And now, after nine posts, the thesis: If we are careful, there is much to be gained from the analogy of God as the author of creation.
I have drawn out this one attribute (omnipotence) via this one argument (the KCA) so that I would not have to draw out the introduction of the analogy. Let’s see how that plays…
Let us consider an author, one just starting to write a book. Let’s say you are the author, for the time being.
You are writing a love story, set in pre-Industrial America. An upper class woman and a working class inventor, he working on a prototype for a steam engine. They have a rendezvous in his shop, a secret appointment, and things start to get, um, steamy…
(Nice pun at the end there, you).
All of the evocative details aside, do you not have power, say, to have a giraffe walk through the shop during the middle of a long kiss? Can’t you send stars crashing into each other in the rhythm of their heavy breathing? Can’t you cut away the rest of the planet, so that they exist, in this shop on a small island of earth, with a . . . → Read More: Existence of God – 9
One may get the feeling that I’ve been circling back a bit, and I hope that doesn’t induce any mental motion sickness (or too much tedium). I’ve heard somewhere that a speaker must state a thing five times in order for it to be retained by the hearer.
Alas, we will take the KCA as a step in this process, and now discern where it might lead. At the very least, I will now co-opt William Lane Craig’s hard work and twist it for my purposes.
Craig points out that, if the KCA is successful, it gives us a cause for the Universe (all time, space, matter, and energy) which transcends the Universe. He also notes that this cause must be unimaginably powerful. Is not the creation of the Universe the mightiest act you can conceive of?
And, in what seems to be a later addition to his thought on the subject, Craig notes that the KCA may even give us a personal cause – that is, a cause that acts, when it could have chosen not to act.
To further draw out the distinction: If the laws of physics really are responsible for the creation of the Universe, they . . . → Read More: Existence of God – 8
Without wanting to get anyone’s hands too dirty, I think it can be said without controversy that fathers suffer a bruised reputation these days. I will give you evidence – my favorite coffee shop, Caribou Coffee, has offered “BOGO” drinks on Mother’s Day, but had to be petitioned to offer them again (the following year) on Father’s Day. BOGO, of course, stands for “buy one, get one (free)”.
I mostly wanted free coffee, and would readily admit that mothers deserve the honor before fathers do. I think it’s proper that Mother’s Day should arrive first each year.
A funny thing happens to fathers who venture out with their children and without their mother. After a stranger, approaching in admiration, comments to me, “You’ve really got your hands full!” – four kids and their Papa, walking around the farmers market in good order and with pleasant dispositions – the next thing she/he says is, “You’re done now, right?”
If you are not the parent of multiple children, the intimation may not be obvious. What the stranger means is, you’re done having children, since four is plenty, right?
I think I’m quite within my rational rights to be upset about such a . . . → Read More: Fatherhood
Following the last set of posts on the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA), we have…well, what do we have?
Suppose you are skeptical – that may be fair. Which premise do you object to, and why?
For the skeptic, that is the only course of action here. The logic can’t be denied (unless you want to deny logic). Even for a hobbyist of philosophy, that’s pretty easy to see.
Let’s just say, for the sake of explanation, that you don’t like the first premise, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.” You think, vaguely (as I do),* that quantum mechanics must reveal some exception to this rule, or that somewhere down the line, we’ll find something truly astounding, which can’t be anticipated by this kind of logic. Maybe in a Universe with different rules of physics, there are also different rules of logic.
Aside from taking the opportunity to use a phrase like “atheism-of-the-gaps,” what I would point to is the notion that we don’t need 100% certainty of the argument for it to be successful. We just need the premises to be more plausibly true than their denials.
Is it more plausibly true, I would ask, that “Whatever begins to . . . → Read More: Existence of God – 7
We’ve been considering the concept of infinity as it relates to the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA) and the existence of God.
Imagine you’re stranded in a town in the middle of nowhere. It’s getting dark, and you need a place to stay for the night. You come to a 10 room hotel and ask the clerk for a room. He says, “Unfortunately, every room is booked. You might try Hilbert’s Hotel down the road. They’re full right now, but they always have room.”
You can feel your face wrench into a puzzled expression, and the clerk merely shrugs and goes back to his business. You figure, in any event, that Hilbert’s Hotel might be the only other place in town, and it might be worth suffering some word play in order to find a place to sleep.
As you go, you seem dimly that Hilbert’s Hotel is quite a long building. It seems to go on forever toward the horizon, or as much of the horizon as you can still make out. You step inside.
“Hi, I’d like a room. The gentleman down the road said you were full, but might have a room anyway?”
The proprietor smiles at you. . . . → Read More: Existence of God – 6
In the last post we saw (in brief) how the Kalam Cosmological Argument (hereafter, KCA) interacts with physics – namely, how it is supported by the fundamental acceptance of causality in science (or science would soon die) and how the evidence seems to point to an absolute beginning of the Universe.
In light of this evidence (and the evidence for fine-tuning), many theorists have posited some form of a multiverse, the idea that though we are causally isolated from all other universes (often thought of as bubbles in a great foaming sea), ours is only one of many possible worlds. Perhaps infinitely many, which would wash out much of the significance of the fine-tuning argument.
But let’s pause and consider – is it possible for an actually infinite number of things to exist?
Interesting as it is to apply this question to the multiverse, we should prefer to handle one argument at a time. If someone responds to Premise 2 of the KCA – The Universe began to exist – by saying it might not have, but rather, it could be past-eternal, we come to the question at hand: Can an actually infinite number of things (in this case, past . . . → Read More: Existence of God – 5