Tag Archives: God

Quora Answers 9/7/20: The Kalam Cosmological “Argument”

Today I am answering the following Quora question on the Kalam Cosmological Argument:

Is there a flaw in the Kalam cosmological argument?

My Answer

I assume you mean the form of the argument made popular by William Lane Craig. Which takes this essential form:

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause
  4. Therefore God must have created it.

Let me show why this does not work.

  1. Yes, whatever begins to exist generally does have a cause. Which is to say that it did not always exist and did not come about by magic.

    However, the universe is not a thing. The concept of the universe refers to the totality of everything that exists. Regardless of what exists, we can lump everything that exists under the concept “universe”.

    But does the universe have a cause? Well, yes the concept of the universe has a cause. The need to refer to the totality of existence.

    But does existence have a cause? No, it does not. Existence has always existed. No matter how far “back in time” you go, you will always find that something has existed.

    There is no alternative to existence. There is no point at which nothing existed. And if there was, there would be nothing to cause existence to come into being.

    Therefore since existence has always existed and there is nothing that could cause the universe to come into existence, existence cannot have a cause.
  2. Since the universe refers to everything in existence, for the universe to have a cause, existence would have to have a cause. But we have shown that existence has no cause.
  3. Therefore since the existence has no cause, the universe has no cause.

I could go on and point out the Kalam Cosmological Argument has many flaws.

Firstly, the first premise applies to God. If God exists, then God must have a cause. According to Christians, God began to exist therefore god had to have a cause.

So what caused God? And if something caused God, then that thing must have existed and something must have caused that to exist.

And so on you, have an infinite series of creators that must have created each other.

Why does God get to be an uncaused entity? Logically he could not be. And if something created God, is that creator more powerful than God. If so, then that more powerful entity must be created by a yet more powerful entity.

So you have an infinite series of increasingly more powerful God-creating Creator gods.

Which is clearly logically absurd.

God, Kalam Cosmological argument
Hey God, who created you? And who created that God? Or do you get to be an arbitrary exception. If only there was a name for that logical fallacy…

It also greatly diminishes the importance of God as the ultimate creator. Since he is merely the last in the line of an endless line of more powerful creator Gods.

Which means that God cannot be omnipotent. Why? Because there is now a long series of entities far more powerful than God is.

That or all the other gods are just as powerful and God is part of an endless series of gods of equal power than created each other. It is Gods all the way down.

Which rather diminishes the uniqueness of God.

Or, God gets to be the exception to logic and was able to magically create himself.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is of course an example of the special pleading fallacy.

What is the special pleading fallacy? That is when you establish a principle such as “everything must have a cause” and then make arbitrary exceptions to that principle for no reason.

In other words, you make a claim and then make exceptions to it for no reason. Everything is meant to adhere to the principle except for the things which you make exceptions for.

This creates a double standard where your opponents are expected to adhere to your principles but you get to make exceptions without providing any reason for why your exceptions are valid.

If we are allowed to make God immune to logic, why bother with logic at all? Why not just assume that the universe is magic?

Or, more logically, that the Kalam Cosmological argument is invalid.

But of course, the fact that this is entirely illogical is not going to bother Creationists such as Craig. Since they are perfectly willing to use logic as long as does not apply to God or anything in the Bible.

Which is why it is pointless to argue with them. As they will never listen to logic or reason when it clashes with what they have accepted on faith. For no reason and against all reason.

It is therefore rather pointless to point any of this out to them. As once you have closed your mind to logic and reason, you have closed your mind to reality. And such people cannot be reasoned with. It would be rather a waste of time to try….

bear dog kinds

Biblical Absurdities: Animal “Kinds”.

If you are familiar with the fable of Noah’s Ark, you may recall that the Bible discusses how Noah took two of each kind of animal onto his inadequate Ark. What is all this talk of kinds?

As you would expect, the people that wrote the Old Testament were more than a little lacking when it came to knowledge of taxonomy.

Their knowledge of animals presumably extended to the animals they knew about in their geographic area. As well as, perhaps, some other animals they heard about from those that had travelled to other areas.

They had no way of knowing that there are by some estimates 6.5 million species of land-dwelling animals.

They probably thought that there were only a few hundred, maybe several thousand different species of animals. It seems likely that they had no conception that there might be millions of species of land animals.

