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William Lane Craig's organization, Reasonable Faith, created a simple, visually interesting, brief video explaining the basics of the kalam cosmological argument. This is a great discussion starter for you to pass on to your friends.
Posted by Amy Hall on August 21, 2013 at 03:00 AM in :Amy K. Hall, Apologetics, Philosophy | Permalink
He says everyday experience confirms that nothing begins to exist without a cause, but when you're talking about the Big Bang, that's very different from everyday experience. I really don't think we can use our practical common sense to draw conclusions about the beginning of the universe. And you know quantum theory is very non-intuitive. I wish Craig would address this point in more detail.
John Moore |
August 21, 2013 at 06:38 AM
The Big Bang just states that it all existed forever, obviously not claiming to have it all come out of nothing. Etc. Hawking hasn't quite got it yet. Immaterial Law or some other something I think is where he is moving now..... Or immaterial strings perhaps? Not that we've observed such within this observational matrix of contingency. But, as that is where the evidence is taking us, he may as well join us over there in the immaterial.
August 21, 2013 at 06:50 AM
Are you arguing that something comes from nothing? If so, what evidence do you have to support your claim? If this is not your point, can you clarify?
Son of Adam |
August 21, 2013 at 07:50 AM
August 21, 2013 at 07:53 AM
The mass-energy that comprises the universe has always existed in one form or another. If God could always have existed so could have mass-energy. The Cosmological Arguments relies on the logical fallacy of special pleading.
August 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Presuppositions are good, except when all observed evidence on the behavior of mass & the behavior of energy contradicts such. It seems to be an important oversight on your regress out of contingency and into necessity.
August 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Blah blan blah. Prove mass-energy can be created. Checkmate.
August 21, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Go to Hawking's website. You'll like his essay called "The Origin of the Universe". Everything either came from nothing, or, from immaterial laws, or, from some sort of inexplicable water which boils and therein pops out universes.
Nothing somehow pops out a universe (he jests).
An unknown sort of water kind of boils and pops out many universes.
Some kind of immaterial law pops out a universe or universes.
I don't see much else.
He has to go there because all of known physics tells us this observational matrix of contingency cannot self-account, and, also, it tells us there was a beginning to "this" reality we observe, which is, apparently, contingent on Nothing which magically pops out universes (he jests) or on a spooky and inexplicable kind of water which boils up universes in its steam or on immaterial laws which inexplicably pop out universes.
This only means that immaterialism is inevitable.
August 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM
We have never observed matter or energy being created or destroyed. I don't know what you are talking about but more importantly neither do you.
August 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Of course mass, energy, and time have a beginning, and are thus created.
The only question is by what?
Mass, Energy, and Time clearly were not created by Mass, Energy, and Time.
Hawking knows that.
Everybody knows that.
August 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM
I'll give you the last word for us.
August 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM
"Of course mass, energy, and time have a beginning, and are thus created."
August 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Hawking is not only brilliant but he is a joy to read. His page is hawking.org.uk
Under the "lectures" tab he has his 05 essay "The Origin of the Universe".
It touches on much of the ground physics has gained over the last century and peers forward in speculations....very enjoyable.
And best of all its SHORT!
August 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM
So much wild speculation. Even Hawking doesn't really know clearly. We just can't say anything with confidence, and that's why the cosmological argument is weak.
I'm not arguing that something came from nothing, but I'm saying there's no reason to suppose it couldn't. Just because things all have causes in our ordinary lives, that gives us no information about the kind of singularity that started our universe. We just can't say.
John Moore |
August 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM
I just follow the evidence. It's very uniform.
August 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM
'sprang into being' (2:27)
Neither big bang cosmology nor any other area of physics says nothing of the sort. There is no physics of nothing.
August 21, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Neither big bang cosmology nor any other area of physics says anything of the sort.
There is no physics of nothing. There is no physics that says the universe 'sprang into being'.
