Something From Nothing

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!

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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.

You’ve not read The Land of Laughs have you? Or The Athenian Murders. The . most . spine . tingling . moment . in . a . story . I . have . ever . read. I remember exactly where I was when I read it. Glad I wasn’t alone.

I feel like I’m talking nonsense now, BUT

God writes us as if He didn’t.

He did. The OP has quotation marks where the quote begins and ends – it’s several paragraphs.

Oh, I see that now. with a quotations that goes over several paragraphs you usually add more quotation marks for each paragraph.

Exactly. Not that this is necessarily the best model for what our universe is like, but if an argument for the simplest of analogous situations, it’s not a very good argument.

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btw, Lawrence Krauss has been embroiled in sex scandals. So much for him! I did see him live one time at the World Science Festival, along with Neil deGrasse Tyson and S. James Gates. That was a long time ago.

That does nothing to dispel his arguments.

Vinnie

Saying science can’t answer everything is just a fact. It’s one epistemology with a certain set of tools, but those tools do not give you access to knowledge about all facets of reality.

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On a star-filled night, Dick and Jane looked up and saw something fall like lightning. :astonished:

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Hi Again Steve

I was thinking about your comment again this morning. With your comparison taken into account, its almost like the atheist making the argument is still in the mindset of the Great Designer God who creates playthings? I suppose you could compare that to an author who writes characters into their story to do what the author wants them to do instead of giving them free will to write their own story?

Hi Mervin

Ah i see now. Yes absolutely, bring it up anywhere you see fit. Ill check that thread out in depth later

Such as?

Oooh, and yes, what science, i.e. empiricism, can’t answer, rationality can.

Unless one is too postmodern to be of any use.

Interestingly many authors describe their writing process as recording what their characters come up with on their own.

Many fiction writers say that their characters seem to have minds of their own. Writers sometimes report that they feel that the events in their novel, or even the words themselves, are being dictated to them outside of their conscious control. Some writers report that they need their characters to do something, presumably for some plot reason, but the character “refuses” to do it.

This feeling, the “illusion of independent agency,” is quite common. I was at a writers’ panel and one author said that her characters wouldn’t do what she said, and another writer said that he was in complete control of his characters. Marjorie Taylor surveyed 50 fiction authors and found that a full 92 percent of them experienced this phenomenon of their characters having their own agency.

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@JoshCarlsen

if you are close to Cambridge, we will be there next month hosting an event talking about science and religion in the UK. You might like it!

ttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/diving-deep-into-science-and-religion-tickets-379707564547

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Hi Hillary!

Unfortunately, i cant make that in person but ill be sure to listen to the podcast! Im actually in the north west of England so id have to make it an overnight thing haha!

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Josh,
The Latin words for the situation you are struggling with are *ex nihilo," which means “out of nothing”*and “de novo” which means " new beginning." The caveat is that “ex nihilo” means “nothing physical” and *de novo’*new beginnings are like the, Genesis “let there be” creations. Nothing physical, before time or space is beyond science, however, it accurately describes the mind, will and Word of the Creator. The *Bible" is not intended to be a science textbook. Still, after years of scientific and theological study, I am confident that John 1:1-3 and Genesis are true. I will list a few points to explain what I believe is biblically and scientifically solid:

  • General and Special relativity is the best scientific explanation of our origin from the Initial Singularity (see Britanica or Wikipedia), which began spacetime at the second picosecond (best calculation) of time and started the Planck epoch (Big Bang.)

  • No one ever has or ever will actually know how the Initial Singularity arrived with our universe and spacetime in that first picosecond (or possibly an eternity before time). So, I think there are more reasons to believe in a Creator than speculate about Black Holes, String Theories and other “shot in the dark” guesses.

  • IF** you go with ex nihilo" creation*; science and theology fall neatly into their places. For instance, John 1: 1-3 is fulfilled and Genesis is an eyewitness outline of creation by the Creator himself. Remember that "without faith it is impossible to please God. At the creation you are required to choose a Creator on faith, or something else on speculation.

  • IF** you continue with de novo creation; Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is the scientific tool of nature the Creator probably used to initially speak His creation into material being. The new beginnings are the “Let there be” instructions to the electromagnetic field outlined in Genesis. By the power of His Word, quantum interactions respond with Standard Model Elementary Particles. (Possibly like Jesus calmed the Sea of Gallilee.)

This is not a “God of the gaps” explanation. Only the God if the Bible could “do it” unless you prefer the Black Hole, String Theory or other speculations. And, yes, God does interact with our physical reality, Evolution is a feature of nature He put in place to maintain and develop the creation for His purposes within His guidelines. A careful examination of the anthropic principles active in our universe reveals glaring examples of His grace to humanity. Otherwise we would have gone extinct eons ago. Earth was “taylor made” for us. For example, Astrophysist Hugh Ross points out that the heavy elements and radioisotopes to make Earth and us required at least three generations of supernova many times larger than our sun to explode to provide the necessary raw materials. Yes, it turns out that we are made of star “dust.”

No, the universe was never “self existent.” It has a finite age of about 13.8 billion years old. The first nine to ten billion years were required for the three generations of supernova mentioned above, before the creation of the Milky Way galaxy and our planetary system about 3.8 to 4 billion years ago.

Finally, you pointed out the need for God’s involvement with us. Jesus explained it to Nicodemus. His Holy Spirit is alive, well, and deeply involved. Here is a sentence to ponder in light of what God is doing as explained in the little book of John. Think about this, “God works with us anonymously so we can live before Him autonomously.” If He did it any other way we would not have the freedom of choice to respond to the Holy Spirit and choose to be adopted into His family.

No, the "foundations of your faith do not rest on falsifiable evidence and yes there are good reasons to believe in the God of the Bible. His promises are true, His love is dependable, and He is faithful. The foundation of your faith must rest on the finished work of Jesus Christ because there is none other who can safely bring you into the presence of God as an adopted son. His sacrifice on the cross paid your way. Dig into the Bible and study God’s Word to understand how this all comes together.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a sign of trust and deep questions are appropriate here in this safe environment.

I hope my brief comments are helpful. I am working on a 345 page manuscript to explain these things for my grandsons who are 22 to 28 and other young adults like you.

Blessings

Bill

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@klax, “Umney’s Last Case” by Stephen King. Only thing I’ve read by him.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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