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Physicists can't avoid a creation event


afungusamongus
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http://www.scribd.co...-Creation-Event

 

Lets call this a public service announcement to all the atheist on this board. It seems that Alexander Vilenkin has showed again why a eternal universe is improbable. Their was off course a very well known Christian who also believed the universe had a beginning. His name was Thomas Aquinas. He was one of Christianity greatest philosophers. Among some of his feats was the formulation of a argument for the existence of God.

 

Lets review his argument for a bit.

 

Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes.

 

When confronted with the problem of discerning exactly what this first cause is we find this cause needs some specific attributes.

 

First of all to have existed before the universe existed it had to be immaterial.

 

For it to have existed before time existed it had to be eternal.

 

And lastly to be able to create a universe it had to be immensely powerful and knowledgeable.

 

Lo and behold before you know it you have your self something resembling a God.

 

We still need some more work to get us to the Christian God, but at the very least it takes you away from atheism.

 

I would like to remind everyone who post in this thread about another quote from a respected Christian

 

In examining the evidence of the Christian religion, it is essential to the discovery of truth that we bring to the investigation a mind freed, as far as possible, from existing prejudice, and open to conviction. - Simon Greenleaf

Feel free to discuss.

Edited by afungusamongus
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Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes.

Hypothesized models of cyclical universes falsify your final premise ("we cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes"). That is exactly what these models do, invoke an infinite regress of universes.

 

Radioactive decay falsifies your first premise. In fact, modern physics says you better think hard about that primitive notion of cause and effect.

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Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes.

When confronted with the problem of discerning exactly what this first cause is we find this cause needs some specific attributes.

First of all to have existed before the universe existed it had to be immaterial.

For it to have existed before time existed it had to be eternal.

And lastly to be able to create a universe it had to be immensely powerful and knowledgeable.

Lo and behold before you know it you have your self something resembling a God.

 

 

1. The only argument for 1. is inductive. If causality breaks down, or there is no time can you show that induction holds?

2. You provide no evidence for 2.

2b. Even if the universe came into being and had a cause. You still need to prove that its cause came into being and needed a cause. As time is a property of the universe, and causality is an aspect of time, any notion of some cause or effect before the universe is nonsense.

2c. etc.

3. You provide no evidence for "We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes." If you are invoking an infinite anything, why not this?

4. Before the universe existed is an absurd statement. Time is a property of the universe, 'before' pertains to time.

5. Why did it have to be knowledgable? What if it was purely accidental or involuntary? Knowledge implies some kind of mind, you would first need to prove this.

5b. Powerful enough to create the universe, yes. Able to interact in a non destructive/disruptive with it is independent of this.

6. This leads only to something resembling deism. This is about as far from an anthropomorphic god as a god is from a chicken. I never did get why theists make some vague claims of something resembling deism and then strut about as if they've proven their position valid.

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It seems that Alexander Vilenkin has showed again why a eternal universe is improbable.

 

It only shows that the universe began to exist in the trivial way that "object A is said to begin to exist at time t if and only if there is no time before time t at which object A existed". All of the mass-energy in the universe today was present at time epsilon of the big bang, so it also fulfills another definition: "object A is said to be eternal if and only if there is no time at which object A does not exist". So, the universe both had a finite beginning and is eternal; you are wrong about the implications of the theorem.

 

Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

A few things here. Premise 1 is entirely unsupported. Now, you're going to say something to the effect of "every day experience PROVES premise 1". Well, it really doesn't. There are two types of "comes to exist" that are relevant to the argument. There is creatio ex nihilo which premise 1 talks about (things popping into existence out of nothing) and there is creatio ex materia which people use to justify premise 1 (things "come into existence" because other things rearrange; no new thing is actually made). If we are to make an induction about whether or not an ex materia beginning requires a cause, we are completely unable to do so due to a lack of any evidence at all. In fact, the evidence we have gives us an inductive inference of "whatever comes into existence comes into existence ex materia".

 

As I said above, the universe only began to exist in the trivial sense; it always existed. Kalaam (which didn't start with Aquinas, btw) fails horribly on all counts.