August 21, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Hawking has some good insights and it is important to keep our heads in the forefront with leaders in these fields, such as him. Christians ought never fear such arenas; at the very least we can simply observe and learn the language. On my read of his essay he seems to regress into something which he merely foists into the arena without justification. He hints at a sort of Big-Sphere, with poles, and beyond the poles there is, in the true sense of the word, nothing. Now, this big sphere is just (he hints) Everything and is described as a kind of explanation for smaller spheres (universe, etc). Hawking has to do this because the smaller sphere clearly cannot self-account (this universe is, everybody knows, contingent) and we’re left with a kind of non-explanation in this hinted-at Big Sphere. The problem is that it’s inexplicable, it’s unjustified, it’s unobserved, and it is, actually, a regress out of a small sphere which cannot self-account and into, now, a kind of bigger sphere which also cannot self-account.
Hawking’s explanation as to why this sphere will exist and birth smaller spheres is this: Laws Exist.
Now, Laws like, say, Gravity, are not causes. They are effects. These effects (Gravity) do also cause real motions of real things, but they are not themselves non-contingent. In physics that is. Gravity itself is contingent on some other something. Thus a regress from X to X to explain X. This is not helpful. But Hawking has to go there, lest God. Of course, to me it seems Hawking hints at, or wants to hint at, some other sort of “law”, a kind of “pulsating, immaterial one-way pressure which keeps the universe-s on the move….” (to paraphrase Lewis). Again, Hawking has to go there, lest God. Inexplicable Immaterial which births Explicable Material seems to be fine for Hawking, and, it is quite satisfying for the Theist as well.
It is interesting that in order to justify "Something from No-Thing" (which is increasingly more necessary) many stretch the word No-Thing into some sort of Non-Thing-Something, such as "radiation" or “vacuum”, and so on. But, of course, that too is "some-thing" (and quite a lot of something).
A brief paraphrase from a blog demonstrates this awareness of the need to go to No-Thing juxtaposed with the unawareness of how to get there. The utility of these arguments is not the point; rather, the only point of this is that this is the extent to which some will go to get Some-Thing transformed into No-Thing:
".....does energy need a source or has it always been? how does this fit in with the big bang theory? does it assume that energy always has existed?"
"Excellent question. The Big Bang was most likely caused by a false vacuum collapse.....This means that ex nilho is possible. ......... There is no such thing as 'nothing' in physics, space-time.... is filled with radiation and fluctuations. That it just began with a quantum tunneling into space-time making quantum fluctuations possible. In fluctuations, particles and energy come in and out of existence. However, it is suggested that the net energy of the universe is 0. That the potential energy stored in gravitational fields cancels out the other energy…… given that, this fluctuation could last indefinitely.”
We must not allow nonsense to go unnoticed here. This is what was just asserted:
Positive "exists" and Negative "exists" but they each (don't miss this) cancel out the existence of each other, so, really, neither "exists" and there is in fact "No-Thing" in existence. Remember, the reach is to say that Some-Thing comes out of “No-Thing” in the real sense of the word, “thing” being any sort of space or mass or energy as we now know them to be.
For example, this universe exists, but, really, it does not because the balance of Energy in this Universe (which exists) is Zero, thus, as in any system in which the Net Balance is Zero, No-Thing actually exists. So, one could argue, should THIS (Hawking’s Big-Sphere in his essay) universe give birth to another universe, then THAT universe can be said to have been birthed out of “No-Thing”, which is THIS universe which exists, but does not exist since its Net Balance is Zero.
To continue: ".....Well...basically correct, except that if it's not 'nothing' then it's not 'ex nihilo' (from nothing)..."
"Not exactly, zero point energy seems to be a property of space-time itself...." "Personally, I would not call a false vacuum space devoid of particles, or a quantum field "nothing" - at least not in the terms implied via the phrase ex nihlo. As you hinted at, the concept of "nothing" doesn't make much sense in physics - and personally I don't think it makes much sense logically....."
