 has greater cardinalit! than the set 2XA.
>o$ is it true that there are no more guests after a new guest arries$ in the first scenario4
%n the sense of cardinalit!$ it+s true.
%n the senses considered in 1.b and 1.c$ it+s false.
<nce one has clarified what the 3uestion is about$ that alleged counterintuitieness
disappears.
:ow$ Craig also sa!s that it+s counterintuitie that the new guest is accommodated een if all
the rooms were full. <f course$ shifting infinitel! man! guests from one room to the ne"t
would not be doable for an! human being$ or for that matter an! alien from another planet$
etc.$ but that+s not releant.
>o$ leaing practical considerations aside$ % do not see an! problems here for the metaph!sical
possibilit! of the @otel$ since the fact that the rooms were full does not change the fact that
the guests ma! h!potheticall! be told to moe to the ne"t room$ etc.
%f the shift is gradual$ actuall! the shift will neer end ? i.e.$ there will alwa!s be one guest
moing from one room to another one$ or getting read! to moe$ etc. 0$ but again$ % wonder
what the problem is supposed to be ? again$ leaing aside the obious fact that neither we nor
some aliens from another planet will eer be in a position to built such a thing.
@oweer$ in an! case$ if the issue of accommodating a new guest were somehow a problem
for the metaph!sical possibilit! of the @otel ? and 3uite fran1l!$ % do not see an! good reason
at all to thin1 that that would be so 0$ then that would be a problem for the metaph!sical
possibilit! of Craig*s hotel$ but there appears to be no good reason to thin1 that it would be a
problem for actual infinities in general.
Hor e"ample$ the h!pothesis that there are infinitel! man! gala"ies$ stars$ planets$ etc. 0 which
is an alternatie considered seriousl! in present0da! science ? is not affected.
econd scenario?
<n this scenario$ not Cust one but denumberabl! infinitel! man! new guests arrie at the des1$
and the proprietor tal1s to them$ etc.
As in the case of the first scenario$ Craig raises the issue of the number of guests$ and the fact
that all of the rooms were full before the new guests arried$ and !et all of the new guests are
accommodated.
2ut that does not wor1$ either$ for the following reasons:
2.a. %t might be that the meaning of the word ,des1, is such that it+s not coherent to sa!
that infinitely man! show up at the des1. @oweer$ that infinitely many guests can
arri&e at the des3 is not is not a condition included in the definition of the @otel in
3uestion$ so if the arrial of infinitel! man! new guests turns out to be an incoherent
scenario due to the meaning of the word -des1+, (and -guests+$ impl!ing something li1e
humans$ etc.)$ that does not tell us an!thing about the metaph!sical possibilit! of the
@otel.
2.b. <n the other hand$ if there is nothing in the meaning of the word -des1+ and the
other terms inoled in the scenario ma1ing that scenario incoherent$ then there seems
to be no problem.
<f course$ things li1e building such a hotel$ or communicating at arbitraril! fast speed
with infinitel! man! people$ etc.$ are counterintuitie if someone were to suggest that
such a thing actually e"ists.
@oweer$ as long as the beings are sufficientl! different from humans in terms of
powers$ etc.$ that does not seem to be a problem for the metaph!sical possibilit! of the
@otel.
;oreoer$ as before$ an! such counterintuitieness is not a conse3uence of assuming an
actual infinit!$ but of assuming the infinite hotel that Craig and >inclair describe$ so
een if that were a good obCection to iew that the @otel is metaph!sicall! possible$ that
would not affect$ sa!$ the h!pothesis that there are infinitel! man! gala"ies.
2.c. The issue of the number of guests before and after the infinitel! man! new guests
arrie is handled as in the case of the scenario in which one guest arries$ which was
alread! considered.
2.d. The issue of the accommodation of the infinitel! man! new guests een though all
of the rooms were alread! full is also handled as in the case of the first scenario$ onl!
that in this case$ the new guests might neer be all accommodated$ if the shift is gradual.
%f it+s instantaneous$ then all are accommodated. %n an! case$ basicall! the same
considerations gien in the case of the first scenario appl! here as well.
Third scenario?
<n this scenario$ one guest departs. According to Craig$ it+s counterintuitie that there is no
one fewer guest. 2ut there is no counterintuitieness$ as long as one considers what is meant
b! -fewer+.
%n other words$ there are as man! guests as before in the sense of cardinalit!$ but there is a
sense in which there were more guests before the departure$ namel! that all of the guests that
are in the hotel after the departure were in the hotel before the departure$ but there was also
one guest before the departure that is no longer in the hotel after she departed (obiousl!).
%n terms of sets$ the set of guests after the departure is strictl! contained in the set of guests
before the departure. <nce again$ all of this is unproblematic$ and an! issues related to the
number of guests do not appear to be counterintuitie at all as long as one 1eeps in mind what
one means b! -more guests+$ -fewer guest+$ etc.
7ourth scenario?
*i1e the third scenario$ but in this case$ all of the guests in the odd0numbered rooms chec1
out.
As before$ Craig claims that it+s counterintuitie that there are no fewer people in the @otel.
2ut as before$ there is no such counterintuitie as long as one 1eeps in mind what is meant b!
-fewer+. The preious considerations suffice.
7ifth scenario?
This time$ all of the guests in all rooms e"cept for Y1$ Y#$ and Y= leae$ and een though the
number of guests that left is the same as the number of guests that left in scenario =$ the
number of remaining guests is onl! =.
Craig seems to beliee that such argumentation is a powerful argument against the
metaph!sical possibilit! of the @otel$ and as a result allegedl! against the metaph!sical
possibilit! of actual infinities. 2ut an! alleged counterintuitieness with regard to the
numbers disappears ones one considers what the words mean$ and basic math.
Hor that matter$ the set of odd natural numbers and the set of natural numbers hae the same
cardinalit!$ but if : is the set of natural numbers$ AJ:XPodd natural numbersQ5 S 6 $ and
2J:X:$ then A is an infinite set$ whereas 2 is the empt! set. That is not a problem at all.
As for other features of the @otel itself$ if an! of them is a problem for the metaphysical
possibility of the @otel ? and % see no good reason to beliee so$ as e"plained earlier. the
metaphysical possibility of it does not seem in an! wa! counterintuitie to me$ at least as long
as the people inoled are not human or similar to human in powers$ etc. 0$ then there seems
to be no good reason to thin1 that that is a problem for actual infinities in general$ or in
particular ? for e"ample 0$ for infinitel! man! gala"ies$ planets$ stars$ etc.
8ien the preious considerations$ the conclusion is that the -@ilbert @otel+ argument fails to
proide an! eidence against the metaph!sical possibilit! or een the e"istence of actual infinities.
That said$ % would li1e to also comment on a particular claim he ma1es. Wespite the fact that Craig
distinguishes between three t!pes of possibilit! in this conte"t (and impossibilit!$ and necessit!) 0
namel!$ strict logical possibilit!$ strict logical possibilit! augmented b! the meaning of terms within
the scope of modal operators$ and metaph!sical possibilit! ?$ and he ma1es it clear that his claim is
that actual infinities are metaph!sicall! impossible$ he does claim that there is a contradiction$
apparentl! in subtracting e3ual 3uantifies from e3ual 3uantities and hae different numbers in the
end.
%n particular$ he gies the e"ample that the set of een numbers E has an identical number of
elements as the set A of natural numbers greater than four$ and !et if we subtract E from the set of
natural numbers :$ we get an infinite set$ but if we subtract A from :$ we get a set with onl! =
elements.
>o$ allegedl!$ it would be contradictor! that identical numbers from an identical number and we did
not get the same number.
2ut there is no contradiction$ because A and E (and :) hae an identical number of elements in the
sense that there is a biCection between them. 2ut there is no contradiction in sa!ing that there is a
biCection between A and E (andDor between each of them and :$ for that matter)$ but there is no
biCection between :XA and :XE. %n fact$ not onl! is that not contradictor!$ but it+s clearl! true.
:or is an! of that counterintuitie$ for that matter.
>o$ in short$ there is nothing to the &@ilbert @otel( argument that Craig defends.
".2. 1rim reapers.
The -grim reapers+ argument (or 8I argument) has different forms$ and it might be gien in support
of the h!pothesis that actual infinities are impossible$ andDor that infinite temporal regress is
impossible$ andDor that time is necessaril! discrete$ among others.
%n this subsection$ % will focus on one of Ale"ander Pruss+s ersions of the argument. = r 1 ! >
The argument is as follows:
/russ? =r 1 ! >
/1. %f there could be a bac1wards infinite se3uence of eents$ @ilbert+s @otel would be
possible.
#. If Hilberts Hotel were possible, the GR Paradox could happen.
3. The GR Paradox cannot happen.
. Therefore, there cannot be a bac!wards infinite se"uence of e#ents.$
2riefl!$ the 8I Parado" is as follows:
Hred is alie at t
F
? which is 11.FF am in Pruss+s scenario 0$ and then$ there is a grim reaper
(sa!$ 8I
n
)$ set to 1ill Hred at t
n
J(t
F
'(1Dn) seconds)$ if Hred is alie$ and to do nothing if Hred
is dead. Hred cannot surie a grim reaper attac1.
The reasoning used in defense of premise # is that if the @otel were possible$ it would be possible to
ma1e one reaper in each room (8I
n
in room Yn)$ and the staff could program it to act at t
n
J(t
F
'(1Dn)
seconds).
>o$ what to ma1e of the argument4
Hirst$ let+s mirror the reasoning$ and ma1e an argument against infinitel! man! gala!ies$ for
e"ample$ b! ma1ing one grim reaper per gala"!.
>hould we then conclude that infinitel! man! gala"ies are not possible4
% do not thin1 so. %n fact$ there are h!pothetical scenarios that hae infinitel! man! gala"ies and are
consistent.
Hor e"ample$ there seems to be no contradiction in a scenario with infinitel! man! gala"ies but in
which time is relatie and in which no entit! has the power to send information from one gala"! to
another faster than the speed of light. %n such a scenario$ there seems to be no wa! to derie the
parado"$ since in such a scenario$ no one would be able to ma1e reapers who can chec1 on Hred li1e
that.
8ranted$ someone might tr! to derie the parado" in some other wa!$ but that can be bloc1ed b!
conditions on the causal structure of the h!pothetical scenario ? or world if one accepts tal1 of
possible worlds.
;oreoer$ there are scientific$ non0contradictor! models inoling infinitel! man! gala"ies. There
seems to be no contradiction in adding the stipulation that no entit! has the power to send
information from one gala"! to another faster than the speed of light ? which ma! be a problem for
theism$ but not for the scenario+s immunit! to the 8I parado".
>o$ if infinitel! man! gala"ies are possible$ then clearl! it+s not possible that a contradiction obtains.
And there is no good reason to beliee the!+re not possible.