 

 

For it to have existed before time existed it had to be eternal.

 

As time is the separation of states, this is nonsense. You see, any action is a state change. That means there are two states and they are separated by time. To cause anything to do anything requires time.

 

Also, the notion of causing something which does not exist to do anything is entirely unintelligible.

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Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

 

 

You have a false set of premises.

 

Therefore, according to the simple rules of logic, you can deduce literally anything from them, including the negation of anything that you show to be "true".

 

Religious arguments regarding scientific theories are like that. Pointless at best.

 

No, I am not an atheist. Neither am I an idiot.

Edited by DrRocket
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Premise 1 is entirely unsupported.

 

Really I thought cause and effect was a rather rudimentary scientific concept. Is cause and effect unsupported? It is like WLC has mentioned on a few occasions believing in things coming into being uncaused is akin to believing in magic. When you have a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat then the magician is the supposed cause for the rabbits existence. Not even magic beats the concepts of causality.

You have a false set of premises.

 

Care to explain to me what is so false about them. You are clearly not a idiot so I'm sure you would have no problem in providing a concise refutation of this argument.

To cause anything to do anything requires time.

 

This assumes that their is nothing that can exist beyond space and time, but the problem is if we are to discern what exactly the cause is of this universe beginning it would have to exist before the universe (and time for that matter) existed. This leaves the naturalist with a quite the dilemma if he wants to know what exactly caused this universe to begin.

Hypothesized models of cyclical universes falsify your final premise ("we cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes"). That is exactly what these models do, invoke an infinite regress of universes.

 

Cyclical Universe models are not immune to the tenants of good logic. Rather rudimentary stuff if we are to discern the truth of matters. If I remember correctly Mr. Vilenkin addresses the issue of cyclical universe in that very article.

So, the universe both had a finite beginning and is eternal;

 

Maybe I should not have used the word eternal as I see now for the scientific minded eternal is bound with the time the universe existed. I meant not eternal as having a beginning.

Edited by afungusamongus
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Really I thought cause and effect was a rather rudimentary scientific concept. Is cause and effect unsupported? It is like WLC has mentioned on a few occasions believing in things coming into being uncaused is akin to believing in magic. When you have a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat then the magician is the supposed cause for the rabbits existence. Not even magic beats the concepts of causality.

So, you quoted my post but didn't read it? It's also quite telling that you'd positively reference someone as dishonest as Craig.

 

Go and READ what I wrote. There was never a time at which the universe never existed. Hence, it didn't "come from nothing" at all let alone do so uncaused.

 

Care to explain to me what is so false about them.

 

I did and you didn't respond to my explanation.

 

This assumes that their is nothing that can exist beyond space and time, but the problem is if we are to discern what exactly the cause is of this universe beginning it would have to exist before the universe (and time for that matter) existed. This leaves the naturalist with a quite the dilemma if he wants to know what exactly caused this universe to begin.

 

"Before time" is logically contradictory.

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Premises

1) Whatever comes into existence has to have a cause.

2) The universe came into being.

3) Therefore the universe has to have a cause.

None of these are proven. They are assumed. Under some interpretations of quantum mechanics, when you are dealing with very small periods of time (the so called Planck time), the notion of before and after (cause and effect) break down (see the book "A brief History of Time" for the details of this argument).

 

In these situations, it is possible for the effect to come before the cause. In this case, the universe could come into existence (effect) and this is due to the laws of quantum mechanics in the universe (cause).

 

At this point, all of the above premises are still held as true, but there is no need to invoke an external, supernatural entity as the cause (and if everything has a cause, what caused the external supernatural entity anyway).

 

 

We cannot invoke a infinite regress of causes.

But, if you posit an entity that caused the universe, you have to have an infinite regress, so this argument disproves your argument that a God(s) caused the universe to come into existance (as what did the God(s) do before the universe existed).

 

When confronted with the problem of discerning exactly what this first cause is we find this cause needs some specific attributes.

 

First of all to have existed before the universe existed it had to be immaterial.