"Personally, I think the BB is best looked at as a transitional, rather than creational (especially creation ex nihlo) event. I.E. there was something before the BB, we simply have no proper way of describing it."
"Something never comes from literally nothing.....fundamental laws of science tend to support such."
Energy in all its known forms is not eternal and we are reaching quite hard to explain its existence at all here in this contingent form in this tiny sphere, never mind all its unknown and unobserved forms out there in the bigger immaterial sphere. The end of ad infinitum continues to trouble many. And spooky immaterial sorts of “stuff” is ever more common in the appeals and pontifications of physicists.
August 22, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Laws are but constructs of Mind. It's fun in that direction, too.......
August 22, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Laws are but constructs of, birthed out of, Mind.
August 22, 2013 at 03:36 AM
A little of Kalam at this link here.
August 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM
First we need to define nothing. But once we give it any properties it then becomes something. Anyway, cosmology tells us that there was never nothing and that something has always existed. People who foist this goofy First Cause nonsense don't understand causality.
August 22, 2013 at 04:27 PM
It seems naturalists want cosmology to say mass/energy in their known, observable forms have always existed. Hence the inexplicable, unjustified Big Sphere foisted into the discussion by Hawking.
Of course we all know, and posit, that something has always existed. It just isn't Mass, Energy, or Time in any of their known, observable forms.
The Theist is content with Hawking and his inexplicable immaterial which gives birth to explicable material.
August 22, 2013 at 04:41 PM
What reason do we have to believe that a state of nothingness is ever possible?
August 22, 2013 at 04:43 PM
There is no such thing as 'nothing' in physics, space-time.... is filled with radiation and fluctuations.
More simply (and again): There is no physics of nothing. So the claim in the video that physics supports the idea that the universe 'sprang into being' is false.
August 22, 2013 at 04:52 PM
The Theist states something has always existed, and that that something is not mass/energy/time in their current observable forms.
The Naturalist also tells us something has always existed. Some think it is mass, energy, and time in their current observable forms.
Evidence seems to be leading us to the former.
August 22, 2013 at 04:52 PM
August 22, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Maybe nothing is a mathematical idea that is logically possible like a perfect circle, but is not possible in physical reality.
August 22, 2013 at 05:19 PM
We need not fear any truth as there is, at the end of the day, despite the atheist who claims otherwise, but the perfect 1 in reality, and it is this: Ultimate Actuality.
An atheist once tried to argue that the abstract object “1” doesn’t tell us anything about Actuality, only about our limited observational reality which can be sliced ever thinner, and ever thinner. He went on to insist that such a thing as “1 city” is purely a matter of definition and "1" is such in all of actuality: a non-entity which tells us nothing about reality. But of course when it comes to that which both the theist and the atheist posit, “ultimate actuality”, there is but that thing itself, whatever it is. There are not 1.000089 Actualities. Nor is there 0.0000098 of an Actuality. There is but One, Exactly One, Perfectly-1, Uncreated, Everlasting Actuality there at the end of ad infinitum.
August 22, 2013 at 05:33 PM
“Quantum physics. Ugh. The term itself is enough to make grown men weep and send theologians scurrying. It can also send chills up the spine of the Christian marshalling evidence from science for the existence of God.” ~~~ If that rings somewhat true, try this helpful link here.
August 22, 2013 at 05:37 PM
The Theist states...
The Naturalist also tells...
The Naturalist also tells...
And physics says nothing about nothing.
So Craig's claim that physics supports the idea that the universe 'sprang into being' is false.
August 22, 2013 at 06:48 PM
All available evidence witnesses to, testifies of, the following:
1) There is not any bit of energy nor any bit of matter which is non-contingent. None. Zero. All observable forms of matter and all known forms of energy are contingent.