So, it is perhaps not surprising that they believed that a giant wooden ark might be able to house two of every species of land animal.

But wait, the Bible does not say species, now does it? No, it does not. It talks of kinds of animals in several places. We will focus on this example of the use of “kinds”:

Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”

Genesis 6:20, King James Version.

What is a kind? Good luck figuring that out. Nobody seems to know. Does that stop the Creationists chiming in? No, of course not.

What do they say a kind is? I do not know what they think a kind is. They do not seem to know themselves.

It would help if we appreciated the problem that they think they are solving. Which is what?

The Creationists seem to be aware that we have a lot of land-dwelling species around us (to say nothing of all the countless extinct ones). So many that two of each of these species could not all have fit onto this mythical boat.

Whoops! But God said two of each kind of animal was on the Ark!

plant kinds
Um, what about all the land-dwelling plants? Did they all get destroyed in the flood? Or did Noah take kinds of plants too?

Yes, two of each kind. Who is to say that kind is the same as the concept of species?

Maybe Noah got two of the cat kind and two of the dog kind and two of the bear kind and two of the rabbit kind and so on.

This seems like it might be helpful. Then Noah does not need nearly 6.5 million species of animals. He just needs two of every kind of animal. And how many kinds of animals are there?

Not nearly as many animals right? Well, this does not really help.

You see, Creationists like to use this anti-concept of “kind” to group all sorts of organisms together into undefined and undefinable groups.

They do this based on grouping together things that look and or act similar. Orwhich they arbitrarily decide are related and hence part of the same “kind”.

For instance, they like to pretend that anything they consider to be a cat, must belong to the cat kind.

Lions look like cats, so they are part of the cat kind. Tigers look like cats, so they too are members of the cat kind.

What about the lynx or panthers? Are they members of the cat kind? Presumably.

But let us consider the Carnivora suborder of Feliformia. This includes the taxonomic order Felidae or cats. I would assume Creationists would classify most or all members of Felidae as the cat kind.

But what about some very cat-like members of Feliformia that are not in the order Felidae and therefore not cats?

What about the extinct family known as Barbourofelidae, a family of sabre-toothed “cats” ? They are not in the Felidae family, but they are closely related to this family.

Are they members of the cat kind?

What about members of the extinct family Nimravidae? These are even more distantly related than the family Barbourofelidae and had different bone structures in the ear to extant Feliformia. As well as more low-slung bodies with shorter legs and tails than typically associated with cats.

Are members of the Nimravidae family considered part of the cat kind?

At what point does something stop being in the cat kind? How dissimilar to cats does something have to be to what they consider cats before it is no longer part of the cat kind?

They do not know! They have no answer to this. Because there is no logical answer to this. There is no clear, logical point where you can logically suddenly decide that something closely related to cats is not part of the cat kind.

We can do the same with any kind they care to name. Such as the bear kind.

Bears are animals of the family Ursidae. But what do Creationists consider to be part of the bear kind? Presumably, brown bears, polar bears and giant pandas and other similar bears, such as the sun bear.

But what about sloth bears? They are members of the family Ursidae, are they part of this bear kind? What about spectacled bears?

What about members of the extinct subfamily of Ursidae known as Hemicyoninae or “dog-bears”? They are very bear-like but also very dog-like. Are they in the bear family or the dog family?

bear-dog kinds
Yeah, is this of the bear or dog kind? How would you know? It looks a lot like both a bear and a dog to me…

Yes, remember we know that bears and dogs are very closely related. Both Ursidae, bears and Canidae, dogs are closely related branches of the family Caniformia.

What kind are the members of the Caniformia family? At what point does something leave this family and become either part of the dog family?

What kinds are members of the Arctoidea family that includes both bears, bear-dogs and mustelids?

Are mustelids part of the bear kind? They are closely related and look a lot like small bears? Or do they form their own arbitrary mustelid kind? Or the Arctoidea kind?

At what point does something stop being a bear and become some related kind?

Creationists have no clear or logical answer. Again, because there is none.

What about rabbits? Rabbits are organisms in the family Leporidae

Are pygmy rabbits part of the rabbit kind? What about the Sumatran striped rabbit which looks quite different? Or the Anami rabbit which barely looks like a rabbit at all? Or the tiny Swamp rabbit which I can hold in my hand?

Are these all part of the rabbit kind?