8ranted$ someone might posit a ariant in which the infinitel! man! reapers are in the same place$
or the!+re spaceless unembodied entities that send signals to one another$ etc.
2ut the 1e! point in this reasoning is that this would not be a problem for the possibilit! of
infinitel! man! gala!ies$ but for the problem of infinitel! man! reapers with certain powers in a
certain scenario.
This seems to wor1 against premise # in Pruss+s argument as well$ because it seems it is not the case
that if @ilbert+s @otel were possible$ then a contradictor! 8I scenario would be possible. Iather$ if
@ilbert+s @otel were (or is) possible$ there would be (or there are) possible worldsDscenarios at
which it e"ists$ and then no contradiction would arise (or arises) in an! of them$ plausibl! because
of the causal structure of each of the worldsDscenarios$ which would ar! (or aries) from one
possible scenario to another possible scenario.
This seems to bloc1 the argument for premise #$ as well as an argument directl! from an infinite
past to a contradictor! 8I scenario.
%f an infinite regress of past eents is possible$ then no parado" arises in those possible scenarios$
and what bloc1s the formation of the parado" plausibl! aries from scenario to scenario.
At this point$ someone might raise the following obCection:
"(f its metaphysically impossible for there to be infinitely many gala!ies, then that e!plains why a
contradictory %9 scenario in&ol&ing infinitely many %9 , one per gala!y , would be pre&ented'
4ut if it were metaphysically possible for infinitely many gala!ies to e!ist, then a contradictory %9
argument would seem to be possible' 5lse, what would pre&ent the formation of a contradictory %9
scenario, in a possible world or scenario with infinitely many gala!ies:1
@oweer$ % will argue that the obCection is misguided$ on the following grounds:
a. The 3uestion -what would preent the formation of a contradictor! 8I scenario in a
possible world or scenario with infinitel! man! gala"ies4+ ma! be interpreted as:
a.1. A 3uestion about a general necessaril! true principle that somehow would in some
sense -preent+ the formation of the 8I scenario.
%n that case$ one ma! point to the necessaril! true principle that contradictions are
impossible. in particular$ one does not need a further principle that actual infinities are
impossible$ or that infinitel! man! gala"ies are impossible.
a.2. A causal 3uestion$ namel!$ , what would causall! preent a 8I scenario from
coming to be$ in a possible scenario with infinitel! man! gala"ies4,
%n that case$ the answer is that it depends on the specific possible scenario or world in
/uestion'
%f the scenario is complete ? li1e possible worlds$ if one accepts tal1 of possible worlds
? or at least sufficientl! specified$ then in different possible scenarios (or worlds)$ there
are different causal structures of the scenarioDworld$ and in some cases$ different things
would fail if some entit! or entities attempted to bring about the contradictor! 8I
scenario$ or if each of them attempted to perform a single tas1 that together would be a
contradiction$ etc.
b. The 3uestion raised in the ob,ection ma! be mirrored b! a similar 3uestion$ in repl! to the
suggestion ? made b! the person arguing against actual infinities$ or at least against infinitel!
man! gala"ies ? that an e"planation as to wh! a contradictor! 8I scenario inoling
infinitel! man! gala"ies wouldn+t happen is that actual infinities ? or at least infinitel! man!
gala"ies ? are metaph!sicall! impossible.
The mirror 3uestion would be: -)hat would preent the formation of infinitel! man! gala"ies
? not one at a time$ of course$ but in bloc1 so to spea1 ? in a possible scenario in which there
are finitel! man! obCects4,
Then$ we ma! consider options:
b.1. %f the person positing the metaph!sical impossibilit! of actual infinities$ or at least
of infinitel! man! gala"ies$ responds that what would preent the formation of infinitel!
man! gala"ies in a possible scenario in which there aren+t infinitel! man! obCects is that
actual infinities ? or at least infinitel! man! gala"ies ? are metaph!sicall! impossible$
then that would not seem an! stronger than a repl! to the original 3uestion in the
obCection that says that 4hat 4ould pre+ent the formation of a contradictory 1R
scenario in a possible 4orld or scenario 4ith infinitely many gala*ies is that
contradictions are not possible.
;ore precisel!$ there is of course a clear difference between the two replies: we do
1now contradictions are impossible$ but we do not 1now that infinities are$ or that
infinitel! man! gala"ies are.
@oweer$ and leaing that aside$ the two replies are similar in that$ in both cases$ the
person answering the 3uestion is appealing to a principle the! hold is necessaril! true ?
in one case$ the impossibilit! of contradictions. in the other$ the 5alleged6 impossibilit!
of an actual infinit!$ or of infinitel! man! gala"ies 0$ as an answer to a 3uestion as to
what would preent the formation of a certain scenario from a preiousl! gien
scenario.
This of course generali9es to other replies to the mirror question that are based on
some 5allegedl!6 necessaril! true principle$ as an answer to the 3uestion -)hat would
preent the formation of infinitel! man! gala"ies ? not one at a time$ of course$ but in
bloc1 so to spea1 ? in a possible scenario in which there are finitel! man! obCects4,
>uch replies are also appeals to some 5allegedl!6 metaph!sicall! true principle as
e"plaining what bloc1s such a formation$ and as such the! seem no stronger than the
appeal to the metaph!sicall! true principle that contradictions are impossible as a repl!
to the 3uestion of wh! a contradictor! 8I scenario would not be formed in a possible
scenario in which there are infinitel! man! gala"ies$ if infinitel! man! gala"ies were
possible.
b.2. %f the person positing the metaph!sical impossibilit! of actual infinities$ or at least
of infinitel! man! gala"ies$ gies a causal answer as to what would preent the
formation of infinitel! man! gala"ies in a possible scenario in which there are finitel!
man! obCects$ then that does not seem to be an! better than the causal reply abo+e.
To be more precise$ % thin1 point a . aboe suffices to show that the obCection is misguided$ but b. is
a wa! of showing that the person arguing against an actual infinit! is at least in no better position.
".!. Aristotelian2discrete time, infinite regress and more grim reapers.
Pruss also distinguishes between the following two t!pes of discrete time:
1. Time is rigidl! discrete if there necessaril! is a minimum temporal unit.
#. Time is discrete in an Aristotelian sense if there are in fact finitel! man! moments of time
between an! two gien times in the finite past$ but each interal can be subdiided infinitel!
man! times.= r 1 ! > 5 r 1 B 6
Then$ he gies an argument against infinite regress if time is discrete in an Aristotelian sense.
The reasoning is basicall! as follows: if there were an infinite se3uence of past eents W(0n)$ for all
natural n$ such that W(0n) precedes W(0m) if nEm$ then W(0n) could cause something at time t
F
'1Dn
for some t
F
$ contradicting the h!pothesis that time is discrete in an Aristotelian sense . According to
Pruss$ there is no reason to rule out all of those happening together.
2ut the difficult! seems to be the same as in the preious case. %n fact$ what Pruss seems to be
doing is going from the finite to the infinite case$ including in the infinite case scenario some entit!
or entities with the causal power to bring about all of those things at time t
F
'1Dn$ and who e"ercise
such powers successfull!. 2ut thats precisely not what happens in a consistent scenario in which
time is discrete in an Aristotelian sense$ and in which there is infinite temporal regress. Hor that
matter$ one might ma1e an argument against infinitel! man! gala"ies if time is discrete in the
Aristotelian sense ? programming one reaper per gala"! 0$ but that fails as the argument aboe fails.
At this point$ someone might as1 3uestions li1e.
a. )hat would preent that scenario from happening$ if an infinite temporal regress is
possible4
b. )hat would preent that scenario from happening$ if infinitel! man! rooms$ or gala"ies$
are possible4
%f the 3uestion is about some general metaph!sical principle$ we 1now that contradictor! states
cannot come to e"ist. %f it+s a causal 3uestion$ we ma! properl! as1$ in the case of a specific
h!pothetical phenomena @$ what would causall! preent @ from happening.
2ut if the h!pothetical scenario is sufficientl! determined ? li1e a possible world$ presumabl! 0$
then different possible scenarios hae different causal structures.
>o$ essentiall!$ the repl! to this 1ind of obCections is along the same lines as the repl! to the
obCection in the immediatel! preious subsection.
".". 1rim placers and3or grim signalers.
%n this subsection$ % will address a ariant of the argument from grim reapers$ defended b! Iobert
Koons5 r 1 A 6 .
<n this ariant$ each grim reaper ? or rather grim placer$ gien his Cob ? chec1s whether there is
some Hred particle at a specified location$ and if there isn+t$ he places one at some specific location.
<therwise$ he 1eeps the particle where it is.
According to Koons$ his argument shows that time is not dense$ and furthermore that infinite
temporal regress is not possible.
".".1. /ossibility of a grim placer.
Among other h!potheses$ the argument assumes the following one:
1. There is a region I of duration d (for some finite dEF) in a possible world )$ and a grim
placer 8
d
$ such that 8P
d
has the intrinsic power and disposition to do as follows:
a. %f there is no Hred particle at an! distance !Rd from a fi"ed plane P$ then 8
d
creates
and places a Hred particle at a designated location e"actl! d meters from P.
b. <therwise$ 8P
d
1eeps an! Hred particle that is closer to plane P in its position$ and
does nothing more.
%t+s not clear to me what criterion or criteria Koons is using$ as a guide to metaph!sical possibilit!$
in order to assert that one such scenario is possible.
%t might be argued that it+s intuitiel! clear that such entities are possible. 2ut for that matter$ it
seems no less intuitiel! clear to me that it+s possible that no agent e"ists$ so if % were to accept that
criterion$ that alone would ma1e Koons+s premise no stronger than an intuitie assessment that there
is no necessar! being.
%n an! case$ *et+s grant h!pothesis 1 for the sa1e of the argument.
".".2. Compressibility of spacetime.
Another assumption of Koons+s argument ? though this one is an assumption for a reductio , ma!
be stated as follows:
#. %f there is some obCect A with an intrinsic propert! O in a region I of finite duration e in a
possible world )$ then:
a. There is a function f from the parts of I to the parts of some region I, of some
possible world ),$ such that f is topolog!0presering and compresses time and space b!
half. Hor instance$ if the duration of I is e$ the duration of I, is eD#
b. There is a counterpart A, of A and a counterpart O, of O$ such that A, intrinsicall! has
propert! O, in I,.
@!pothesis # is used for a reductio against temporal densit!. Koons argues that h!pothesis #. is
reasonable under the assumption that time is dense.
%f there is an intrinsic metric of time$ it+s not clear to me that no properties are incompressible$ no
processes re3uire at least some amount of time$ etc.
2ut *et+s grant h!pothesis # as well$ for the sa1e of the argument.
".".!. Infinitary patch4or5 and binary patch4or5.
