Master of Arts (MA)
Ergun M Caner
Primary Subject Area
buddhism, cosmological, craig, dependent origination, first cause, kalam
The concept of dependent origination is essential in understanding Buddhist thought, for it is central to everything that they teach and believe. Without a first cause, or God, man is left with neither sense of hope nor purpose. The central aims of this thesis are to establish that the universe has a beginning and to demonstrate that this beginning is the result of a first cause. In proving these claims to be true, William Lane Craig's kalam cosmological argument is considered. Through this argument Craig points to philosophical arguments such as the problem of actual infinites and the impossibility of reaching an actual infinite through successive addition. Based on scientific evidence, he considers the expansion of the universe as well as the laws of thermodynamics. Together, it is Craig's contention and also my own that the universe has a first cause that is God, which would therefore prove the Buddhist concept of dependent origination to be both invalid and illogical.