What about hares? They are rabbit-like. But they belong to a different family, the family Lepus. Are they part of the rabbit kind or a separate hare kind?

What about the Pika? They are another family in the Lagomorpha order which includes rabbits and hares. Are they part of the rabbit or hare kind? Or the Pika kind? Even though they look like short-eared rabbits or hares

What about members of the Glire clade? It is the parent clade of the Lagomorpha order. Where do you draw the line between Glires and members of the Lagomorpha order you consider part of the rabbit kind?

At no point is it clear where something closely related to a cat stops being part of the cat kind. Or where something closely related to a bear stops being part of the bear kind. And so on for every other kind you care to name.

There is never any clear and distinct point where you decide something that is closely related to members of one kind is no longer part of that kind.

It is easy to include things that clearly look like “cats”. But at some point, you have no way to clearly decide which closely related species belong to this kind or another kind. And so on.

Biblical Absurdities: How Much Space Does the Ark Need?

In this series, we look at the countless absurdities that can be found in the Bible. Today we are looking at the alleged dimensions of the Noah’s Ark and seeing whether there is any chance it could have held the animals it was supposed to.

I got bored and crunched some numbers and this came out. Obviously you don’t need math to show this is silly, but lets have some fun with this.

Note that I was rather generous and assumed that Noah only needed to keep these animals on the Ark for 150 days. Most scholars admit that this would have been more like 370 days.

Let’s assume the dimensions of the Ark given in the Bible. Genesis 6:15 gives us a figure of 300 by 50 by 30 cubits. Let us assume that a cubit is 21 inches. A cubit ranged from about 18-21 inches, but I am going with 21, as that was a common definition of the cubit given in Mesopotamia.

Why Mesopotamia? Many elements of the Biblical flood story seems to be taken from earlier flood legends around this region. So, I am going to go with this plausible figure that also gives an upper estimate for the alleged size of the Ark.

So, we have a volume of about 450,000 cubic cubits. Let us convert that to litres. Why? Because later we are going to figure out how much water and food the animals needed. Litres works well enough for both. We get about 68,292,270 or about 68 million litres.

Let’s go with a fairly conservative number of animals required, 70,000 animals.

This is obviously far too low. The Bible talks about “kinds” of animals. But the word “kind” employed here has no objective meaning. Animals are not divided into “kinds”, nor is the word “kind” given any definition.

Why does this matter? Because apologists will tell you Noah brought one of each kind onto the Bible. Not one of each species, but each kind. Even though the word “kind” has no meaning and apologists can consider several different species all the same kind.

For instance, they can say Noah had one couple of the lion kind, the tiger kind, the bear kind. Not several bear species, not hundreds of cat species, not thousands of bird species, but one bird kind and so forth.

This means they can say that Noah only needed enough animals to cover all the “kinds” of animals.

But they can only artificially create so many kinds without seeming clearly insane. Most people can easily see that even if you only count the land creatures, you need several thousand “kinds” of animals.

Scholars tend to agree that the 70,000 is a figure on the low side, so we will go with that. Again, we are being generous here.

Ark
This drunkard is the guy that built an impossible Ark?

Now, we are going to assume that the average animal is about the size of a sheep. This does not seem unreasonable and several Biblical “scholars” themselves use this metric.

We need to give them some space, let’s give each animal one meter cubed of space. That is 1000 litres, per animal, or 70 million litres required.

Too little, given many Biblical scholars claim that at least some of the dinosaurs were on the Ark! But, we will allow it. We are being very generous here.

A sheep requires about 3 litres of water a day. We will go with one litre, to make it be very generous. So, for 150 days we need like 31,500,000 (31.5 million) litres of water (which he has to keep fresh for 150 days).

For 370 days we need over

Yes, we need to bring along water. That is, fresh water. We cannot use salt water for this and Noah did not have magic to convert salt water to fresh water.

Unless you think he can gather 7,000 litres of salt water a day. And then covert all 7,000 litres of salt water to fresh water. No, I don’t think so.

Let’s assume about 1kg of food a day, probably a little generously low. We will assume the food has the density of water. We need like 10,500,000 (10.5 million) litres of food.

Granted food is denser than water, but we will definitely need more than 1kg of food a day on average.We are already 43,707,730 (43.7 million) litres short.

This is even though will actually need far more than 70,000 animals. And although we probably need more water than this and almost certainly more food. And we will need far more than on average one cubic meter of space per animal!