A 1e! principle of Koons+s argument is what he calls &infinitar! patchwor1( 5 r 1 A 6 (or %P)$ and
which can be stated as follows: 51F6
*et+s suppose the following conditions obtain:
%P(1): + , P)
n
Q is a countable series of possible worlds$ and -,PI
n
Q$ is a countable series of
regions of those worlds$ such that for all n$ I
n
is a region of )
n
.
%P(#): f is a function from - into the class5 % % 6 of spatio0temporal regions of some world )$
such that f preseres the metric and topological structure of each of the I
n
$ and such that$ if
nZm$ then f(I
n
) does not oerlap f(I
m
).
Then$ there is a possible world )+$ and an isomorphism g from the spatio0temporal regions of ) to
the spatio0temporal regions of )+$ such that the following obtains:
%P(C): The part of )
n
within I
n
is e"actl! li1e the part of )+ within g(f(I
n
). 5 r 1 A 6 .
Koons also proposes binar! patchwor1$ which is the binar! counterpart of infinitar! patchwor1. %n
other words$ in the case of binar! patchwor1$ onl! two regions are patched.
@ere$ two 1e! 3uestions are:
i. >hould we accept both principles4
ii. %f we do$ does Koons+s conclusion follow4
*et+s address ii first.
As Koons points out when he considers what he calls &The Ama9ing [anishing Particle($ his
argument re3uires that each grim placer ? or grim signaler$ as he renames them ? hae the power to
send a signal to a successor$ and the power to receie a signal from a predecessor.
%n particular$ een though the placers or signalers hae onl! powers intrinsic to each interal$ the!
hae the power to send a signal beyond their own interal.
)ithout that power$ the argument would fail$ as the following scenario shows:
1. There is a se3uence of temporal interals P%
n
J(t
n'1
$t
n
6Q$ for all natural numbers n.
#. Each interal %
n
has length d\#
0n
=. Wuring interal %
n
$ or at least during the last portion of it$ there is a Hred particle at the
designated position d\#
0n
meters from the designated plane P. There is no other Hred particle
during interal %
n
B. Wuring interal %
n
$ there is a grim placer Yn$ 8P
n
.
That+s not contradictor!$ and is consistent with Koons+s premises$ as long as the powers do not
inoled sending signals beyond the interal in which the!+re e"ercised.
%f the scenarios to be patched were li1e that$ there would be no contradiction.
>o$ a 1e! assumption in Koons+s argument is that the powers of the grim placers of signalers$ een
if intrinsic to each spatio0temporal region in the sense defined b! Koons$ include powers to act
beyond such spatio0temporal region.
:ow$ Koons sa!s that there is no action at a distance$ since the interals ma! be contiguous$ li1e in
the preious e"ample %
n
J(t
n'1
$t
n
6.
@oweer$ it seems that wouldn+t be enough$ as the following e"ample shows:
*et+s sa! that grim signalerYn$ or 8>
n
$ e"ists in %
n
J(t
n'1
$t
n
6$ whose length d\#
0n
*et+s further stipulate that 8>
n
has the power to send signals that persist within %
n
$ but not be!ond
her interal. At an! time in %
n01
$ it is not the case that the signal sent b! 8>
n
persists$ so there is
nothing that 8>
n01
$ who onl! acts in %
n01
J(t
n
$ t
n01
6 might detect.
That is$ of course$ unless %
n01
has the power to detect signals that e"ist at e"actl! t
n
or earlier$ but the
problem is that the use of infinitar! patchwor1 does not entail that %
n01
e&en e!ists at t
n
$ or earlier.
>o$ Koons+s argument re3uires that each grim signaler has a power that$ while intrinsic to her
interal$ inoles sending a signal that will persist for some time ? een if a er! small time$ and
een if the amount of time ma! ar! from possible world to possible world ? into a temporall! later
interal.
7et$ een that would not be enough.
<n that note$ one of the obCections that Koons considers is that powers and dispositions can fail.
%n order to reCect this obCection$ Koons assumes that whether a disposition is followed and whether
the e"ercise of a power is successful is a matter intrinsic to the spatiotemporal region in which the
power in 3uestion is e"ercised.
>o$ Koons+s argument uses not onl! that each grim signaler has the intrinsic power in her interal to
send a signal that endures for at least some time into the ne"t interal$ but also that she e"ercises
that power successfull!$ and that the successful e"ercise of that power is a matter intrinsic to her
own spatio0temporal region$ e&en if it in&ol&es the persistence of her signal in another spatio6
temporal region'
%n fact$ Koons+s argument assumes at least the following conditions:
a. )hen appl!ing binar! or infinitar! patchwor1$ one ma! stipulate that the powers intrinsic
to a spatio0temporal region I
1
1
whose temporal component is an interal %
1
inole powers to
send signals that e"ist in a region I
#
whose temporal component is an interal %
#
that does not
oerlap with %
1
and %
#
is later than %
1
$ proided that the temporal distance between %
1
and %
#
is
9ero (li1e (a$ b6 and (b$ c6$ or 5a$ b) and 5b$ c)).
b. ;oreoer$ when appl!ing binar! or infinitar! patchwor1$ one ma! stipulate that the matter
of whether an e"ercise of such powers is successful is also a matter intrinsic only to the
inter&al at which they were e!ercised, een in cases in which the stipulation described in
condition a. aboe is also made.
Conditions a. and b. would impl! that when both the stipulations described in a. and b. are made$
the matter of whether a signal ? whether the signal is a Hred particle or something else ? e"ists at
some time in a spatio0temporal region I
#
is a matter intrinsic to a spatio6temporal region I
1
that is
dis-oint from I
#
'
@oweer$ under that er! weird notion of intrinsicalit!$ there is no good reason to accept either of
the patchwor1 principles. >uch principles are e!tremely counterintuitie upon reflection$ and after
Koons+s conditions are anal!9ed as aboe$ and there is no reason to reCect our intuitions on the
matter and come to beliee that the principles are true.
".".". )inary patch4or5 suffices.
*et+s grant in this subsection for the sa1e of the argument that the principles of infinitar! and binar!
patchwor1 are true ? including conditio ns a. and b. $ een though as % e"plained in the preious
subsection$ there seems to be no good reason to beliee that the! are true.
8ien the 1ind of powers and dispositions that Koons patches ? as seen in the preious sections 0$
infinitar! patchwor1 is not re3uired to conclude that temporal densit! is metaph!sicall! impossible.
%n fact$ binar! patchwor1 suffices to establish that for eer! two non0oerlapping temporal interals
%
1
and %
#
$ the temporal distance between them is non09ero. 2ut that rules out temporal densit!$
because if time were dense$ the temporal distance between some temporal interals li1e (a$ b6 and
(b$ c6$ or between 5a$ b) and 5b$ c) would be 9ero.
>o$ let+s proe from binar! patchwor1 that there are no temporal interals such that the temporal
distance between them is 9ero:
*et+s stipulate the following conditions:
A: There are two temporal interals (a$ b6 and (b$ c6$ in world )
1
. %n (a$ b6$ there is one entit!
E
11
with the power and disposition to send a signal of t!pe T
1
into (b$ c6.
)? %n )
1
$ E
11
e"ercises her power successfull!.
C? %n another world )
#
$ there are also interals (a$ b6 and (b$ c6$ and there is no signal of t!pe
T
1
in an! of those two temporal interals$ and no entit! receiing or sending an! signals.
#? All of the powers and dispositions in those interals are intrinsic to those interals$ and
whether the e"ercise of powers is successful is also a matter intrinsic to the interals in which
the powers are e"ercised.
)e ma! pic1 the spatial interals to coer all of space at those times$ or some other stipulation of
our choosing. there are man! options. % will leae the spatial condition aside to simplif!$ but nothing
hinges on that.
Also$ we ma! pic1 temporal interals that are open into the future and closed into the past instead of
open into the past and closed into the future. That ma1es no releant difference$ either.
>o$ b! binar! patchwor1$ we patch interal (a$ b6 from )
1
and interal (b$ c6 from )
#
into some
world )
=
.
%n )
=
there is no signal of t!pe T
1
at an! time in (b$ c6$ since there is no such signal in )
#
and )
=
is
an e"act duplicate of )
#
in interal (b$ c6.
>imilarl!$ in )
=
there is in (a$ b6 one entit! E
11
with the power and disposition to send a signal of
t!pe T
1
into (b$ c6$ and who e!ercises her power successfully in .
2
as well. 2ut gien that the power
was e"ercised successfully$ there is a signal of t!pe T
1
at least at some time in (b$ c6 in )
=.
That is a contradiction.
A potential obCection would be that een if there is no signal of t!pe T
1
at an! time in (b$ c6 in )
#
and een if )
=
is an e"act duplicate of )
#
in interal (b$ c6$ it is possible that there are signals of
such t!pe in (b$ c6 in )
=
$ and that the condition of e"act duplication should not be understood as
ruling out other entities. 2ut such an obCection would seem to use the e"pression -e"act duplication+
in a wa! that does not seem to resemble the meaning of the words$ and there appears to be no good
reason to accept a modified principle based on the usage of -e"act duplication+ suggested in this
obCection$ either.
&till, I will 'i#e an alternati#e ar'u(ent to the conclusion that binar) patchwor! suffices to
establish that ti(e is not possibl) dense*
+ets stipulate that there are two inter#als ,a, b] and ,b, c], in world -
%
. In ,a, b], there is
one entit) .
%%
with the power and disposition to send a si'nal of t)pe T
%
into ,b, c]l/ no
si'nal of t)pe T
2
is sent. In ,b, c], there are two entities, .
%2
and .
%3
, with the followin'
powers and dispositions*
i. .
%2
chec!s whether a si'nal of t)pe T
%
reaches ,b, c]. If it does, then .
%2
sends a
si'nal of t)pe T
%
into a later inter#al. .lse, she does nothin'
ii. .
%3
chec!s whether a si'nal of t)pe T
2
reaches ,b, c]. If it does, then .
%3
prevents
an) si'nals of t)pe T
%
fro( reachin' an) later inter#al. .lse, she sends a si'nal of
t)pe T
%
into a later inter#al.
In -
%
, both .
%2
and .
%3
exercise their powers and dispositions successfull)* .
%2
detects a
si'nal of t)pe T
%
, and sends a si'nal of t)pe T
%
into a later inter#al, whereas .
%3
detects
nothin' and so, accordin' to her dispositions, she also sends a si'nal of t)pe T
%
into a
later inter#al.
0n the other hand, in world -
2
, in ,a, b] there is one entit) .
2%
with the power and
disposition to send two signals into ,b, c]* one of t)pe T
%
, and one of t)pe T
2
. There are no
entities chec!in' for, sendin' or bloc!in' such si'nals in ,b, c] in -
2
. 1oreo#er, .
2%

exercises her powers and dispositions successfull) in -
2
.
