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Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring-Summer 1999

Wes Morriston
Pages 5-19
DOI: 10.5840/philo1999212

Must the Past Have a Beginning?

In defense of his claim that the universe must have been created, William Lane Craig gives two distinct philosophical arguments against the possibility of an infinite past. The first appeals to various paradoxes allegedly generated by the idea of an actual infinite. The second appeals to a dynamic theory of the nature of time, and tries to show on that basis that an infinite series of events could not have been “formed by successive addition.” The present paper is concerned with the second of these two arguments. I try to show that it cannot stand on its own independently of the first argument, that Craig does not succeed in defending it against standard objections, and that even those who are inclined to accept a dynamic theory of time should not be convinced by what Craig says in its defense.

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