It frankly doesn't matter how well you defend the Kalam argument with a modern illogical atheist. I should qualify. I have met the occasional reasonable atheist and I like discussions with them very much indeed although I've never persuaded one of them nor have they moved me from my position. But if you're having a discussion with the typical thoughtless modern atheist, you'd be far better off to spend your time with God. I mean that.
So, caveat given... The Kalam argument runs like this (in its usual form)
- Whatever begins to exist must have a cause.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore the universe has a cause.
The thing atheists like to do is to push this back farther and farther into the mists of time until it seems to disappear. 'The universe has a cause, and the cause is a quantum universe generator. The quantum universe generator was randomly generated by a quantum universe generator generator, and so on.
This is the problem with this argument. An infinite regress of EVENTS is impossible. Why? Well, first because it's ludicrous. There would be too many events, too many things. The universe or the universe of universes or all the things on the other side of that black hole (where it is a white hole) would be infinite in number to the power of infinity. And the same for every black hole. It's impossible.
God on the other hand is simple (not made up of parts), unchanging, infinite and eternal. God, in other words, is the ONE who CAN be eternal, steady state, unchanging. Nothing else can qualify in that role.
Second, the universe cannot be eternal (nor can any of the possible ACTIVE factors that may have generated the universe). Our universe clearly had a beginning. Many Christians feel that the Big Bang is an enemy. It is not. It means that our universe began to exist. Anyone who says otherwise is not honoring the known facts. I've heard it said that if our universe were steady state, that also would not be a problem for apologetics. Maybe that's correct, but I don't understand that argument. I DO understand THIS argument, and since our universe did have a beginning, this is the argument I need to understand:
An infinite regress of events is also impossible because at some point, you must reach the place where everything is perfectly organized at the first end, and perfectly homogeneous at the last. Beyond that point in the past, it is impossible to go. At this point, our universe is not completely organized, nor is it completely random/homogeneous.
It's like an unbound book set in a room with a fan. The book is perfectly organized from the title page to page 2,191 which perhaps says, "the end." Turn on the fan and it starts to blow those pages lying at the top of the book. Pretty soon you come into the room and the pages are scattered everywhere. Your unbound book is in a state of complete disorder, so you start to collect the pages and place them carefully, perfectly in order. Once the book is as it was, you are done. You can go back no further. You have reached the beginning.
That's the second reason you cannot have an infinite regress. Events always move from order to disorder; they never, ever go the other way. Once you get to the place of perfect order, there's nowhere else to go. You will, looking back, reach this point in any system that involves change.
God does not change. God is eternal and unchanging. In fact, God IS eternity. God IS infinity. God is simple. Every molecule of God (If God had molecules, which God does not) is God. God is not composed of parts. Things do not happen to God to change Him. God IS. God is not a being in the universe or outside of it. God IS being. God has no beginning and therefore God is not capable of having been caused.
So there is your Kalam argument. There are perhaps meaningful things that could be said against it, but by and large the modern day atheist does not know what they are, nor even what they might be. He will not even read your carefully worded reasoning because he is an ideologue. He believes what he wishes to believe. If he reads what you have to say, he will answer with a question something like, "Well what about suffering? Why is there suffering?" It's not that he wants an answer. He simply needs to change the subject because he will have absolutely no idea what you just said--because he does not know how to think that hard.
Sad, but true in most cases.