2ll of the powers and dispositions in#ol#ed in the scenario, as well as whether theyre
successfully exercised, are intrinsic to the inter#als in which the powers and dispositions
are exercised, re'ardless of whether the) in#ol#e (a!in' si'nals persist into another
inter#al. This stipulation (irrors exactl) 3oons stipulation that the powers and dispositions
of the GR in his ar'u(ent, as well as whether theyre successfully exercised, are intrinsic
to the inter#als in which the powers and dispositions are exercised, in a situation in which
his 'ri( reapers ha#e the power to send si'nals into a later inter#al.
Then, 4ust b) binar) patchwor!, we can paste ,a, b] fro( world -
2
with ,b, c] fro( world
-
%
. In other words, b) binar) patchwor! we obtain a world -5 such that .
2%
exercises her
powers and dispositions successfull) in ,a, b] -5, and so do .
%2
and .
%3
in ,b, c], which is a
contradiction, since that would in#ol#e that a si'nal of t)pe T
%
is successfull) sent into a
later inter#al, and no such si'nal is reaches an) later inter#al.
A potential obCection would be that arguabl!$ there is a problem with the conditions in the interal
(b$ c6 in )
#
$ since the two entities E
1#
and E
1=
cannot Cointl! e"ercise their powers in a world at
which both a T
1
and a T
#
signal reach the interal. @oweer$ that does not seem to be a problem if
one assumes that powers can fail$ as Koons seems to. <ne ma! posit that the! both hae the powers
in 3uestion$ and powers possibl! fail. >o$ it seems to me that the obCection fails.
&till, I will 'i#e another alternati#e ar'u(ent in support of the conclusion that binar)
patchwor! suffices to establish that ti(e is not possibl) dense*
+ets stipulate that there are two inter#als ,a, b] and ,b, c6b7% hour], in world -
%
. In ,a, b],
there is one entit) +ex

with the power and disposition to send a !r)ptonite si'nal into ,b, c].
In -
%
, +ex exercises his power and disposition successfull), sendin' a !r)ptonite si'nal
into ,b, c]
0n the other hand, in world -
2
, in ,b, c] there is one entit) 8lar! with the power and
disposition to fl) faster than a speedin' bullet for all of the duration of the inter#al, that is
for an hour. 8lar!, howe#er, is #ulnerable to !r)ptonite si'nals. 2n) !r)ptonite si'nal will !ill
hi(, and his death will happen in less than a second, re'ardless of how lon' the si'nal
lasts for. This #ulnerabilit) to 3r)ptonite is one of 8lar!s intrinsic properties in ,b, c]. 8lar!
exercises his powers and dispositions successfull) in -
2
.
2ll of the powers and dispositions in#ol#ed in the scenario 9 and 'enerall) other
properties, li!e liabilities :, as well as whether theyre successfully exercised, are intrinsic
to the inter#als in which the powers and dispositions are exercised, re'ardless of whether
the) in#ol#e (a!in' si'nals persist into another inter#al. This stipulation (irrors exactl)
3oons stipulation that the powers and dispositions of the GR in his ar'u(ent, as well as
whether theyre successfully exercised, are intrinsic to the inter#als in which the powers
and dispositions are exercised, in a situation in which his 'ri( reapers ha#e the power to
send si'nals into a later inter#al.
Then, 4ust b) binar) patchwor!, we can paste ,a, b] fro( world -
%
with ,b, c] fro( world
-
2
, into so(e other world -
3
. Then, in -
3
, 8lar! flies faster than a speedin' bullet for an
entire hour in ,b, c] : i.e., for the whole duration of the inter#al :, but on the other hand,
8lar! dies in no (ore than a second into ,b, c] due to the !r)ptonite si'nal successfull)
sent b) +ex. ;ut that is i(possible.
In this construction, if re"uired, we (a) stipulate that in the be'innin' of ,b, c], 8lar! is
located in a particular place, and that the !r)ptonite si'nal reaches that particular place.
&o, the conclusion is that binar) patchwor! suffices to show that an) two te(poral
inter#als are at a positi#e te(poral distance fro( one another, and that ti(e is not dense.
2 potential ob4ection (i'ht hold that perhaps when usin' the patchin' principles, powers
and dispositions and their successful exercise can be intrinsic to spatiote(poral re'ions,
but so(e other properties, li!e liabilities, cannot, bloc!in' the !r)ptonite ar'u(ent. ;ut if
that is what the principles hold, then wh) should an)one accept ad-hoc patchin' principles
li!e that<
That aside$ and for the reasons gien in the preious subsection $ one should not accept the
patchwor1 principles$ een leaing aside the arguments gien in this subsection.
".".$. Infinite past, undefeated.
*et us now grant again Koons+s assumptions for the sa1e of the argument$ let+s ta1e into
consideration the conclusions ? from binar! patchwor1$ as e"plained in th e pre#ious subsection ?
that time is not possibl! dense$ and also that there is a positie temporal distance between an! two
gien temporal interals such that one precedes the other$ and let+s see wh! the conclusion that an
infinite past is impossible$ is bloc1ed:
*et+s suppose that there are infinitely man! past temporal interals of positie duration P%
n
Q$ for all
natural n$ such that %
n'1
precedes %
n..
The infimum of the distances between pairs of interals ma! or ma! not be 9ero$ but in an! case$
the distance between each two inter&als is alwa!s positie$ and thus conditions a and b are not
enough to specif! that the signal persists from one of those interals into the ne"t$ bloc1ing Koons+s
argument.
%t might be obCected that Koons+s assumptions are not limited to conditions a and b , and in
particular$ that the condition of 9ero distance can be replaced b! another condition.
;ore precisel!$ it might be posited that Koons+s conditions are something li1e:
a(. )hen appl!ing binar! or infinitar! patchwor1$ one ma! stipulate that the powers intrinsic
to a spatio0temporal region I
1
1
whose temporal component is an interal %
1
inole powers to
send signals that e"ist in a region I
#
whose temporal component is an interal %
#
that does not
oerlap with %
1
and %
#
is later than %
1
, proided that there is no temporal interal between %
1

and %
#
that is disCoint from at least one of them 5alternatiel!: from both of them6.
b(. ;oreoer$ when appl!ing binar! or infinitar! patchwor1$ one ma! stipulate that the matter
of whether an e"ercise of such powers is successful is also a matter intrinsic only to the
inter&al at which they were e!ercised, een in cases in which the stipulation described in
condition a( aboe is also made.
The problem is that in that case$ binar! patchwor1 alone entails a contradiction regardless of
whether the past is finite$ whether time is dense$ etc.$ as the following argument shows:
A. 2! binar! patchwor1$ as in the pre#ious subsection$ we establish that the temporal
distance between two temporal interals is not 9ero.
). Lsing Koons+s argument against temporal densit!$ we establish that there cannot be
infinitel! man! temporal interals between two gien interals.
C. Lsing ) and A$ we pic1 two temporal interals %
1
and %
#
that are at non09ero distance$ but
such that there is no other temporal interal between them.
#. Appl!ing the alternati#e conditions$ and using an argument li1e that gien in the
pre#ious subsection but without the stipulation that the temporal distance between the two
interals is 9ero$ we get a contradiction.
8ranted$ someone might suggest that Koons+s implicit assumptions go be!ond a. and b .$ but not as
far as a ( and b . 2ut if there is no re3uirement that the interals be at 9ero temporal distance
between each other for the signal to persist$ one ma! as1 the person positing this alternatie what
other condition can be gien that does not go as far as a ( and b( $ how that would entail that
necessaril! there is no infinite number of past non0oerlapping temporal interals$ and wh! should
one accept such conditions4
As it stands$ Koons+s argument fails to show that temporal densit! is impossible$ and een assuming
for the sa1e of the argument that it shows that$ then it fails to show that infinitel! man! past da!s ?
for instance ? are impossible.
There seems to be no wa! of fi"ing those shortcomings.
&ince the ar'u(ents I 'i#e in this subsection use so(e of the results established in
subsection .. , if ob4ections to all of the ar'u(ents I 'a#e in that subsection were to
succeed, that would bloc! the ar'u(ents I 'i#e in this section. Howe#er, I rec!on that
those ob4ections failed, as ar'ued there, and while so(eone (i'ht raise further ob4ections,
the) would need to be ar'ued for.
%n an! case$ and for the reasons gien in an earlier subsection $ one should not accept the patchwor1
principles$ een leaing aside the arguments gien in this subsection and the immediatel! preious
one.
".$. An infinity by successi+e addition-
%n this subsection$ % will address another one of Craig+s arguments. According to Craig$ on a tensed
theor! of time$ the realit! of temporal becoming ma1es it impossible for there to be an infinite past
series of eents of e3ual duration$ since those changes would hae to happen b! successie
addition$ but b! addition of one change or eent at a time$ it would neer be possible to reach an
infinit!. 5 r % G 6
)hile it seems clear to me that it would be impossible for there to be such an infinite series with a
beginning point$ a 1e! 3uestion here is whether a beginningless series is impossible.
There appears to be a significant difference between a case with a beginning point and one that does
not hae a beginning point$ namel! that in the case in which there is no beginning point$ there are
no two eents andDor times separated b! an infinite temporal distance$ or b! infinitel! man!
interals of e3ual duration$ so the temporal distance to be traersed from any specific time to
another is alwa!s finite$ and so is the number of interals of e3ual duration traersed b! an!one or
an!thing from an! specific time to another.
As long as traersing finite distances is not a problem$ it seems that would bloc1 the argument.
8ranted$ someone might still obCect to the infinite series of eents without a beginning and as1 how
the infinite series of past eents was formed in the first place$ claiming that it would neer form
under a tensed theor! of time.
@oweer$ a repl! to that line of argument would be to point out that precisel!$ since there is no
beginning point$ there is no need for an infinite series to be formed from a certain time on$ and also
no time at which the infinite past hadn+t alread! happened.
8ien the preious considerations$ and after reflection$ % conclude that the argument fails.
%n the following subsections$ % will address some other arguments defended b! Craig$ and which
purportedl! support his conclusion that it+s impossible for there to be an infinite series of past
eents on a tensed theor! of time. % will also address an argument based on a modification of one of
Craig+s scenarios$ and defended b! 2en )aters.
2ut before % address those arguments$ % would li1e to point out that$ while Craig defends those
ar'u(ents against an infinite past in the conte"t of a tensed theor! of time$ m! replies to those
arguments do not re3uire a tensed theor! of time$ though of course the! do not reCect it$ either. Thus$
if someone defended arguments essentiall! li1e those defended b) 8rai' but without assuming a
tensed theor! of time$ the replies % gie below would be e3uall! applicable to them
".$.1. Tristram handy.
<ne of Craig+s arguments against an infinite past is based on the stor! of Tristram >hand!. 5 r 1 G 6
>hand! is a man who writes his autobiograph!$ at a rather slow pace: it ta1es >hand! a !ear to write
the eents of a single da!. Also$ he writes about the eents of one da!$ then the following da!$ and
so on.