In fact, the animals themselves require more space than the Ark has to spare! The animals need 70 million liters of space but the Ark has under 69 million liters to spare!

And that is before we account for the fact we need to bring along food and water. Which require over 42 million more liters of space than the Ark has to spare!

The Ark is seriously short on volume, even if we make some pretty generous assumptions.

Whups, looks like our all-knowing God did not give Noah the right dimensions. This Ark was going to be big enough!

Now, what about if we assume Noah was on the Ark for 370 days?

He will need 77,700,000 litres of water. That is over 77 million litres of water.

He will need over 25,900,000 litres of food. That is almost 26 million liters of food.

Together he needs over 100,000 litres for food and water. Which is already far larger than the volume of the Ark, leaving no room for the animals themselves!

So much for the omniscience of God….

Scare Quotes of Note – Episode Two

Introduction

Today we are continuing a new series where we take seven quotes from my database of irrational quotes, briefly examine what they mean and what is so terrible about each of the quotes. You can see part one of the series here.

Without any further ado, let us look at our quotes. We have several quotes from the physicists Einstein, Kaku and Planck. As well as some more quotes from Islam.

Scare Quotes of Note from Islam

the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” – Sahih Muslim

More verses of violence, this time from one of Islam’s other holy sources.

People like to claim that any assertion that Islam is violent is misrepresenting the faith. But it is a faith revolving around a violent warlord and has countless verses like this!

Islam is fundamentally a violent religion in the spirit of the Old Testament.

It is not like Christianity, which was intended to be a somewhat more peaceful adaptation of the Old Testament Judaism. Islam is intended as a violent radicalization of Abrahamic theology!

Religions never tolerate disbelief and they all prescribe some kind of penalty, even if it is simply severe moral condemnation. In fact, in most religions, non-belief is the cardinal sin.

In most religions, the one sin the gods, including the Christian God, cannot forgive is the sin of non-belief. Most religions can forgive most or all other sins if the sinner engages in the proper magic rituals.

The more violent the religion, the more its ideas support radical violence, the more probable it is to openly advocate the slaughter of heretics.

Islam is a religion with a very violent ideology. So, when Muslims demand the slaughter of non-believers we should not cry “that is not the real Islam talking”.

We should condemn Islam as an incredibly violent ideology that must be opposed as the cult of death that it is.

“And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it” Quran 5:6

Islam has a less than healthy attitude towards women.

As do many religions, particular the Abrahamic ones. It considers women inferior to men. Islam takes it further than some of them and considers women not only unclean but lowly, degrading creatures.

Apparently women are inherently unclean. If one touches them one should wash ones hands and faces!

Islam treats women as inferior in many other verses too. As we can see here.

So much for a peaceful religion. And the claims that Islam is not anti-women. Evidently, it is.

Scare Quotes of Note from Physicists

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”- Max Planck

Consciousness is not fundamental.

Biological organisms possess consciousness, the faculty of awareness. As far as we know, only  biological organisms  possess consciousness.

Consciousness does not and cannot exist separately of organisms. Just as we cannot separate life from living organisms, neither can we separate consciousness from living organisms.

Since only organisms possess consciousness and organisms are matter, matter must exist as a prerequisite of consciousness. If there is no matter, there is nothing to possess a faculty of awareness.

Not only that, if there was no matter, there would be nothing for consciousness to be aware of. A faculty of awareness when there is nothing to be aware of is a contradiction and therefore does not represent reality.

Consciousness requires matter in order to exist in the first place.

“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” ― Max Planck

All matter exists and originates from a force?

First of all, force is an abstract description of the action of entities. Before forces exist, entities must exist in order that they can interact and thus exert forces on one another.

You cannot have forces that exist without entities to act. No more than you can have dancing without dancers or driving without cars. Actions require entities to act. Actions can not exist divorced from entities to act.

We have no reason to think that matter originates and exists only by virtue of some force. Or that the force in question must be a result of some conscious and intelligent mind.

This is a thinly veiled attempt at primacy of consciousness.

It asserts that consciousness is primary to reality. In the words of Ayn Rand, the primacy of consciousness is “the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness”.

This is exactly what Planck is asserting! That somehow matter and the physical world would not exist if it were not for some form of consciousness that created it!