No, it would not have to be immaterial, just external to the universe. As an example, I can turn on a computer and run a virtual world on it, but does that mean that I have to be immaterial to do so? No. I just have to be external to the computer and virtual world to do so (ie: A program on the computer can turn the computer on as the computer has to be on for the program to be able to do anything).

 

For it to have existed before time existed it had to be eternal.

Again, disprovable no using the same argument I made directly above. I am not eternal, but I can start a process going despite that.

 

And, besides, if you have an eternal supernatural entity, that is a form of infinite regression, and this is supposedly what your argument is supposed to fix. Substituting one form of infinite regression for another does not eliminate the problem of infinite regression.

 

And lastly to be able to create a universe it had to be immensely powerful and knowledgeable.

No, it just has to start the process going. Quantum Mechanics is capable of allowing "creation" without the need to posit an "immensely powerful and knowledgeable" entity. Thus your statement is disproved (that is it doesn't require such an entity for the universe to start).

 

Lo and behold before you know it you have your self something resembling a God.

As all your arguments are invalid, then this conclusion is not proved.

 

The thing with logic is it operates on the principal of "Garbage in. Garbage out". That is if your premises are faulty, then your conclusions are not proven. As I have shown fault with every single one of your premises, this leaves your conclusion as completely unproven.

 

We still need some more work to get us to the Christian God, but at the very least it takes you away from atheism.

Nope, as I have shown, you have used faulty logic and faulty premisses to reach a conclusion you wanted to reach. You started with the conclusion "god made the universe" and tried to find a set of premisses that would lead you to that conclusion.

 

There are two problems with this:

 

1) You didn't check the validity of the premisses that you chose

 

2) Even if your premisses were true, there are other conclusions that could be reached that does not conclude that there is a god (in other words: there is more than one solution to your chosen premisses and not all of them agree with your conclusion).

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1) Causality is a valid concept.

2) Our observable universe is approximately 14 billion years old, and began with the Big Bang.

3) The Big Bang caused itself. No, see #1

3) God created himself, then the Big Bang. No, #1 again

3) Something outside our observable universe caused the Big Bang.

C) There is more to our universe than is observable; Big stuff happens there, and seems to stay there.

 

Why can't we subscribe to an infinite regress of causes?

Radioactive decay falsifies your first premise. In fact, modern physics says you better think hard about that primitive notion of cause and effect.

And what's this?! I'll be looking it up, but a direct explanation would be greatly appreciated! (I mean, if the decay happens only in a certain circumstance, wouldn't that place the cause somewhere near the circumstance? Not to mention, without cause and effect, well...decision-making gets kinda...tricky.)

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Why can't we subscribe to an infinite regress of causes?

 

"If one continues along the same lines, the initial problem will recur infinitely and will never be solved." - Wikipedia on infinite regresses

 

We are after all trying to ascertain what the cause is. It defeats the purpose of the initial inquiry.

 

Just for future reference when I refer to the word eternal I'm mean without a beginning and without a end.

2. You provide no evidence for 2.

 

"All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning." - Alexander Vilenken

 

I link things in my post for a reason.<_<

It only shows that the universe began to exist in the trivial way that "object A is said to begin to exist at time t if and only if there is no time before time t at which object A existed". All of the mass-energy in the universe today was present at time epsilon of the big bang, so it also fulfills another definition: "object A is said to be eternal if and only if there is no time at which object A does not exist". So, the universe both had a finite beginning and is eternal; you are wrong about the implications of the theorem.

 

The phrase have your cake and eat it comes to mind. Make up your mind is the universe eternal or not. They are mutually exclusive claims that cannot be true at the same time

e·ter·nal/iˈtərnl/Adjective:
  • Lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
  • (of truths, values, or questions) Valid for all time; essentially unchanging.

 

So what is it does it have a end and a beginning or does it not? We can quibble about definitions if you want but I'm using the generally accepted definition for eternal.

 

Just btw Mark it is a philosophical impossibility for something to have created itself. It is like Aquinas mentions. Just like a man cannot be his own father just so could the universe not have created itself.

 

So in essence we are left with three options for the existence of the universe

1) Eternal

2) Created Itself

3) Created by another

 

Seems like science has dis proven number 1. 2 is logically incoherent. So it seems like we are left with 3.