According to Craig$ we should reCect an infinite past because it+s obiousl! coherent to write an
autobiograph! at that pace$ but if >hand! had been writing from infinit!$ that would lead to
absurdities.
@oweer$ what is obiousl! coherent is to write such an autobiograph! starting at a specific day.
<n the other hand$ to write an autobiograph! counting from infinit! and meeting Craig,s conditions
is logicall! impossible.5 r % N 6
To see wh! this is impossible$ let+s suppose otherwise$ let+s suppose the number of past !ears has
the order t!pe of the non0positie integers$ and let+s enumerate the past !ears in the following wa!:
5 1# 6
*ast !ear is F$ the preious !ear is 01$ and so on.
Hor instance$ if the current !ear is #F1=$ then #F1# is F$ #F11 is 01$ #F1F is 0#$ and so on.
:ow$ let H be a function from the set of non0positie integers into itself such that for all nonnegatie
integers r and n$ H(0r) J 0n if and onl! if 0n is the most recent !ear >hand! wrote about during the
!ear 0r.
Hor instance$ if$ in the !ear 0#FFF$ >hand! wrote about a da! in the !ear 0=FFFF1 and about a da! in
the !ear 0=FFFFF$ then H(0#FFF) J 0=FFFFF.
8ien the rate at which >hand! writes$ and gien also that$ when writing his autobiograph!$ >hand!
neer writes about his future$ we hae the following conditions:
1. H(0r) ] 0r.
#. H(0r0=GA) J H(0r) 0 1.
2! induction:
=. H(0r0#\=GA) J H(0r0=GA0=GA) J H(0r0=GA) 0 1JH(0r) 0 #
B. H(0r01\=GA) J H(0r) 0 1$ for all nonnegatie 1.
>o$ in particular$ ta1ing rJF.
H(F) 0 1 J H(01\=GA) ] 01\=GA.
@ence$ for eer! nonnegatie integer 1$
A. !%"D5 J 27CIE
That+s contradictor!$ as easil! seen b! ta1ing (for instance) 1 J 1 ' (H(F)\H(F)).
>o$ what+s logicall! impossible is Tristram >hand! scenario itself$ but that does not hae an!thing
to do with whether an infinite past is possible.
Craig ac1nowledges that the scenario is logicall! impossible$ !et claims that because it seems
&obiousl!( coherent to write one+s autobiograph! at a rate of one da! per !ear$ it seems to them
that the problem is the infinite past.
% hae to confess that % find his repl! pu99ling. Clearl!$ the tas1 of writing one+s autobiograph! at a
rate of one da! per !ear -from infinit!+ 0 and meeting the conditions stipulated b! Craig ? is
contradictor!$ and so not coherent$ let alone obiousl! so.
%ncidentall!$ there is a contradictor! scenario about the future that seems similar to the -Tristram
>hand!+ scenario$ in the sense that accepting it would inole ma1ing the same 1ind of error as
accepting the Tristram >hand! scenario.
Alice >hand! writes a noel starting in the !ear #FFF$ and the stor! is set in her future. >he
alwa!s writes about future da!s. Also$ it ta1es Alice a !ear to specif! what happens in one da!
in her noel$ and she alwa!s writes her noel in se3uence. %n other words$ she writes about
what happens on some da! d
1
$ and after she finishes writing about d
1
$ she moes to the da!
after d
1
$ without Cumping to an! later da!.
Also$ for an! number n$ Alice will spend more than n !ears writing her noel.
The -Alice >hand!+ scenario is contradictor!$ but that does not warrant a conclusion that an
unbounded future is metaph!sicall! impossible.
>omeone might insist that the tas1 of writing a noel about the future$ writing about consecutie
da!s at a rate of one da! per !ear$ is obiousl! coherent$ and so the fault must be with the idea of a
future with an unbounded future number of !ears$ but it seems apparent to me that such a repl!
would be er! mista1en.
%ncidentall!$ in the Alice >hand! argument$ whether presentism is true ma1es no releant difference
in this conte"t$ for at least the following two reasons:
a. Een on presentism$ the past is not real$ een if it was. 2ut the future also will be real.
8ranted$ someone might insist on the actualit! of temporal becoming in the past$ or
something li1e that$ but that does not ma1e a difference to whether there is a contradiction.
b. %n an! eent$ and leaing point a. aside$ the fact is that the contradiction in the Alice
>hand! case is obtained based on what she will do according to the scenario. <ne ma! er!
well reach contradictions using the future tense$ and that does not ma1e the argument
dissimilar in a releant wa!.
The -Tristram >hand!+ scenario is similar to the -Alice >hand!+ scenario in the sense that Craig
constructs a contradictor! scenario inoling tas1s that might intuitiel! stri1e some people as
possible$ and the contradiction is the stipulation that >hand! has been writing at that pace for all of
the past$ in a similar wa! to the Alice >hand! scenario$ in which the contradiction is that Alice will
be writing at that pace for more than an! specific finite number of !ears.
%n an! case$ the analog! with the Alice >hand! scenario is onl! meant to illustrate the problem$ and
of course not needed. % would sa! that we should in an! case reCect the -Tristram >hand!+ scenario
because the tas1 of writing one+s biograph! at a rate of one da! per !ear -from infinit!+ and under
the stipulated conditions is a contradiction$ and the fact that the assumption that it+s possible results
in absurdities does not tell us an!thing about whether an infinite past in which the set of past !ears
has the order t!pe of the negatie integers is metaph!sicall! possible.
".$.2. 'ethuselah.
2en )aters defends an argument that is similar to Craig+s &Tristram >hand!( argument$ but with
some modifications$ intended precisel! to aoid some of the obCections raised against Craig+s
construction. 5r1Nb6
@oweer$ een if )aters+s argument aoids some of the mista1es in Craig+s argumentation$ it ma1es
an unCustified assumption$ and as a result$ it proides no good reason to thin1 that an infinite past is
impossible or een not actual ? )aters claims it+s not actual$ though if his reasoning were correct$ it
seems it could be e"tended. >till$ the main point is that )aters+s argument does not support the
claim that the past is actuall! finite.
2asicall!$ )aters:
a. Wefines W as the set of all da!s prior to toda!$ and WH as the set of all da!s in W at a finite
distance from toda!$ and uses ,], for the total relation on W in the obious manner.
b. Argues that if there is a function f from WH to WH such that f(d)]d for all d in WH and such
that f(d'#)J1'f(d) for all d$ d'# in WH$ then WH is finite.
c. Argues that if WH is finite$ then the set W of all da!s preious to toda! is also finite.
d. Argues that a function f with the properties in 3uestion does e"ist.
)aters+s claims in b and c are true. The problem is d.
<n that note$ )aters+s description is a lot more detailed than Craig+s in the >hand! argument$ but in
the end$ the error is similar. ;ore precisel!$ )aters stipulates that:
A. ;ethuselah has been alie for all da!s d in WH$ and for eer! da!$ he has a perfect memor!
of what he was doing in the immediatel! preious da!.
). @e has been writing his memoirs at a pace of half an entr! per da!$ for all da!s in his life.
That is$ it ta1es him two da!s to write down the actiities of one preious da!.
C. %f$ on a certain da! d$ he remembers that on (d01) he was writing about the eents on (d0m)
for some positie integer m$ then he will continue wor1ing on the entr! for (d0m) if that entr!
is not complete. else$ he will start writing the entr! for (d0m'1).
#. %f$ on the other hand$ on d ;ethuselah does not remember that on (d01) he was wor1ing on
an entr! for (d0m) for some positie integer m$ he will start wor1ing on an entr! for d.
.. ;ethuselah is in a logicall! possible world that is li1e the actual world in all releant
temporal facts.
)hile stipulations about what ;ethuselah will do under such and such conditions might sound
innocent at first glance$ the fact is that )aters assumes that in a world with the same rele&ant
temporal facts as the actual wor3$ ;ethuselah did perform the tas1s in 3uestion for eer! past da!
that is at a finite temporal distance from the present$ and so the function in 3uestion ? allegedl! ?
e"ists.
2ut that+s obiousl! impossible if the cardinal of WH is infinite$ so that implicitl! but 3uite
transparentl! ma1es the assumption that it is actually not the case that for eer! da! d in the actual
world$ and for eer! natural number n$ there is a da! d(n) in the actual world such that d(n) is n
da!s earlier than d.
8ranted$ it might be argued that there are independent reasons for belieing that such a tas1 is
possible in a world with the same releant temporal facts as the actual world. 2ut that would hae
to be argued for. )aters+s argument does not show it$ or gies an! good reasons to suspect so.
%n particular$ pointing out that the tas1 carried out b! ;ethuselah on each single da! is possible in a
world with the same releant temporal facts as the actual world$ and then appeal to a general
patching principle$ wouldn+t succeed it without e"plaining what the patching principle is and wh!
one should beliee it.
;oreoer$ gien that the patching that would be re3uired in the ;ethuselah case would inole the
memories of a single person about past actiities$ etc$ it seems that an! patching principle that
might be applied to this case would need to ma1e it intrinsic to one temporal interal whether
something persists into some other$ disCoint temporal interal ? or something a1in to that 0$ which is
at least one of the wh! reasons the patching principles defended b! Koons ought to be reCected.
To be clear$ %+m not suggesting that )aters is using a patching principle$ but rather$ that if someone
attempted to fi" )aters+s argument b! positing such a principle$ the burden would be on them$ and
furthermore$ gien the preious considerations$ it seems that would fail as well.
Perhaps$ another wa! of tr!ing to defend )aters+s argument would be to suggest that ;ethuselah+s
powers and dispositions are possible$ and so allegedl! the burden to show that it is not possible that
a being e"ercises them successfull! in a world with the same releant temporal facts as the actual
world would be on the person obCecting to )aters+s ;ethuselah argument.
This defense fails as well$ as the following points illustrate:
1. *et us stipulate$ onl! to simplif! terminolog! and for the rest of this subsection, that
world ) has an infinite past ? or e3uialentl! b! definition$ that in ) the past is infinite ? if
and onl! if there is some da! d in ) such that for eer! natural number n$ there is or there
was another da! d(n) in )$ such that d(n) is or was at least n da!s earlier than d.
>imilarl!$ let us stipulate that ) has a finite past ? or e3uialentl! b! definition$ that in ) the
past is finite ? if and onl! if for eer! da! d in )$ either there were no da!s in ) prior to d$ or
the number of da!s in ) that happened prior to d is a positie finite number.
Those are onl! stipulatie definitions applicable to the rest of this subsection$ which are
sufficient for the purposes of m! repl! to )aters+s argument. % ma1e no claim that the past
cannot be finite or infinite in some other sense$ or that those definitions match common usage$
but at least the! capture enough cases for the purposes of this part of the repl! to )aters.
Also$ )aters uses logicall! possible worlds instead of metaph!sicall! possible worlds$ so let+s
stipulate that for the rest of this subsection we+re tal1ing about logicall! possible worlds
unless otherwise specified.
