Re: Defense of Theism pt 1

From: Rich Blinne <rich.blinne@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Jun 21 2005 - 10:14:10 EDT

On 6/19/05, Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net> wrote:
>
> The series of posts will outline some thoughts I have why theism is
> better than the other options, atheism, agnosticism, pantheism etc. My
> thoughts
> here are in line with my constant question of how does Christianity
> differentiate itself from other religions, if we start with an
> assumption that Christianity is truth and then build an apologetic on top
> of that.
> Circularity should be avoided at all possible times. This essay is an
> attempt to defend theism against atheism and will show that the atheist,
> even if he refuses to admit it, is in much the same boat as the theist.
> What does it mean to be? To exist? For humans to exist presupposes the
> existence of the universe. For the universe, this question causes great
> problems. What do we presuppose for the existence of the universe?
> Science
> has suggested several answers to this question. However, as we will
> see, all
> of the scientific answers stop short of actually explaining existence.
> Berkeley says
>
> "Nothing seems of more importance towards erecting a firm system of
> sound
> and real knowledge, which may be proof against the assaults of
> Scepticism,
> than to lay the beginning in a distinct explication of what is meant by
> thing, reality, existence; for in vain shall we dispute concerning
> the real
> existence of things, or pretend to any knowledge thereof, so long as
> we have
> not fixed the meaning of those words." (Berkeley, 1710, Sec 89)
>
> Now, looking at the options for the reason of the universe's
> existence (or
> at least the ones I can think of), we have
>
> 1. God
> 2. the universe itself
> 3. logic
> 4. math
> 5. vacuum
> 6. inflaton field
> 7. ourselves

 ...

The Universe
> ...
> Now, what this does is posit eternal existence to the universe itself
> and does away with the Big Bang. But, why does it EXIST? What logic
> requires
> such a self-contained universe to actually exist rather than absolutely
> nothingness be the case? Science can't seem to answer that and it
> seems very difficult to construct an experiment to address that question.
> Lacking such an experiment, it seems to me that we have gone outside of
> science
> when we address the existence of the universe in Hawking's no-boundary
> universe. But even if his view is accepted, one must posit god-like
> properties
> to his universe--the property of self-existence/self-creation, logic, math
> and
> eternally past existence. This proposal actually avoids explaining
> existence.

  You picked the right framework here. Of the theistic arguments the
Cosmological Argument (which is what you are doing) is easier to establish
than the Teleological Argument that ID has tried. Given your goals, however,
it places some restrictions on how you argue the cosmological argument. What
you label as Nature is better labelled self-existence. A self-existent
entity requires no cause just like inertia requires no force. If the
Universe is eternal as Hawkings posits then it could be self-existent. You
counter even so it is not self-existent. Unfortunately, for a concordist you
cannot go there. While I see a concordist showing that the Bible allows for
evolution I don't see how the same can be done for an eternal Universe. If
the Universe is not eternal then the Cosmological Argument is a slam dunk.
The Universe cannot be either self-created nor self-existent and only one
real possibility is left, God. But, and this is a big but, if the Universe
is eternal then even though a god is possible the god here is not the God of
the Bible.
 Thus, the Cosmological Argument simplifies greatly given concordism. Either
the Universe is eternal (if there is a god he/she/it is unknowable) or God
is.
Received on Tue Jun 21 10:15:40 2005

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