To save the argument then, we need a rigorous definition of "beginning to exist", we need to show that it is in fact true that everything that meets this definition has a cause
Is there anything beside the Universe that is considered to potentially not have a cause? Almost everything in the collective experiance of man has been shown to have had a precedent cause. Some of these causes we can not identify but that is mearly temporary ignorance.
The wall comes when we consider time and cause to be things that only function inside of our Universe. My question is then, how can time and space begin to exist if time and space are required for existence? (abe; Its a trap!) Can time not exist independent of space?
The point is that IF there is no time prior to our universe, we have good grounds to question whether it needs a cause –
If there is no time prior to our universe then we have grounds to question whether it can have a cause given that there is no time for that cause to exist in. I do not see why it gives reason to question the need for a cause.
You are saying that because a cause could not, logically, have existed it must not have been needed. You are saying this after observing 13.7 billion yrs worth of causes and effects. I am saying that after observing 13.7 b yrs worth of causes and effects that the cause was, logically, needed and therefore must have existed.
I balk at the idea of something existing without a cause. This is a natural reticence. That is to say that it was caused by my experience of the universe. Not really all that absurd. I have no proof, I suppose, that everything needs a cause. I have no proof that every time I drop an apple that it will fall to the ground as I have not dropped all the apples yet but I certainly have a substantial amount of support for the notion. Every causeless thing in history was beyond our experience until it wasn’t. What is absurd is saying that because you can’t see how a cause could have functioned that it therefore must not have existed or, worse, was not needed.
Just to be clear, I invoke no gods.
(abe; If we conclude here that there was no need for a cause of the universe, should we stop looking for one?)
Causation is primarily a logical concept. "Everything that begins to exist has a cause" is a logical argument, not merely an intuitive one.
Quite frankly I find that to be absurd.
Why is it more absurd to posit that there is no exception to the rule of cause and effect than it is to posit that there is an exception? The first having a near infinite line of corporal evidence while the later has only logical deduction as support. It seems to me that both lines are at least equally valid.
Is it not comparable to the beginning of life on the earth? We cannot see the cause but we all assume that it had one. I appreciate that the beginning of time would be a fairly unique event but so is the beginning of life.
Cause and effect, in as much as it exists, is a function of the space-time structure of the Universe.
This is the same as saying that causality has nothing to do with bringing things into existence but only rearranges things that already exist. So the causality that we all know and love is completely different than the concept of an originating cause. If the two are not the same thing then why should an originating cause be subject to the constraints of causality. Namely, having some time or place to exist in.
It almost seems logical that the logic should break down along with the maths and definitions. A real tower of Babel perhaps although I don't believe that.
A question regarding your discription of the Dirac sea. What does it matter that it looks the same coming or going? Is there no arrow of time there? If I am so off the mark that I should go and read a book, which book would you recommend?