@oweer$ % would li1e to point out that an argument li1e )aters+s but using metaph!sical
possibilit! instead of logical possibilit! would not succeed$ either. >ome of the obCections
would hae to be modified to some e"tent$ but the argument against an infinite past would
still fail because of its unwarranted stipulation about the releant temporal facts in the actual
world.
2. *et us now consider the powers and dispositions attributed to ;ethuselah in )aters+s
paper:
2.1. Hor eer! pair (d01$d)$ the power to remember perfectl! on d what one did on (d01).
2.2. The power and disposition to write a diar! of one+s past actiities at a rate of half an
entr! per da!.
2.!. The disposition that$ for each d$ if on da! d one remembers that on a da! (d01) one
was wor1ing on an entr! for da! (d0m) for some positie integer m$ then one continues
wor1ing on that entr! if the entr! for (d0m) is incomplete$ and starts wor1ing on the
entr! for (d0m'1) if the entr! for (d0m) is complete.
2.". The disposition that$ for each d$ if on da! d it is not the case that one remembers
wor1ing on an entr! as described in 2.!$ then one begins wor1ing on an entr! for d.
2.$. Additionall! if needed$ at least all powers of an adult$ health! and !oung human
being of aerage intelligence and strength$ when no stronger capabilit! is specified. This
particular condition is not re3uired b! )aters$ but it might be implicit$ and in an! case
it+s obiousl! possible and is not a problem to add it.
!. The powers and dispositions described in 2 aboe are possible powers and dispositions.
;oreoer$ it is possible that an entit! e"ercises them successfull! on eer! da! in its life.
Hor e"ample$ let us stipulate that in world )1 2ob begins to e!ist on da! d$ and that in )1$
2ob has the powers and dispositions described in 2$ and also e"ercises them successfull! on
eer! da! in his life. This is unproblematic$ but does not tell us an!thing about whether the
past is actuall! finite or infinite$ or een whether the past is finite or infinite on )1.
". *et us also stipulate that in world )#$ 2ob has and e"ercises the powers and dispositions
described in 2 successfull!$ on eer! da! in his life$ and furthermore$ that there is some da! t
such that 2ob is alie in )# on eer! da! d earlier than t and at a finite temporal distance
from t.
Then$ that implies that on )#$ the past is finite. )hile it seems that )# is plausibl! a logically
possible world$ that does not gie us an! good reason to thin1 that the past is actually finite. %t
would be improper to stipulate that )# is e"actl! li1e the actual world with regard to all
releant temporal facts$ and then from that conclude that the past is actually finite.
2ut that is what )aters is doing in the case of ;ethuselah.
)hile points 2 9 " aboe suffice$ % will gie two analogies.
1(: >ame stipulations as in 1 aboe.
2(: *et us consider the following powers and dispositions:
2.1(? The power to come to 1now$ on eer! da! d in one+s life$ that at least some eent
E(d) happened on some da! p(d) earlier than d.
2.2(? The disposition to write down$ on eer! da! d in one+s life$ at least one of the
eents that happened on p(d).
!(? The powers and dispositions described in 2( aboe are possible powers and dispositions.
;oreoer$ it is possible that an entit! e"ercises them successfull! on eer! da! in its life.
Hor e"ample$ let us stipulate that in world )=$ Alice begins to e"ist on some da! (d(F)'1)$ and
that on )=$ Alice has the powers and dispositions described in 2($ and e"ercises them
successfull! on eer! da! in her life. This is also unproblematic$ but does not tell us an!thing
about whether the past is actuall! finite or infinite$ or een whether the past is infinite or finite
in )=.
"(? *et us now stipulate that world )B$ Alice is alie on eer! da! earlier than some da! t and
at a finite temporal distance from t$ and that on )B$ Alice has the powers and dispositions
described in 2($ and e"ercises them successfull! on eer! da! in her life.
Then$ it follows that the past is infinite in )B.
@oweer$ this does not gie us an! good reason to beliee that the past is actually infinite$
een though it seems that )B is logically possible.
%n particular$ it would be improper to stipulate that )B is e"actl! li1e the actual world with
regard to all releant temporal facts$ and then from that conclude that the past is actually
infinite. The stipulation in the case of 2ob or ;ethuselah ? and the corresponding conclusion
? is improper as well.
As a repl! to the Alice analog!$ it might be argued that some of the differences between the Alice
scenario and the 2obD;ethuselah scenario are releant at least some of the matters at hand for some
reason$ but that would need to be argued for. %n particular$ if the allegedl! releant difference would
re3uire the application of some sort of patching principle$ that would seem to fail too$ for the
reasons % gae earlier in this subsection.
%n an! case$ % would li1e to stress that the Alice scenario is not re3uired to establish the point that
the reasoning behind the ;ethuselah argument is flawed. %t+s onl! an analog! that % hope will
illustrate a point better$ but if it doesn+t$ one ma! Cust ignore it$ and focus on points 2 9 " aboe$
which suffice.
*et us now consider a second analog!$ this time inoling the future:
1((. *et us stipulate$ onl! to simplif! terminolog! and for the rest of this subsection, that
world ) has an infinite future ? or e3uialentl! b! definition$ that in ) the future is infinite
or will be infinite ? if and onl! if there is some da! d in ) such that for eer! natural number
n$ there is or there will be another da! d(n) in )$ such that d(n) is or will be at least n da!s
later than d.
>imilarl!$ let us stipulate that ) has a finite future ? or e3uialentl! b! definition$ that in )
the future is finite or will be finite ? if and onl! if for eer! da! d in )$ either d is the last da!
in )$ or the number of da!s in ) that happened$ happen andDor will happen after d is a
positie finite number.
Those are onl! stipulatie definitions applicable to the rest of this subsection$ which are
sufficient for the purposes of m! repl! to )aters+s argument. % ma1e no claim that the future
cannot be finite or infinite in some other sense$ or that those definitions match common usage$
but at least the! capture enough cases for the purposes of this part of the repl! to )aters.
2((. *et us now consider the following powers and dispositions$ mirroring those attributed to
;ethuselah in )aters+s paper$ namel!:
2.1((. Hor eer! pair (d01$d)$ the power to remember perfectl! on d what one did on (d0
1).
2.2((. The power and disposition to write a noel set in an imaginar! future at a rate of
half an entr! per da!$ where an -entr!+ for some da! d is an account of the eents that
ta1e place in the fictional stor! on da! d.
The condition that the noel is set in an imaginar! future means that if one is writing on
some da! d1$ and one is wor1ing on an entr! for some da! d#$ then d1 is earlier than d# in
the usual order 0 or would be so if d1 e"isted$ if one prefers 0$ and one is writing fiction.
<f course$ since it+s a fictional stor!$ it is not re3uired that d# e"ists or will e"ist.
2.!((. The disposition that$ for each d$ if on da! d one remembers that on a da! (d01) one
was wor1ing on an entr! for da! (d'm) for some positie integer m$ then one continues
wor1ing on that entr! if the entr! for (d'm) is incomplete$ and starts wor1ing on the
entr! for (d'm'1) if the entr! for (d'm) is complete.
2."((. The disposition that$ for each d$ if on da! d it is not the case that one remembers
wor1ing on an entr! as described in 2.!(($ then one pic1s an! positie integer m of one+s
choosing$ and begins wor1ing on an entr! for (d'm). 5As an alternatie analog!$ the
positie fi"ed integer is fi"ed and is mJ1 trillion).
2.$((. Additionall!$ at least all powers of an adult$ health! and !oung human being of
aerage intelligence and strength$ when no stronger capabilit! is specified.
!((. The powers and dispositions described in 2(( aboe are possible powers and dispositions.
;oreoer$ it is possible that an entit! e"ercises them successfull! on eer! da! in its life.
Hor e"ample$ let us stipulate that in world )A. *ilith begins to e"ist on da! d$ and that in )A$
*ilith has the powers and dispositions described in 2(($ and also e"ercises them successfull!
on eer! da! in her life. Also$ her life lasts for =GAFF da!s$ and if she has to pic1 a number m
of her choosing as specified in 2."( aboe$ she pic1s mJ1 trillion 5in the ariant in which m is
fi"ed$ she does not need to pic16.
This is unproblematic$ but does not tell us an!thing about whether the future is actuall! finite
or infinite$ or een whether the future is finite or infinite on )A.
"((. *et us also stipulate that in world )G$ *ilith has and e"ercises ? andDor had and e"ercised$
will hae and will e"ercise$ etc. 0 the powers and dispositions described in 2(( successfull!$ on
eer! da! in her life$ and furthermore$ that there is some da! t such that *ilith is or will be
alie in )G on eer! da! d later than t and at a finite temporal distance from t.
Then$ that implies that on )G$ the future is finite. %t seems that )# is plausibl! a logically
possible world. )hether it+s a metaph!sicall! possible world is another matter$ but there
seems to be no contradiction in ? sa! ? stating that a relational theor! of time is true$ and also
that all changes will eentuall! cease in )G. :o contradiction seems to follow.
@oweer$ een if )G is a logicall! possible world$ that does not gie us an! good reason to
thin1 that in the actual world the future is or will be finite.
%t would be improper to stipulate that )G is and will be e"actl! li1e the actual world with
regard to all releant temporal facts$ and then from that conclude that the future is or will be
finite in the actual world.
2ut that is releantl! similar to what )aters is doing in the case of ;ethuselah.
As an obCection to the *ilith analog!$ someone might suggest that perhaps )G is not logicall!
possible after all. @oweer$ since there appears to be no contradiction in the description and there
appears to be no good reason to suspect that there might be a hidden contradiction$ the burden of
showing that there is an! serious doubt about the logical possibilit! of )G would be on the person
raising that obCection. ;oreoer$ that would be a distraction anyway$ since it should be clear that
stipulating that )G has and will hae the same releant temporal facts as the actual world and then
concluding from that and the *ilith scenario that the actual world has or will hae a finite future
would be improper regardless of whether )G is logically possible' >imilarl!$ the stipulation is
improper in the ;ethuselah scenario in )aters+s paper.
Alternatiel!$ someone might obCect to the *ilith analog! on the basis that ? allegedl! ? presentism
is true$ and for some reason that,s a problem for scenarios inoling the future. @oweer$ leaing
aside the facts that presentism would not be logically necessar! een if it were metaph!sicall!
necessar!$ and that een on presentism$ one can properl! ma1e stipulations and reason about what
will happen$ an obCection based on presentism would miss the point as well$ since regardless of an!
issues inoling presentism$ the conclusion that the future is or will be finite based on the *ilith
scenario ought to be reCected because of the unwarranted stipulation that the *ilith scenario happens
in a world that has and will hae the same releant temporal facts as the actual world. That
stipulation is releantl! similar to )aters+s stipulation in the ;ethuselah scenario.
