. It is in this sense that I argued that the seemingly profound question of why there is something rather than nothing might be actually no more profound than asking why some flowers are … In this theory, mind is fundamental to reality. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. They are not satisfied that the only acceptable explanation for the universe is God. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. Sorry if that isn’t satisfactory. Modern physics suggests that the universe can exist all by itself as a self-contained system, without anything external to create or sustain it. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, initially published on January 10, 2012 by Free Press. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! My purpose is to make it simple and clear. Philosophy starts with our common experience of reality, our common experience of the existence of material entities. The first line of the common declaration of the Catholic Faith is: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and of earth.”. In the human mind, it is a mental concept. Mathematical Physicist I. S. Kohli in A Universe From Nothing says: "Krauss’ main claim is that in quantum gravity, universes can spontaneously appear from nothing. The main theme of the book is how "we have discovered that all signs suggest a universe that could and plausibly did arise from a … Science Will Never Explain Why There's Something Rather Than Nothing. And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage ….” (The Holy See, “Josephine Bakhita”, para. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. Is it accurate to say that everything that exists has an explanation for its existence and that the sole explanation for the existence of the universe is God? Thank you! It is because it is. The material particular exists as an entity; the generic does not. “God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being.” ~ Joseph Campbell This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The title of this book is in itself controversial and so, too, is the book’s theme: “The ultimate why question: why is there anything at all rather than nothing whatsoever?”¹ For some philosophers, that something now exists and therefore that something has always existed is simply a … 2 (2007) issue of Skeptic, I confronted my life-long obsession with Nothing. For the universe to exist contingently, argues Leibniz, it must have an external explanation. 3. Matter is the principle of individuation of the generic and thereby an existential principle. The conclusion is not about existence. Even a simple, somewhat sloppy pattern in the wet dirt is enough for you to begin seeking an explanation outside of natural causes. (See Tire Track Apologetics for more on this example). And if the universe has a cause, it follows that the cause cannot be a part of the universe. I present to you a syllogism of what I am referring: I have recently posted an essay to my personal blog, Theyhavenowine.wordpress.com, which I hope presents the mathematics simply to the average reader. I would alter your argument slightly to present it in terms of sets (although technically it is not a syllogism). He has been fascinated with the reasonableness of the Faith since his junior year in high school in the mid-20th century for which the religion text was entitled, "Faith and Reason". So a priori gets us nowhere. We would explain its existence by concluding that it was left there by someone. Sin Is Your Murderer. In a word: God. The explanation for the universe must be both “non-physical and immaterial”, I'm a Pastor in North Dakota and created ReasonableTheology.org to help make theology accessible for the everyday Christian. But wouldn’t this mean God needs an explanation outside of Himself? However, the phrase, “… rather than nothing,” although grammatically valid, adds no further meaning and is philosophically meaningless. A theist and anti-theist are arguing about the existence of God. 2. Whether it is muddy tire tracks, a massive sculpture, or the entire universe, we rightly expect that things which exist have an explanation. To that, many apologists would reply that for the universe to be that which exists necessarily it would have to be eternal. It is special revelation, the Old and New Testaments as illuminated by the Holy Spirit, which ultimately points people to God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son. These explain the actual situation as the outcome of most or all of the possible initial states. Or better yet, think of a simpler example. If you encounter tire tracks in the mud, you would immediately come to the conclusion that a vehicle had passed through. [2] These are not feasible given the comprehensive reading of Why is there something rather than nothing?. The logic of the argument goes like this: 1. Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God. Although there is only one possible ‘nothing’, there are an infinite number of possible ‘somethings’. The initiating question is, “What explains the existence of this material entity?” Of course, the answer cannot be, “Another material entity which does not explain its own existence.”. Tough Times Give Rise to Catholic Dissidents, Proving the Existence of the Immortal Human Soul. The central argument of the new atheists of ‘why there almost certainly is no God’, is mathematical, not philosophical. Within the Arts and Humanities, scholarly articles are set up differently than in the Sciences. Conversely, the probability of there … Its nature, which is the source of explanation, is existentially distinct from its existence. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence. If this is successful, we will be able to demonstrate “which something”. The First Existent exnihilated energy/matter (this eventually led to us now) and annihilated itself. Premise 1: B is a subset of A An annoying one that sticks in my head is this: "Something is always better than nothing." In his essays he hopes to share that fascination with others. –––, 2008. ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. Variations of these can be crafted – the point I am making here is that the conclusion reached by this argument depends entirely upon the assumptions made – the conclusion is essentially a re-statement of the assumptions. 1. The explanation he gave was that God wanted to create a … The answer is: Because God, as an act of love, chose to create. Premise 1. Kill it Before it Kills You. Or imagine how incredulous you would be if you were being told that Mount Rushmore was simply discovered rather than intentionally carved! In first grade, we were taught the faith from The Penny Catechism. Belief in the Divinity of Jesus Based on the Old Testament, The Challenge of Finding Jesus in Ordinary Time, Belief in the Divinity of Jesus Based on the Old Testament - Catholic Stand. Dog as generic, however, has no existence in itself. