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  1. #1
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    On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    I will start by apologizing to everyone. I promised this argument one week ago and I am just now putting up a small portion of my argument. Due to the length and material that I am including, I have changed my original plans in the creation of my thread regarding God’s existence. Rather than create a comprehensive thread I will create a series of threads and debates each including a different argument. Already, this argument alone encompasses 12 pages in Word without the inclusion of any visuals and as such is a rather time consuming and exhausting endeavor. Beyond that, however, I think that this will also help maintain the integrity of the debates by keeping them more concentrated and focused.

    I will start my series by presenting and debating what is commonly called the Cosmological Argument for God’s existence. I must warn readers, however, that while I have attempted to present the material in accessible a manner as possible, I did not pull any stops in my use of resources or the areas which I address. Many of the Sources I use in this argument will be papers published in Scientific Journals, papers that many, if not most of you may not have access to. For that reason I have saved PDF files of each one of these papers on my computer and will make them freely available through email to anyone who asks. In other cases I referenced two books written by Briane Greene for popular audiences. I do not have pdf files of these and since they were written for popular audiences they are widely available at bookstores and libraries. I would recommend reading them, as they are fascinating and well written.

    With that out of the way, lets begin.

    The Cosmological Argument

    The form of the Cosmological Argument that I will present is as follows:

    1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    2) The Universe began to exist.
    3) The Universe therefore had a cause.
    4) Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause.

    This form of the Cosmological Argument (with very slight alterations of my own) is better known as the Kalam Cosmological Argument that was put forward by Dr. William Lane Craig in light of modern discoveries of Cosmology for access to Craig’s published work go here: William Lane Craig Publications. As I am sure that no one will simply accept the above argument without my supporting each premise, let us get started.

    Premise 1

    Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

    Please note that I have italicized the word begins. I do this for a very specific reason. Many foolishly misunderstand the argument to be “Everything that exists has a cause” and then try to turn this against the Cosmological Argument. That is a straw man because what the argument clearly states is that “Everything that begins to exist” has a cause.

    The logic behind this is both obvious and intuitive. It is the principle of Cause and Effect. Things simply do not happen without a prior or underlying cause and we see that this is true throughout the world around us. If you throw a rock up into the air, it falls down and there is specific and underlying cause for why this happens which we know as gravity.

    Not only is it an intuitive concept to us all, but it is also one of the underlying axioms of Science. We must assume this principle of Cause and Effect to assume the truth and validity of Science. Science attempts to explain the Natural World through theories that are tested by experimentation and observation. The very concept of experimentation depends on the idea that certain conditions will cause certain effects. If you assume that any given Event is without Cause then the very basis of Science itself is undercut. This presents an interesting predicament for those who wish to challenge my first premise. If you wish to claim that effects need not have a cause then you must also accept that there is no basis for any experimental evidence being true. As a result all scientific claims are rendered unsupported. If, however, you wish to maintain the validity of scientific claims, then you must also accept the first premise as true.

    Now, there is one possible objection to this claim other than outright denial of the validity of Science and that is that Quantum Mechanics allows for events to happen without cause. Craig, however, makes an excellent point in showing that this claim confuses the notion of causation and predictability. Quantum particles notoriously demonstrate unpredictable behavior and as Heisenberg showed in his famous Uncertainty Principle, there is a fundamental limit on how accurately we can measure certain properties. For example, in classical mechanics, both the position and velocity of an object can be known accurately at the same moment. Under quantum mechanics, however, there is an inherent degree of uncertainty to how accurately one can know both the velocity and position of a quantum particle. This is because the act of measurement itself interacts with the quantum particle thus changing both its position and velocity. So when physicists direct a photon at a quantum particle to take the measurement, the interaction of the quantum particle and that photon creates a certain degree of uncertainty. Now it is possible to take more accurate measurements of a quantum particles position (or velocity), but this results in a greater uncertainty in the velocity of that particle (or vice versus).

    The implication of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is that quantum particles are inherently unpredictable to us. Because we cannot accurately predict the behavior of these particles it can give the appearance that Quantum Mechanics may be uncaused, but as stated earlier, this is a confusion of the concepts of causality and predictability. Just because something appears unpredictable does not mean that it is uncaused. This fact is further supported by the fact that while quantum behavior is unpredictable, we some actions are more predictable than others. For example, the position of an electron around the nucleus is most accurately described by Electron Density Maps:



    Electron Density Maps give a probability of where an electron will be around the nucleus at any one time. The greater the electron density the higher the probability that the electron will be in that region at any one time, so quantum particles possess the interesting quality of being both predictable in one sense and unpredictable in another. While we may not be able to predict its exact location, we can put a probability on it. This shows that there are underlying laws for the location of the electron, demonstrating that this behavior does have underlying causes. Thus the objection that Quantum Mechanics proves the principle of Causality wrong stems from a confusion of the concept of causality with predictability.

    Let us now move onto whether or not God’s existence need be caused. The 1st premise of the Cosmological Argument states “Everything that begins to exist has a cause.” Many argue that God’s own existence necessitates a cause. However, a cause is only necessitated for something that at a prior moment was in a different state. So in the case of existence, that which did not exist prior to some event necessitates a cause. In contrast, that which has always existed does not possess a prior state of non-existence; therefore a cause is unnecessary for its existence. In fact, it is illogical to suggest that there is a cause for something without beginning as the notion of a cause inherently implies that there was a state of transition, in our case a state of transition from non-existence to existence. This is of course inapplicable to that which has always existed.

    Furthermore, if we look into the claim that “Something that has always existed is without cause,” another truth becomes evident. No a priori explanation can be given for why something that has always existed exists, only a posteriori explanations can be given. This is a much harder concept to grasp. What I mean by an a priori explanation is a reason for why something exists based on its causes. For instance, you hold a rock in your hand. Without throwing it up you know that the rock will fall back down because of gravity. In other words you know the effect a priori because you know the cause. You are explaining phenomena based on its causes. In contrast a posteriori explanations work the opposite direction, they explain something based on its effects, not its cause. In this case you throw the rock up in the air and it falls down. Based on this effect you explain the gravity as the force that causes two objects to attract. You are working backwards from the effects. As I have previously demonstrated, something that always exists is without cause for its existence. Since it is without cause, a priori explanations are impossible. However, it can be explained by its effects, so a posteriori explanations are possible.