2) The universe we awake to find ourselves within, in its known, observable form, is not past-eternal. It is contingent, and, being non-past-eternal, seems to have had a beginning.
All available evidence states the universe is not past eternal. Now, on energy and mass and time in their current, known, observable forms, we don't see them ever in regress. Hawking's model attempts to get around this, and seems to fail. His Big Sphere and his Long Tunnel are theory. They are foisted into the discussion, not into existence, on his end.
From a debate…. A link to it follows:
“You’ll recall that in my opening speech, I said that there’s evidence for God’s existence just in case the probability of God’s existence is higher given the five facts that I’ve mentioned than it would have been without them. This is the standard definition of “is evidence for” used in probability theory. And I’m astonished to hear Dr. Krauss attacking logic and Bayesian probability theory as the basis for his argument. That is simply unsound. You cannot deny logic without assuming logic in order to deny it. It’s a self-defeating situation. Now, of course, quantum mechanics is surprising, shocking, paradoxical; but it’s not illogical. It’s not as though contradictions are true. So in affirming and going with the rules of logic and with probability theory, I am right in line with rational thought. And if the price of atheism is irrationality, then I’ll leave him to it.”
“Now Dr. Krauss says, “But the Hawking model from quantum tunneling involves a different concept of ‘nothing.’” There’s no classical time and space in the point from which the universe originates, but it is still something, and Vilenkin, who also has a quantum tunneling model, recognizes this. Vilenkin says the initial state from which the universe evolves is not nothing: “I understand that a universe of zero radius is not necessarily the same thing as no universe at all.” There’s a three-geometry that evolves through quantum tunneling into our space time; it’s not nothing. James Sinclair, a cosmologist, says, “This approach still does not solve the problem of creation. Rather it has moved the question back one step to the initial, tiny, closed, and meta-stable universe. This universe state can have existed for only a finite time. Where did it come from?””
“Why is Dr. Krauss so insistent on denying that the scientific evidence points to the beginning of the universe? That’s not a supernatural conclusion; that doesn’t imply the existence of God in and of itself. If we follow the scientific evidence where it leads, all of the evidence that I’m aware of points to the fact that the universe is not past eternal. If we have any evidence that the universe is past eternal, I’d love to hear Dr. Krauss present it. I’m not aware that there’s any evidence that suggests that the universe is past eternal. As I said, the attempts to avoid the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem all involve exotic, implausible models which in the end fail to restore an eternal past. They just push the beginning back a step.”
.....from a debate between William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss, the transcript of which is at this link here.
And back a step….. and back a step….. and back……..to a tiny dot too small to see….. to a big sphere too big to miss…. Back to something…….and back a bit more….. and back…… eventually to a beginning, the end of ad infinitum, for all available evidence is quite uniform in its testimony. Mass, Energy, and Time in their current, known, observable forms are not past eternal.
If the Naturalist posits that it is past eternal, well, he must appeal to a precursor of…….of what?
August 23, 2013 at 02:05 AM
Earlier in this thread I posted “A little of Kalam at this link here” ……. From that link provided earlier is a brief look at “beginning to exist” and Hawking’s attempt to bypass this notion with his big sphere which has poles:
“Finally, we come to Hawking’s attempt to defeat the premiss that the universe began to exist by his quantum gravity cosmological model. Oppy has far too generous an assessment of the Hartle-Hawking model. Far from being physically plausible, it does not seem to be even physically intelligible, relying as it does on imaginary time. And far from being consistent with the evidence, the model may not even be mathematically consistent and in fact fails in its attempt to predict a unique wave function of the universe. For this reason the model has generated virtually no following among cosmologists despite its being trumpeted in the popular media.
