• First Cause Argument… Again

    universeAnother Christian thinks he has come up with the perfect argument for proving that God exists. Surprise, it is the same argument that has been used long before Christianity even existed and has already been refuted almost as long ago. Yup, it is the First Cause Argument again.

    This Christian has attempted to stump me with his reasoning on Twitter with a series of tweets laying out the only four possibilities:

    1.    The universe is an illusion. In other words, there is no universe and it only exists in our heads with is… in the universe? At least we both admit that this is silly.
    2.    The universe is eternal. We are reasonably certain that the Big Bang Theory is true and that the universe did indeed have a beginning. So the evidence does not support this possibility.
    3.    Nothing made the universe. This seems to me to just be the same as number 2. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t really see a difference between nothing creating the universe and the universe always existing.
    4.    Someone made the universe. That someone would obviously have to be the God of the Bible, right? Lol.
    My new Christian friend can’t think of any other possibilities and has stated that if I could come up with one, I would be the first to ever do it. Challenge accepted!

    5.    Maybe the universe was created by someones (plural). I don’t think this likely, but it is another possibility that my Christian tweeter didn’t consider.
    6.    The universe was created in a multi-universe or perhaps another universe through the natural laws of wherever it was created. I do not think that the creating force behind the universe must have been an entity of intelligence or in the case of the Biblical God, an entity who isn’t very intelligent.
    7.    We don’t currently know how the universe was created. That’s the answer I like the best… mainly because it is honest and allows us to keep searching for the answer without resorting to making up absurdly ridiculous answers like “God did it” or “magic.”
    This type of argument attempts to put atheists on the defensive when we shouldn’t be. We don’t have to claim to know all the answers to all the questions in the universe or even the question of the universe itself. We can just be humble and honest and admit we don’t know everything. I know this makes us seem so arrogant, right? I mean it isn’t like we are claiming to know with absolutely certainty based on faith alone that our deity of choice created everything just for us. Atheists don’t have to have all the answers in order to point out that the answers religion offers are 1. Not based on evidence and 2. Patently ridiculous.

    This whole argument is geared toward distracting us from the obvious – the religious can’t provide any valid evidence for their ridiculous beliefs. Instead of providing evidence that their God created the universe, they are exploiting our open-mindedness and thirst for curiosity.

    Right now, scientists like Lawrence Krauss and others are trying to understand the universe as it is, as it was, and as it will be. We only recently learned that the universe will come to an end at some point in the very distant future. It wasn’t all that long ago that we discovered smoking-gun evidence in favor of the Big Bang. Cosmologists have a hypothesis about the creation of the Big Bang, but we don’t yet have enough evidence to solidify that into a theory. I could be wrong about that since that isn’t my particular field of study and I might not be up-to-date on the latest in cosmology.

    One thing I hate about the First Cause Argument is how quickly Christians become temporary deists in order to attack atheism. The fact is that the Bible lays out a very clear picture of how the universe began and it is not only ridiculous, but has been proven false not only by science but also by its own internal logic. How does it make sense that God created light before creating the sun and the stars? This of course is where many of the religion start to fall back to the old, ‘metaphor” excuse. Well, maybe the whole damn this was a metaphor because ancient goat-herders didn’t know squat about the universe.

    Category: AtheismBig BangfeaturedScience

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    6 comments

    1. What a stupid argument. Even if we accept the premise that “someone” created the universe why is it then “obvious” that it has to be the god of the bible? It could be anything (the FSM perhaps 🙂 ).

    2. “We are reasonably certain that the Big Bang Theory is true”

      definetely not

      The universe is eternal

      who knows

      https://www.google.pt/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CFwQFjAIahUKEwiJha3H3r_HAhWKORoKHRlSCiY&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.springer.com%2Fcda%2Fcontent%2Fdocument%2Fcda_downloaddocument%2F9783642330353-c2.pdf%3FSGWID%3D0-0-45-1353213-p174604041&ei=FwTaVcmdDYrzaJmkqbAC&usg=AFQjCNHM621JBWJ5ePoY5SxYiFK4GgiNSw&sig2=2vTCyWILQS7zjn87YspsmQ
      “Quantum cosmology. In Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker (FLRW)
      models, loop quantum gravity has resolved the long-standing physical problem of
      the fate of the big bang in quantum gravity [38]. Work by Bojowald, Ashtekar,
      Pawłowski, Singh and others has shown that non-perturbative effects originating
      in quantum geometry create an effective repulsive force which is negligible when
      the curvature falls significantly below the Planck scale but rises very quickly and
      dramatically in the deep Planck regime to overcome the classical gravitational attraction,
      thereby replacing the big bang by a quantum bounce”

      http://igpg.gravity.psu.edu/people/Ashtekar/articles/rovelli03.pdf
      “The idea
      that cosmological time consists of elementary steps changes
      the behaviour of the universe drastically at very small scale,
      and gets rid of the initial Big Bang singularity. “

