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The Kalam Cosmological Argument Meets The Mentaculus

Linford, Daniel (2020) The Kalam Cosmological Argument Meets The Mentaculus. The British Journal for Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

According to the orthodox interpretation of bounce cosmologies, the universe was born from an entropy reducing phase in a previous universe. To defend the thesis that the whole of physical reality was caused to exist a finite time ago, William Lane Craig and co-author James Sinclair have argued the low entropy interface between universes should instead be understood as the beginning of two universes. Here, I present Craig and Sinclair with a dilemma. On the one hand, if the direction of time is reducible, as friends of the Mentaculus -- e.g., David Albert, Barry Loewer, and David Papineau -- maintain, then there is reason to think that the direction of time and the entropic arrow of time align. But on that account, efficient causation is likely reducible to non-causal phenomena. In consequence, contrary to Craig and Sinclair's theological aims, things can begin to exist without causes. On the other hand, if the direction of time is not reducible, Craig and Sinclair's interpretation of bounce cosmologies is unjustified. Lastly, a reply to a potential objection motivates a discussion of how to interpret bounce cosmologies on the tensed theory of absolute time favored by Craig and Sinclair. I offer two interpretations of bounce cosmologies that, given a tensed theory of absolute time, are preferable to those Craig and Sinclair offer, yet inconsistent with their project in natural theology; on one interpretation, the universe does not require a supernatural cause and, on the other, bounce cosmologies represent the universe as never having begun to exist.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Linford, Danieldlinford@purdue.edu0000-0001-8008-4969
Keywords: Mentaculus, statistical mechanics, theism, atheism, cosmology, science and religion, kalam argument
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Science and Religion
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Mr. Daniel Linford
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2020 17:08
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2020 17:08
Item ID: 16833
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for Philosophy of Science
DOI or Unique Handle: axaa005
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Cosmology
General Issues > Science and Religion
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16833

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