Ok, so every time I hear a defense of “Why Christianity?” it ALWAYS starts with this one point:
God must exist because it is the only way the universe could have come to be.
Unfortunately not true. I was atheist, I believed in the Big Bang Theory and I did read some pretty cool stuff about how the Big Bang theory is actually possible… And although I cannot summarize it well because this was a while ago and I never invested much in science, it did make sense. It had to do with basically how the laws of physics break down at the subatomic level, meaning that something COULD spontaneously come into existence and, by the idea of probability, if this spontaneous popping-into-existence was happening consistently, it is possible that sooner or later this particle could expand tremendously by some very delicate triggering event. It kinda goes into play with the multiverse theory stating that somewhere, every possibility that is a possibility has played itself out. As long as there is infinite time, sooner or later a universe will come to be.
Whether or not to believe a God is the first step of Christianity, and the shakiest. There is a scientific explanation (as of now). We don’t really know much about how these particles work and, yes, it could turn out to be totally false. But the idea that there is no other way that the universe could be created…well, it’s not convincing if you have really studied. How would you respond to this?
I recommend the book The Last Superstition: Answering the New Atheism by Edward Feser. The nature of essentially ordered causal chains requires a God, and not just five billion years ago, but right now to keep things in existence.
When I considerable at the plausibility of “something from nothing,” or the evidence for multiverses, or the likelihood of totally random mutations causing entirely new and better lifeforms, I think it is much more reasonable to believe in God.
the problem is that all that science is still talking about ‘something’. They can’t talk about the ‘nothing’. So where did the ‘something’ come from? Essentially the scientific argument only works if the universe is infinite, eternal, and always existed. And there is no evidence of that.
The first post after mine doesn’t even adress the topic of discussion, and I would discourage arguments like the second post after mine which are purely probabilistic in nature. Sure God is highly probable, but isn’t it much better to focus on the reasons that he is logically necessary?
None of the possibilities is reasonable on the surface of it, not according to human reason. To believe that something came from nothing sounds implausible, whereas to believe something always existed in one form or another may be somewhat more plausible but not completely. Likewise, to believe in a Supreme Being that is capable of creating the whole universe from nothing, but who Himself has always existed, is equally unreasonable. Belief in G-d, let alone a specific and accurate religious understanding of Him, is ultimately a matter of faith, not reason, no matter what the so-called evidence.
The OP seems to be describing a way that empty space could produce a Big Bang. If that is the way it happened, then we may conclude that even empty space has some kind of law or structure which provides the capability of spontaneous generation. One may then ask what is the origin of that law or structure of empty space.
We may further speculate that all time and space, even empty space, erupted spontaneously from some other entity which is not like empty space at all. One may then ask where that primordial entity came from. Did it always exist, without cause, or did it come from something else, and how?
Go back as far as you like, and the question remains: What was the first entity, or the first cause? The Big Bang does not really disprove creation. It merely directs our attention to another state or another moment where we ask the same question again: What caused that?
First, Hi, welcome to the forum, and pleasure to meet a former atheist convert. While I’ve never been one, I do feel somewhat for the more “rational” attempt to understand the universe.
There is a significant problem with the concept of a spontaneous generation of existence - namely, that nothing else spontaneously comes into existence. It’s one thing to speak of something coming from something. That, that science is excellent at.
But when it comes to talking about something coming from nothing - well, studying these things will either result in a lengthening of the chain of natural explanation (i.e, it doesn’t come from nowhere or nothing), or will lead to materially nothing. But the question will still hang in the air: if this comes into existence from nothing, why doesn’t everything else, too?
It seems to be special pleading to say any one thing could spontaneously come from nothing while nothing else can.
All this said, I have heard Dr. Lawrence Krauss speak about a “universe from nothing”, and of the Kasimir effect, which produces virtual particles from a vacuum which come into and go out of existence. But while Krauss’s models of the universe may be true - may be - and virtual particles might come from out of nowhere - might - that still doesn’t explain where they came from, anymore than merely saying “God did it” explains it. It just adds a layer to the mystery. Is “nothing” really nothing, is the question I would ask, rather than dogmatically prancing it out as evidence that we don’t need God.
At one time we thought air was “nothing”, too. Now we know air is made of particles. The question is, when we are sure we’ve reached real nothing, how would anything come from nothing?
To me, in order to get to the point where one can discuss the logical necessity of a Creating Being one must first dispell the myth that materialist evolutionary science is generating a reasonable alternative. I may be biased, however, because that was the order in which I came to believe
I disagree that belief in a “Supreme Being that is capable of creating the whole universe from nothing, but who Himself has always existed, is equally unreasonable.” Aristotle was able to come to this conclusion solely on natural knowledge (no revealed knowledge such as the ancient Israelites had), and in fact, this conclusion does fit the facts.
First they have to prove that something is indeed coming out of nothing. We may only be able to perceive these subatomic particles at brief moments, but is it true that they only exist when we perceive them?
And is a vaccuum that we create the same as nothing? Not really, because the vacuum is contained in something, and so is surrounded by something.
So creation ex nihilo is reasonable to both you and Aristotle and that the Creator of the universe was not Himself created? I don’t know but both of these statements seem pretty unreasonable to me if I apply my fallible human reason. And so does the atheist’s argument of creation ex nihilo without G-d. However, I believe in G-d as a matter of faith despite the fact that Judaism and Christianity both posit “reasonable” arguments for believing in G-d and, one mighty step further, believing in a particular expression of G-d, that is, a specific religion.
I see what you are saying and to me this comes from a believer’s *already *believing in the person God. When Christians used this argument on me, before I believed, I found it rather annoying because at the end they would triumphantly explain that they had proved the existence of God-as-they-knew-Him.
What Aristotle, who knew nothing about God-as-we-know-Him, considered the universe, he came to the conclusion that because it is ordered and has design elements, there must have been a Being which created it all, just as if we found a watch on the ground we would conclude that a person had been there before, not that the watch had been made by a series of random events of nature.
*Then *Aristotle considered the nature of the Being Who created all this and came to the conclusion that this Being was timeless, eternally existing, outside of the time which He created. So what Aristotle proposed, with this line of reasoning, was only the existence of a particular part of God-as-we-know-Him.
Does this make more sense?
However, I believe in G-d as a matter of faith despite the fact that Judaism and Christianity both posit “reasonable” arguments for believing in G-d and, one mighty step further, believing in a particular expression of G-d, that is, a specific religion.
Despite the fact…? I’m not really sure what you mean here.
Yes, it makes more sense. What I mean by “despite the fact” is that several religions, including Judaism and Christianity, attempt to prove the existence of G-d by appealing to reason and evidence; however, I maintain that all proof falls short and faith is the ultimate belief. I agree with Pascal who stated: “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point” (The heart (i.e. faith) has its reasons that reason is ignorant of.")