    3. Staks, this is the a fore mentioned Christian, and I would like to offer a response to your critique. First the difference between 2 and 3 is the word eternal. If something is eternal it wasn’t made, logical I assume. Second, you misrepresented my argument in #4. I did not offer that someone made the universe. I presented something or nothing made the universe. IMHO, you jumped the gun and decided what I was going to say instead of what I offered. as to #5 Plural God’s maybe but that would mean you choose #4, you offered nothing new (a crowd or a couple is something). #6 you still offered nothing new, you just kicked the can down the worm hole. The same 4 possibilities apply to your first multi- universe. #7 You don’t want to choose so you avoid it by saying I don’t know. Not entirely true. We know a lot about the laws of Physics regarding the only known universe. one of which is there is zero evidence of nothing (the total lack of anything zero, nada zilch) ever doing something. I stand by my current 4 possibilities and I doubt anyone who may read this would find your analysis undermined anything I offered.. They may not find mine either but, if you don’t offer a fifth. Thank you for engaging and the use of your blog space. P.S no need to discuss creators until we settle on the only reasonable position. #4

      1. I don’t really see a difference between 2 and 3. Your explanation doesn’t really clarify the issue. But that is neither here nor there since we can easily rule that out anyway. As for number 4 (which is that someone created the universe), there is no evidence for this. I would refer you to my Atheism 101 article on this issue, but currently that part of the site is going through a large transition. So let me break it down simply. Your claim that there had to be a before the universe is problematic from the start. There is this theory that some crazy scientist came up with called the Theory of Relativity. Perhaps you have heard of it. Anyway, Einstein theorized that space and time are linked together. Let’s think about that for a moment. Without space there cannot be time. The two are linked together. So you are now asking what came before space. You have come up with four possible answers. Now, I see two problems with this.
        1. You really only came up with three possible answers and there are of course many answers you have not even considered. As I pointed out, your thinking is limited here. You have attempted to rationalize three other possibilities away because you don’t believe them are true but the fact remains that they are possibilities even if some of them are unlikely. Admitting ignorance BTW is not a bad thing as long as it continues to fuel curiosity for finding actual answers.
        2. The problem is your question itself is invalid. There was another scientist by the name of Stephen Hawking who pointed this out in a lecture. He asked his audience what was south of the South Pole. Can you answer that question Jeff? What is south of the South Pole?

        I’m not going to attempt to limit your thinking with a restricted list of possibilities. I’m just going to tell you that the question is invalid. The South Pole is the furthest point south one can go on a globe. So going south from that point is not just impossible, but also nonsensical. Now let us return our thinking to the original issue of what came before the universe. If space and time are linked, then the question of before space is really asking what came before time? Since “before” is an aspect of time, the question doesn’t make any sense.

        So if you want another “possibility” that doesn’t fit into your 4 (3) pigeonholed possibilities, then I would tell you that another possibility is the rejection of the question at its core. From what we currently understand about physics, the concept of “before” the universe is nonsensical. Yet we are here and we know that the Big Bang happened and that someday in the distant future the universe will die. So what does that mean? I have no idea and neither do you. All I can say is that the petty god of your ancient superstitious holy book almost certainly had nothing to do with it.

        Don’t try becoming a temporary agnostic in order to sound more reasonable. Just admit that you believe that the God of the Hebrews created the entire universe as part of his elaborate scheme that involves created people, telling them not to eat an apple from a particular tree, then threatening to torture them for all eternity if they don’t believe in his son who came from a virgin. Let’s just cut to the chase here. Your claim is that the God of the Bible created the universe. The same God that sent two bears to maul 42 kids for calling a priest “baldy” and also commanded Moses to rape an commit near genocide. The same God allegedly created light before the sun and the stars and who allegedly created Adam from dust, but needed one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve. That guy. LMAO

    4. Wow, you responded directly to none of my points. You also still haven’t offered a reasonable 5th. I trust any readers to judge between us. I get that you don’t know what caused or made the universe, so I humbly suggest you quit disregarding the logical choice that something made it and the people who believe that.

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