Science, which initially rejected the Big Bang as inserting God
Please stop this ‘collectivist’ language. Some scientists initially rejected it. Not “science” itself.
But more obvious is that we create new causal chains - as long as we postulate the existence of “free will”. Every new causal chain is something that is “uncaused” by the existing state of the affairs.
One could disagree with this in two ways: 1) Free will is an illusion, so the events are caused by the agents who are part of the system previously in time. 2) Free will is due to the brute fact of God (God making us from nothing and holding us in being each moment or else we would cease to exist, i.e. returning back to nothing), and so God is ultimately responsible for every action. Hence everything that begins to exist has a cause, no exceptions.
But you cannot demonstrate that God exists.
It seems to me God’s existence can only be known by experience, i.e. God must reveal himself. Hence Fr Larry Richards exhorts us to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer (i.e. physically in church before the Tabernacle), and assures us that if we do this, God will reveal Himself.
Even the word “exists” is undefined in this context.
I think the underlying assumption is that a being exists if it can be clearly identified and experienced or observed. So we do not need to insist that ‘to exist’ means ‘to be composed of matter or energy’, etc.
Nothing is the absence of anything.
Strictly speaking, this is incorrect. Put mathematically, x-x is different from 0. “x-x” is the absence of anything (“don’t have whatever you’re thinking of”), whereas “0” is the abstraction to refer to ‘nothing’. We commonly say x-x = 0, but this is literally an equivocation (or else a definition), us declaring the two to mean the same thing. But they literally are not the same thing.
[Nothing] is something any of us can conceive of.
This is again incorrect. A catholic priest pointed out to me years ago when I said ‘I wish I were dead’ (or ‘I wish I never existed’) that “No, you don’t: You just wish you weren’t in your present state. None of us have experienced what it is to be dead, so we don’t know what that’s like. Being is the only state we have ever experienced. We have no idea what non-being is.” This is a technical point, but important for critical thinking. ‘Nothing’, like 0, is an abstraction commonly defined as ‘not anything’, but we don’t actually conceive of it. Similarly, Jean Danielou wrote a book called /God and the Ways of Knowing/ explaining that all our knowledge of God is actually negative – that we cannot conceive of God, and consequently all our knowledge is about what God is not – e.g. God is not finite, not human, not capricious (subject to fickle emotional changes), etc. We can know aspects of God, e.g. that He is three persons yet one being, but we cannot know God in His entire nature.
So we must be clear about what we actually are thinking, lest we tempt skeptics to ridicule us.