%n an! eent$ and as in the case of the Alice analog!$ the purpose of the *ilith analog! is to better
illustrate wh! the ;ethuselah argument does not succeed. 2ut the *ilith analog! is not re3uired$
and if it does not ma1e matters more clear$ one ma! Cust ignore it and focus on points 2 9 " aboe$
which suffice.
".$.!. 6rbits and parity.
Another argument against an infinite past defended b! Craig 5 r1U 6 is based on orbits and the alleged
parit! of some numbers.
According to this argument$ it+s absurd that if Tupiter completes #.A orbits for each one >aturn
completes$ the! would both hae completed the same number of orbits$ if the! hae been orbiting
the >un for an infinite number of !ears.
@oweer$ and leaing aside the fact that an! planet$ star$ etc.$ onl! lasts for finitel! man! !ears in
the actual world$ the fact is that there appears to be no absurdit! at all. As in the case of the @ilbert
@otel argument$ an! alleged problem seems to be a confusion about the meaning of the words.
;ore specificall!$ that the number of completed orbits would be the same if the! had been orbiting
foreer and there were an infinite past composed of denumerabl! man! !ears merel! means that
there would be a biCection between the set of orbits completed b! one of the planets$ and the set of
orbits completed b! the other planet$ and that+s as clear as the fact that$ sa!$ the set of natural
numbers that are multiples of two has the same cardinalit! as the set of natural numbers that are
multiples of fie.
%n addition to the preious argument$ Craig also sa!s that if a planet had been orbiting for eternit!$
the number of completed orbits would be both een and odd$ and proides an unusual definition of
,-een+ and -odd+, that would appl! to infinite cardinals$ and under which infinite cardinals would
turn out to be both een and odd.
@oweer$ that is not a problem$ either$ but rather$ a conse3uence of Craig+s unusual choice of
definitions and the fact that there is a biCection between an! two denumerable sets.
<f course$ once again in realit! planets dont last indefinitel!$ but that is not at all releant.
".%. cientific cosmology.
According to Craig$ modern scientific cosmolog! supports the second premise of the Kalam
Cosmological Argument. %n this section$ % will assess his arguments on the matter$ and raise some
obCections.
".%.1. The 7riedmann89ema:tre 'odel.
Craig contends that what he calls the &>tandard @ot 2ig 2ang ;odel($ or Hriedmann0*ema^tre
model 5 r 1 2 6 $ supports a beginning of the unierse that is an absolute origin e"0nihilo$ and space and
time themseles come into being at an initial singularit!.
@oweer$ a singularit! in that mathematical model indicates that the e3uations of 8eneral Ielatiit!
don+t properl! describe some phenomena in the distant past$ not that there is some actual thing of
infinite densit! ? that would not een be defined.
%n fact$ 8eneral Ielatiit! onl! ta1es into consideration one force ? namel!$ grait! 0$ ignoring the
rest$ and while that+s usuall! be good enough for large obCects$ but in a er! small unierse li1e the
unierse in a distant past$ other forces and the possibilit! of 3uantum effects should be ta1en into
account as well. 5 r 1 S 6 ;ore precisel!$ what was small was the unierse in the sense in which the
word -unierse+ is used in some scientific models$ but whether the unierse was small in the sense
in which the word -unierse+ is used in the KCA is another matter.
%n an! eent$ the proper conclusion here is that we+re not Custified in appl!ing those e3uations
be!ond a certain time in the past$ which of course proides no support for the second premise of the
KCA.
%n addition to that$ the model in 3uestion entails an infinite past se3uence of changes$ since as we
moe further bac1 in time$ the densit! of the unierse tends to infinit!$ and so there are more than n
consecutie changes in which the densit! of our unierse decreases$ for each n$ een if the past in
that model is metric0finite.
>o$ one of the models that Craig offers in support of his claims against an infinite past is
incompatible with his stance on the possibilit! of actual infinities$ as long as an infinite regress of
changes is an actual infinit!.
8ranted$ Craig or another defender of the KCA ma! simpl! point out some of what % mentioned
aboe$ namel! that the model in 3uestion is not applicable be!ond a certain time in the past$ and so
their stance on infinities is not undermined or defeated. 2ut that onl! underscores the fact that this
cosmological model is not applicable be!ond a certain time in the past$ and thus for that reason of
no use for a defender of the KCA$ een if the were -unierse+ were being used in the releant sense
here 0 which is not the case.
Also$ while someone might suggest that such a regress is not an actual infinit! if presentism is true
because onl! the present e"ists$ that obCection is incompatible with Craig+s position$ since for the
same reason$ een infinitel! man! past !ears would not be an actual infinit! on presentism.
".%.2. The )orde21uth2;ilen5in Theorem.
%n addition to the preious model$ Craig often appeals5 r 2 = 6 to a paper b! 8uth$ 2orde and
[ilen1in5 r 2 % 6 $ and offers that paper and the theorem proed in it as eidence in support of the
second premise of the KCA.
%n that paper$ the authors reach the conclusion that if some reasonable assumptions obtain$ then the
past boundar! of the inflating unierse is reached in a finite past$ and some new ph!sics is re3uired
to described that boundar!.
@oweer$ the! ma1e no claims in that paper about what the new ph!sics would be$ be!ond
mentioning that seeral alternaties hae been discussed$ including a 3uantum eent in which the
unierse originates.
2ut een if such 3uantum eent actuall! happened a finite time ago$ that would be part of the
unierse in the sense in which the word -unierse+ is used in the KCA.5B6
)ould that impl! that the unierse$ in the sense in which the word -unierse+ is used in the KCA$
began to e"ist4
That would need to be argued for. >howing a beginning of the unierse in a narrower sense of
-unierse+ would not suffice.
".%.!. 6ther arguments based on scientific cosmology.
Craig offers a number of other arguments$ based on different h!potheses in modern science$
basicall! arguing that all of the h!potheses that aren,t too implausible lead to the conclusion that the
unierse had a beginning.
A crucial issue here is what is meant b! -unierse+ in the conte"t of those h!potheses$ and what is
meant b! -unierse+ in the conte"t of the KCA. 5B6
)hat a defender of the KCA would hae to show in order to properl! support premise # is not onl!
that the obCect called ,-unierse+ in the conte"t of those scientific h!potheses began to e"ist$ but that
all of those h!potheses support a beginning of the unierse in the sense of the word "uni&erse1 that
is rele&ant in the ;C#' 5 1 = 6 %n particular$ the! would still need to show that$ plausibl!$ either:
i. There is no time in some realm (sa!$ an older unierse in a restrictie sense of -unierse+$ or
a multierse$ etc.) that is prior to the e"istence of the obCect called -unierse+ in those
scientific h!potheses$ or
ii. %f there is time in some realm that is prior to the e"istence of the obCect called -unierse+ in
those scientific h!potheses$ that realm would plausibl! not 3ualif! as -unierse+ in the conte"t
of the KCA.
2ut Craig and other defenders of the KCA hae not shown that$ so the burden remains on them.
>till$ we ma! speculate about what 1ind of argument would be re3uired to support the second
premise of the KCA using empirical eidence.
Perhaps$ a defender of the KCA might tr! a probabilistic argument li1e the following argument:
(f the ob-ect called "uni&erse in scientific models had an infinite past, then so would the
uni&erse in the sense in which the word "uni&erse is used in the ;C#'
So, if, based on the empirical e&idence a&ailable to us, we should re&ise our prior
probabilistic assessment of the hypothesis that the ob-ect called "uni&erse in the conte!t of
scientific models has an infinite past, assigning higher probability to that hypothesis than
before the empirical e&idence was considered, then we should also reduce the probability
assigned to the second premise of the ;C#'
(n other words, empirical e&idence that increases the probability that the ob-ect called
"uni&erse in the conte!t of scientific models has an infinite past, also decreases the
probability that the second premise of the ;C# is true'
4ut then, reciprocally, empirical e&idence that decreases the probability that the ob-ect called
"uni&erse in the conte!t of scientific models has an infinite past, also increases the
probability that the second premise of the ;C# is true'
A first difficult! here is that different models might use the word -unierse+ somewhat differentl!.
2ut *et+s assume that -unierse+ means the same in all of the models$ to simplif!.
Een then$ the probabilistic argument aboe would not be enough to establish that the second
premise of the KCA is true$ or een probabl! true.
%n order to Custif! an assessment that the second premise of the KCA is probably true$ based on
empirical eidence$ a defender of the KCA would also hae to show that:
a. 2ased on empirical eidence$ we should conclude that the obCect called -unierse+ in
scientific models probabl! has a finite past. @e would not hae to show what the proper
probabilistic assignment to P is$ but show it+s P E F.A.
b. 8ien the probabilit! P in a.$ it is probable that the unierse$ in the sense in which the word
-unierse+ is used in the KCA5B6$ has a finite past.
@oweer$ Craig and other defenders of the KCA hae not shown that$ e&en assuming P<$$ then it+s
probable that the unierse$ in the sense in which the word -unierse+ is used in the KCA$ has a finite
past.
;oreoer$ een if we granted for the sa1e of the argument that if P has a high alue (sa!$ P E F.U)$
then b. is true$ still Craig and other defenders of the KCA hae not shown that we ought to assign
such a high alue to P.
".%.". Cyclic models and other options for an infinite past.
>ome of the models of a unierse with an infinite past that Craig considers and reCects5 r # # 6 in his
defense of the KCA are c!clic models of the unierse.
Hor instance$ in particular$ he considers a model proposed b! Hrampton. 5 r # = 6
%n his assessment$ Craig mentions some of the obCections to the model and the replies b! Hrampton$
and in the end concludes that the field is too !oung to ma1e a full Cudgment$ but that neertheless it
seems that some of the problems of older c!clic models remain.
>o$ een though Craig sa!s that he+s not passing full Cudgment$ he does gie the impression that
he+s ma1ing some 1ind of probabilistic assessment$ implicitl! sa!ing that some of the obCections
that defeated some earlier c!clic models probabl! will defeat this one as well$ and further$ will
defeat all c!clic models. 2ut Craig does not proide an! ade3uate support for such an assessment.
%n an! case$ and regardless of Craig+s claims about that particular c!clic model$ a 3uestion in this
conte"t is whether we should assess that c!clic models of a unierse with an infinite past probabl!
fail. % do not see an! sufficient reason to reach that conclusion at this point.
8ranted$ there are obCections to such models$ but no model$ c!clic or otherwise$ is generall!
accepted at this point. Iather$ scientists are wor1ing on the deelopment of different h!potheses$
and a number of different options remain open.
%n particular$ the option of a c!clic unierse with an infinite past continues to be a lie one$ and
there are seeral recent papers discussing a number of ariants of it as potential options.5 r # B 6
;oreoer$ een leaing aside c!clic models$ there appear to be non0c!clic options of a unierse
with an infinite past still on the table.5 r # A 6
>o$ it seems that whether the past is infinite is an open 3uestion in science$ and there appears to be
no good reason to ta1e a stance at this point.
