Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Agnostic Thomas Nagel on Why There is Anything

"The existence of our universe might be explained by scientific cosmology, but such an explanation would still have to refer to features of some larger reality that contained or gave rise to it. A scientific explanation of the Big Bang would not be an explanation of why there was something rather than nothing, because it would have to refer to something from which that event arose. This something, or anything else cited in a further scientific explanation of it, would then have to be included in the universe whose existence we are looking for an explanation of when we ask why there is anything at all.  This is a question that remains after all possible scientific questions have been answered." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,

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Jason Northrup said...

If this posting this quote is an attempt at "proving" the existence of a creator, such an attempt ignores that there would then need to be an answer for how the "creator" came to be.

The Other Chad said...

Hi Jason,

Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog. There is a good response to your question from one of our blog posts by Dr. Paul Copan from June of 2012. The quick answer to your question would be "no one" since the Creator would have to be a necessary being without a cause who exists outside of space, time, and matter. The universe and all of its components would be considered "contingent" since they began to exist therefore require a cause.

Thank you,

Imnobody said...

Jason. This argument of yours is a typical argument by atheists and, although they say it with great aplomb as if it were definitive, it is a fallacious one.

In order to find that an hypothesis is the best explanation possible we don't need to find an explanation to this hypothesis.

When Newton concluded that gravity is the best explanation for the movement of planets, he didn't need to explain gravity. Gravity remained unexplained for centuries. The fact that gravity was unexplained didn't hinder the fact that gravity was the best explanation of the movement of planets. And gravity was accepted without explanation for centuries.

If you conclude that God is the best explanation for our Universe, you don't have to explain God to reach such a conclusion. Explaining God is a different problem (which we may never solve). In human knowledge, every known answer raises new questions. This does not takes weight from these answers. God is not an exception.

Anonymous said...

I suppose you might have a point, Jason, if God as described in the Bible was created like flying spaghetti monsters and celestial teapots. The belief that God is a created being is not typically an understanding held by Christians. Instead, you will most likely hear attribute qualities like "necessary being" and "uncreated" when we talk about God. It might help if you actually understood what Christians believed before tossing gotchas out there.

Don Carson gave a detailed introduction to the story of the Bible here. It's probably worth your while taking some time out to investigate and understand what it is you reject.

Andrew Ryan said...

If necessary and uncreated are possible qualities for a God, then why not of other things such as the universe itself? The Big Bang is only the earliest point we can discuss for the universe in its current form. We simply have no idea what existed before. Perhaps the universe itself is necessary and uncreated. The difference between that and a necessary uncreated God is that at least we know the universe exists!

gandt said...

The first cause or uncaused cause argument for something called God is just about OK but it tells us nothing. There is the uncaused cause of everything. Call it God. Now what? Does that imply morality? NO. Does it imply human type values? No. Is it like Dad? No. Does it intervene in human affairs - nothing follows logically.

I think this argument actually gives nobody a reason to have a faith with any particular content.

It certainly does not, for example, tell us anything about Gay marriage or social inequality.