My principal complaint against Hawking’s model was that it cannot be construed as a realistic description of the origin of the universe because of its dubious metaphysical presuppositions. I have no objection to treating Hawking’s model instrumentally as a description of a universe with a beginning using the formalism of quantum mechanics, in which the beginning is suppressed. One might consider profitably the analogy of the use of imaginary numbers for the time coordinate in the metric of Minkowski space-time, a mathematical trick which suppresses the curvature in space-time and so allows one to treat a pseudo-Euclidean four-space as a Euclidean four-space. Space-time itself, as an (ex hypothesi) objectively existing reality, is not changed by this re-description. It is still a pseudo-Euclidean four-space, but we can treat it as if it were Euclidean by using imaginary numbers for the time coordinate. The only change that occurs is on paper. In a similar way, Hawking’s use of imaginary numbers for the time variable allows one to re-describe a universe with an initial cosmological singularity in such a way that that point appears as a non-singular point on a curved hyper-surface. Such a re-description suppresses and literally spatializes time as well, which makes evident the purely instrumental character of the model. Such a model could be of great utility to science, but it would not, as Hawking boldly asserts, eliminate the need for a Creator.
Oppy does not seek so much to defend a realist construal of Hawking’s model as to claim that the model does not involve such realist commitments. Whether Hawking’s claim to eliminate the need for a Creator implies a commitment to realism concerning superspace and sum-over-histories is, I think, a moot point; but the realistic construal of imaginary time is essential to Hawking’s claim. For it is this feature of the model that eliminates the initial singularity by spatializing time, so that space-time as we know it originates in a timelessly existing four-space. It is because time is imaginary that the points along that dimension prior to the Planck time are not related by the earlier/later than relations, so that the point which marks the beginning of the universe in real time is not prior to other points in imaginary time. Absent this feature of the model, the point which is the “South Pole” of the four-dimensional hemisphere prior to the Planck time would be the beginning of the universe, which Hawking wants to avoid. Thus, contrary to Oppy, the whole dispute hangs on a realistic interpretation of the geometry of space-time according to which time is an imaginary quantity prior to the Planck time.
Oppy finds as absurd as I do Hawking’s suggestion that real time is illusory and imaginary time is ontologically real; but he proposes to re-formulate Hawking’s position to make it more palatable. Oppy advises,
‘What he ought to say is that what we call ‘real time’ is not a physically fundamental property of the universe; i.e. from the standpoint of basic physical description, what we call ‘real time’ has the same status as ‘potable water’ or ‘visible light.’ Of course, contra Hawking this is not to impugn the reality of real time--and [sic] nor is it to impugn the reality of the singularities in real time--though it will, I think, require the insistence that real time is merely a local feature of the universe. Since, on this view, the singularities in real time are properly contained in the real universe, one can be a realist about them without giving up the idea that the universe has no boundaries.’
I take it that the scenario described here is the same as that adumbrated in the quotation in the previous section on Davies’s critique. Unfortunately, what Oppy says here is most obscure. Hawking would agree with the first clause in the above quotation. Oppy’s gloss on this seems to be that having assignable values restricted to the set of the real numbers is a contingent property of measurements of time or (from the earlier quotation) of that dimension which is time. Where he differs from Hawking is that he does not go so far as to deny that real numbers are associated with the correct measures of some intervals of time. But this show of reserve does nothing to meet the objections I lodged against imaginary time, namely, its physical unintelligibility and its metaphysical incoherence. These difficulties are so severe that my atheist collaborator Quentin Smith felt compelled to interpret Hawking’s imaginary regime instrumentally and to maintain that classical space-time popped into being out of nothing at the Planck time!