    One accusation I fully expect at this point is that my argument is one of Special Pleading. In other words, that I am applying special criteria to God by claiming that He does not need a cause or an a priori explanation. Nothing could be further from the truth. My argument for the causeless nature of a God applies fully to any other something that would have always existed. The question then arises why this does not apply to the Universe. Well I will answer that question very shortly as we move on to Premise 2.

    Premise 2

    The Universe began to exist.

    Prior to Einstein, the predominant view of the history of the Universe was that the Universe had always existed. However, in 1915, Einstein published Die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation or The Field Equations of Gravitation. In this paper he laid out the equations for General Relativity, offering a radically different view of Gravity than that given by Newton’s equations. It is my hope that everyone here is at least familiar enough with Einstein and General Relativity that I don’t have give an account of the experiments and observations that were done to support it. Assuming that everyone possesses such awareness I will focus rather on the implications that this theory had and still has.

    In the 1920s a Russian scientist, Alexander Alexandrovich Friedman, and the Jesuit priest, Georges Lemaître, independently discovered solutions to Einstein’s equations that suggested an expanding Universe. Even more shocking, not only did these solutions suggest that the Universe was expanding, but if you reversed the clock the Universe shrank until it reached a point known as a singularity. Support for the concept of an expanding Universe came a few years later in 1929 when Edwin Hubble published his observation of the redshift in light from different galaxies. Lemaitre and Friedman’s theory formed the basis for what we know call the Big Bang, a term coined in derision by Fred Hoyle.

    Despite the evidence from Hubble’s observations, not everyone was immediately convinced by the Big Bang. Most notorious of the objectors was Fred Hoyle, who proposed his steady state model as an alternative. However, his theories were short lived when in 1964, Robert Woodrow Wilson and Arno Allan Penzias, discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB). This was quite literally the smoking gun of the Big Bang. Theorists had predicted prior to their discovery that remnant radiation from the Big Bang would permeate the Universe, an afterglow from first moments of the Universe. With the discovery of the CMB, the Big Bang rose to prominence as the model of the Universe, spelling the doom of the Steady State theory.

    I hope that the very brief and rough history I have given for how the Big Bang theory arose in prominence is sufficient for everyone here to accept. Just as it is my hope that it is unnecessary for me to lay out all the evidence and support for General Relativity, it is my hope that what I have given here is sufficient for the Big Bang and that everyone is familiar enough with the concept that I do not have to say more. The real question I think and what we should be spending the majority of our time on in this section is whether or not the Big Bang implies a beginning for our Universe or not. Of course it is my contention that the Big Bang does indeed represent a true and ultimate beginning for our universe, a beginning that is in need of a cause.

    First off, what does it mean when it is said that the Universe is expanding and what exactly is the singularity? The assumption is oftentimes made, erroneously, that the expansion of the Universe consists of nothing more than the movement of galaxies away from one another. That is not the case. What must be kept in mind is that this theory represents a solution to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. General Relativity is a theory of gravity that explains it in geometric terms. Gravity is literally the result of space and time curving around matter and energy. Since the expanding Universe and the Big Bang are theories derived from General Relativity, they too apply Space-time itself, rather than the matter alone. So the expansion of the Universe is the result of Space and Time literally expanding. The oft-touted example of this is of an expanding balloon with two dots on it. At low inflation the two dots are close together and possess specific positions on the balloon. As the balloon is filled with air, however, the space between the two dots grows, not because the two dots are simply moving away from one another but because the space itself between the dots is literally expanding. The position of the two dots on the balloon and in relation to one another remains the same, but the entire system has grown so that the distance has grown as well.

    When this is process is reversed the exact opposite happens. Now space-time itself contracts and the entire mass of the Universe becomes compressed to a point of zero size and infinite density, a state known as a singularity. At this point space-time itself has broken down, as well as the laws of physics. This is effectively time zero because time-dimension that is a fundamental part of our Universe has been compressed to a point of zero size. Space itself is non-existent for the three spatial dimensions that we know to be a part of our Universe have effectively broken down. As hard as all of this is for us to conceive, this is indeed the state of affairs for the Universe in the singularity and what a singularity represents is a starting point, time zero.

    At this point one can raise any number of objections, each one taking us in a very different direction. For instance one could argue that there was never an initial singularity and indeed many modern Cosmological theories have done exactly that. Such models conveniently circumvent the singularity and a Universe with a beginning. Another objection, that I am sure many are considering is the idea that our Universe arose from some sort of Quantum fluctuation or some other variation that still allows for an actual singularity. While the latter theories are certainly valid, they are not really of interest in this section, because these theories still incorporate the initial singularity and thus serve as causes for the Universe’s existence. In other words these latter theories accept the 2nd Premise that the Universe began to exist and so do not serve as arguments against this premise.

    Having said as much, I will instead spend my time in the rest of this section addressing the arguments that claim that no initial singularity ever existed, that in other words our Universe is past-eternal. By using the term past-eternal I imply that when one rewinds the clock of our Universe, there never is a point when T=0, rather the existence of our Universe extends infinitely into the past.

    The first oscillating theories for the Universe did just this by having the Universe expand and contract without ever actually reaching the singularity. Rather as the Universe contracted, matter and energy somehow passed each other by without actually coming to a point. As the matter and energy of the Universe passed by one another they would expand out until one again the Universe reached a point were the internal gravitation of the Universe overcame the expansion and forced it to contract yet again. However, this model was inherently flawed. Perhaps the most damning of the flaws against this theory was the fact that since the Universe never collapsed to an actual singularity, Entropy was preserved from one oscillation to the next. Dr. Novikov and Dr. Zel’dovich both pointed out in a 1973 publication entitled Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities that:

    The second possibility suggests the appealing picture of a cyclic universe, persisting indefinitely into the past and future. However there is a flaw in this picture. As Tolman (1934) pointed out long ago, every cycle involves irreversible generation of entropy. If the baryon number remains constant, the total mass and pressure must both increase from cycle to cycle, hence, the maximum radius must increase from cycle to cycle as shown in Figure 4. The multicycle model therefore has an infinite future, but only a finite past.

    Figure 4 from their paper does an excellent job of illustrating this fact:



    Sources: I. D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zel’dovich (1973) Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 11 387-412

    As if that is not damning enough for the theory, there is also the fact that it lacked any physical mechanism for why the Universe should start expanding again in the first place. Furthermore, 3 years earlier in 1970, Dr. Steven Hawking and Dr. Roger Penrose coauthored a paper in which they showed that the existence of an initial singularity was inevitable for nearly every model of the Universe.

