Something From Nothing

Absolutely we can discuss this, Josh! It is very appropriate here. (And even though you’ve been lurking a while … welcome to the discussion, where you belong!)

I’m just going to give one brief reaction here for now - I won’t pretend it’s adequate, and hopefully others will provide more discussion yet. But one thing Krauss & Co. seem to do a lot is react against the crowd who they see as “Here is a gap in my knowledge … therefore … Goddidit!” by giving a mirrored result (sharing completely in the presumed philosophy), and saying “Here is our knowledge of how this works … therefore … no God!” It would be sort of like me suddenly getting disturbed in my mathematics classroom if I realized I had just solved a problem on the board, and didn’t invoke God anywhere in the process - so I then leap to the conclusion that God is unnecessary. Of course this is all easily answered - the aggressively atheistic conclusions as well as the naively caricatured theism.

I hope you don’t mind if I bring up your post over in our “Apologetics” thread, because the struggle you describe is very pertinent to what we’ve been discussing over there too.


I suppose the New Atheist Kind of response to “Why” is a Shoulder Shrug? LOL!

Ha. Yeah, some people may not be interested in the ultimate “why” questions to begin with, and maybe don’t know how to properly frame them.
In this case, I think Lawrence sets up his (philosophically naive) New Atheist audience to think that he’s really answering the age-old question that philosophers and theologians have pondered for centuries (why is there something rather than nothing). But then he does a bait-and-switch by altering definitions of “nothing” and claiming to answer something that he really didn’t. Like man! Philosophy and theology are useless because science had the answer all along… :wink:

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I have particularly enjoyed reading your posts Mitchell! Very, Very unique beliefs you have.

If you don’t mind, my initial thoughts on your reasons. Underdevloped as Im not formally trained in the Sciences, or Theology/Philosophy for that matter:

  1. Is this a way of saying, somehow, that science cant answer everything?

  2. Is Exisitentialism usually agnostic or Indifferent to God? I always thought it was

  3. Quantum Physics is intriguing. The account that I copy and pasted from in my original post has discussed Quantum Physics before but summed it up as “Not knowing what hell is going on” which to me, does not rule out a God belief wholesale at the very least

  4. Ah Mysticism. It seems to be making a slow comeback amongst deconstructing Christians. Methinks Church leaders are afraid because it involves not knowing or being certain of everything!

  5. In Our Polarised world, some might view this as quaint?

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Hi Mervin

Yes, move it where it is most appropriate!

God of the Gaps, The Christian apologists greatest undoing? Then again, it seems Atheists can Grasp at straws just as much?

Could you expand on “Of course this is all easily answered”


Hi, and welcome. :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t know how long you’ve been ‘hovering’ or ‘lurking’, or how thoroughly you browse, but objective evidence has been discussed before. There is good evidence for God’s existence, but it does require epistemic humility before him and a childlike willingness to connect the dots:

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I found that really interesting. Really turns the question on it head as there seems to be a sleight of hand in it where the objector is assuming “nature did it” is the axiomatic posture to take for the origin of the universe or why there is something rather than nothing.

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Hi Laura, thanks for the warm welcome. Ive had many tabs open on my computer for this forum (don’t worry, I get out too haha)

I suppose it would be difficult to engage further with people who don’t particularly seem interested in the “why” regarding any sort of philosophical question. Unless in this case, they have far too high a view of humanity despite our shortcomings? As if we deserve to be able to detect God’s interactions?

Yes, a small God doesn’t much appeal to me either

Haha, your last paragraph. Ina comments section of another post from that Instagram account, there was a back and forth spew regarding things being falsifiable. Needless to say, it went nowhere!


Cheers Dale. Ive been lurking quite a bit in all honesty! Ill save this link, don’t think ive come across this one

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Oh - it doesn’t need to be moved anywhere other than where you put it right here. I was just wanting to give you a heads-up in case I want to mention some of your discussion elsewhere so that you don’t feel like we’re talking behind your back.

As in - there has been no credibe challenge given - so there really isn’t even anything to answer. So Krauss doesn’t believe in any Zeus-like deity (only a bigger model - one that presumably is good for popping the universe into existence) who is also then running around and occassionally “interfering in creation” to do some miracles or supernatural mischief. Very well. Many (most?) of us believers around here don’t believe in a god like that either. So kudos to Krauss for stepping away from that. Meanwhile, the God we do believe in (also a Creator and Sustainer of everything - including the cosmos and its intelligible processes that we can even study) is not just another “being” to be discovered or proven. God is the ground of all existence itself in a classical Christian view. So there is no science or scientific discovery which will touch on that belief any more than I would expect a mathematical formula to suddenly reveal a miracle to me.

So my answer to Krauss would be congratulations. We agree on this! - that is, until you start presuming that all God-belief must be irrational because you insist that all god-belief must be on your terms. Which it isn’t. And in fact may not even be about that at all (which is part of where we’re going in the Penner Apologetics thread.