Oppy’s claim that his interpretation does not impugn the reality of the singularities in real time is baffling, since imaginary time is invoked precisely to eliminate the cosmological singularities. If one is a realist about the singularities, then, pace Oppy, they do constitute boundaries to the universe--this is the case even for singularities formed in black holes during the real time regime. Oppy later interprets his envisioned scenario as “embedding the space which contains the singularity in a more extensive, appropriately contoured, manifold.” Since singularities are singular points in space-time, not space, what Oppy seems to envision is that our four-dimensional space-time is embedded in a sort of hyper-space-time. This metaphysical speculation is not analogous to physical theories which suggest that our space-time may involve additional (compacted) dimensions. Oppy’s idea is that our space-time is four-dimensional, but that there exists a sort of hyper-time and hyper-space in which our space-time exists. How this idea connects with time’s being only contingently real is unclear. My best guess is that Oppy conceives hyper-space-time to involve imaginary time, and our space-time with its real time and real singularities is embedded in it as in a static space. It is evident that this scenario bears no resemblance to Hawking’s model universe. It is also evident that it does nothing to answer my objections to imaginary time, but only pushes the problem back a notch. Finally, the hypothesis succumbs to the same objection which I lodged against Brian Leftow’s theory of the existence of temporal entities in eternity (which remarkably parallels Oppy’s hypothesis as I have interpreted it), namely, it is impossible to preserve the reality of tense and temporal becoming once time is embedded in a timeless hyper-dimension. I am far more confident of the reality of tense and temporal becoming than I am of the existence of Oppy’s hyper-space-time. In fact, here again we see the incredible lengths to which non-theists will go in order to avoid the existence of a Creator. Apart from an aversion to theism, there is absolutely no reason to adopt a hypothesis so speculative, so obscure, and so sterile as Oppy’s.”
August 23, 2013 at 02:34 AM
The reason time is eternal is because imaginary time is ontologically real while real time is imaginary. What? If the price atheism asks us to pay is irrationality, well, they can keep it.
This is the same line of “reasoning” used to defend “reasoning” as, not true/real, but “useful”. It simply self-diagnosis Mind in the arena of truth (or tenses in the arena of cosmology) as but a big Con and assumes a Pan-Diagnosis of Pan-Psychosis to Mind rather than have to deal with its own incoherence. “We’re not incoherent, we’re just psychotic and all is useful illusions”. Real Time and Real Tenses are not Real; they are Imaginary and illusion, while the Really-Real is Imaginary-Time which is ontologically real. So they appeal to Psychosis rather than embrace actuality and they do this whether it is in the arena of Mind or in the arena of Cosmology. This is the price atheism must pay and must embrace for there just is no other way to believe in it, to make it palatable given the evidence.
Of course, there are no tenses in God, and so, yet again, Hawking is quite coherent where Theism is concerned, and utterly incoherent where all of observational reality and all available physical evidence within this clearly contingent matrix is concerned.
It seems every step Hawking takes, whether toward his [Inexplicable Immaterial which births Explicable Material], or, toward his [No-Tenses-Exist-In-Ultimate-Actuality], just keep bringing him closer to Theism yet further from anything observational reality / physical evidence can ever offer him.
This is why the Christian needs to keep up with the intellectual giants of our day; we can at the very least just observe and learn the language, though the word “quantum” is frightening for most of us. But Truth is but One, and we need not fear Uncreated Mind. He does, after all, love us. To infinity.
August 23, 2013 at 03:11 AM
WAY TLDR. But I see your old a priori buddy 'contingency' in multiple forms again. Give him a rest, why don't you? ... at least when talking about physics. Physics has a way of shooting down pronouncements made from armchairs.
And, there's still no physics of nothing; the video is still wrong.
August 23, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Not worth reading five minutes to address that topic?
I'll give you the last word on cosmology.
Though perhaps later a bit more on the contextually triune landscape of Perception, Mind, Knowing, and Love....
August 23, 2013 at 04:15 AM
Hmm.. "Others" should read "RonH", of course.
RonH, it could have productive.
Perhaps in another post you'll have more available time to read. As in the amount of time it takes to watch the video.
I'll give you the last word.
August 23, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Hi RonH, he's not saying physics makes the claim, he says it supports the claim, logical inference, rational thought...a philosophical argument makes the claim using some of what physics has produced in physical observation/understanding.
