Wednesday, July 18, 2012

6 Reasons to Believe in God - Reason 2 - Cosmological Argument


Moon with threes in the foreground
Moon!
Lately, I've been deconstructing a webpage that describes six reasons to believe in God. I first saw it as an ad, and decided to look into it.

My prior posts are:

Finally, we're moving onto the second reason - something had to start the universe!

2. Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it? 
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang. This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself. 
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light."
The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
Woo! Like I haven't addressed a cosmological argument before.

And would you look at that! It's another Argument from Ignorance! I'm starting to sense a pattern here.

Let's take this apart bit by bit.
Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?
Does God exist? I doubt it. We have no evidence to support the claim.

Did the universe have a start? He's sort of presupposing it did. We can say that its "current state" had a beginning, so let's just go with that.

What caused it, you ask? Excellent question. We don't know, but we're looking into it. You know, looking for positive evidence to solve this riddle
Scientists are convinced that our universe began with one enormous explosion of energy and light, which we now call the Big Bang.
This statement is a bit odd. Half the time, apologists are stating that we don't know this to be true. Now all of a sudden, it's something cited to lend credence to their claim.

I don't see anything particularly wrong with this statement.
This was the singular start to everything that exists: the beginning of the universe, the start of space, and even the initial start of time itself. 
The Atheist Experience #602
AE #602 - Click for Interesting call
God doesn't exist? Or did God start to exist with the Big Bang? Careful of your use of "everything".

Additionally, the Big Bang would be the start to everything that exists within this universe. If the multiverse theory is correct, there may be one Big Bang per universe. There may be a "meta unvierse" that forms the basis for all the "sub universes", all without any intelligence involved.

Existence is a tricky subject - what does it mean to exist?
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, "The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion...The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen."
More or less, this is true. And? We get it, the current known universe started at this point.

I think the author may be reading more into the quote than Jastrow meant, as though purposeful "seeding" is implied. A Godless Big Bang would result in the same thing.

It's interesting that they kept the "and we cannot find out what caused that to happen", as a supporting quote. Wouldn't that mean that we cannot determine that God did it either? Isn't this argument all about supporting God? If they're accepting that line as true, then the argument cannot support God, because we've accepted that we cannot find out what triggered the event.
Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in Physics, said at the moment of this explosion, "the universe was about a hundred thousands million degrees Centigrade...and the universe was filled with light."
Yes, and...?

Here we go again with the complete incapacity for the author of the website to make a coherent point. "Just state facts - they'll get it!"

What does the heat and light attributes of the Big Bang have to do with anything?

Does the author mean to tie it into the book of Genesis? If so, isn't it funny that the science is cited on the parts that happen to vaguely align, but then completely ignored on any point where the science disagrees with the Genesis story? (I think I'll make another post at some point detailing this)
The universe has not always existed. It had a start...what caused that? Scientists have no explanation for the sudden explosion of light and matter.
Pffft! This is the argument?

Can this website scream ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE any louder? Typically, these arguments are obfuscated by word games and squirming lines of thought. It's rare for someone to stand up and, as clear as day, declare a logical fallacy as this author did.

Scientists have no explanation... so.... therefore, some outside-of-space-and-time dude did it? That's the best explanation they can come up with?

Scientists have no current understanding - they're working on it. At some point, all current knowledge was unknown. That's doesn't suggest that we'll never know.

I don't suppose the authors of this website could - I don't know - provide some evidence that God is the correct answer? Please?

They've again established a false dilemma - if science can't answer it right now then we're justified in just making something up! I would even go ahead and accept the idea that something triggered the Big Bang. Did it have intelligence, was it just another natural mechanism, or is it something we haven't even conceived of yet? How can we tell which possibility is the correct answer?

Evidence! 

"We don't know how else it could have happened" is not evidence. It's ignorance.

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