Argument from First Cause

I’m just beginning to learn some philosophy, so excuse me if this is a basic question.

It is said that the fact that the universe was created out of nothing means that there must have been a first cause. And that therefore God must have been the first cause.

But WHY can only God be the first cause?

Specifically, it’s the Kalam argument.

There are other arguments which end with First Cause.

What do we know about First Cause?

At the very least, that must be “something” powerful in some way. And this “something” has to be independent of the universe, while the universe must depend on that “something” in at least some way.

Also, since material things are in the universe, this “something” has to be immaterial.

And given all that - why not call this “something” “God”?

An argument against this is that nature is itself sufficient, and that order, design, purpose, intelligibility, are accidental or incidental rather than signs of a first cause.
I prefer to believe that creation is not as impersonal as accidentalism, that a who is the first cause rather than a what.

I am not a philosopher, but a physicist, and I think that science provides strong rational arguments supporting the idea that the First Cause is a personal God.

In act, all what science shows about the universe is that it manifests itself as a realization of some specific abstract mathematical models (what we call “the laws of physics”); in fact, the subatomic components of matters (quantum particles and fields) are actually only abtract mathematical concepts. On the other hand, mathematical models are only constructions of the rational thought and a mathematical model can exist only as a thought in a thinking mind conceiving it; this implies that matter (and the physical universe) is not the foundation of reality, but its existence depends on a more fundamental reality i.e. consciousness: contrary to the basic hypothesis of materialism, consciousness is a more fundamental reality than matter.

Therefore the existence of this mathematically structured universe implies the existence of a conscious and intelligent God, conceiving it as a mathematical model.
The First Cause must then be a personal God.

There is another argument from physics that I find strongly convincing; according to our scientific knowledges, all chemical and biological processes (including cerebral processes) are caused by the electromagnetic interaction between subatomic particles such as electrons and protons. Quantum mechanics accounts for such interactions, as well as for the properties of subatomic particles. The point is that there is no trace of consciousness, sensations, emotions, etc. in the laws of quantum mechanics (as well as in all the laws of physcis). Consciousness is irriducible to the laws of physics, while all cerebral processes are. This is for me the most convincing argument against materialism (which identifies cerebral processes as the origin of consciousness) and in favour of the existence of the soul, as the unphysical and trascendent principle necessary for the existence of our consciousness. Since our soul cannot have a physical origin, it can only be created directly by God. The existence of God is a necessary condition for the existence of our soul, as well as for the existence of us as conscious beings. God can be identifies also as the First Cause for the existence of ourselves as conscious beings.

I’m playing devils advocate here because I have a deep faith, but someone could argue that that impulse doesn’t have to be relatable to or benevolent.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is not the only First Cause argument, nor do all First Cause arguments boil down to the Kalam Argument.

I’ve an interest in this topic and will try to chime in later. The basic argument (not necessarily Kalam) is that only something which does not itself need a cause could be a First Cause, and therefore you rule out properties/attributes that themselves require a cause. And you end up at something which has what we call the “Divine Attributes”.

Okay, so I’ve already chimed in, but I’ll see if I can add more later.

Because “God” comes with a lot of extraneous baggage. Better to call it the “Multiverse” which carries far fewer assumptions with it.

I believe that’s correct. We need to look elsewhere to see that the Creator is loving (both relatable to and benevolent).

Is that so? I think Multiverse significantly assumes that our universe came from another physical/material entity.

I need clarification on what’s meant by relatable, but perfectly good and loving is something that can be deduced from natural theology, but defined in a particular way. It follows as a corollary and from reflection on the rest of the First Cause argument. From revelation we can of course expand upon “loving” in other ways, too.

I assumed that the OP meant that there can be a mutual relationship between the Creator and the creature. I hope I didn’t misunderstand.

Yes.

And…?

In that case, ask them why they think that not being “relatable” would make the word “God” inapplicable. In other words, someone who tries to argue in that way should be ready to explain what are his requirements for word “God”.

You… aren’t serious, are you…? :slight_smile:

Things are pretty much the other way around.

“Multiverse” carries a very specific assumption: that it is a group of “universes”. So, it’s a universe, just bigger than someone imagined. If we got to First Cause, a multiverse needs one just as much as a “single universe”.

Merely using “big words” does not help your case. :slight_smile:

So how do you define God? In terms of His greatness and His goodness? So this cosmological argument attests to His greatness…

  • Eternal
  • Immutable
  • Infinite
  • Omniscient
  • Omnipresent
  • Omnipotent
  • Transcendent

Are those two separate things? Perhaps there is a unified view, as in 1 John 4:7-21 we read, “God is love.”

@IanAG

Which version of the First Cause argument are you reviewing? If you’re reviewing it online, do you have a link?

I found your post very interesting Mmarco. Thank you. I will respond to a few of your points. Here’s the first: Consciousness is nothing but a response to matter acting according to the laws of physics. Our consciousness reacts to light, sound and other sensations. It does so in predictable ways that can be monitored by machines operating on the laws of physics. You achieve your claim by saying that ‘cerebral processes’ are different from ‘consciousness’. But what we know of consciousness can be explained by biochemical processes (not just cerebal). Can you find an example of one that is not?

There are different versions? Now I’m really getting out of my depth. I think I’ll just stick to my personal testimony :slightly_smiling_face:!

Seriously, here’s a link plus I’ve been listening to William Lane Craig and Bishop Barron.

https://www.solas-cpc.org/a-beginners-guide-to-the-kalam-cosmological-argument/

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Material? No. Matter started at the Big Bang, hence the multiverse existed before any matter existed. Whatever it is, it is not material.

Agreed. I did not say that “multiverse” had no assumptions attached to it. All I say is that “God” has more assumptions attached: life, intelligence, omnipotence, benevolence etc. Those do not apply to the multiverse and are not required for a first cause.

Okay, physical.

I believe so, because we know more about God from the Bible than that He is love.

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