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. The form of existence is “contingent”, the energy/matter is “necessary”. Introduction In his 1697 article “On the Ultimate Origination of Things,” Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed a historic question: He asked for “a full reason why there should be any world rather than none” [italics added] (1697/1973, p. 136). Notice that, in philosophy, both the existence and the concept of God (the Being whose nature is identical to His existence) initially arise simultaneously in the conclusion of the line of reasoning. That generalization, the universe, is not an entity of which we actually experience the existence. Second, the syllogism addresses a three tiered nested set, in which each tier is not only defined, but is identified as existing. So, then, why is there something rather than nothing? After all, if we accept that we exist to ask the question, then we’ve proved something exists. Also in the essay, the starting point of experience is the existence of the universe. “Why should children — or adults — be asked to do something computers and related equipment can do much better than they can?” the authors ask in the following excerpt from the book. Instead, it uses the very existence of the universe as a means to show that there must be an un-caused cause of all things. In the existent dog, it is a principle. offers a guided tour of Western philosophy by one of the world's greatest living experts. From W. Eventually you get back to a point where there was nothing. This being we call God. Dear Bob, This is evident in God’s identifying himself as “I AM”  to Moses and in Jesus’ contrasting his eternal existence to Abraham’s coming into existence: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14), Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58). The first question was, “Who made you?”, the answer to which was, “God made me.” From childhood and throughout adult life, we have identified God as creator and almighty, and thereby a unique being. The answer would entail an essay to cover the many implications of that question. It argues that there must be a Creator of the universe. Here is a brief and simplified explanation of what has come to be known as the Leibniz Contingency Argument, or the … But we have a further problem – whilst in theology/philosophy it may be stated that “necessary” means “must exist”, if we are attempting to determine (past) actuality, the only requirement is that there was a First Existent. Introduction "The first question which should rightly be asked," wrote G.W.F. 8). ), New York: Oxford University Press, pp. Conclusion: GOD exists. Practically speaking, we usually already understand the concept of God and affirm His existence prior to a formal and explicit delineation of the philosophical rationale and its conclusion. Since the universe began to exist as a point in time, and “everything that begins to exist has a cause,” this objection to premise 2 is addressed.2. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. There must exist a being without this fatal flaw, who is the explanation of the existence of each entity within the scope of human experience because its nature is its existence. Conclusion: C is a member of A a being which is solely the act of existing. The conclusion is, “There must be (exist) some being which . Leibniz, is "Why is there something rather than nothing? Premise 2: C is a member of B The essay is “Dealing Cards: The Probability of Distributions of N Elements into S subsets”. But why should we presume that nothing is more likely than something? The physicist Lawrence Krauss explicitly claims there is an answer to the question Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Perhaps Nothing/Something is a metaphor in the same way that God is, with each one coming at the same answer from different sides. Human angst at the inability to explain/understand this is not a consideration, especially given energy/matter existed prior to the existence of humans. Since non-intelligent, abstract objects cannot cause anything to exist, the options for how the universe came to be becomes limited to that which is non-physical, immaterial, exists necessarily and outside of space and time. Richard Dawkins, in “The God Delusion”, dubbed this argument, ‘the problem of improbability’. Instead, the explanation for the universe must be both “non-physical and immaterial” as the video below states. 10), The title of an argument, “Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?”, is logically and grammatically valid. In our everyday experiences, we expect there to be an explanation for the things we encounter. 2 For more on this, see the Kalam Cosmological Argument, which states that A) Everything that begins to exist has a cause, B) The universe began to exist, and C) Therefore, the universe has a cause. Some physicists think they can explain why the universe first formed. “The left almost always opposes fighting evil and almost always works to disarm the good who want to fight.” Dennis Prager is a syndicated conservative radio host and a columnist for the Daily Signal.He is the author of several books, including Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.. Though this logical argument may not be received as air-tight, undeniable evidence for God’s existence by a skeptic, it is nevertheless a strong apologetic that has stood the test of time. Apologetics for Kids with J. Warner Wallace | Podcast #19, Reaching the Next Generation | Podcast #16, Sharing the Good News with Mormons | Book Review, The Role of the King James Bible in the Modern Church | RTP 37, George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, How Long It Takes to Read Each Book in the Old Testament (Infographic). Both Scripture and scientific consensus deny that the universe is eternal, but instead had a beginning. – Article Image captured from the Reasonable Faith video. However, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” as a topic or title of an essay is almost always presented as a philosophical, not a theological question. If GOD is contingent on other things, GOD does not exist. Certainly everyone would agree that the universe exists, so at least we are safe with point number 3. Published April 15, 2020 Updated April 27, 2020 Scientists on Wednesday announced that they were perhaps one step closer to understanding why the universe contains something rather than nothing… It is a real entity, a substance. His answer is: Because there being nothing is as improbable as anything can be: it has probability 0. This occurred on at least one occasion, and eventually led to us now. In theology, the meaning of the topic question is, “Why did God create rather than refrain from creating?” The nature and existence of God are known through revelation before the question is asked. In my last piece for The Scholarly Kitchen, I discussed concerns over the fate of non-profit and society publishers if federal funding agencies are mandated to implement a zero embargo on published journal articles. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. The First Existent can be energy/matter that has always existed. “Did God Create Our Universe?” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 950: 108–127. Common illustrations of this given are wandering in the woods and discovering a pocket watch. Articles will read more like essays, rather than scientific experiments. The Yogi Berra-ism holds true: “You can’t get there from here!”, where “there” is the existence of a being whose nature is identical to its existence and “here” is the positing of the existence of a doubly abstract, doubly generic “some thing.” To be at a “here” starting at which one can rationally get to “there,” one must reverse the two eccentric abstractions from existence to get back to the actual human experience of existence, which is the experience of the existence of a particular material entity, a this dog. and to annihilate [ to annihilate – to cause to go from being, to nothing. ] The question, “Why is there something?”, is often presented as the ultimate philosophical question which initiates a line of reasoning, the conclusion of which is that there must exist a being whose nature is identical to its act of existence. 4. I enjoy your posts and have a few thoughts re: contingency argument.

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