When i was young in faith and plagued with doubt, the Big Bang Argument helped me to have hope that life was more then the cold impersonal physical interactions that ultimately thrusted us into being. But i didn’t always feel confident with it as a “proof” because of the various multi-verse theories which had the superior label of science slapped on it. And so the Big-Bang was for me a strong source of encouragement, but nothing more. It was not an air tight proof.
Since then i have developed far more superior arguments which do not require the Big-Bang. But philosophers like William lane Craig still think that the Big-Bang argument is still one of the best evidences for the existence of God, and seems to think that its a valid refutation of naturalism, since all space and time began to exist.
What do you think of the Big Bang Argument and the alleged alternatives? And should we be promoting it as a proof?
What do you think of the Big Bang Argument and the alleged alternatives?
First, the alternatives (or the ones I am aware of). Hawkins has proposed that the “creation event” was not a point, but rather a curve in hopes of resolving the finiteness of the “cosmic singularity”; but, this does not explain away the need for a vaccum and a curve so I think he and his colleagues have merely set the problem back a step without resolving it and without observable evidence. This smacks of special pleading.
Multiverse has the same problem because we still observe a singularity, and infinite universes suffers the same philosophical problem of infinite regress—it is impossible to traverse an absolute infinite, so if there are infinite universes we should have burned this one out an infinite time ago.
A potentially infinite series of universes ultimately suffers the same fate because potential infinites have a beginning, which brings us back to . . .
The Big Bang: I have yet to hear of, or read a compelling explanation using strictly naturalistic mechanisms. While it may be scientifically useless to say “God musta done it,” it is philosophically tenable, and much more so than positing a naturalistic uncaused cause (which is not scientific, on its own terms). Since the universe itself transcends our observation of it (our observation does not add to or subtract from it, and the universe would exist whether we were around to observe it or not) then it seems reasonable to posit a transcendant cause.
From a Christian POV, we are being attacked from both sides. The obvious side, is the non-theistic side. The not-so-obvious side is the side that consists of organizations that call themselves “churches”, such as, the Church of Scientology, and others, such as the JW’s.
We engage in daily debate, in these forums, with the non-theists, and so we tend to think that they are our only opponents. The Church of Scientology has its own belief system. It involves a cosmology that extends back some 90 trillion years, give or take. It’s assumptions, obviously, postulate reincarnation, of some sort. They say that we all come back, not necessarily as humans, but perhaps as bugs or even amoeba. But, in their general cosmology, there is no place for a true, existing God.
Obviously, the age of the universe is a pretty good argument against a cosmology that postulates that we have been living, either as thetans (souls), or as actual thetans attached to bodies for 90 trillion years. I have not popped the question of how they reconcile their beliefs with the fact that the universe is only 13.7 billion years old yet, but, I plan to.
Notwithstanding a potentially poor cosmology - based upon current scientific findings - Scientologists seem to do a lot of “good” in the world, at least fairly recently. But, if we are right, and if ours is the only legitimate belief system handed down to us by none other than Jesus Christ Himself, we will be forced to, on occasion, defend our faith.
You are correct that the theory (I suppose any of the big bang versions) tries to explain a specific set of facts (though I would imagine not all as equally good). No one is claiming otherwise. Saying that these specific set of facts seem to point to an absolute begining of space and time is wholly permissable.
This has nothing to do with scientific illitericy (or shouldn’t). You’re looking for a fight where there is none (which the last 15 or so of your posts seem eager to find/provoke).
You seem to be big on science, but don’t forget to leave room for other forms of inquiry where strictly science does not enter (in many areas of philosophy). “Proofs” are not only mathematical terminology, but can be used in a general way that means “rational way”, more or less. If you need to be reminded, science cannot prove, by the scientific method no less, that it is the only way of obtaining truth or the only truths to be known.
Not everyone is a fundamentalist Christian; play nice.
I apologise, its hard not to get snappy when your constantly being hit with, “you have no morals”, “you do believe in god deep down, you just reject him because your lost”, “Evolution is lies, and defending it means you are working for satan” etc.
There is so much evidence for the Big Bang that it is the best available explanation for the existence of the physical universe. Beyond that everything is sheer speculation. But we are entitled to ask what caused the Big Bang because we have no experience of other Big Bangs and no evidence that it or they occur spontaneously. Such a unique event leaves us totally in the dark…
We are also entitled to ask why it occurred because there is no reason to believe it occurred for no reason! So really it makes little difference whether the Big Bang has a cause or set of causes. Even it does we are still faced with the same question: for what reason?
We can deny that there is a reason for physical existence but what evidence is there that things just are? None whatsoever! So regardless of the Big Bang we can take our pick…
My own preference is that there is a reason for existence because we have the power of reason. And that demands an explanation even more than the Big Bang. We take it for granted but it is the most remarkable fact of all - apart from existence itself. Why should there be something rather than nothing? The very ability to ask and understand that question takes us into a different “dimension” altogether. It doesn’t matter what we call it: it is certainly different from the dust to which our bodies will return…
The Big Bang would not prove the existence of God but it would indicate that there was a creation. In the beginning there was neither time nor space but for some inexplicable reason, the universe came into being. Inexplicable that is if you do not believe in God.
A reason is an explanation! If I ask you to explain why you wrote that sentence you will say “Because I wanted to and decided to”. Not all explanations have to be in terms of cause and effect. I don’t think you would say “I wrote it because I was compelled to do it by past events”.
The real question is whether reasons or physical causes came first. If you believe the Big Bang occurred for no reason you need to explain when and how reasons arrived on the scene.
I think you’ll agree that the reasons for our decisions are more important than how we make them. Even if we don’t know how we make them we’re not going to stop making them!
No i would say explanation because i don’t like the connotations of reason. If you are just defining reason as explanation then i am happy to agree. But reason seems to imply that there is some kind of purpose or design behind it all. I don’t agree.
You hit the nail on the head in your second paragraph. “The real question is whether reasons or physical causes came first. If you believe the Big Bang occurred for no reason you need to explain when and how reasons arrived on the scene. :)” In this sense reason seems to have connotations.
I don’t agree there has to be reasons in that sense of the word. For example given the explanation of our existance i don’t agree there is any more reason i am here, than there is a reason why a grain of sand on the beach is there.