Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Atheists Need To Prove That The Universe Is Infinite And Eternal

Current science is very much against atheism (although a lot of scientists won't admit it). It's basically proven that God exists. So atheists have their work cut out for them if they don't want to go along with that. They have to prove that the stuff cosmologists and physicists are constantly affirming is false.

When talking about the beginning of the universe (backed by Big Bang Theory, Red Light Shift etc.), if atheists want to avoid the logical conclusion of a higher supernatural power, they have to somehow show that the universe could either create itself, or was never created in the first place.

Here's a noble attempt from one of the regulars.

P1. If something cannot come from nothing, then the Universe is eternal.  
P2. Something does not come from nothing.
C1. Therefore, the Universe is eternal.
Does this work? We agree completely that something can't come from nothing. 0+0=0 and will never be anything else. So there must have been something to start with.
Our scientific evidence tells us that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe, so we have to deal with that. But Mr Truth here is saying that there can't have been a beginning.
Something must be wrong here, because our evidence tells us that the universe is not eternal.

The conclusion here does logically follow if the two premises are true. We're all certain that P2 is true, so P1 must be the problem. If you haven't seen it by now yourself, I'll point out that simply P1 is a sentence that doesn't make sense on its own - not as most people understand it anyway.

A little further down, you'll see how Mr Truth defines the universe:
the Universe is defined as everything that exists
Basically, it's been badly defined. We have our universe (which I define as this space-time area that began, expands, and will die out) and so we must have something else which the universe must have come from - which I would call 'the cosmos'.
Mr Truth has seen our universe (space, time, matter), learned that all that began at some point, realised that the possibility of nothing can't be true, and so expanded the word 'universe' to also mean everything outside the space that we live in - because on his definition 'universe' means 'everything that exists'. Anything new that is discovered becomes part of the universe.
It confuses things. For simplicity and clarity, I use two words: universe and cosmos. Mr Truth uses one word to mean both, so his meanings get muddled.

What his argument should say (on clearer terms) is this:

P1. If something cannot come from nothing, then the cosmos is eternal.
P2. Something does not come from nothing.
C1. Therefore, the cosmos is eternal.

The proof that God exists is pretty much in agreement with this. But with this clearer defined argument, backed with the evidence that the universe began at the Big Bang, Mr Truth has done absolutely nothing to show that the universe is eternal. In fact, the argument presented with better definitions really does need better logical support (which I can provide):

P1. If something cannot come from nothing, then the universe (being something) came from something else.
P2. Something does not come from nothing. 

C1. The universe came from something else (defined as cosmos).
P3. If the cosmos did not come from something else, it must be eternal.
P4. The cosmos did not come from something else.
C2. Therefore, the cosmos is eternal.

The only shaky premise here is P4, but that can be avoided if we define 'the cosmos' as everything that ever exists, while 'universe' is simply a closed system. This is what Mr Truth meant in the first place, but having one word meaning two things confused the issue.
I wouldn't force the definition 'everything that ever exists' on it immediately though. I'd prefer to pencil in 'whatever is outside of universes' and then figure out what that might be.

Basically, we're in agreement that something must exist beyond the universe in order for anything to exist at all. Mr Truth however confuses things and makes it seem as though somehow the universe created itself.

In defense of P1 It may be possible for the Universe to have been created.
Nice of you to admit it.
To be considered a rational alternative, however, evidence would be required of this creator.
All the millions of testimonies, historical accounts, archaeology, and scientific stuff we have should cover it.
A baseless or faith-based assertion that the Universe is evidence of a creator is not based on reason but faith or wishful thinking.
What we have here is yet more confusion about what words mean. Mr Truth treats 'baseless' or 'faith-based' as the same thing. Clearly they aren't. It's right there in the words, so there's no excuse for this one! 'Baseless' is clearly is not the same as 'something based on faith' whatever faith is.
I'm gonna go ahead and assume (because usually this is the way he uses it) that when he says 'faith', he means 'blind faith'. These things aren't the same. 'Faith' means 'trust', which is usually based on evidence. So a faith-based claim would most likely be backed by evidence. An evidence based claim is not necessarily based on 'wishful thinking'.
It is not wishful thinking to hypothesize an uncreated eternal Universe because observations and theories of science fully support this hypothesis, and all the required elements of this theory can be empirically demonstrated.
Is that right? I'm quite certain that Hubble and Einstein would disagree with Mr Truth on this. Scientific observation points us to the practically inescapable fact of a universe with a beginning.
But I suppose Mr Truth's statement of the opposite of reality here might follow on from not understanding the meanings of the words he uses in the first place.

