The Universe is not Infinite: An Introduction to the Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological argument dates back to as early as Aristotle, however, it was developed through the centuries and was finally widely introduced into theology by Thomas Aquinas. Dr William Lane Craig describes the argument in three points:
  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe has a cause.

When going about explaining these three points to a classmate or stranger, often people will ask: "How do you know that the universe had a beginning?". Below are 4 points that prove the "finiteness" of the universe.

  • It would not logically make sense. (example#1) It takes Mars almost double the days the earth takes to orbit the sun (let's just say double for simplicity). If the universe was infinite then the earth has orbited the sun an infinite number times, and mars has orbited the sun an infinite number times and although logically the earth should have double the amount of orbits, it would be equal to mars if the universe was infinite. That does not logically make sense.

  • It is impossible to have infinity in the context of time. (example #2) If you were to count from today backwards for infinity, and then try and count back, it would be impossible because there would be an infinite number of days to get to back today. The fact that the present moment exists is proof that the universe cannot be infinite in time. 

  • Most secular scientists themselves believe that that the universe is finite and this is what gave birth to the theory of the Big Bang. However, the Big Bang theory does not solve the problem for the need for a cause (step 3 from Dr Craig’s description). The theory outlines the origins of the universe from an infinitely dense piece of matter that went “bang”. Well, how did this infinitely dense piece of matter even get there in the first place? What caused it to explode?

  • The Second Law of thermodynamics: the total entropy of the universe is always increasing. In simple terms, it means that everything reduces in every over time. Batteries run out of charge. The sun is slowing running out of energy too. If the universe was infinite, then the sun would have already run out by now, our bodies would have no heat in them, and life would not exist. 

The above points are no secret in the atheist community. As a result, in the last few decades, the majority of atheists have transitioned from the notion of an infinite universe to that of the Big Bang. As mentioned earlier, this theory by no means disproves the need for a God, it does, however, substantiate the fact that the universe had a beginning.


Dr William Lane Craig’s argument for the beginning of a universe

CS Lewis Insitute - Basic Apologetics Course Set 1, Lecture 1


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