    The present paper carries these results further, and considerably strengthens the implication that a singularity-free bounce (of the type required) does not seem to be realizable within the frameworks of general relativity.

    Sources: S. W. Hawking and R. Penrose (1970) The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 314. 1519. 529-548.

    Despite all this, the cyclic model of the Universe has managed to be resurrected in light of Dr. Edward Whitten’s discovery of M-theory, which united the 5 different string theories and allowed for the existence of structures called branes. Originally it had been my intention to deal with this theory in a later section, but as we are currently discussing cyclic models of the Universe, I feel it is best to at least touch on the basics here and address some of the issues.

    Modern physics has gone a long way from the early days in unifying the fundamental forces of nature. As of right now the Standard model of Particle Physics manages to unify the Strong Nuclear Force, the Weak Nuclear Force, and Electromagnetism all within the framework of Quantum Mechanics. However, it fails to include in this framework the fourth fundamental force, which is gravity. The prevailing view of gravity is given by General Relativity. However, at the quantum level General Relativity breaks down, making a synthesis of the two so far impossible. String theory arose as an attempt to solve this problem and to unify both Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. While standard particle theory attempts to explain the matter and energy in terms of 0-dimensional particles, string theory attempted to explain this in terms of 1-dimensional strings. However, research in this field resulted in the formation of 5 different and seemingly incompatible theories. But in the 1995 this changed when Whitten managed proposed that each of the 5 different string theories was really a different aspect of a greater underlying theory called M-theory. In M-theory, the fundamental make up of the matter and energy is really multidimensional membranes or branes and the strings of string theory are nothing more than 1-dimensional sections of these branes.

    Sources: The Elegant Universe, 1999 and The Fabric of the Cosmos, 2005 by Brian Greene.

    If a lot of this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. This argument is already long enough and entire books have been written on string theories. For a quick synopsis check wikipedia:
    Introduction to M-Theory and String theory

    I have given this brief overview because as previously mentioned cyclic models have seen a resurrection in the face of M-theory. Dr. Paul Steinhardt and Dr. Neil Turok of Cambridge proposed the Steinhardt-Turok model in which two 3 dimension branes exist in parallel to one another. These parallel 3-dimensional branes collide with one another in a periodic cycle and it is this collision, the interaction of these two 3-branes, which generates the Big Bang and the 4-dimensional Universe which we observe. Our own Universe is located on one of these 3-branes which gives rise to our 3-spatial dimensions. The interaction of the two 3-branes provides the fourth time dimension. Furthermore, according to Steinhardt and Turok, the fate of these two branes is forever connected in this eternal cycle. This cycle was illustrated on the cover of Science:



    Sources: Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok (2002) A Cyclic Model of the Universe Science 296 1436 - 1439 and The Fabric of the Cosmos 2005 by Briane Greene

    However, in a 2003 paper Dr. Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin showed that that the exact same issues of entropy that plagued earlier cyclic models still plagued Steinhardt and Turok’s model and that while it was possible for the cyclic model to be eternal into the future, it had to have a definitive beginning in the past.

    In some versions of the cyclic model the brane space-times are everywhere expanding, so our theorem immediately implies the existence of a past boundary at which boundary conditions must be imposed. In other versions, there are brief periods of contraction, but the net result of each cycle is an expansion. For null geodesics each cycle is identical to the others, except for the overall normalization of the affine parameter. Thus, as long as Hav>0 for a null geodesic when averaged over one cycle, then Hav>0 for any number of cycles, and our theorem would imply that the geodesic is incomplete.

    When the authors say past boundary, they imply an initial starting point. The same is implied by saying that the geodesic is incomplete, which means that it is incomplete in past-directions (again a definitive starting point).

    Sources: Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin (2003) Inflationary Spacetimes are Incomplete in Past Directions Physical Review Letters 90. 15

    Brian Greene puts it in a much more comprehensible manner:

    [I]The cyclic model has its own share of shortcomings. As with Tolman’s model, consideration of entropy buildup (and also of quantum mechanics) ensures that the cyclic model’s cycles could not have gone on forever. Instead, the cycles began at some definite time in the past, and so, as with inflation, we need an explanation of how the first cycle got started.

    Sources: The Fabric of the Cosmos 2005 by Briane Greene

    Keep in mind the paper I have just cited by Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, for it implications apply not only to brane models, but also to all models that have inflationary cosmology (it is interesting to note that Alan Guth is considered the father of Inflationary Cosmology). As it so happens, nearly all-modern models incorporate inflationary cosmology in some fashion. Inflationary cosmology refers to a model of the early universe in which, shortly after the big bang, the Universe underwent exponential expansion, before leveling out to current levels of expansion (overview of Inflationary Cosmology). While not the standard model per se, Inflationary Cosmology dominates within the field because of its enormous success in explaining such things as the homogeny of the Universe. This of course includes both the Brane Cosmologies I have just described as well as the Oscillating model mentioned earlier.
    This camp includes even multiverse models, such as brane cosmology, those theories where new Universes are born out of the singularities of black holes, or where regions of space undergoing inflation then give birth to new regions of space that undergo inflation as developed by Dr. Andrei Linde (sometimes referred to as the Bubble Universe). While all such models are indeed infinite to the future, they are not infinite in the past. Always they return to the need for an initial singularity and an ultimate beginning.

    I have, so far, mentioned and examined several prominent theories of the earlier Universe, all which tried to avoid the conclusion of an initial singularity, of an ultimate beginning. All such attempts have failed, in each case requiring the very thing that they set out to avoid. This drive to avoid the initial singularity, to avoid a true Big Bang Cosmology, has been going on ever since Friedman and Lemaître showed that Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicted an initial singularity for the Universe in the 1920s and 30s. 80 years later, no progress has been made in avoiding their prediction. In fact, so successful has Big Bang Cosmology been that it is now often referred to as the Standard Model of Cosmology.

    Based on all evidence we must inevitably conclude that the Universe did indeed begin to exist.

    Premise 3

    The Universe therefore had a cause.

    This conclusion follows logically and inevitably from Premise 1 and Premise 2. If we agree that Premise 1 and Premise 2 are true then we must conclude that Premise 3 is true. Any attempt to dispute Premise 3 will therefore require a refutation of either Premise 1 or 2.