Planck was a member of the Lutheran Church. It is obvious that this requirement for intelligence is meant to suggest that matter requires the existence of some kind of god, preferably the Christian God.

Obviously this is not true. If the universe does not require consciousness to exist, then it certainly does not require intelligence to exist either.

“When Physicists speak of “beauty” in their theories, they really mean that their theory possesses at least two essential features: 1. A unifying symmetry 2. The ability to explain vast amounts of experimental data with the most economical mathematical expressions” – Michio Kaku

There is not necessarily anything wrong with a theory having a unifying symmetry.

In fact, this can lend a theory a kind of mathematical beauty.

But what about this ability to explain vast amounts of experimental data with the most economical mathematical expressions? Um, explain data with mathematical expressions?

No, mathematical expressions are not explanations. They are quantifications of relationships. We talked  about this in episode one of Scare Quotes of Note.

“The physical world is real.” That is supposed to be the fundamental hypothesis. What does “hypothesis” mean here? For me, a hypothesis is a statement, whose truth must be assumed for the moment, but whose meaning must be raised above all ambiguity. The above statement appears to me, however, to be, in itself, meaningless, as if one said: “The physical world is cock-a-doodle-do.” It appears to me that the “real” is an intrinsically empty, meaningless category (pigeon hole), whose monstrous importance lies only in the fact that I can do certain things in it and not certain others”  – Albert Einstein

How is it meaningless to assert that the physical world is real?

The physical world is axiomatically real. “The physical world” is equivalent to “the objects, the things that exist qua entity and which are not relationships or other abstractions”.

To say it is meaningless to assert that the physical world is real, is like saying it is meaningless to assert that entities exist!

Obviously it is not meaningless or arbitrary or empty. The fact that anyone can make these claims proves that some kind of physical world exists. As those making these claims are part of the physical world!

Einstein is applying some kind of Neo-Kantian philosophy here it seems. He is trying to argue that there is no sense trying to discuss reality. This is a clumsy attempt to do away with objective reality. And it cannot work.

“Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.” – Albert Einstein

Theories do not determine what can be observed!

They are a description of reality, they do not determine how reality works nor do they create reality.

Whether or not we can observe something depends on its nature. It is not determined by the content of an abstract description of it.

Why did Einstein take this view? He took the view that we cannot really know reality as it is. However, physics has to start somewhere. It seems he took the view that it starts with your theories.

Which are not logical deductions based on observing the world and performing experiments. But that you pluck ideas out of the air and see which ones stick.

This is not how you do science or gain knowledge about anything. You have to start by studying reality, not plucking arbitrary ideas out of thin air!

 

 

anti-religion

Atheism or Antireligion?

As many long-time followers of Metaphysics of Physics will know, we are staunch atheists. Or at least, that is what most people would describe us as. However, we do not describe ourselves that way. Well, not exactly. But surely there is nothing wrong with atheism?

What do we mean by “atheist”? What do we define atheism to be?

We define atheism as:

“The firm conviction that God or gods do not exist.”

Not only do we believe that they do not exist, we believe that they cannot exist. This is a stronger form of the lack of belief held by many other so-called atheists.

Here is a common definition of atheism you might have seen:

“Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.”

Is this the same thing as our definition of atheism? Not necessarily.

Notice that it says, “A lack of belief in”. This indicates that someone simply does not believe that gods exist. It does not necessarily indicate that they believe that they cannot exist. We are mostly discussing the “I do not know” sort, but what we say should apply to the “we cannot know” sort as well.

The problem is that many atheists simply do not believe God exists due to a lack of evidence. As though they are open to the possibility of God existing. But just happen to believe that there is no such evidence. As though they believe that such evidence might hypothetically exist. In which case they might accept that God exists.

We go a step further than this. We know that no such beings can exist. Whereas a great many atheists explicitly state that they cannot be so sure that such beings cannot exist.

anti-religion atheism
We reject not just the major religions, but all religions.

That reeks of agnosticism. What does it mean to be agnostic? Let’s ask the English biologist Thomas Huxley. After all, he coined the phrase “agnostic”, so he seems a reliable source.

“Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.”

It does not necceasirly refer to the belief that one cannot know whether gods exist. Many agnostics simply profess that they do not know.

[Editorial, below we have added a clarification on why we have defined atheism in this way. It may come across as a tangent, but there seems to be some content over this apparently somewhat controversial issue.]

