In an attempt to rebut my original straw man suspicion I recently thought: Perhaps Craig isn’t actually misrepresenting the objector’s position so much as he is doing exactly what I said is required: arguing that the denial of premise 1 entails the affirmation that everything comes into being everywhere at every moment. Perhaps the reasoning goes something like this: To admit that there is a reason—any reason whatsoever—as to why everything possible doesn’t come into being at every point in space and at every moment in time—to say that there is any governing or regulating factor in the coming into being of objects—is to grant the first premise already. Thus, to deny the first premise is to deny that there is any rhyme or reason to the coming into being of objects.
Would such an argument conflate the Aristotelian “efficient cause” with the Leibnizian “sufficient reason”? If it would, would it therefore be illegitimate to use in context of the Kalam, which only argues for the existence of God based on the necessity for the universe to have an efficient cause based on its past finitude, and not on the basis of the necessity of the universe to have a sufficient reason for its existence, regardless of whether it is past-eternal?
Furthermore, does it present a false dichotomy? Perhaps the choice isn’t between the affirmation that everything that begins to exist has a cause and the affirmation that everything comes into being everywhere at every moment. Perhaps there is something that governs the coming into being of objects such that everything except the universe that comes into being has a cause. Why would the universe be exempt? Perhaps due to the nature of the universe as a whole that is so radically different from everything inside it. The universe itself is not made out of matter and energy like everything inside of it. Maybe the universe itself—the very fabric of space and time—is just the sort of thing that could come into being out of nothing under the right conditions—namely, the conditions that were present without (can’t say “before”!) the universe: nothingness (not even a vacuum).
This view would only leave it inexplicable why the universe came into being “when” it did (darn those inescapably temporal words). But it wouldn’t leave it inexplicable why everything doesn’t come into being at every moment everywhere within the universe.
Of course, there are at least two problems with such a view. One would be that it requires positing this strange transcendent law that makes it such that the universe could come into being uncaused out of nothing but that nothing else could, which is basically self-refuting. If the law existed, on this view, the universe couldn’t coherently be held to have come into being truly out of nothing. Whoops.
[Edit: This might be wrong. The objector need not affirm that the universe came into being uncaused out of nothing, but only that it came onto being uncaused. The view might still be vulnerable to the LCA, and it would be grotesque and ad hoc, but it seems surprisingly resilient against the KCA’s theistic conclusions.]
The other problem with this view would be that the Kalam is easily modified to avoid it. All the defender of the Kalam needs to do is reword the argument to be based on the existence of matter and energy within the universe. If one grants for the sake of argument that the universe came into being uncaused out of nothing, the things within the universe that come into being must be held to have causes. Therefore the Kalam could be re-worded:
1. Everything [within the universe] that begins to exist has a cause.
2. [Everything within] the universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, [everything within] the universe has a cause.
The chain of causation of the existence of things within the universe could not regress infinitely and thus the need to posit some entity that is not within the universe and that is not made out of the things out of which everything in the universe is made out of, arises once again.
[Edit: This modification of the argument immunizes it against the objection that empirical arguments in favor of premise 1 commit the fallacy of composition by inferring something to be true of the whole universe based on what is true of its parts, and it strengthens it so that it goes through even against the position that everything, except the universe itself, that comes into existence has a cause.
However, it leaves the Kalam vulnerable to objections claiming that certain arguments in favor of premise 1 conflate causation out of something with causation out of nothing. In response to this objection, I’ve argued in the past that causation out of nothing is much more intense than causation out of something and that the former is at least as involved as the latter (requiring not just an account of the material cause, but of the efficient causes as well). Therefore the fact that nothing comes into being uncaused even out of preexisting material just goes to show that nothing could come into being uncaused out of nothing at all.]