    Premise 4

    Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause.

    Finally now we arrive at the real topic of debate and what I have no doubt will be the greatest issue of contention. I will begin my argument by pointing out that earlier arguments, particularly those addressing Premise 2 have gone a long way in demonstrating the insufficiency of naturalistic explanations for the Universe’s existence by addressing most of the prominent Cosmological models of the early Universe. I feel, however, that the majority of my challenges will come in one of three forms.

    1. String theory/M-theory solves the problem.
    2. Our Universe exists in a greater multiverse.
    3. The matter and radiation that spewed forth in the Big Bang has always existed in some form.

    While these may appear on the surface to eliminate the need for God, nothing could in fact be further from the truth. In fact as I will demonstrate, some of these challenges do absolutely nothing to address the issue at hand. That is particularly true for string theory/M-theory.

    As previously mentioned, string theory/M-theory goes a long way in potentially uniting quantum mechanics and General Relativity. I say potentially because string theory/M-theory as of yet is nothing more than a mathematical theory that has yes to be confirmed in any fashion by empirical evidence and remains an issue of contention amongst physicists. But assuming that it is true and that the underlying structure of our Universe does consist of strings and branes, this does little to solve the issue of what caused our Universe to exist. That’s because the purpose and drive behind developing these theories was never to provide a causal explanation for why anything existed, rather it was to unite two theories which in themselves do not explain why the Universe exists either. In other words, these theories were created to explain the underlying structure of the Universe, not why that structure existed.

    Of course, it has always been the hope that in developing a theory for the underlying structure of the Universe that a cause for that somehow it would also become apparent that it was absolutely necessary that our Universe existed as is, thus wrapping up everything in a nice little package. While that might have been the hope, string theory and M-theory have done the exact opposite and made it abundantly clear that there is no necessary reason why our Universe exists. Recall earlier that I mentioned that M-theory was developed to unite 5 rather different and conflicting string theories? As it turns out each of those 5 theories were actually different solutions to an even greater underlying theory, M-theory. While that problem was solved, there is actually an even greater problem along those same lines. As it turns out there are numerous different solutions to M-theory, with each solution giving describing a Universe with radically different laws and constants.

    When I say numerous, I am not describing a small number like 5 or 10 or 100 or even a 1000, rather conservative estimates have put the number of possible solutions at around 10^100 or 10 with 100 zeros after it. What should be remembered is that this is a conservative estimate for the truth is that nobody really knows how many possible solutions there are. Now the issue of the possible Universes and why we have the laws and constants that we do is something best dealt with in the next section on the teleological argument. My purpose in mentioning the number of possible solutions here is to illustrate the fact that M-theory has no inherent reason for why the Universe exists or what caused it. It is possible of course to develop cosmologies based around M-theory, such as the cyclic brane model previously mentioned. However, it needs to be kept in mind that this is equivalent to developing Cosmological models around Standard Model of particle Physics and General Relativity. It gives a possible mechanism for how our Universe has evolved since the Big Bang, but fails to explain what caused the Big Bang in the first place. In short string theory/M-theory is not only unproven, but does nothing to eliminate the need for a Creator.

    What then can we say about the Multiverse? This too is an argument that ignores the fundamental reasoning behind Multiverses and what purpose they serve in physics. Like string theory/M-theory, multiverses have no empirical support. In fact their foundation is far less supported by the facts than M-theory. M-theory, while lacking empirical evidence, is supported by the fact that it provides a framework for uniting Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. Such a unification gives a basis for possible empirical testing and confirmation. Multiverses, however, were developed for another reason entirely. Theirs is not to unite fundamental theories, but rather to explain away why there exists a universe that allows for intelligent life. It does by theorizing that every possible Universe exists, therefore the existence of intelligent life is inevitable. That’s it. It is not a theory that is inherent to any physical theory, even to M-theory. It is inserted after the fact to explain these phenomena and as such in no way provides a causal explanation for how the Universe came into existence. Notice the emphasis I place on the word causal. Multiverse theory in itself provides no explanation for how new Universes arise in the first place. As such it is not an argument that has significant effect on the Cosmological argument as its purpose is to deal with what causes Universes to arise in the first place.

    We know turn to the third objection I imagine many will put forward and that is that the matter and radiation of our Universe has always existed in some form. This argument stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what the singularity is and implies. Many seem to think that the singularity is nothing more than an unimaginably small and dense ball of energy and as a result this energy has sat around in this infinitely dense point forever (whatever that means sense at this point time and space as we know it do not exist). I think this misunderstanding must arise because its simply not fully grasped that [I]all[/] laws and physics break down at this point, that includes even the mighty Laws of Thermodynamics that is drilled into our heads as being universally true. As Steven Hawking points out in a public lecture of his:

    The universe will evolve from the Big Bang, completely independently of what it was like before. Even the amount of matter in the universe, can be different to what it was before the Big Bang, as the Law of Conservation of Matter, will break down at the Big Bang.

    Sources: The Beginning of Time

    In other words, the initial beginning of the Universe represents a beginning in every sense of the word, not only for Space and Time, but also for matter and radiation. As a result of this we cannot state that matter and radiation has always existed, because in the initial Singularity, all rules have effectively broken down. As if the physical evidence itself is not enough to counter this claim the claim itself is insufficient to explain the origin of the Universe. Consider this, if we assume that the energy and radiation itself has always existed, this begs the question of how that energy and radiation came to be in the state it was to begin with. It also begs the question as to why this singularity then should begin expanding in the even we know as the Big Bang. It also begs the question of what set the parameters, i.e. the laws and constants that govern this expansion. For example, if the rate of the expansion of our Universe had been faster or slower by 1 part in a million then it would have been completely impossible for life to exist. This is something that the mere existence of radiation and matter cannot answer and as the M-theory so elegantly pointed out, there is no inherent reason for this Universe to possess any of the qualities that it does. This last objection I will deal with in more depth when I post about the Teleological argument. However, as I said, the mere existence of radiation and matter leaves us still pondering the same dilemma of what caused the Big Bang in the first place and thus this claim does little to address the Cosmological Argument.

