Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Kalām Cosmological Argument and the Problem of Divine Agency and Purpose

For those interested in philosophical theology, this is a twenty-page essay I wrote nearly five years ago.  It touches on a variety of interrelated topics, such as the Kalām Cosmological argument, God's relationship with time, divine agency, causality, freedom and determinism, and the purpose of creation.

There are a few things I'd wish to amend or add to this essay, but since I'm not likely to get around to that anytime soon, I thought I'd just go ahead and post a draft of it for now.  Maybe once I do edit and update it, I will publish it somewhere.  Here is the abstract:

Abstract: In this article, I discuss the theological problems raised by the Kalām Cosmological Argument that has resulted in criticisms of its utility by some Muslim philosophers and theologians, most notably Ibn Taymiyya. I briefly describe the responses to these problems by Ibn Sīna and two kalām sects, the Ashʿarites and the Muʿtazilites, and highlight the problems each of them. I then contrast them with the view fervently argued by Ibn Taymiyya, but also defend an alternative theory for those who are not willing to accept the proposition of an infinite temporal regress in God’s actions.