Q&A 1: Kalam and The Flying Spaghetti Monster
by Max Andrews
I guess since I requested the Q&A section, I’ll start it off!
I recently had a conversation with an atheist in which I walked him through the Kalam Cosmological Argument. This inevitably led into a conversation about what criteria a “first cause” must meet. It was difficult for me to explain, and for him to understand how God exists as a necessary being, or out of His own nature.
The atheist resorted to a version of ”Flying Spaghetti Monster” argumentation, in which he said, “How do we know that the first cause wasn’t a giant pink unicorn, or that two universes didn’t just mate and form ours?”. For obvious reasons, his argument is absurd. But what’s the best way to explain the concept of the first cause, and why it couldn’t be a “giant pink unicorn”?
Thanks a lot,
Richie Worrell (USA)
I’m always amazed at some of the philosophical lunacy some atheists come up with. The mockery of using phrases like “flying spaghetti monster” or a “giant pink unicorn” weren’t originally developed in response to the kalam. They were developed in response to intelligent design suggesting the designer could be a spaghetti monster. I recall Dawkins using it several times and it has gained popularity in response to the ontological argument.
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Nonetheless, let’s accept his flying pasta, pink unicorn, and sexual universes for the sake of discussion. Let’s recap the the kalam argument:
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
The argument for premise 1 is that anything that begins to exist does so temporally, at some indexical moment of time. Because there is a difference between moments, an earlier or later than, there must be a cause to the thing which begins to exist, which determines its temporal existence. Two arguments for premise 2…
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