    So far I have argued and demonstrated that the following premises:

    1) 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
    2) The Universe began to exist.
    3) The Universe therefore had a cause

    Furthermore, having addressed possible naturalistic arguments or objections I will now offer up my conclusion and the conclusion of billions of others. God exists, and He exists as the creative force for why our Universe exists. At this point I know at least one person will (or would have at least, but after this he may not) object that God could not create the Universe because the creation ex nihilio of matter and radiation violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the Conservation of Energy. However, by this point everyone should know that this Law applies only to our Universe and is not a Universal necessity as because even it breaks down in the Singularity at the beginning. Having no such requirement emplaced on Him, there is no reason logical objection to why God could not create matter and radiation ex nihilio. Given the evidence and the knowledge of our Universe and its laws, given the logical fact that our Universe must be caused in some fashion and that naturalistic arguments fail to address this most vital of questions, God stands out not only as a viable cause for our Universe, but as the most viable of all causes. All naturalistic explanations fail on this point and none possess the explanatory power or scope of that of a divine creator.

    While the Cosmological Argument in itself provides a powerful argument for God’s existence, that is nothing compared to the power of this argument combined with that of the Teleological Argument. I have touched to a small extent on the Teleological Argument in this thread where appropriate, but will address it in depth in my next installment of this series of arguments. Combined, these two arguments provide an undeniable case for God’s existence, one that has convinced even the most die-hard atheists, such as the philosopher Dr. Anthony Flew. Until I begin my work on the Teleological Argument, however, you will have to suffice with the Cosmological Argument alone. I hope this will be an enjoyable debate for all of us.
    Last edited by chadn737; July 20th, 2008 at 07:34 PM.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    That's all nice and wonderful, Chad, but you still show no evidence that the Big Bang was caused by an intelligent, sentient force. It is entirely possible the Big Bang was caused by some natural force outside of our space and time, not necessarily an intelligent being.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth
    That's all nice and wonderful, Chad, but you still show no evidence that the Big Bang was caused by an intelligent, sentient force. It is entirely possible the Big Bang was caused by some natural force outside of our space and time, not necessarily an intelligent being.
    Explain what exactly a natural force is, then we will move on.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Furthermore, I must ask, what is this natural cause that you are proposing? Or are you instead not proposing anything, choosing rather a cop-out argument that there must be one without actually posing one? I have already argued in length on various natural causes and have they have all shown to be wanting.

    In Philosophy and Science both, one chooses the hypothesis that not only fits the evidence the best, but which also has the best explanatory power and explanatory scope. When we speak of the origin of the Universe, God not only fits all the relevant data, but possesses superior explanatory power and scope. God not only provides a means, a cause for the Universe, but He also explains why we should find the Universe that we do.

    Philosophically there is no reason why something rather than nothing should exist. Scientifically there is also no reason for this and furthermore there is no reason for why we should exist in a Universe such as ours. Something I pointed out several times in my argument.
    Last edited by chadn737; July 20th, 2008 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Explain what exactly a natural force is, then we will move on.
    Who the heck knows what's outside our own space-time. Could be anything. Could be intelligent forces, could unintelligent forces, could be a mish-mash of both, could be nothing. But by natural force, I mean an unintelligent force that exists without directive or divine guidance. Think of it as energy that lies outside of space-time that influenced the Singularity to expand.

    If you will, please define God as you keep referring to in your argument.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    I have already argued in length on various natural causes and have they have all shown to be wanting.
    You showed how multiverses and M-theory can be explained away, but not that the Singularity couldn't have expanded due to an unintelligent force outside of our space-time.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    God not only provides a means, a cause for the Universe, but He also explains why we should find the Universe that we do.
    You have made no convincing argument that laws were created independent of the Universe. You know darn well that all laws could be inherent to the Universe.
    Last edited by Wolf Myth; July 20th, 2008 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Thanks for making good on your promise, Chad, and kudos on the effort that went into your post. I must apologise in advance for this comparatively short rebuttal I will be making - this is in part because I do not disagree with all your arguments, but more so because I will be disputing your arguments on concise logical grounds, with less reliance on scientific material.

    I do not dispute that the universe began to exist - I agree that the bulk of scientific evidence points to the universe having a starting point in the Big Bang. So, in this post, I will focus on your arguments that 1) Everything that begins to exist must have a cause, and 2) God is the best candidate for the cause of the universe. In the second part, I will also dispute your unspoken conclusion that as a result of your "premises", God exists.

    1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause

    In order to support this assertion, it is not sufficient to appeal to its obviousness and intuitive appeal. The laws of causation appear obvious and intuitive to us only because they invariably hold true in our everyday life. However, there is no basis to assume that the principle of causation also applies on the cosmological scale, especially when we are talking about the Big Bang singularity - the beginning of time, space, matter, energy and all our physical laws.

    This brings me to your next argument regarding how the cause-effect principle is an axiom of science. It is true that in scientific research, all phenomena or things that begin to exist are assumed to have causes. However, that does not mean that this assumption must apply to the singularity. As you yourself noted, "all laws and physics break down at this point, that includes even the mighty Laws of Thermodynamics that is drilled into our heads as being universally true". So why do you then contradict yourself by arguing that the laws of causation must apply at the singularity? After all, the law of causation is a physical law, not a logical law. There is nothing in logic that necessitates a cause for all things that began to exist; if causation is a law at all, then it is a physical law that stems from our countless observations of natural phenomena.

    Finally, I wish to deal with your argument that the law of causation must be accepted in all cases for the scientific method to be valid. This does not follow. Just because I reject the law of causation at the point of the singularity doesn't mean I must reject it for all other phenomena that occur after the Big Bang. It is completely possible to accept that the law of causation holds for all events except for the singularity, for the singularity is an exceptional event that represents the start of all physical laws. After all, scientists do not assume that other physical laws hold at the starting point of the Big Bang.

    In conclusion, your argument for the first premise that "all things that begins to exist has a cause" is vitiated by your assertion that "all physical laws break down at the singularity".

    2) Naturalistic explanations are insufficient in comparison to God in explaining this cause; (thus, God exists).

    The most glaring flaw in this part of your argument is that you have failed to define what "God" actually is. Without defining the nature and characteristics of "God", how can you compare him with naturalistic explanations and conclude that he constitutes a superior explanation for the origins of the universe?

    By choosing not to define God, you have also artificially shielded God from logical disputation. Only when the attributes of God are articulated can we evaluate whether or not the existence of such an entity is plausible and compatible with our current knowledge.