That’s the same kind of direction my train of thought tends to go with that… basically placing ourselves and what we are capable of “detecting” as the be all, end all of the universe. Kind of implying that if we can’t scientifically detect something it’s not even worth believing.


It doesn’t get more courageous than this of you Josh. For me Leibniz’ question is only scientifically approachable; with the philosophy of science and rationality extrapolated from it. Terribly cognitively biased of me I’m sure. Eternal nature is the brute fact. I can think of none more brutal. Encapsulating it in God without warrant explains, adds nothing at all at infinite cost. The universe is utterly mediocre, insignificant, infinitesimal. I can’t think of anything philosophy can say any more than religion can. Apart from to doubt everything including doubt. In a sense they’re right, existence is absurd. Kierkegaard.

Desire alone is not sufficient warrant. The only possible, positable warrant is Jesus. This is what Kierkegaard realised I misunderstand I’m sure. Welcome to fideism shorn of natural theology. Faith is not reasonable. I still hanker for it. Want to live as if transcendence is real, like my patron saint, Puddleglum - it’s easier to believe in God than in a meaningful afterlife; I can see that life is better with God for most people. And I can argue for a best case God to be better with.

What have we got to lose eh?

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Welcome. I think I still qualify as a non and there are others here as I guess you know who are entirely comfortable with the atheist monicker. I feel the agnostic label is a better fit but if pressed as to whether I think a being exists who created everything and guiding it along a path with a purpose I’ll freely admit I do not. But I realize the God-does-NOT-exist position is on the same shaky ground as those who think God exist precisely as they envision Him and has exactly the qualities and agenda that they imaging Him as having. As a result I’ve taken to talking about that which has given rise to and still supports God belief rather than God Himself, because that at least I do think is real, important and dynamic. While I am not a card carrying member of the club, I am a regular here and enjoy the company of thoughtfulChristians who are good neighbors.

Merv mentioned the End of Apologetics thread that is going on now. At 24 I imagine you are a busy guy but if you’re interested your participation in that thread would be a plus.


This is just a phenomenally bad argument. By this logic, if J. K. Rowling created the world of the Harry Potter novels, then the characters in those novels should be able to detect her interactions with their physical reality. Because they don’t see any evidence of a novelist, Rowling must not exist.


Why should that be so? It’s the Intelligent Design movement that think that God’s actions are detectable.

Would this look like the characters in the novels wondering where they came from??

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In Fairness, the instagram account i was quoting here seems to come from the Literalist line of thinking so its to be expected he thinks in those terms i guess

Hi Mark. I will be checking it out, i only work 9-5 so for 24, im not particularly rushed off my feet. Hence, I’ll have the time to contribute!


The argument is usually that science answers the only questions worth asking. But that is very subjective judgement. The plain fact is that people do ask questions which science cannot answer – so they at least think those questions are worth asking.

But the most devastating challenge to this way of thinking is one simple fact: science consists of objective observation, while life requires subjective participation. So regardless of what you SAY are questions worth asking, the unavoidable fact is that you cannot live your life according to science alone. If anyone tries to convince you that they are living by the objective observation of science only, it is not very difficult to demonstrate that this is delusional. Even science does not hold itself up by its own bootstraps. It depends on values and judgments which are not themselves a product of the scientific methodology.

The acknowledged father of existentialism is Soren Kierkegaard who was a theist. It frequently happens that a theist starts a whole new philosophical movement and then the atheists and agnostic adapt this new way of thinking to their own preferences. Another such example is the only philosophy founded in America called pragmatism, by C. S. Pierce, adapted to the atheist viewpoint by John Dewey.

One of the more popular writers in existentialism which I was immediately attracted to was Albert Camus, who was very critical of the Christian establishment. It was no problem for me since I wasn’t raised Christian or any kind theist, but in fact made very aware of the problems with the Christian establishment. But my take away from Camus was possibly not quite what he may have intended. From “The Stranger” the message I got was that we could find value in the most terrible experiences of life. And from “The Myth of Sisyphus” the message I got was only that there was no need to accept the dictates of a horrific deity just because it would be hopeless to defy them; it just meant that I wasn’t going to believe in a god who had the character of a devil.

It is a little more than not knowing what is going on. The proposition of hidden variables was tested and proven false. So if there is “anything going on” then it will not fit within the accepted premises of the scientific worldview. The scientists just accept that nothing determines these results. In any case, that is what I have been talking about when I said the laws of nature are not causally closed.

For a head case like me, it simply means acknowledging the ultimate limitations of logic.

Yes I have noticed this abandonment of the foundations of our free society in the erosion of the principle of tolerance. One side gives the lame argument that tolerance includes a tolerance of intolerance. The other side give the bizarre argument that tolerance means a dictatorship of approved speech and thinking.

But facts are irrefutable. The evidence for an objective aspect to reality is compelling, and yet there is no evidence to support the presumption that reality is exclusively objective.

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If you are quoting somebody, and not using your own words, it would be less confusing if you would use quotation marks.