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mikebundrant

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Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« on: October 10, 2012, 09:51:41 pm »
Intelligent Design: Science has amassed a ton of evidence that suggests the universe had an absolute beginning. There are huge scientific and philosophical problems with any universe posited to be eternal, with no beginning or end. A big bang happened a finite time ago (13 billion years) and the universe has been expanding since. Before the universe began, there was nothing. We all know that something cannot come from nothing. So, a divine intelligence - that is necessarily outside of space and time, all laws and all else that came into being at the moment of the big bang - must have brought it into being and fine tuned it so that life as we know it could exist.

Atheist: Yes- the universe had an absolute beginning before which there was nothing. Given there was nothing, the natural laws of cause and effect do not apply in this context. You cannot logically assume cause and effect applies to a context that is outside of all physical and metaphysical laws. Therefore, you cannot invoke cause and effect to explain it. In fact, we cannot invoke anything to explain it, since anything we might invoke would necessarily be a property of our universe and not a property of anything outside of or before our universe. This leaves us with agnosticism as the only possible position.

I'd prefer to believe the intelligent design argument, but the problem with it as stated by the atheist is hanging me up. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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John M

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 09:16:39 am »
Given there was nothing, the natural laws of cause and effect do not apply in this context. You cannot logically assume cause and effect applies to a context that is outside of all physical and metaphysical laws.

This seems to me to presuppose naturalism because, why think the metaphysical concept of "out of nothing, nothing comes" is a "natural" law that cannot apply outside of a physical universe? And you said "you cannot logically assume cause and effect" applies outside of "metaphysical laws". Why? What is it about the metaphysical conclusion that "out of nothing, nothing comes" or "a cause must precede its effect" that makes it false or inapplicable outside of a physical universe that adheres to a set of descriptive laws of nature?

Dr. Craig has said similar things (I wish I could find it, but can't). His point is something along those lines - that, why think logical laws such as the law of excluded middle or causality don't apply without a universe? Just because the natural laws of the physical universe are not in play, why think metaphysical laws are not in play either (remembering that these metaphysical "rules" or "laws" are not dependent on the existence of a physical reality)?

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mikebundrant

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 03:29:12 pm »
I don't know why I would assume metaphysical laws might not apply outside of a universe in which they do apply. At best, I feel like flipping a coin, which leaves me agnostic on this one.

I'd much prefer a different position than agnosticism, but can't get there!

Does the fact that a universe with our physical and metaphysical laws came into existence necessarily say anything about a state of non-existence that came before (according to our understanding of time)?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 03:25:57 am »
Today’s science is moving towards the inevitability of a universe regardless of the “nothing” scenario. Comment by such as S Hawkin is already published.

However that is not needed to demonstrate that a god creation or the intelligent design scenario is a logical impossibility.

But before commenting I need to dismiss one point: Dr Craig, like all theists has one lifelong problem and that is, he must get his theories across by convincing people “stuff” he’s made up is some sort of truth.

One example of “stuff” he’s made up to explain things he can’t explain is “God exists out of time”. Really? How?

God doesn’t exist out of time, nothing exists out of time. As soon as anything comes into existence, time for at least that object, starts. To say otherwise is to talk rubbish, to “make stuff up” you can’t support or prove. The statement does not fall within the definition of time which is why it’s not accepted by the people who deal with time, the scientists. If a god existed out of time you wouldn’t be able to say “He sent his son 2,000 years ago”. That would simply prove god exists in time and can be timed. I say this to pre-empt an unsustainable “out of time” argument in response to the following observation. It won’t work.

Moving on to the logical impossibility:

It all falls over with one word “intelligent”.

The problem with a god able to create from nothing is that god wouldn’t create, period.

What theists forget to note in their deliberations of “nothing” is that “nothing” is “nothing”.

Some of the things “nothing”, before creation, includes:

Thought: There is nothing to think about.

Intelligence: Where there is nothing to know, there can be no intelligence.

Desire: There is no desire, there is nothing to desire.

Loneliness: There is no loneliness as there has never been anything to be lonely for.

Need: There is no need as there is nothing to need.

Want: There is no want as there is nothing to want.