    The second flaw in your argument is that you have not demonstrated that God is the best explanation for the existence of the universe. All you have done is to point out the shortcomings of three naturalistic explanations and then conclude that because those theories are insufficient, God must be the "most viable" cause for the universe. However, I can conceive of beings that are equally or even more viable causes for the universe - for example, a pre-eternal (no starting point) entity called "Hod" that causes the Big Bang when he farts, and then is utterly erased by the resulting energy emanating from the Big Bang. Hod is also defined as having a 100% probability of farting.

    Hod is hence a superior explanation to God, since it explains WHY the universe came about (Hod has to fart, whereas there is no requirement that God has to create a universe). Furthermore, since Hod has been utterly erased, that explains why there is no sign of him at all. Hod is thus a logical, airtight explanation for the origin of the universe.

    But does that mean that Hod exists? Of course not. This brings us to the third flaw in your argument - while you accuse naturalistic theories for the origin of the universe of being empirically unsupported, you forget that the existence of God is equally unsupported. There is no empirical evidence that God exists - and you cannot conclude that God exists merely because he is (allegedly) the "best explanation" for the origins of the universe, just like how I cannot conclude that Hod exists because he best explains the origins of the universe.

    Conclusion

    You have failed to demonstrate that the universe must have a cause. Even assuming that the universe has a cause, you have failed to define what God is and explain why he caused the universe, let alone demonstrate that he is the best explanation for it. Finally, even assuming that God is the best conceivable explanation for the existence of the universe, that does not mean that God must exist.

    For instance, the best explanation for a old man dead on his bed with no apparent wounds is that he died of natural causes, but it is also possible that he was murdered by the administration of some poison. We cannot conclude that one is true and the other is false just because one seems like a better explanation - we need empirical evidence (e.g. a postmortem of the body) to decide.
    Trendem

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause

    In order to support this assertion, it is not sufficient to appeal to its obviousness and intuitive appeal. The laws of causation appear obvious and intuitive to us only because they invariably hold true in our everyday life. However, there is no basis to assume that the principle of causation also applies on the cosmological scale, especially when we are talking about the Big Bang singularity - the beginning of time, space, matter, energy and all our physical laws.

    This brings me to your next argument regarding how the cause-effect principle is an axiom of science. It is true that in scientific research, all phenomena or things that begin to exist are assumed to have causes. However, that does not mean that this assumption must apply to the singularity. As you yourself noted, "all laws and physics break down at this point, that includes even the mighty Laws of Thermodynamics that is drilled into our heads as being universally true". So why do you then contradict yourself by arguing that the laws of causation must apply at the singularity? After all, the law of causation is a physical law, not a logical law. There is nothing in logic that necessitates a cause for all things that began to exist; if causation is a law at all, then it is a physical law that stems from our countless observations of natural phenomena.

    Finally, I wish to deal with your argument that the law of causation must be accepted in all cases for the scientific method to be valid. This does not follow. Just because I reject the law of causation at the point of the singularity doesn't mean I must reject it for all other phenomena that occur after the Big Bang. It is completely possible to accept that the law of causation holds for all events except for the singularity, for the singularity is an exceptional event that represents the start of all physical laws. After all, scientists do not assume that other physical laws hold at the starting point of the Big Bang.
    But here is where common sense sinks in IMO...

    Fact: All available evidence proves the principle of causality.
    Fact: No evidence contradicts the principle of causality.
    Fact: Thus, it is reasonable to assume the principle of causality.

    It's like going to the Kentucky Derby...watching the race, seeing the horses, knowing that one will win, others will follow...eventually the day will end, some people will win, some will lose...yet saying to yourself:

    "It's possible I'm not at a racetrack watching horses, and instead perhaps these are flowers, just growing, I'm a butterfly, no one is gambling and instead birds are chirping. I didn't pay an admission fee but rather I simply fluttered from one daisy to another. the smell of dust, sweat, horses and beer is really just the smell of my rosey tooters. The ringing of the bells is really a cricket. No one wins or loses, instead, clouds pass by in the sky."

    It begs the question: What reality are you living in or experiencing?

    If all things point in a certain direction...there must be a reason to insist that there's a different feasible direction to go. What is that reason Trend?

    It is not suggested that "Well, we don't know for sure, so it must be X because that's the only thing that makes sense." Instead, it's said that "X exists, it is proven in everything we do, observe and experience, and there is no reason to doubt X."

    Until there's a reason to doubt X (principle of causality), X stands based on a pretty darn good "track record" (and common sense...until that "common sense" is shattered with "good reason").
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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    But here is where common sense sinks in IMO...

    Fact: All available evidence proves the principle of causality.
    Fact: No evidence contradicts the principle of causality.
    Fact: Thus, it is reasonable to assume the principle of causality.
    But we're talking about the beginning of the universe, Apok. It is absurd to apply human "common sense" - which is distilled from common everyday experience - to such a unique, unprecedented and unreplicated realm so far removed from our human experience. Furthermore, it was Chad himself who argued that all physical laws break down at the point of the singularity, including all the other laws that have been "proven" by "all available evidence", such as the laws of thermodynamics. If that is the case, then there is no reason why the law of causality should exclusively apply.
    Trendem

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Excellent thread topic, Chad. It's essentially the opposite of Occam's Razor. You're saying that the simplest answer, "Universe" is less likely than "God and Universe". Perhaps, though I am skeptical (as you might have guessed). Some questions that were raised for me by the cosmological argument, which you have laid forth quite eloquently:

    1. If God is the primal cause of all things, where did he come from? Put another way, your premise that all things that begin must have a cause would be true for God as well, yes? If not, then there are exceptions to that premise. Perhaps the Big Bang (being a somewhat singular event) could also be an exception to that premise?

    2. You mentioned that there has been a failure on the part of Science to generate a reasonable, logical naturalistic model of how the Universe came to be. My first point asks whether you have any such model for the creation of God. But now I have a different question. Would you expand your argument such that all currently inexplicable phenomena are God's work? Is it reasonable to conclude that our inability to comprehend something, to make an accurate hypothesis and rigorously test it, is evidence for God?