Before we proceed, yes we know that our definition of atheism is more narrow than the standard definition. According to our definition an atheist does not simply lack belief.

Lots of people lack such beliefs. But, an atheist rejects the existence of such beings.

That means that everyone is in one of three categories: They are convinced in the existence of gods and the like, making them a theist. They are firmly convinced that such beings do not exist, in which case they are an atheist.

Or, they are uncertain and not committed to believing they exist nor that they do not exist. Making them an agnostic.

If you are unsure, you are an agnostic. Even if you think they most likely do not exist, but are not sure. If you refuse to take any position and are unsure, you are an agnostic. If you say “Well, they probably don’t, but maybe” you are unsure and you are uncommitted and an agnostic.

It is important to grasp that here agnosticism is used not just in the sense of “You can’t know” but “I don’t know” as well! This includes all people not convinced one way or another as to whether or not such beings exist.

This is not a redefinition of agnosticism, it is simply using it in the more broad and common sense of the word. While allowing a more narrow definition of agnosticism as specifically the “I cannot know kind”, as long as you specify that is the kind of agnosticism you are talking about.

You might call this “philosophical” agnosticism, the conviction that such things are not knowable.

Why do we define atheism this way? Well, it is less vague. If atheism is merely “a lack of belief”, then this includes agnostics as well. They lack belief, just as do people who reject the divine. So, if someone is an atheist, do they reject the divine or just have a vague non-belief?

This way it is easier to distinguish the two. And you do not have to deal with a “hard” vs “soft” atheism distinction. Soft atheists usually being those who lack a belief, hard atheists being those who reject such beings.

And agnostics being those unsure as to whether they accept or reject such beings.

We think it is important to have a term which clearly and unambiguously refers to those who reject the divine. As opposed to not really clearly indicating this, at least not without further clarification.

Now, we have cleared this up, lets get back to our topic.

What many of these “atheists” seem to believe is that there is no scientific ground upon which to assert that there is no God. But, is this the case? Can we reject God based on science?

It is true that the issue of the existence of God is primarily an epistemological and metaphysical issue and thus not primarily an issue of physics or the other physical sciences. And we certainly reject all gods on metaphysical grounds.

Before going further, perhaps we should remind ourselves what it means for something to be “possible”. We cover the topic of “possible” in this podcast episode:

To summarize:

“X is possible” means: “That according to the context of my knowledge, there is some evidence that X is true and none that proves that it is not”. Note, that there may not be very much evidence that supports X, but there must be at least a little bit.

The existence of God or gods is impossible.

Is there any evidence that the gods are possible? Obviously not. There is no evidence whatsoever that suggests gods exist or even that they might exist. And a great many atheists would agree with this.

Note that just because you cannot disprove that something exists does not mean that it is possible that it exists. A lack of evidence against something is not evidence for it.

Nor does a lack of evidence against something establish any possibility that it is true. For that, you would need evidence for it, not a lack of evidence against it.

Nor is the fact that you can conceive of the existence of God proof that he might exist. The fact that you can imagine something is not proof that it might exist.

The possibility of God has not been established. But that does not prove that he does not exist, right?

That is true. It establishes that any claim that God exists is entirely arbitrary. Since there is no evidence or logic of any kind supporting it, it must be rejected as lacking any observable connection to reality. And thus, rejected as without cognitive value.

Can we go further than that? Can we prove that God is entirely impossible? That is, that he is not able to exist. Of course, we can …

God can allegedly shape reality with but a thought. Which asserts that consciousness as such has a magical power over reality. But as existence is primary and existence is not influenced by consciousnesses, this primacy of consciousness must be rejected.

And that God created the universe nonsense? Yeah, well, lets not get started on that.

God can allow things to act contrary to their nature, which is also forbidden by a rational metaphysics. Things cannot act against their nature. Not even if someone tries to make them do so.

God has a contradictory nature, which is also forbidden. To exist is to exist as something with a specific, non-contradictory nature. Nothing is an exception to that, regardless of what kind of being they might be.

And so forth. We thus reject the possibility of any god’s existence.

Obviously, no such entity can exist. Not only does he violate basic principles of a rational metaphysics, but he would also violate countless laws of physics.

Therefore, no reasonable person should consider the idea of any god as remotely possible. Any claim of the existence of any god is not simply arbitrary. It is not simply that there is no evidence for its existence, there are countless reasons you should know that such beings cannot exist.