I think your complaint that some of scb's input here is too long long to read is short sighted, I've been reading along and followed the links, it is all quite on topic and relevant. Even the pre-socratic philosophers reasoned beyond the known physical world where logic necessitated, as do modern physics using math, you have to go where the trail leads...
Brad B |
August 23, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Just wondering why we spend so much time with blog hijackers for whom we painstakingly spoon feed information, only to have them spit it out and then open their mouths again? They don't appear to be hungry, they just like to spit.
I hope the answer is that others are learning something here, which makes this worthwhile. If not, there are many in the world who are hungry for meat and willing to chew on it and digest it.
August 23, 2013 at 02:43 PM
@John Moore said:
I'm not arguing that something came from nothing, but I'm saying there's no reason to suppose it couldn't.
What evidence or reason supports this notion?
Son of Adam |
August 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM
What evidence or reason supports this notion?
because there's no reason to believe that a philosophical nothing is a possible physical state or there has ever been a time when zero b.s. physical conditions existed.
August 23, 2013 at 05:00 PM
I'm not sure how b.s.got into that last post, my Android phone is terrible on this web page
August 23, 2013 at 05:04 PM
OK. I make an amendment: Physics doesn't make or support the claim that the universe 'sprang into being'.
What I have been repeating (There is no physics of nothing.) is the very best treatment Craig gets from physics. Silence.
And he only gets silence if he ignores - just this once and for no empirical or theoretical reason - conservation of mass-energy.
Craig's claim (of support for creation from big bang cosmology) is exactly the kind of error that you are trained to avoid in science. And this has nothing to do with unwanted implications; it has to do with exceeding the evidence.
Got anything on-topic to say?
August 23, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I asked @John Moore, and unless you are also @John Moore, I can't assume you represent his view. These dialogs become complex, hence my desire to keep it pithy. Your interjection potentially complicates the dialog, because @John Moore may respond as well, spawning multiple threads, but here goes ...
1) My question to @John Moore: "Why do you think it's possible that nothing can create something?"
2) Your (@b's) answer: "The state of 'nothing' is not a possible physical state. Physical states have always existed."
@b: Why do you believe the universe inexplicably exists? What evidence or reason would you give to support that claim?
Son of Adam |
August 23, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Son of Adam,
I'll leave you to b, but: that is a great question.
No one has figured out a justification for such an inexplicable belief. Not even close. Hence all the work foisted into the discussion by Hawking and Smith and Oppy and Vilenkin and many others (it is worth reading them BTW).
They all fail to show us material stuff inexplicably existing, whether in imaginary time’s past-eternal or in Planck time’s past-eternal.
Evidence and observational reality are quite annoying for materialism’s inexplicable presupposition here. The materialists have to believe it though. The evidence goes in the opposite direction of course, but their core presupposition seems more important to them than all available evidence.
The Theist has the luxury of just following the trails of all available evidence and logic and observational reality and the contextually triune geography of both mind and love as they are all quite uniform and congruent, and, best of all, they all lead us to the same locations. Coherence is a beautiful thing. Science teaches us to strive for such.
August 24, 2013 at 01:29 AM
What have you read that was written by Hawking? And Smith and Oppy and Vilenkin?
August 24, 2013 at 05:47 AM
Kind'a long-ish :)
August 24, 2013 at 06:26 AM
Sorry I didn't mean to interrupt a personal conversation.I was intending it more as a question for the whole thread. These are questions that push the limits of what we can conceive of. I don't think anyone can conceive of something that has no beginning or end. That being said, we do have very good evidence that the current state of the universe is the result of it forming from simple forms of energy. This would be opposed to say, a mature universe coming into existence without a physical process. We have evidence that even states which we used to think we're "nothing" like vacuums, are actually physical states that produce particles. So asking the question where did physical states come from, may not even be coherent. We don't understand the physical conditions that caused the beginning of the universe we currently can see, so the best we can say is, "I don't know, let's continue to test it."
