Professor Mackie and the Kalām Cosmological Argument

Religious Studies 20 (3):367 - 375 (1984)
Abstract
Like David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion , J. L. Mackie's most potent blast against the rationality of belief in God, his The Miracle of Theism , appeared after his death. The book is a broadside against not only the traditional arguments for God's existence, such as the onto-, cosmo-, and teleological arguments, but also against proofs from consciousness, miracles, the idea of God, and so forth, and against the validity of religious experience and faith without reason, and it presents as well negative arguments against divine existence. The book will no doubt supply much grist for the mill of future discussions, but in this piece I should like to focus on Mackie's analysis of one particular argument, the kalām cosmological argument. For his discussion at this point seems to me to be superficial, and I think it can be shown that he has failed to provide any compelling or even intuitively appealing objection against the argument
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