Thursday, September 5, 2013

Something for Nothing

One of the older arguments for the existence of God asks why something rather than nothing exists. It then goes on to state that the simplest explanation is that there is something or Someone that exists simply because it is His nature to exist and that this is where everything else comes from. (The question "Who made God?" here shows that the person does not understand the argument. The point is there needs to be something whose existence is a given that explains the existence of everything else.) The idea is that the other things we know about might just as well not have existed. Therefore, there needs to be something that must by nature exist to explain their existence.

Now some who have questioned the existence of God have taken the position that things have always existed pretty much as they do now. But this means that everything that exists exists for no intelligible reason. It also would lead to an infinite series of distinct events in the past and future. Mathematicians have problems with this type of infinity. But modern science has provided a new problem for this approach. The universe as we know it will one day burn out. Though this will be in the far future, if the universe has an end, this implies it must have a beginning. Therefore, if we reject a belief in God, we are left with the idea of everything coming into existence out of nothing.

This is commonly derived from the idea that in Quantum Mechanics there exists a probability of matter coming into existence without cause. But this probability is based on an intact universe with intact physical laws. But the physical laws are merely a description of how matter-energy and time-space behave. Now can such laws exist before the things they are about exist and bring them into existence? And how can there be any probability if nothing exists yet? How can there be a coin toss with no time and no space and no coins? Now one way around this is to claim there is a multiverse from which many universes, including our own, come. But this opens up the question of what is the multiverse, and where does it come from? Now if the physical laws have an existence totally independent of the things they describe. And if they exist not as coming from anything else, but because it is their nature to exist. And if all things come into existence through them. Such a being all men call God. Therefore God exists. (Note that the same conclusion follows as regards that the multiverse if it meets the same set of criteria.) Now this quantum-mechanical God is not necessarily the same as the Christian God. But if we can believe in One, is it really such a stretch to believe in the Other? The real issue is whether God is totally arbitrary and capricious or deliberate, having purposes. And I am not sure we can resolve that scientifically.       

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