Edited by afungusamongus
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So in essence we are left with three options for the existence of the universe

1) Eternal

2) Created Itself

3) Created by another

 

Seems like science has dis proven number 1. 2 is logically incoherent. So it seems like we are left with 3.

 

 

How is 3 any more logically coherent than 2?

 

Your argument is that the universe cannot create itself, this is fine, but if you subscribe to this idea then how could god create himself?

 

It seems you can't have your cake and eat it either

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How is 3 any more logically coherent than 2?

 

Your argument is that the universe cannot create itself, this is fine, but if you subscribe to this idea then how could god create himself?

 

It seems you can't have your cake and eat it either

 

Did I say somewhere God created himself?

 

Is this the age old question of who created the creator or who designed the designer?

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Did I say somewhere God created himself?

 

Is this the age old question of who created the creator or who designed the designer?

It is certainly a question you have failed to give a satisfactory answer to.

 

And what is your objection to the universe creating itself?

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It is certainly a question you have failed to give a satisfactory answer to.

 

Oih Vey. I'm getting side tracked again.

 

Christian response to the idea of who made the creator. Ideas made popular again by Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion

 

That idea has it's root in a misrepresentation of Thomas Aquinas cosmological argument.

 

What Aquinas says

 

Whatever begins needs a cause for its beginning

The universe had a beginning.

Their for the universe has to have a cause.

 

What Aquinas does not say.

 

Everything must have a cause therefore we are left with the unanswerable question of who created the creator or what designed the designer.

 

It is a subtle strawman. Aquinas never claimed that everything has a cause because if that was true it would lead you away from God as the cause of the universe.

What has a beginning that is the important part. Christians have generally claimed that God is eternal (unlike the universe).

 

And what is your objection to the universe creating itself?

My only objection is that it is logically absurd. Can you answer me how something can exist before it existed?

 

The best way I have heard explained is by John Lennox. A noted mathematician himself.

 

Lets take the following statement.

 

(x) created (y)

 

What you are in essence saying is that (x) existed before (y) and with some sort of curatorial powers created (y).

 

This is a perfectly logical assertion. (Depending on what exactly x and y is, but that is neither here nor there.)

 

Now take the following statement.

 

(x) created (x)

 

Here we find some difficulties. How did (X) exist before it existed to create itself?. It cannot. It is impossible. It makes no sense.

 

This remains true even if you equate x to the universe.

 

I sometimes think because of a lack of philosophical understanding scientist often make these little blunders. Maybe if philosophy had some more followers in the sciences these basic concepts could be better understood.

Edited by afungusamongus
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Whatever begins needs a cause for its beginning

The universe had a beginning.

Their for the universe has to have a cause.

 

Show me something that begins then. Something entirely new. Not a transition from something older.

We say everything has a cause because all of the things we encounter are just a continuation of an earlier thing.

If the universe had a beginning then it is not like these.

So we cannot surmise that it had a cause from the inductive evidence of events that are dissimilar.

 

You also need to justify the concept of cause without invoking time.

 

Perhaps you should read (and address) either my original post, or ydoaps' first post in this thread which is much more eloquent than mine and goes into greater detail where they overlap.

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Oih Vey. I'm getting side tracked again.

Your statements took me to this point, so don't complain.

 

Christian response to the idea of who made the creator. Ideas made popular again by Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion

Just for the record: I don't like Dawkins; I don't like his style; if you ever find him and I using the same arguments that is simply evidence that chance will sometimes permit even Dawkins to get it right.

 

Whatever begins needs a cause for its beginning

And there, at the outset, Aquinas makes his mistake. It is a neat statement. It seems to match observation. It just happens to be wrong. Not just possibly wrong, but demonstrably wrong.

 

My only objection is that it is logically absurd. Can you answer me how something can exist before it existed?

Certainly. All that is required is that is that the toplogy of space-time should permit communication between the distant future and the distant past. There is probably marginally more evidence for this than there is for a God, unless you wish to consider that future amalgamation of entities that might return to create the universe and hence, ultimately, themselves, to be a God. I'm fine with that.

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