So, in the nothingness, god can’t be intelligent, can’t think, doesn’t want or need, can’t have desire or be lonely.

In fact, in nothingness god can’t exist as the definition of a god includes omnipotent and you can’t be omnipotent regarding “nothing”.

As this conceptual “god” you would be sitting there for trillions of years (not) thinking about nothing with nothing to ever make you “think” of anything hence, you would never create. There is absolutely nothing that could cause a god to create before creation. And he couldn’t even “think” of what to create.

The notion of anything but a natural occurrence of a universe is simply impossible to logically explain. It simply didn’t happen and there’s your proof.

When theists think god decided to make a universe they forget, he couldn’t because, to do so, would require knowledge of a universe which even a god can’t have before it’s existed i.e. even god can’t think about something he hasn’t thought about yet. And, as pointed out, there would never be any cause to make him do so, even if it was possible for him to discover he could “create”.   

Feel free to reject it (as your delusion demands), but, it is an undeniable fact.



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Will

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 08:10:09 am »
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Thought: There is nothing to think about.

Your entire argument hinges on equivocating on the word nothing.  Of course there is no literal "thing," a concrete entity extended in space; but it doesn't mean there is "nothing," as in abstract entities. 

Secondly, because you are finite and bound by temporal conceptions, and that's the only way you can think, it doesn't follow that your conceptual constraints translate into what an immaterial world is like.  If there was an immaterial state of existence, you would be the last one that could understand it, let alone critique it. 
Will

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John M

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 08:52:22 am »
Today’s science is moving towards the inevitability of a universe regardless of the “nothing” scenario. Comment by such as S Hawkin is already published.

I would recommend you read the rebuttals to Dr. Hawking's latest book - here's one. He certainly isn't the last word on philosophical metaphysics (since he thinks philosophy is dead, I'm not sure how much he cares to study the subject :) ). He has some very poor atheist argumentation in his books. Even some of his atheist contemporaries agree with that assessment - for example, Quentin Smith (an atheist) says Stephen Hawking's argument against God in A Brief History of Time is "the worst atheistic argument in the history of Western thought." (Quentin Smith, "The Wave Function of a Godless Universe," in Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 322.)

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One example of “stuff” he’s made up to explain things he can’t explain is “God exists out of time”. Really? How?

Have you read any of Dr. Craig's published works?  He published several books on God and Time and has addressed these concepts numerous times. You ask "how?" so you must not be aware of how he attempts to explain his concept of God and how he relates to time.

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God doesn’t exist out of time, nothing exists out of time

Really? Why think this?

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As soon as anything comes into existence, time for at least that object, starts.

That is right! Dr. Craig would agree with you! Anything that comes into existence really does require time - you are an ardent A-Theorist as is Dr. Craig.

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To say otherwise is to talk rubbish, to “make stuff up” you can’t support or prove.

I'm confused - what is it that Dr. Craig made up here? You actually agree with him!

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The statement does not fall within the definition of time which is why it’s not accepted by the people who deal with time, the scientists.

Actually, it is philosophers of science who mostly deal with time, not scientists (in fact, they are called "philosophers of time" - there is even a "Philosophers of Time Society"). Time is a highly philosophical concept. Unless you study it in the most superficial way, it is clear time is a very deep and metaphysical concept. Scientists don't have the final word on the meaning of time. An exampe of an atheist philosopher of time is Quentin Smith; a theist philosopher of time would be Dr. Craig himself.

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If a god existed out of time you wouldn’t be able to say “He sent his son 2,000 years ago”.

Dr. Craig would agree with you!

I will stop here because it is clear you have never even studied works by authors like Dr. Craig so you are unfamilar with what you are arguing against.  Please study Dr. Craig's works on concepts such as God, Time and Eternity - I think some of your objections will fade away.

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Ivaj

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 08:57:56 am »
Before the universe began, there was nothing.

Where is the scientific support for this assertion?
The most fundamental falsehood of theism is the claim that a God exist. It's only because of this falsehood that I am an atheist. It's not because of famous atheists like Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. But I do recognize that they did stuff. The existence of theism is because some people believe in God.

