Libertarian Agency and the Craig/Grunbaum Debate
by J.P. Moreland
- Title: Libertarian Agency and the Craig/Grunbaum Debate about Theistic Explanation of the Initial Singularity
- Date: Autumn 1997
- Source: American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71:4 (1997), 539-554
- Article Type: Journal Article
- Audience: Advanced, Intermediate
- Kingdom Categories: Life of the Mind
Defenders of the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's existence present three exhaustive dilemmas:
- Either the universe had a beginning or it did not.
- If the universe had a beginning, then it was either caused or uncaused.
- If the beginning of the universe was caused, the cause was either personal or impersonal.
For sometime, the kalam argument has been hotly contested. Over the last couple of decades or so, my Biola colleague and dear friend, William Lane Craig, has engaged in stimulating debate and discussion about this argument.
This article attempts to weigh in on the discussion between Craig and Adolf Grunbaum, especially concerning (3) above.
I attempt to show that once the conceptual resources of libertarian agency and agent causation are clarified, these resources are sufficient to rebut the objections raised by Grunbaum against Craig and to tip the scales of their limited debate in favor of Craig. This article does not try to justify the Kalam Cosmological Argument in its entirety, do I argue that libertarian agency and and agent causation are, in fact, the correct model of human action, though I do believe that to be the case. In their exchange about the adequacy of personal theistic explanation for the initial singularity of the universe, neither Craig nor Grunbaum clarify the nature of libertarian agency and agent causation. But when clarified, I suggest that Grunbaum's arguments against Craig's employment of personal theistic explanation fail to be persuasive.
Related content: If this article interests you, you might also want to consider the following:
- The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (book)
- Naturalism: A Critical Analysis (book)
- Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview (book)
- The Recalcitrant Imago Dei (book)
- Consciousness and the Existence of God (book)
- It directly contributes to philosophy of religion discussions about the plausibility of the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
- It helps to rebut critics of the Kalam argument.
- It demonstrates the relevancy of libertarian agency and agent causation to philosophy of religion and personal explanation discussions.