Atheist claim: The Universe has always existed


Atheists commonly object to premise 2 in the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

There are various theories that atheists assert that result in a Universe with an eternal past.

  • Oscillating Model – This theory asserts that the Universe has been expanding and contracting forever. Basically, the Universe goes through a period of expansion, then gravity slows down the expansion and leads to contraction. The Universe then contracts into a big crunch that leads to another Big Bang event followed by expansion.
  • Steady State Model – In this theory, as galaxies travel apart from each other, new galaxies are created in the space between them. Basically new matter is created out of nothing so that the Universe is constantly expanding and has been forever.
  • Quantum Gravity Model – In this theory the past is not eternal but there is no beginning to time.
  • String Theory – Pre-big bang scenario – In this theory, the time prior to the Big Bang was an infinite state of contraction with the Big Bang being the pinnacle of the contraction. So while you travel forward in time, the Universe is constantly expanding. Traveling backward in time prior to the Big Bang the matter is constantly expanding to very small density.


What these various theories fail to take into account is that you can’t have an actual infinite set in reality. You could never arrive at “today” because there is no way to traverse an infinite number of days in the past. So the fact that “today” has arrived is proof enough that the past can not be eternal but rather began a finite time ago.

Additionally, in 2003, three philosophers (Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin), put together a theorem that establishes that ANY universe that has been in a cosmic state of expansion cannot be eternal in the past.

Atheist claim: An explanation of the Universe is absurd


Crispin Wright and Bob Hale object to premise 1 in the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.

  1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. The universe exists.
  4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence. (from 1, 3)
  5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God. (from 2, 4)

They assert that the universe does not require an explanation. Why? Because the explanation would need to be found in a prior state of affairs. For example, the explanation for yourself can be found in your parents. Well Wright and Hale assert that the state prior to the universe is nothing, and from nothing, nothing comes. So an explanation for the universe is absurd.


Wright and Hale assume that the prior state of affairs must be physical in nature. That’s a poor assumption since it’s completely plausible that the prior state could be non-physical in nature. In fact a non-physical explanation seems very plausible since that explanation would need to exist outside of time and space (given that time and space were created at the moment the universe was brought into existence). Those characteristics (timeless & spaceless) seem to be consistent with the conventional description of God.