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 01:44:41 am »
Will, it's tough when you are unable to engage your brain before speaking.

If god is the creator of all things, "nothing" is "nothing" period. No point in trying to make up an illusion to explain nothing is not nothing. 

As far as your "temporal" nonsense. Nothing remains nothing and therefore there is also nothing temporal.

Lousy try but as a theist I understand you have to try (even if, as I say, it means making "stuff" up).

Instead of pulling something out of your standard little "I made this up and it sounds good enough to fool a theist" bag of misconceptions, try applying a little logic. You don't even need science.   

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 02:16:39 am »
mazzgolf

I don’t need to read rebuttals of S Hawkins book to know that his comments on the inevitability of the universe theory hasn’t been proved. However I also know he’s the worlds leading physicist on the subject and most at his level agree with him. But I do understand, as a theist, it would certainly make you run scared enough to seek the security of a rebuttal as opposed to applying any logic yourself or waiting until it’s actually proved to the level of acceptance required or, conversely, disproved. It doesn’t scare me, I can wait and see. However, not relevant to my comment.

You’re right I don’t read articles by Dr Craig. Why would anyone of science read anything by Dr Craig? Very happy to accept that Dr Craig doesn’t believe god exists out of time as it does away with the standard theist method of attempting to assert that a god can exist or create before the natural event of a universe.

Yeah “philosophers of time” really? Time is time period. Observable, measurable able to be manipulated using speed and gravity. Stating: “a theist philosopher of time would be Dr. Craig himself.” Is all you need to say to pass on the value of the connection between understanding “time” scientifically and philosophising (making stuff up) about it.

But, in any event, not important in terms of the “god would never create” scenario.

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 02:34:33 am »
Lvjad,

Clearly, if god is the creator of all things, then god must, at some point, exist before anything. And, as pointed out with logical and undeniable observation unable to be rebutted, from that point, god would not create.

Only a god could give rise to "intelligent design" and that requires intelligence defn.:

INTELLIGENCE
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit.
3. the faculty of understanding.
4. knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
5. the gathering or distribution of information, especially secret information.

Clearly, before anything exists, the definition of "intelligent" doesn't exist. God cannot be intelligent and therefore cannot apply "intelligence" to any form of "design" (even if "design" could exist which it couldn't).

Simply put: Unlike the theist (illogical and dumb) argument that abiogensis would be like a tornado creating a Jumbo jet and providing other wild numbers pulled out of the air, as it is quantifiable it is possible, however, the concept of a god existing in the nothingness before anything and then creating is not quantifiable, it was impossible, it couldn't happen and it didn't happen and that is beyond any form of logical or scientific debate.
 

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Will

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 06:27:22 pm »
Will, it's tough when you are unable to engage your brain before speaking.

If god is the creator of all things, "nothing" is "nothing" period. No point in trying to make up an illusion to explain nothing is not nothing. 

As far as your "temporal" nonsense. Nothing remains nothing and therefore there is also nothing temporal.

Lousy try but as a theist I understand you have to try (even if, as I say, it means making "stuff" up).

Instead of pulling something out of your standard little "I made this up and it sounds good enough to fool a theist" bag of misconceptions, try applying a little logic. You don't even need science.

Differentiating concrete and abstract entities is Phil 101.  Nice hand king ten off.     
Will

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 04:29:24 am »
Will, was that meant to mean anything?

Clearly, if you were a live logical, thinking being with an understanding of concrete and abstract you would understand that every abstract concept ever thought of is based on the understanding of the concrete.

Obviously the most appropriate Phil 101 understanding of this is:

1. You are in the universe and I tell you: “Imagine there is nothing” (an abstract concept). You can because you know what the universe is and you can extract it from the equation.

2. If you are in nothing and I tell you “Imagine there is a universe” (an abstract concept). You can’t because a universe is a concrete term you could not possibly know so you can’t add it to the current nothing.

Are you reaching any enlightenment yet?

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Othello Orson

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 01:10:36 am »
Mazzgolf, Read:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-ultimate-question-of-origins-god-and-the-beginning-of-the-universe#ixzz2C0QCNnVP

"For the Creator sans the universe, there simply is no time because there are no events of any sort; time begins with the first event, at the moment of creation."

