I have recently watched a discussion between William Lane Craig and the CosmicSkeptic about the Kalam, and it gave me this idea, and I doubt I'm the first to have it but what if causality is in itself an intrinsic property of time, we know that we can't have causality without time but maybe we cant have time without causality, wouldn't that then explain why we don't have things just popping into existence without a cause within the universe but also explain why it would be possible for the universe itself to pop into existence. I'm not a scientist or a philosopher, just someone that has been watching alot of debates and discussions on YouTube, so if its wrong that's ok as i say its just an idea that came to me as a was watching that video.

  • So the explanation for things not popping into existence is that if they did there would be no time. But the universe pops from out of time? Why can't those other things do the same? Wouldn't it be enough to have just a single causal chain to keep time, why does everything have to be causal?
    – Conifold
    Aug 6, 2021 at 3:49
  • no maybe I didn.t explain it well, but time wasn't there before the universe, it popped into existence when the universe did because time is part of the universe, all I'm saying is that outside of the universe you could have things just randomly appearing and maybe the universe was one of those things but the universe contains time and therefore causality which could be why it doesn't happen within the universe itself.
    – Jordan23
    Aug 7, 2021 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


In this response, I am interpreting your fundamental question to be:

"Could time be dependent upon causality?".

  1. Imagine a circumstance/space in which neither time or causality exist.

  2. For causality to come into existence, it would necessarily exist after a period of non-existence. This implies the existence of time.

  3. But, if the emergence of causality was the first event to occur, then it is reasonable to imagine that time might only come into existence thanks to it; in other words, that the 'time before time' only now exists because the first ever event - ie, that of causality - created a 'before' and an 'after'.

  4. If causality is defined as:

"Influence, by which one event, process, state or object contributes to the production of another event, process, state or object where the cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is partly dependent on the cause" (Wikipedia).

...then we can conceivably view the emergence of the phenomena of causality as the first, uncaused cause; in that it produced the effect called 'time'.

  1. We are still left with the problem of 'causa sui'; of something (in this case, causality itself), being its own cause; but it seems fair to argue that if anything were to be the first cause, it would be a 'thing' called causality.

  2. So, yes, I think it's coherent to imagine that time could be dependent on a phenomena called causality, but whereas we can fairly easily conceive of time, it is far more difficult to imagine 'something' called causality, and to imagine what - other than time - causality might bring into existence. It does not seem to account for matter. Then again, it is also very difficult to conceive of a state in which time and/or space does not exist.

  3. We are still left with (at least) four counterintuitive propositions: that of universe/universes which have always existed (which escapes the need for an uncaused cause), that of a universe in which neither time or causality exists, that of a universe in which something called 'causality' simply emerges, and that of a universe in which matter arises from nothing but time.

  • thank you I suppose I was just trying to come at the Kalam from a different angle from most I've seen and still be coherent.
    – Jordan23
    Aug 9, 2021 at 20:17

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