$. Conclusions.
:either the first nor the second premise of the KCA is properl! supported b! the arguments gien
b! Craig and others who propose them$ and % see no good reason independentl! of those arguments
to accept said premises$ either.
;oreoer$ the arguments in support of the second premise are arguments for a beginning of time$
which$ if correct$ would be good eidence against the first premise.
All of the aboe would gie us enough reasons to reCect the KCA$ but additionall!$ there are er!
serious 3uestions about the coherence of the creator andDor the creation account proposed b! Craig
? i.e.$ the iew that 8od is timeless without creation and temporal with it 0$ and generall! b! an!
similar ersions of the KCA'.
%. &otes.
516 %n some conte"ts$ people might tal1 about$ sa!$ a timeless wor1 of art$ but that+s clearl! not the
sense of -timeless+ that is releant here.
5#6 %t+s not clear to me whether Craig uses ,-changeless+ and -3uiescent+, to mean the same. 2ut
either wa!$ the problems for his position remain$ as argued aboe.
5=6 <r the onl! concrete obCect that e"ists is <$ if abstracta are part of a correct ontolog!. That issue
is not releant to the argument under consideration$ so we ma! stipulate an!thing in that regard if
we so choose. >o$ if a reader includes abstracta in an ontolog!$ then the scenarios should read
-concrete obCect+ instead of -obCect+,$ but other than that$ the arguments are the same.
5B6 According to Craig$ &the unierse( in the conte"t of the KCA is defined as &the whole of
material realit!(. 5 r 1 1 6
%t+s not clear to me what &material( means in this conte"t$ or een if Craig using the word in a
manner that is both coherent and sufficientl! precise for the whole Kalam Cosmological Argument.
2ut assuming that his usage is coherent and precise enough$ what is clear is that if there were a
multierse$ infinite past c!clic unierses$ etc.$ all of that would be contained in the unierse in the
sense of -unierse+ intended b! Craig.
5A6 <ur intuitions about space and time$ while er! useful in dail! life$ do not wor1 so well in some
of the situations modern ph!sics deals with$ li1e the pro"imit! of a blac1 hole$ or the earl! unierse$
or subatomic particles$ etc. %t+s not at all clear$ to sa! the least$ that those intuitions are reliable in
conte"ts li1e a purported beginning of the unierse$ etc.
@oweer$ gien that defenders of the KCA propose intuitions in support of the first premise$ we
ma! offer rebuttals based on intuitions as well$ among others.
5G6
;! intuitie assessment of infinite past s. a finite past has changed oer the !ears ? while % used to
find both of the alternaties counterintuitie (so$ % had conflicting intuitions$ and surel!$ one of m!
intuitions was misleading)$ % used to find the former more counterintuitie$ whereas now it+s the
latter ?$ m! intuition that if time and space began to e"ist together in a finite past$ then there is no
efficient cause of time or space$ has not changed.
5N6 The claim that an infinite temporal regress would constitute an actual infinit! is at least
debatable on presentism$ which is precisel! the theor! of time that Craig espouses. 2ut *et+s grant
for the sa1e of the argument and unless otherwise specified that an infinite temporal regress would
constitute an actual infinit!$ een on presentism.
5U6 8reater infinities would not ma1e a releant difference$ so one ma! assume a larger infinit! for
that matter$ and then ma1e a similar anal!sis and raise similar counterarguments.
5S6 2! AX2 % mean the set of elements of A that are not elements of 2.
51F6 %ncidentall!$ such a principle could proide grounds for arguments against theism. Hor
e"ample$ one can consider a scenario in which a being with the mind of a four0!ears0old human
suffers horribl! for a long period ? which surel! is possible 0$ and then b! means of infinitar!
patchwor1$ coer all of spacetime with such beings li1e that suffering horribl!$ and nothing else$
which can be used to strengthen een the argument from suffering ? though % do not beliee it
re3uires strengthening 0$ at least when it comes to obCecting to ersions of theism that posit that 8od
e"ists necessaril!.
5116 Koons uses the word &set($ but it+s not entirel! clear to me that that would be a set.
Hor instance$ for all % 1now$ there might be a possible world ) with spatial structures of cardinalit!
"$ for an! cardinal ". %f so$ the class of spatio0temporal regions of ) would not be a set. %n an! case$
this is a side issue.
51#6 %+m stipulating 1 !ear J =GA da!s and ignoring leap !ears$ for the sa1e of simplicit!. a more
complicated proof would include leap !ears$ but it+s clear that the contradiction does not depend on
whether we ta1e into consideration leap !ears.
Also$ the assumption that the set of past !ears has the order t!pe of the set of non0positie integers
is acceptable in this conte"t$ since that is the main h!pothesis that Craig claims ought to be reCected
due to the Tristram >hand! argument$ and since in an! case$ % intend to show that the ,Tristram
>hand!, argument does not show that such a past is impossible.
51=6 %+m ta1ing into consideration the fact that defenders of the KCA are actuall! also defenders of
the KCA'$ and that rules out the use of the word -unierse+ in the KCA in a narrow sense$ such as
the use that it might be gien to the word -unierse+ in some scientific models.
At an! rate$ using -unierse+ in a narrow sense in the second premise of the KCA would on its own
ma1e the argument irreleant in the conte"t of philosoph! of religion$ since that conclusion would
not rule out the that there was some older realm before the unierse$ and more precisel! a realm that
does not entail or suggest a personal creator.
<. References.
5r16 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G
Page 1F#.
5r#6
http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDcausation0and0spacetime
5r=6
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5rB6 http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDsiteD:ews#4pageJ:ewsArticle`idJASN1
5rA6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
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#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G
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5rG6 http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDsiteD:ews#4pageJ:ewsArticle`idJS#GS
5rN6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. pages 11A$ 11G.
5rU6 )illiam *ane Craig$ &8od and the 2eginning of Time(.
http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDgod0and0the0beginning0of0time
5rS6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1well Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam lane Craig and T. P. ;oreland.
pages 1UB$ 1UA.
5r1F6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. page 1U#.
http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDdefenders0#0podcastDtranscriptDsB0G
5r116 http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDcausal0premiss0of0the01alam0argument
5r1#6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. page 1FU011A.
5r1=6
http:DDale"anderpruss.blogspot.comD#FFSD1FDfrom0grim0reaper0parado"0to01alaam.html
5r1B6 http:DDpros blogion.e1topos.comD#FFSD1FDF#DfromagrimareapeD
http:DDprosblogion.e1topos.comD#FFSD1FDF#DfromagrimareapeDYcomment0#=AA=
5r1A6 Koons$ I. C. (#F1#)$ A :ew Kalam Argument: Ieenge of the 8rim Ieaper. :obs. Woi:
1F.1111DC.1BGU0FFGU.#F1#.FFUAU."
Also: http:DDwww.rob1oons.netDmediaDU=cSb#AcAGdG#SffffffU1FfffffdA#B.pdf
http:DDonlinelibrar!.wile!.comDdoiD1F.1111DC.1BGU0FFGU.#F1#.FFUAU."Dabstract
5r1G6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. page 11N01#B.
5r1N6 Tosh Weer$ in &)orlds Apart(, Taiwanese Tournal for Philosoph! and @istor! of >cience$ 1F
(1SSU)$ pointed out that the scenario is contradictor!.
This was also pointed out b! 8raham <pp!$ in &Arguing about 8ods($ Cambridge Lniersit! Press
(#FFG).
5r1Nb6 2en )aters$ in Philosophia Christi >olu(e %?, @u(ber 2 ,2=%3A
5r1U6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. page 1#F.
5r1S6
1. ;atts Ioos$ &E"pansion of the Lnierse ? >tandard 2ig 2ang ;odel(.
http:DDar"i.orgDabsDFUF#.#FFA
#. http:DDcsep1F.ph!s.ut1.eduDastr1G#DlectDcosmolog!Dplanc1.html
=. http:DDwww.nicadd.niu.eduDcbter9icDP@7>GA#D*ecturea1=.pdf
B. http:DDpreposterousunierse.comDwritingsDdtungD
5r#F6
)illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The 2lac1)ell
Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _ #FFS
2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. page 1B1.
http:DDwww.reasonablefaith.orgDcontemporar!0cosmolog!0and0the0beginning0of0the0unierse
5r#16 8uth$ 2orde$ and [ilen1in$ &%nflationar! spacetimes are not past0complete($ Ph!sical
Ieiew *etters SF$ 1A1=F1.
http:DDar"i.orgDabsDgr03cDF11FF1#
5r##6 )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. >inclair$ &The Kalam Cosmological Argument($ in &The
2lac1)ell Companion to :atural Theolog!($ Edited b! )illiam *ane Craig and T. P. ;oreland$ _
#FFS 2lac1well Publishing *td. %>2:: SNU010BFA01NGAN0G. pages 1AF01AN.
5r#=6 Paul Hrampton$ &C!clic Lnierse and %nfinite Past(.
http:DDar"i.orgDabsDFNFA.#N=F
5r#B6 There are man! e"amples. % will mention a few$ but one might as well choose others.
To be clear$ %+m not suggesting that an! particular model is li1el!$ but merel! pointing out that the
matter of an infinite c!clic past is open in modern scientific cosmolog!.
>o$ for e"ample$ one can mention ? among others:
7un0>ong Piao$ &Proliferation in C!cle(. http:DDar"i.orgDabsDFSF1.#GBB
7un0>ong Piao$ &Wesign of a C!clic ;ultierse(. http:DDar"i.orgDabsD1FF1.FG=1
@ua0@ui Viong$ 7i0Hu Cai$ Taotao Oiu$ 7un0>ong Piao$ Vinmin dhang$ &<scillating unierse with
3uintom matter(. http:DDar"i.orgDabsDFUFA.FB1=
Ka9uharu 2amba$ Kurala! 7esma1hanoa$ Kobland! 7er9hano$ Iatba! ;!r9a1ulo$
&Ieconstruction of the e3uation of state for the c!clic unierses in homogeneous and isotropic
cosmolog!(. http:DDar"i.orgDabsD1#F=.=BF1#
7i0Hu Cai$ Emmanuel :. >arida1is$ &C!clic cosmolog! from *agrange0multiplier modified
grait!(. http:DDar"i.orgDabsD1FFN.=#FB
Ka9uharu 2amba$ LCCal Webnath$ Kurala! 7esma1hanoa$ Petr Ts!ba$ 8ulgas!l :ugmanoa$
Iatba! ;!r9a1ulo$ &Periodic Cosmological Eolutions of E3uation of >tate for War1 Energ!(.
http:DDar"i.orgDabsD1#F=.B##G.
5r#A6 Hor instance:
Pierre0@enri Chaanis$ &A simple model of unierse with a pol!tropic e3uation of state(0
http:DDar"i.orgDabsD1#FU.11S#