So, on that basis, every reasonable person should dismiss the idea of any god as entirely false.

This is not a matter of “there is no evidence that God exists, but I will remain open to such evidence.” No such evidence is possible and indeed it is clearly impossible. As by their alleged nature, gods contradict what we know about reality. And such contradictions are not possible.

Creator God

Episode Eight – Quora Questions on Creationism

Play

Today we go over some Quora questions on the universe and Creationism and answer a question from one of our listeners.

We have been asked how to download episodes so that they can be downloaded onto portable devices. Please see the post here which explains how this can be done.

Episode Transcript

[Please note that this may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.]

Hi everyone! This is episode eight of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast.

I am Ashna, your host and guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Thanks for tuning in!

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science.  We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

You can find all the episodes, transcripts and subscription options on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Today we will be doing a Q&A episode revolving around the theme of the universe and creationism. These are questions we found looking around the Quora platform where Dwayne has an account if you wish to follow. We will also be answering a question submitted by one of our listeners.

Ok so let’s begin.

What would a non-mathematical universe look like?

It would, ignoring parts of Earth (and possibly other worlds with intelligent life) look much the same as it does now.

Mathematics is a science of method invented by people to help them measure things. Without it, we would lack the ability to do much science and we would know almost nothing about the world or our universe.

Pythagoras
Go away Pythagoras, nobody asked you about your mathematical universe.

Without it, we would know nothing about engineering and we would be unable to build most of the technology that we have.

But, other than the fact that the universe would lack all those things people built, it would be much the same.

Despite what many physicists believe, mathematics is not fundamental to the universe. It is just something people use to measure things in the universe.

Some people cannot understand the “unreasonable success” of mathematics.

Well, it is not unreasonable at all, it is entirely predictable and obvious, if you understand what mathematics is: a method of quantifying relationships and performing measurements!

If you know that, then why should it be surprising that mathematics is able to … quantify and measure the universe?

How or why did the creator create the universe?

Firstly, who said the universe was created? The universe is simply “all that exists”. It presupposes some kind of existence.

There is no explaining existence, an explanation would require something to already exist. Any explanation would presuppose something to exist.

A creator would suppose that something existed. At least himself. But are we meant to suppose that he is the only thing that existed way back in time? That he is some kind of omnipotent being?

Sorry, everything that exists has a nature.  But, to have a specific nature means that there are some things you can do and somethings that you cannot.  That therefore limits and logically excludes omnipotence. Or even the kind of power that allows one to create a universe.

How is having a creator that can create a universe any kind of logical explanation?

And more obviously, once you decide that the universe has to be created, you need to invent a creator. But, then you need to explain that creator. You need another creator and then another one and another one. It is creators all the way down.

I suppose one could assume that the creator just magically appeared out of nothing. But, if we are going to accept that, is it not simply easier to assume the universe appeared out of nothing?

But, neither the universe nor a creator can appear out of nowhere. If nothing existed, then there is nothing that can cause a creator or a universe to come to exist.

No. The only possibility we are really left with is that the universe always existed. Which is the same as saying that something has always existed.

No creator, sorry.

Creator God
Sorry God, you still are not needed.

How are atheists so adamant that there’s no “god”? Isn’t that just as naive as believing there is one?

No, there is nothing “naive” about requiring evidence to believe that something exists. And there is absolutely no evidence that God exists. Just a bunch of claims that never match observable reality and never stand up to a moment of rational thought.

Why should we believe that there is a God? I guess if we ignore logic and reality and just accept nonsensical claims of faith, then we could find a so-called “reason”. But, I am not willing to do those things.

But, it is worse than that, the very nature of God is just impossible. The laws of nature and logic make it clear that no such being could ever exist. By definition, any god is supernatural and thus outside the bounds of nature.

There is nothing at all naive about not finding any reason to believe God is possible and indeed finding a thousand reasons why he could not possibly exist.

Let me deal with one objection some of you might raise: Isn’t this trying to prove a negative? I thought you could not prove a negative…

That does not apply here. If someone makes a claim that contradicts rational metaphysics, the laws of physics or other known aspects of reality, then you most certainly can prove that it is false.

Simply show that if it was true, it would contradict reality. This establishes that it is false.

So, let’s try to prove that there are no gods.