Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Tale of Two Entities*

Joe Carter at "First Thoughts" makes the case that God exists (italics in original):
Because it is possible for the entire universe to cease to exist, its existence must be radically contingent. Even if the universe has always existed and was uncaused (i.e., the view of steady-state cosmology), its existence would still require a causal agent to keep it from ceasing to exist, to prevent its exnihilation. Since no natural cause exnihilates anything, the cause must be supernatural. A supernatural being (one that is itself uncaused) is required to prevent the universe from turning into nothingness.
In other words, even though everything that we know about universe tells us that it will not simply cease to exist, nevertheless, the universe could simply cease to exist. Ergo, there must be a supernatural being who cannot cease to exist who keeps the universe from ceasing to exist.

Call me crazy, but I'm not 100% sold on this yet.

* Original title changed to something more neutral with respect to the discussion.

2 Comments:

Blogger Joe Carter said...

In other words, even though everything that we know about universe tells us that it will not simply cease to exist, nevertheless, the universe could simply cease to exist.

What are you basing that assumption on? There was a time when the universe did not exist, so its existence is not self-caused. If it cannot cause it's own existence, then it's continued existence is contingent on something else.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

I'm not trying to defend the assumption. I'm pointing out that that is where your post ended up.

Your discussion centered on two entities:

#1: The universe. This is an entity that we know quite a bit about. You wrote "no natural cause exnihilates anything". It would therefore seem reasonable to conclude that the universe won't exnihilate, but somehow your post is defending the opposite position.

#2: An entity, about whom we know nothing in this early stage of argumentation, except that it, alone, is definitively not vulnerable to exnihilation.

The entity about which we know much seems to perversely defy our conclusion, while the entity about which we know nothing gives us our only definitive knowledge. To the weekend philosopher, that seems a rather odd ground to make a stand upon.

In any case, I think my post at your blog addresses "There was a time when the universe did not exist".

11:38 PM  

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