16th July 2014 – The Cosmological Argument

Continuing from my last post…

Premise 2: The universe has a beginning

  • There are 2 main paths in arguing that the universe had a beginning – maths and science
  • The pathway of maths states that the universe must have had a beginning because it can’t have an infinite past
  • This would mean having an infinite number of events which is called an ‘actual infinity’
  • The idea of an actual infinity is conceptual because it comes out with inconsistent answers so it can’t be used to describe real world events
  • But surely this could rule out the prospect of an eternal deity?
  • The Bible says that God is eternal in the sense of timelessness – he created time and so is outside of it
  • The pathway of science uses scientific discoveries of the last hundred years to prove the Big Bang Theory:
  1. 1915: Einstein’s general theory of relativity – the universe should either be exploding or imploding, the universe can’t be static (unless he ‘fudged his equations’)
  2. 1920s: Friedman and Lemaître estimated that the universe was expanding so if you went backwards there must have been a point where there was a beginning
  3. 1929: Hubble and the red shift proved that galaxies are in fact moving away from us hence the universe is expanding
  4. 1940s: Gamow predicted that if the Big Bang happened, the background temperature of the universe should be a few degrees above absolute zero
  5. 1965: background radiation measured at 3.7°
  6. The origin of light elements – need a powerful furnace like the BB itself (can’t be made in the interior of stars like the heavy elements)
  • Even Stephen Hawking said that “almost everyone now believes that the universe and time itself had a beginning at the BB”

What I have learned from this area in particular is that the majority of the scientific evidence of the 1900s directly proves that the Big Bang (BB) happened. I have now got a deeper understanding of the cosmological argument (CA) that states that if the BB happened (which clearly, it did) there must have been a cause. So, here it comes…

Premise 3: Therefore, the universe had a cause

  • This is the logical conclusion based on the first 2 premises
  • If you agree with the first 2 points, you can’t deny this
  • I touched on this earlier but here it is with a bit more clarity…
  • If everything that begins to exist has a cause, who created God?
  • This misses the point of the CA – it’s not ‘everything’ but ‘everything that begins to exist’ has a cause
  • As I have mentioned the God of the Bible is eternal and is therefore outside time meaning He did not begin to exist
  • And another thing, atheists try to argue that the universe doesn’t need a cause so why does the idea that God doesn’t need a cause seem so absurd?!

So that’s the cosmological argument in a nutshell 🙂

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