    3. Are we not comparing apples to oranges? My limited understanding of the way things work in the universe suggests that things can change shape, structure, chemical composition, position, etc. For example, a simple chemical reaction might be something like this:

    AB + CD --> AC + BD

    However, the Big Bang would look something like this:

    --> Universe

    There's a rather obvious difference here. Is it possible that the study of Apples (day-to-day, commonly observed effects and causes) does not inform our understanding of the Orange (the appearance of something from nothing). Would it not be more informative to look for instances in nature where we have observed something like:

    --> Particle

    Such events have been observed. One example is the emission of antimatter from black holes. If such events can occur, could they not occur on a grander scale, even without God's help?

    4. By comparison, one anti-God argument is:

    1. All things that exist can be observed, directly or indirectly in a consistent fashion.
    2. There is no consistent, reliable way to observe God, directly or indirectly.

    How would you argue against this without using logic similar to that which I have used to debunk your argument?
    It is less important what you believe, than why you believe it.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Furthermore, it was Chad himself who argued that all physical laws break down at the point of the singularity, including all the other laws that have been "proven" by "all available evidence", such as the laws of thermodynamics. If that is the case, then there is no reason why the law of causality should exclusively apply.
    True. But I also believe it's possible the Singularity contained its own inherent laws that possibly caused its expansion.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    But here is where common sense sinks in IMO...

    Fact: All available evidence proves the principle of causality.
    Fact: No evidence contradicts the principle of causality.
    Fact: Thus, it is reasonable to assume the principle of causality.
    The problem is that you don't actually believe this. At least not consistantly. You invoke this rule that applies everywhere to everything and then boldly declare that god has immunity from it without giving any explanation as to why that should be the case... beyond "it solves the argument".

    This is exactly like arguing...

    Fact: All available evidence proves no being can visit every child on the planet in one night.
    Fact: No evidence exists suggesting a being can visit all children in one night.
    Fact: Thus, it is reasonable to assume no being can visit all children in one night.

    ... and then later on claiming that Santa can visit all children in one night on the grounds that "Santa explains how children get their Christmans gifts".

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
    1. If God is the primal cause of all things, where did he come from? Put another way, your premise that all things that begin must have a cause would be true for God as well, yes? If not, then there are exceptions to that premise. Perhaps the Big Bang (being a somewhat singular event) could also be an exception to that premise?
    I don't think the source of God is necessarily important to the topic. It's an extremely interesting question, but it doesn't matter all that much. From the perspective of beings living in this universe, the intelligence that spawned the universe is considered God, even if in His own universe he's nothing more than a kid with a science kit and we're just all living in some crazy ant farm of sorts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak
    2. You mentioned that there has been a failure on the part of Science to generate a reasonable, logical naturalistic model of how the Universe came to be. My first point asks whether you have any such model for the creation of God. But now I have a different question. Would you expand your argument such that all currently inexplicable phenomena are God's work? Is it reasonable to conclude that our inability to comprehend something, to make an accurate hypothesis and rigorously test it, is evidence for God?
    No, that's not really a reasonable conclusion in all situations, obviously, but it doesn't mean that we can't look at certain inexplicable phenomenon and say that there is reasonable evidence for a prime mover of sorts. Furthermore, Chad is using well understood scientific reasoning to refute alternative hypotheses while providing support for a 'cause'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak
    3. Are we not comparing apples to oranges? My limited understanding of the way things work in the universe suggests that things can change shape, structure, chemical composition, position, etc. For example, a simple chemical reaction might be something like this:

    AB + CD --> AC + BD

    However, the Big Bang would look something like this:

    --> Universe

    There's a rather obvious difference here. Is it possible that the study of Apples (day-to-day, commonly observed effects and causes) does not inform our understanding of the Orange (the appearance of something from nothing). Would it not be more informative to look for instances in nature where we have observed something like:

    --> Particle

    Such events have been observed. One example is the emission of antimatter from black holes. If such events can occur, could they not occur on a grander scale, even without God's help?
    First off, I don't think your "--> Universe" statement is really accurate. The Universe is not spawned from nothing, it is spawned from a singularity according to current scientific theory. That singularity contained what the universe is made of.

    As to your question at the end, I don't think Chad is attempting to say that there is no possible other explanation for the universe than a prime mover/creator/God, or that there could be no natural cause for the big bang.

    I think what Chad's post really does is provide a refutation for those who would claim that natural laws preclude the existence of God, when in fact the observable natural laws we have do point to a prime cause, which could quite possibly be an intelligent being of sorts.

    Furthermore, it's slightly amusing that those who would use the laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy as an attempted disproof of God's existence would now say that the laws of causation may be inapplicable to the singularity and the creation of the universe. If we're going to argue that current laws do not necessarily apply to the singularity then it's not a meaningful conversation to have at all and neither side has a legitimate claim to better proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorak
    4. By comparison, one anti-God argument is:

    1. All things that exist can be observed, directly or indirectly in a consistent fashion.
    2. There is no consistent, reliable way to observe God, directly or indirectly.

    How would you argue against this without using logic similar to that which I have used to debunk your argument?
    It's easy to debunk this logic, Zorak. In order for your assumption to eliminate the possibility of God we need to assume that we've observed everything in the universe. Otherwise we can always say that we just haven't observed God. Your statements effectively eliminate as a possibility any being we haven't 'reliably' observed to this point. Frankly, given the number of stars and inhabitable planets that seem to be turning up, it seems less and less likely that we'd be alone. Heck, every time they turn up a new planet it disproves your logic.

    In other words, let's rephrase your statements:

    1. All things that exist can be observed, directly or indirectly in a consistent fashion.
    2. There is no consistent, reliable way to observe aliens, directly or indirectly.

    If you take this as a good proof, then you must also believe it disproves the existence of any alien form of life and that all things must be observable within our limited sphere of influence and observation.

    It's a poor anti-anything argument, much less anti-God. Existence does not depend on human observation. Something exists or it does not. The fact that we may not have observed it is evidence of our lack of ability, not evidence of something not existing.
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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    I would still like someone to define "God" please, especially within the context of this argument. Thanks.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    I would still like someone to define "God" please, especially within the context of this argument. Thanks.
    God is defined here as the entity that has any/all properties required to solve the logical / scientific problems of what created the universe.

    It's funny... theists are keen to invoke science and logic when looking at the problem of how the universe came into being. They're just not willing to apply the same science and logic to their answer.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    God is defined here as the entity that has any/all properties required to solve the logical / scientific problems of what created the universe.
    Oh I see. So instead of saying "we don't know", we simply say "God did it" and the argument is solved. These Theists are too smart for us.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    The problem is that you don't actually believe this. At least not consistantly. You invoke this rule that applies everywhere to everything and then boldly declare that god has immunity from it without giving any explanation as to why that should be the case... beyond "it solves the argument".

