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A standard argument for the existence of God is the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The first premise of this argument is that if something begins to exist then it must have a cause. My question is this. Would it also be true that if something had a cause to its existence then it must have a beginning?

  • "Would it also be true ..." You are assuming Craig's fallacious premise is true? What does it even mean? When does an oak tree "begin to exist?" When it blocks your view? When it's a little sprout? When its acorn fell from its parent tree? When did that tree "begin to exist?" At the moment of the big bang? Craig doesn't have an argument, he has sophistry. – user4894 Mar 25 '17 at 22:18
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    yes I am working with the assumption that the premise is true. My motivation is about the truth of the trinity. God's son having the father as a cause must necessarily mean the preincarnate son has a beginning? Wasn't really wanting to go down this road with you folks just the logic of the statement. – JEM Mar 25 '17 at 22:56
  • Just indulging myself. I understand that your question doesn't depend on whether one agrees with Craig or not. Thanks for clarifying. – user4894 Mar 26 '17 at 1:06
  • No. Under the theological understanding of causality it does not have to be temporal, that is the cause does not have to precede the effect in time, it can be "logical", timeless causation. In particular, in both Christianity and Islam God is transcendent to the world, and therefore exists outside of time, yet he causes the world to exist in the "logical" sense, as a precondition of its existence. But this causing is consistent with both the world being eternal, and having beginning (and/or end) in time. – Conifold Mar 28 '17 at 1:51
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A standard argument for the existence of God is the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The first premise... is that if something begins to exist then it must have a cause.... Would it also be true that if something had a cause to its existence then it must have a beginning?

The revised statement would not be true, necessarily; it is the converse of the original, not the contrapositive.

The original premise is: If A begins to exist, then A has a cause. The restatement is the converse: If A has a cause, then A begins to exist. Although apparently true in this example, the revised statement does not necessarily follow from the original; here, the converse must be independently proven.

See Converse (logic), Wikipedia. Several other websites contrast the contrapositive, inverse, and converse of a statement.

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'Without beginning' means 'no cause'. Every cause itself becomes an effect and an effect is the cause in a changed form. Therefore all effects are liable to change and that which changes is perishable. The Supreme Self being an uncaused cause for all that has been created, has no beginning.

So the answer to your question is not "Yes" in all cases.

Please read about the relation between cause and effect.

You might have heard this in different religions...."God is timeless, having no beginning and no end"

  • sounds like a theological question. a devout monotheist might argue that eternity exists, has no beginning or end, but was/is caused by the One True God. – user20153 Mar 25 '17 at 18:52
  • sorry, that was aupposed to be an answer but i guess it works as a comment. :) – user20153 Mar 25 '17 at 18:53
  • You can say so about the last line. That was why I gave it in a separate line. Please refer the link and verify whether the given answer is theology. :) – SonOfThought Mar 26 '17 at 3:38
  • Outside theology in mysticism we find that the idea of identity takes over from causation. Thus according to Lao Tsu the everyday world is the way it is 'Tao being what it is'. This is how the perennial philosophy avoids an infinite regress of causation and disposes of the need for time. – PeterJ Mar 27 '17 at 11:49
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the thought is correct. If we think about materiial entity this is evident but even thespiritual entity started to begin in a time that we call aevum (latin)

This is the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and new-Platonist like Plotino (that are not religious), then accepted by St. Augustin, St. Thomas Aquinas too

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