Posted by: Calum Miller | January 15, 2012

David Aaronovitch does not understand the kalam cosmological argument

Ever get frustrated when people misunderstand simple points in arguments? Another one of those moments happened in a recent episode of The Big Questions, the BBC’s religious and ethical discussion show. The Muslim apologist Adam Deen gave the kalam cosmological argument, namely that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and that the universe began to exist. We can deduce that the universe has a cause. David Aaronovitch, journalist for The Times, came up with this devastating gem:

“It’s straightforward, on a logical basis, if everything has to have a cause, then something would have had to have created the thing that caused the cause.”

Wow. Talk about misunderstanding a simple premise. It’s hard to be gracious and gentle with responses like these, but I’m trying. Seriously, though, is this what passes for rational discourse among journalists these days?

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Responses

  1. Calum,

    I came to this website after listening to your debate with Peter Atkins, and must say that you did a really good job in the debate as well as on your website.

    Personally, I find the Kalam Cosmological Argument to be very powerful, yet one thing I observe is that most atheists cling to the cosmological argument in its simplest form (everything that exists has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore the universe has a cause), and then subjecting God to the first premise as well.

    It seems to me that David Aaronovitch knew his answer before he heard the argument, and I do believe that his statement is reflecting either laziness or intellectual pride.

    Thanks again for your resources, I’ll make sure to stick around.

    Daniel F.


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