Recall the post from a few days ago about the questions to be addressed at an interfaith panel that I will be on tomorrow (Thursday). I just received an email from the event organizer saying that they had slightly changed the questions for discussion. The old six questions and details of the event can be seen here and the new questions are:
- Why is there something rather than nothing?
- Are the gods of all the religions the same?
- What happens to us when we die, i.e., is there a heaven?
- Why do bad things happen to good people, i.e., what is the nature of evil?
- How does your religion address others from different faiths?
Basically new question #3 has combined old questions #1 and #4, new question #4 has combined old questions #3 and #6, while #2 and #5 remain the same as before.
The completely new question that comes out of left field is #1 and it is one that has become somewhat popular recently. It is based on the Kalam cosmological argument for god’s existence (much favored by Christian apologist William Lane Craig) that tries to make the case that the very existence of the universe is proof of god’s existence. Roughly, the argument consists of two syllogisms:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause;
2. The universe began to exist;
3. The universe has a cause.
1. The universe has a cause;
2. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful;
3. An uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.
Once one opens this Kalam of worms, it can easily eat up all the time because we enter deep metaphysical waters and the moderator will find it hard to keep each person’s response to the required two minutes.
This should be more fun that I had initially anticipated!