    This is exactly like arguing...

    Fact: All available evidence proves no being can visit every child on the planet in one night.
    Fact: No evidence exists suggesting a being can visit all children in one night.
    Fact: Thus, it is reasonable to assume no being can visit all children in one night.

    ... and then later on claiming that Santa can visit all children in one night on the grounds that "Santa explains how children get their Christmans gifts".
    Nope. I believe that all things natural, have a cause. The reason? Because everything does. We know this from experience, observation, experimentation, science, history, etc...

    If God were a natural being...you'd have a point here. We are talking about a supernatural being that is not bound by natural characteristics or law.

    The Cosmo. Arg. does not prove that any specific God or concept of God exists. It argues that 1) there was a cause and 2) this cause was supernatural (you can label or call this supernatural cause whatever you like or are most comfortable with).

    You misunderstand the theist's position entirely here Zhav.
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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    We are talking about a supernatural being that is not bound by natural characteristics or law.
    Please present evidence that God is outside of the natural world. Thanks.

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    Oh I see. So instead of saying "we don't know", we simply say "God did it" and the argument is solved.
    Pretty much.

    As Trendem pointed out, Chad's argument isn't based on evidence. It's based on (impotently) attacking other arguments and then introducing a silly one. To be sure, we never accept this sort of reasoning in our day to day lives. It would be like arguing, "Some parents don't buy their children gifts... and no jet plane could get to every child's house in one night... so it must be Santa Claus delivering gifts." Note that, like Chad's argument, there's no indication of how Santa is able to do this and I've also completely ignored the claims implied in "Santa exists" such as "Reindeer can fly" and "one man can visit every child in one night".

    It's like I said in the last post: theists use special pleadings in this sort of argument. They look to science and conclude that the observed universe likely had a beginning, but then ignore science when looking at their god hypothesis. Most of them can't even conceptualize treating their hypothesis honestly. The best they can do is play musical definitions... like Chad & Mican's attempt to redefine god as not having created energy. And that's what happens when theists do get confronted with reality; rather than doing the honest thing and discarding the god hypothesis, they attempt to change it which leads to some of the most dishonest arguments I've seen on ODN. "I believe that god created everything and can do anything logically possible and I believe that god didn't create everything and is bound by science."

    These Theists are too smart for us.
    If by "smart" you mean "willing to offer dishonest arguments" then I agree. They're too "smart".


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Nope. I believe that all things natural, have a cause.
    That's a cop-out to shield the god hypothesis.

    You misunderstand the theist's position entirely here Zhav.
    I understand it perfectly. You're invoking a special pleading and attempting to justify it with some nonsense about god not being natural. The problem is that you never back any of this up, Apok. It's just more unsupported claims proping up other unsupported claims. It's no different from saying, "No natural sleigh can fly, but Santa's sleigh isn't natural." This works as a crude justification, but it's nothing I would expect an adult to take seriously without evidence.
    Last edited by Zhavric; July 21st, 2008 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    Please present evidence that God is outside of the natural world. Thanks.
    Natural evidence for a non-natural entity?

    The concept of God, in every religion...identifies a being that has characteristics not of the natural world. That is what makes a god...God.

    If you want evidence for a supernatural being...see the op. It's an argument for the existence of God.

    My post isn't claiming that God exists...but rather exposing the flaw in the concept that for some reason, this supernatural being, is natural. By definition, a supernatural being is...well...supernatural. Thus, to apply natural characteristics to it...is fallacious. It's like saying that a cat is a dog. It's silly. Both have different characteristics that make it "what it is", either in reality, or conceptually. As pure concept...it's like saying that the Tooth Fairy is the same as Santa Clause. Again, a rather silly statement. Both have characteristics that make them what they are. They are not one and the same concepts.
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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Although I have been reading arguments, I have not replied as of yet today because I am trying to reduce the time I waste while at work. Unfortunately this statement has provoked me to reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    It's like I said in the last post: theists use special pleadings in this sort of argument. They look to science and conclude that the observed universe likely had a beginning, but then ignore science when looking at their god hypothesis. Most of them can't even conceptualize treating their hypothesis honestly. The best they can do is play musical definitions... like Chad & Mican's attempt to redefine god as not having created energy. And that's what happens when theists do get confronted with reality; rather than doing the honest thing and discarding the god hypothesis, they attempt to change it which leads to some of the most dishonest arguments I've seen on ODN. "I believe that god created everything and can do anything logically possible and I believe that god didn't create everything and is bound by science."
    Its quite clear Zhavric that you have not bothered to even read the OP because this is a Strawman.

    I make no such argument in the OP, nor has the argument that you mentioned ever been an actual belief of mine. If you would have bothered to read the OP then you would see this:

    At this point I know at least one person will (or would have at least, but after this he may not) object that God could not create the Universe because the creation ex nihilio of matter and radiation violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the Conservation of Energy. However, by this point everyone should know that this Law applies only to our Universe and is not a Universal necessity as because even it breaks down in the Singularity at the beginning. Having no such requirement emplaced on Him, there is no reason logical objection to why God could not create matter and radiation ex nihilio.


    And this:

    I think this misunderstanding must arise because its simply not fully grasped that all laws and physics break down at this point, that includes even the mighty Laws of Thermodynamics that is drilled into our heads as being universally true. As Steven Hawking points out in a public lecture of his:

    "The universe will evolve from the Big Bang, completely independently of what it was like before. Even the amount of matter in the universe, can be different to what it was before the Big Bang, as the Law of Conservation of Matter, will break down at the Big Bang."


    Your mention of an argument that claims God does not create matter and radiation has absolutely no relevance to this thread, as no such claim has been made. It is a strawman and thus a fallacious argument. Beyond that, your usage of it also amounts to nothing more than an attempt to assissinate my character....or an ad hom.

    So if you will, desist in your mentioning of irrelevant arguments.

    Now, its back to work for me and I will address you all later.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  20. #20
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    Re: On God's Existence Part 1: The Cosmological Argument

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    The concept of God, in every religion...identifies a being that has characteristics not of the natural world. That is what makes a god...God.
    Please show us this evidence that God lies outside of the natural world, rather than what's in your imagination.

 

 
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