So WLCraig does believe "god exists out of time" as commented. And it is, as I also pointed out, how he explains how god could create and exist without being created himself. (I knew I'd read it a considerable time ago, I just didn't want to be proved wrong without finding it again. And his conclusions are as wrong now as they were then.)

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Iapetus

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2012, 12:54:53 pm »
Response to Mikebundrant (1st post):

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Science has amassed a ton of evidence that suggests the universe had an absolute beginning.

Science has amassed a ton of evidence that suggests there was a ‘Big Bang’ - a rapid expansion of spacetime rather than a bang.  This is not the same as saying that this is evidence for an absolute beginning.  There is increasing evidence that there were events before the Big Bang, though there can only be speculation at the moment about the nature of these events.  They include, however, one or many Big Bounces, Bubble Universes, Multiverses and so on.  This does not represent logical cheating.  It relates to observations made in relation to the universe as it is now and as it was in the distant past (which we can observe directly through instruments such as the Hubble Telescope and WMAP).   These include measurements such as density of matter, galaxy rotation velocities and the cosmological constant.  Projections backwards through time thus lead to hypotheses regarding earlier universes and neighbouring universes.  This is very far from evidence for an absolute beginning.

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Before the universe began, there was nothing.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

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We all know that something cannot come from nothing.

We may think we know that.  Laurence Kraus, amongst others, believes otherwise.  I guess it comes down to what we think of as nothing.  Scientists have been examing this concept in detail for more than 30 years.  Stephen Hawking, in 1974, used the concept of ‘virtual particles’ to explain the existence of Hawking Radiation – which can be measured – to demonstrate that ‘something can come from nothing’.  The suggestion is that electron-positron pairs (matter and antimatter) can spontaneously appear from nothing for a tiny fraction of time and cancel each other out, producing a kind of ‘quantum foam’.  In nothingness.

Now, I can hear critics say that nothing is nothing is nothing and that physicists are just changing the parameters.  Well, that may be the case, but only because they have measured it.  In his book, A Universe from Nothing, Kraus says:

Remarkably, we physicists have learned … that we can calculate to an arbitrarily high precision, the impact on the spectrum of hydrogen of all the possible virtual particles that may exist intermittently in its vicinity.  And when we do, we come up with the best, most accurate prediction in all of science. …we can calculate the value of atomic parameters and compare them with observations and have remarkable agreement at the level of about one part in a billion or better!

Virtual particles therefore exist.


It would be unreasonable to use up discussion space by going into all the details specified above but all the terms I have used can be easily checked through Google – or other equally wonderful search engines.

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So, a divine intelligence - that is necessarily outside of space and time, all laws and all else that came into being at the moment of the big bang - must have brought it into being and fine tuned it so that life as we know it could exist.

Now here is the difference.  Scientists are looking for any solution which fits the observed facts.  Predictions are made and evaluated.  Hypotheses are proposed on the basis of those observations and predictions.  If they lead us further back than the Big Bang, then that would be very interesting, but scientists are humble enough to admit that they certainly don’t have all the answers.

Asserting a divine intelligence outside of space, time and all laws is, obviously, very far from the same thing.  It is an assertion, subject to no test, no measurement and no prediction, impossible to argue with.  It escapes all rational argument. 

Since atheism is is non-belief it cannot provide the basis, in itself, for any belief.  Atheists can accept any explanation except that God did it.  That might mean that the universe has always existed – as most theists assert for God – or that it came into being.  And if it came into being, then that could have been at the Big Bang or at any preceding time.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 02:58:04 pm by Iapetus »

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Rob Heusdens

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Re: Cause/Effect Prior to Big Bang
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 07:43:14 am »
Intelligent Design: Science has amassed a ton of evidence that suggests the universe had an absolute beginning.

Why do you think so?

We have massive evidence the earth is not infinetely old, yet no-one comes to think that the earth had an absolute beginning in time, that is, had no prior conditions under which the earth formed. Why would our universe be any different in this respect? It had a begin but then not a begin in nothing, no absolute begin, but a begin in something else.