"Something From Nothing"

Why do we Catholics see this as such a silly idea? For example, people can claim that the earth and humans were created from Big Bang and through Evolution and we can fire back and ask, “Who put the gases in place to create the Big Bang? God. Who created evolution? God”, and we always ask why people stop at their theories and why they dont go one step back and ask who invented such things.

But, we too, appear to be guilty of not going one step back. We do not ask who put God there. We just accept that God always was, which seems to conform to the idea that “something came from nothing.”

Thoughts?

Catholics do believe that God created the universe from nothing.

We don’t believe that God was created from nothing. We don’t believe that God was created at all. He is the only Being whose existence is his essence, so existence is his nature, and is not contingent. He doesn’t exist in a temporal or spatial continuum, so there is no “before” and “after” with him.

If one were to ask “who put God there?” postulating a prior being, then one would end up with an infinite series which is impossible, and would also place God in “time” which he does not occupy.

My philosophy is a bit rusty but he we go:

God is the “necessary” being. As Aquinas famously puts it, God is the “uncaused cause”. As the other poster pointed out, an infinite series of cause and effect is impossible because such is a sequence of contingency, without a necessary cause. There had to be an origin - a first cause - and this we call God.

To say that God always was is not at all the same thing as saying something came from nothing. It would be that same thing if God was just like us and everything else-- a contingent created thing, but he is not.

For God to be created, he must have been created by something greater than himself, since something created cannot be greater than the one it was created by. If you follow that line of valid reasoning, to conclude with either an infinite regress or a self-creating God is to draw illogical conclusions. The only valid conclusion is that at the beginning, there must have been an uncontingent Being, who by definition is God.

I second all three answers above; they are correct. God does not need to be created from nothing because He is not created; He had no beginning because He is not contingent and exists outside of time.

Well, let’s look at a different case: why do the questions “What natural number precedes 100?”, “What natural number precedes 40?” and “What natural number precedes 2?” have answers, but the question “What natural number precedes 1?” has no answer and even looks absurd? Well, it is so because 1 is defined as the first natural number, the one that has no preceding numbers.

Now St. Thomas Aquinas, in effect, just “defines” “God” as “first cause”, “uncaused cause” (he also shows that such cause must exist). And later he establishes the properties of this “first cause” (for example, it must be unchanging) - and “Big Bang” or “Evolution” do not have such properties… Therefore, they have causes, while God has no cause.

Why does a first cause have to be unchanging? Why couldn’t the Big Bang on its own be a first cause?

A first cause must be unchanging for a few reasons.

It must be outside of time. Why? Because if it was in time, that means that time existed before it, which means it had a beginning, which means it is contingent, which means it cannot be the first cause. If the first cause began (had a beginning), then it must have had a cause, because, as we have stated, nothing can come from nothing; something cannot come from nothing.

So, our first principle is established: the “being”, whatever it is, must be without cause simply because it exists of itself, and it never has existed.

So, if this being is outside of time, it cannot change. Why? Because things that are outside of time do not change. Something cannot progress from one state to another without time.

Thus, God, being outside of time, and being the first mover as he is, and without a beginning, could not change.

__

In answer to your other question: the big bang could not have been the first cause because it had a beginning. Simple as that.

Well, that’s a different question… :slight_smile:

St. Thomas Aquinas talks about that in “Summa Theologica”, first part, 9th question (dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/FP/FP009.html#FPQ9A1THEP1). You might also wish to read his other works…

Because that means the universe created itself.

It’s a logical contradiction. Something cannot simultaneously be in a potential state (it might be, or it might not be) and an actual state (it is).

Nothing creates itself.

And the Judeo-Christian faith is unique in this regard. In other religions their gods created the earth from some pre-existing primordial matter.

The Big Bang teaches that the universe emerged from a zero-dimensional singularity. That’s geek-talk for “nothing.”

Neither space nor time existed “before” the Bang. In school, I was taught that the Bang occurred within a vast (perhaps infinite) void (space), but that’s not what scientists believe today. Space is created as matter moves into it.

The universe is finite, but you cannot ever reach the “edge” because space-time is curved. If you go in a “straight” line (at least you perceive it as straight) long enough you will wind up where you started.

Alas.

Interesting thoughts, however, not all Catholics see this as a silly idea.

Considering the idea of “something from nothing,” or “something, instead of nothing,” greatly helped me in my journey to know God.

I recognize that things can only be living or non-living. Therefore, when I consider the idea of something from nothing, I consider the options of the first thing being living versus non-living.

Once I thoroughly considered the first thing being living, I recognized no matter who the first living being in existence is, s/he will do exactly what God: Jesus Christ: The Holy Trinity did.

I encourage you to embrace all ideas, while always remembering all ideas conclude with Jesus Christ is God: The Holy Trinity & the fullness of truth was shared by His Catholic Church!

Hi,
Thanks to all for the great answers.
I believe the word ** not** was meant to be inserted above.

Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. Ph.D has some really good material on various proofs for the existence of God.
**See links to his work below his picture

**
**Monseigneur Georges Lemaître, priest and scientist, is the one who developed the theory of the Big Bang which happened 13.82 billion years ago. **
**At first, Albert Einstein told him,
**
**“Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable.” **


**
Later, after Fr. Georges Lemaitre gave a seminar on his new theory Einstein stood up applauded, and said,
**
** “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”

Read More: 'A Day Without Yesterday’

defendingthebride.com/code/sci.html
John

Yes, thanks.

You have a misunderstanding of the Big Bang. There were no gases or anything else material prior to the Big Bang. There wasn’t even space. There was nothing physical at all.

That really isnt the point. The point is, who set the Big Bang in motion? Answer is God.

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