The point I want to establish is simply the difficulty in saying "In the beginning." The reason behind that is that everything we are familiar with is a product of causation.
We only see things that begun to exist or had been cause to exist forming out of what already existed. Have you ever heard the saying that “We are made of star stuff?” Well it is important when trying to really understand if they is a real beginning or causation to anything. Because all of the elements that make up who we are is believed to have been part of a star at some point. A star that had only been made up of hydrogen, helium, and lithium. A star was producing heavy element's and when it exploded and scattered those elements, which later became our current star, the earth and other planets in our solar system. And from those elements that our own planet was made up of, yet again formed something else. That which we call life. And that life eventually led to us. And really in the end, we are physically is nothing more than arrangement of atoms... Atoms that once, had been part of a star. All that happened was that the matter had been rearranged from one form into another. Now if I take some rock and take out just the iron and then make something out of the iron like a hammer or a sword. All I did was take something that already existed and created something different. Sure it. There may have never been a sword or hammer before that, but all I did is create a new form of an existing form. So from what we observe when it comes to things causing other things to exist from things that previously existed. Then we can safely assume that there is a pretty good chance that something could exist without a beginning or a cause. And it does not to be a God. Especially when there is something that we believe that cannot be created nor destroyed. Which implies that it was not created or had a beginning but always existed in some form (It does not mean it was not created by God but it does show that if their happens to be no God that their can be things in the natural world could have always existed. See below).
Try to name something in your world/life that is not directly/indirectly caused by something(s).
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed (See: The first law of thermodynamics).
“The ultimate question comes down to what is the FIRST Cause.”
See: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. And theory of the big-bang
The explanation of "how" God "could" have done Creation really doesn't seem that difficult to me.
Well then explain it, because even theoretical physicist are having a little trouble with this one.
And on the other hand, it is difficult to say from any materialist/naturalist standpoint anything more than how it "could" have happened...that is all that science is when it comes to looking back at the past, no?
They don't "say" how it could have happened, it is demonstrated mathematically. As with the Big Bang and the model(s) for our universe.
You made my point for me. In the end, you are left to say that either God is "God" or that the Universe itself is "God." Part of the nature of God-ness is freedom from causality, I would think. In the end, I suppose it will mostly come down to personal preference/prejudice/pre-commitment as to which side one lands on. But in the end, you are left with one infinite...God or the Universe itself.
That statement is only valid if you redefine the term "God" to exclusively mean "that which exists but had no cause." As this doesn't actually fit with any previously used definition of "God" (those definitions typically being far more anthropomorphic, including the ability to think and have a will, interfere with human affairs, etc), this would require you to drastically shift the goalposts.
You aren't shifting the goalposts, are you, DPowell?
For me, it is a reach to say "there is stuff" simply because...well...there is stuff. It makes much more sense for there to be a reason for the stuff being there...a cause if you will.
But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, "there is stuff," full stop.
The logic is simple: if all things require a cause, then any proposes cause of the Universe must also have a cause, which must also have a cause, ad infinitum. If there is something that does not require a cause, then there is no reason whatsoever to propose a new entity in the equation when there is no evidence to support it's existence.
If 1+2+x = 1+2, then x is extraneous, irrelevant, and equivalent to 0.
There are a lot of reasons why I see it as a reach simply to leave it as "The Universe Is, And That is Enough." We being *personal* beings, made supposedly by an impersonal force of the all-encompassing entity, the Universe, seems odd. Our features, the way we act and interact, the very fact that we are ALIVE...
THis is an argument from personal incredulity. Your ability to comprehend reality, as well as your sense of whether a given fact is personally satisfying, is utterly irrelevant to whether that fact is true.
Frankly, it doesn't matter if something "seems odd" to you. You can think it "seems odd" that the sky is blue, but it's still blue. That's the thing about objective reality - it's decidedly unconcerned with our own opinions and beliefs. If a thing exists, it exists regardless of whether we believe in it or know about it or think it's "weird." The duckbilled platypus is weird, and it still exists.
Even if I were to grant to you evolution (which I also see as a reach for reasons unrelated to this), you still would have to explain to me where *life* itself came from. It is much less of a reach to say that the Living God (who also, then, would have already made the Universe) breathed into Adam the breath (spirit) of life than it is to say that the impersonal, inanimate Universe spawned the appropriate conditions on a very well suited planet in a fortunate sector of the galaxy in a fortunate sector of the Universe for the creation of life by a process of...let's see...mixing a saline solution of water and maybe organic compounds and having it charged by a bolt of lighting...er, um...yeah. People who have such a problem with God on such *scientific* grounds as that He complicates the process unnecessarily have failed to provide even a starting sample of an explanation as to how life *happened*.
Science has not yet developed a firmly supproted theory for how life on Earth began. Abiogenesis research is extremely promising in that they're getting closer and closer all the time in progressing from raw organic compounds that we know exist naturally in lifeless environments towards the basics of what we would identify as "life."