August 24, 2013 at 06:35 AM
The explanation of the Kalam Argument: "God did it." Now please stop looking for answers to these questions.
August 24, 2013 at 09:25 AM
The greatest intellectual progress has always come by challenging -- every step of the way -- the leading scientific sacred-cows of a particular day. Question everything. Those who chastise the activity of questioning and the posture of challenging are the most unscientific minds in the arena. They are themselves the greatest threat to truth we know of. Question your theism, your naturalism, your religious presuppositions handed down by your parents, your atheism…. everything. That we are chastised by one here in this thread for challenging, for questioning a sacred cow reveals more about that particular person than about those of us challenging the sacred-cow.
Lots of folks have and still do look toward vacuums and tunneling and etc., but, of course they all fail when it comes to evidence, observational reality, and logic. Eventually they all “degrade?” into metaphysical appeals at bottom as they appeal to the immaterial. As they have to, since God is not material stuff but Immaterial.
A few easy perusals:
The book “Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes” by Alex Vilenkin is analyzed by Dr. Craig in his essay at his webpage titled “Vilenkin's Cosmic Vision: A Review Essay of Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes, by Alex Vilenkin.” Vilenkin is a big fan of our good friend the vacuum.
Hawking and Mlodinow's grand design model (Hawking’s book Grand Design) is another fan of vacuums at times though in a little different sense. It’s analyzed by Dr. Craig in his essay “The Grand Design — Truth Or Fiction?” also at his webpage.
As it turns out, all of this ends up in the same dilemma as they do nothing more than move the problem back one step in regress. That’s just what always happens with every bit of evidence and with every occurrence of observational reality. Vilenkin and Hawking still can’t get around and behind to the backside of “began to exist” as all of their philosophy is, in the end, in front of and thus on this side of that “time” -- however we decide to define time and however we decide to define, well, an infinite.
For Theists, Graham Oppy has a new book out this year (July 2013) called “The Best Argument Against God”. I’m sure it will be fun for whoever reads it. Naturalism vs. Theism, etc.
No need to worry about vacuum / tunneling: doesn’t work.
It’s worth repeating the subtext of desperation here: Hawking subtly injects a kind of, well, felt notion that the reason time is eternal is because imaginary time is ontologically real while real time is imaginary. This is important because it is sort of the same line of “reasoning” used to defend “reasoning” as, not true/real, but “useful” when atheists speak of mind/knowing as they embrace incoherence and simply self-diagnose Mind in the arena of truth (as tenses in the arena of cosmology) as but a big Con (played on mind) and assumes a Pan-Diagnosis of Pan-Psychosis to Mind rather than have to deal with atheism’s own incoherence. “We’re not incoherent, we’re just psychotic and all of these are useful illusions”. So too with Time: Real Time and Real Tenses are not Real; they are Imaginary and illusion, while the Really-Real is Imaginary-Time which is ontologically real. So they appeal to Psychosis rather than embrace actuality and they do this whether it is in the arena of Mind or in the arena of Cosmology. This is the price of irrationality atheism must pay and must embrace for there just is no other way to believe in it, to make it palatable given the evidence.
Of course, there are no tenses in God, and so, yet again, Hawking is quite coherent where Theism is concerned, and utterly incoherent where all of observational reality and all available physical evidence within this clearly contingent matrix is concerned; thus his appeal to the metaphysical, ultimately.
It seems every step Hawking takes, whether toward his [Inexplicable Immaterial which births Explicable Material], or, toward his [No-Tenses-Exist-In-Ultimate-Actuality], he just keeps getting closer to Theism yet further from anything observational reality / physical evidence can ever offer him; fortunately the metaphysical appeal saves him.
We can at the very least just observe and learn the language even though the word “quantum” is frightening for most of us. Truth is but One, and we need not fear Uncreated Mind. He does, after all, love us, and infinitely so.
August 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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