At the very least, an explanation of how a creator capable of creating a Universe could itself be uncreated would be required as an alternative
Why would the creator need an explanation when Mr Truth has given reasons why the universe can exist by itself for eternity already? Why does one thing need a certain kind of evidence and another doesn't? I don't even know what Mr Truth is asking for. The reason we think the cosmos must be eternal (if it's just a natural thing) is exactly the same as why God must be!
Additionally, it must be explained by the god believer how an immaterial entity can have any causal efficacy on the material Universe.
Again, he's asking for more evidence than is required for the case to be made. That's not how science works Mr Truth! Take gravity as an example: We know it's there and it's doing its thing, scientists have theories about it, but no one really knows for sure how it works and how it interacts with stuff.
When you're talking about God creating the universe, it's one thing to show that he's there, but how he did it is a separate question.
Replace the word 'God' there for 'cosmos'. We're pretty sure that it's there, but what it is and how it interacts is a different question. 

The proof shows that God essentially is the cosmos, so it's the same question, but atheists have to figure out how the cosmos could be anything but God.
I should probably note here that Mr Truth thinks that the word 'immaterial' means exactly the same thing as 'imaginary'. So it's no wonder he's confused about how something imaginary could effect reality.
P3. If nothing cannot surround something, then the Universe is infinite.
P4. Nothing cannot surround something.
C2.Therefore, the Universe is infinite. 
Mr Truth's next move is the exact same thing again, just replacing 'eternal' for 'infinite'. It's the same mess of not using words properly and coming to the same conclusion that the universe is finite, while the cosmos is infinite. I don't need to cover this ground again.
The simplest known substance that could extend boundlessly is space, its substance being its volume rather than any substance in the material sense of the word.
What? Just what? Volume is a measurement. It's not a substance that can exist infinitely! Mr Truth is an avowed materialist, so I haven't a clue what he's referring to when he says space is an immaterial volume here. I think he's recognising that space began to exist in the Big Bang, and calling something outside of the universe immaterial space, but that makes no sense on his worldview and I can't began to work it out.
Those claiming that the laws of thermodynamics are violated by this hypothesis are mistaken. The first Law is only violated by the concept of creation. 
Brush up on your science Mr Truth. Scientists believe that the laws of thermodynamics as well as most other natural laws don't necessarily apply to the Big Bang.
Thus, the Universe cannot have been created and cannot be destroyed.
Keep saying things that are entirely opposite to scientific thought Mr Truth. It means I don't have to say anything in response. 

It was a valiant attempt at disproving the existence of God Mr Truth, but it doesn't hold up when compared to the conclusions of science or even the words in the dictionary.

Mr Truth does bring up an interesting point about the First Law of Thermodynamics though. The options for what happened are one of the following:
1. Either the universe must be eternal
2. The universe must have created itself
3. The Laws of Thermodynamics do not apply to the Big Bang.
Seeing as we know 1 and 2 are just wrong, it must be option 3!

Scientists are pretty clued up about the idea that classical physics doesn't make sense when looking at the beginning of the universe. They mainly rely on quantum physics, which plays by different rules. There's a lot of leading quantum physicists who claim that consciousness is a requirement for quantum physics to work.
So if consciousness needed to be there to make quantum physics happen, it's not a big step from that to a god of some sort.