However, "I don;t know yet" is never an acceptible reason to jump to "Goddidit."
What you call "less of a reach" is absolutely no different from some caveman exclaiming "it's magic!" It's not an explanation at all, it proposes the existence of entities that you cannot show to exist, it uses undefined and unknown absurd mechanisms like "the breath of life," and there is absolutely no reason to believe such an asserton whatsoever beyond an appeal to the authority of an ancient book which itself is contradicted by innumerable other ancient books.
In short: science does not reach, and when we don't know something or have strong evidence to support an assertion, we say "I don't know."
Religion proposes deities to "explain" unknowns with magic rather than being intellectually honest.
And this is the science forum, DPowell. Here, you need to support your assertions with evidence, and the Bible is just a book.
Do you have any evidence that suggests the existence of a deity? Or are we to simply trust your personal sense of credulity as to what "sounds right" and is more personally believable to you?
What else ya got?
The fact that you believe you've made any valid points or have effectively responded to my own amuses me.
You do realize we can't/haven't even seen the farthest reaches of the Universe, right? Go read something. There is a lot of guesswork and speculation to this. The Big Bang, etc., have not been as "mathematically demonstrated" as people would like to think.
Freedom from outside causation is an obvious characteristic of a universally sovereign God. No, it is not the exclusive definition of God. But to apply this freedom to the Universe is to free the Universe itself from God, so in a sense it commandeers his title as "God."
As to the physicists who explain why there is stuff. My understanding is that the "why" in such a case is not the domain of a physicist, no matter how brilliant, but rather cosmologists, philosophers, and theologians. Physics is math...math does not do well with "why."
Forgive me, but you are responding to my response to onifre which I agree should seem simple and not overly taxing. But onifre seemed to demand the explanation for some reason...when it is well-accounted for in and of itself in the canon of Scripture. So, you can believe it is "made-up" if you wish, but please do not insult me for meeting the explanatory demands of people from your own side.
And, yet, *if* in fact God created the Universe, then the Universe itself would not be independent of causation. And *if* there is no God to create the Universe, then the Universe more or less assumes the place of *God,* no?
I'm sorry. Your (science's) evidence for how life is created was what again? We need evidence. And, no, it won't be coming because, no, it does not exist, lol. Careful with the hypocrisy.
There is no hypocrisy. I was perfectly clear: while abiogenesis research is [i]promising,[/]i the fact remains that we don't know.
More pertinently, "we don;t know" does not in any way mean that "God did it" is a preferred explanation. Mainly because "God did it" is not an explanation at all, but is rather the invocation of magic.
Would you care to support your assertion that life arose because of the direct intervention of a deity?
Note: I don't have to supply a plausible explanation for the origins of life. "We don't know yet, insufficient data" is perfectly acceptable when it's true. The burden of proof is on you to prove that life was divinely created, because you have made that assertion.
I find it rather telling, however, that you chose to ignore a rather lengthy and detailed post, simply to reply with "lol, you don't know, so God did it!"
It;s also rather amusing that you're focused on the origin of life, when that is not the topic of this thread. The topic relates to cosmology, and the origin of the Universe, something that predates life on Earth by quite a long time.
So I'll restate my point on that issue, since you enjoy ignoring it:
If everything requires a cause, then any porposed cause for the Unvierse will itself require a cause, which will require a cause, ad infinitum. In your terms, your Creator would need to have been Created by a still greater Creator, who would also need to be Created by a Creator, and so on forever.
If you propose that some things (like Gods) are exempt from causality and do not require a cause, then parsimony (commonly known as Occam's Razor) suggests that we should prefer the explanation with the fewest terms. Since Gods are unevidenced assertions and an uncaused Universe works just as well as a Universe caused by an uncaused deity, it is logical to conclude that the Universe is the uncaused factor, and not your wholly imagined deity.
Now, would you care to make an actual contribution to discussion by addressing my actual points as stated, or would you prefer to continue to risk the ire of the moderators by posting inane nonsense, strawmen, and assertions that you refuse to support with evidence in the science forums?
But to apply this freedom to the Universe is to free the Universe itself from God, so in a sense it commandeers his title as "God."
cart before the horse methinks. I know of the Universe. What is this "God" that you mention?
My understanding is that the "why" in such a case is not the domain of a physicist, no matter how brilliant, but rather cosmologists, philosophers, and theologians. Physics is math...math does not do well with "why."
Then quite obviously your understanding is rather limited. I am a physicist, mathematician, and cosmologist - and while I was an evangelical Christian, considered myself quite the theologian. And actually, of all these, when it comes to the nature of reality, mathematics provides by far the most "why".
So, you can believe it is "made-up" if you wish, but please do not insult me for meeting the explanatory demands of people from your own side.
you provided no explanation. You merely stated that it was not difficult to know how some god could have created the Universe, as if you have some insight into the metaphysical machinations of your own particular deity. And we all laughed...