Help with a debate on universal origins

Get advice, tips, or help with science or religion debates that you are currently participating in.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

User avatar
NDR-113
Redshirt
Posts: 49
Joined: 2009-09-28 07:24pm

Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby NDR-113 » 2011-01-10 02:44pm

Hi, everyone. I'm not a big important scientist or quantum physicist, so I was hoping someone like that could help me out here. I'm in a debate with someone (a Christian) about the origins of the universe. He claims that since effects always follow causes, something must have initiated time and matter into being (that something being God, of course). This is a simplification, but that's basically what he's saying. For awhile now I've gone with Carl Sagan's view that the universe could be eternally old, perhaps in an eternal expanding-contracting cycle (of course, it depends on how much matter there is in the universe, which is unclear as yet). But he says that this contradicts the whole meaning of causality, since we live in a universe where every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I don't really see why it's impossible that we live in an eternally old universe that happens to have a rule of causality, but he does. Obviously there's not much science dealing with these things yet--I suppose that's why religions have made up so much stuff about it, since religion is always used to explain what people don't understand--but can anyone help me think of a response? I'd be very grateful.

User avatar
Serafina
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5246
Joined: 2009-01-07 05:37pm
Location: Germany

Re: Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby Serafina » 2011-01-10 02:53pm

This is a bog-standard religious argument.

I'm in a debate with someone (a Christian) about the origins of the universe. He claims that since effects always follow causes, something must have initiated time and matter into being (that something being God, of course).
If anything must have a cause, what caused god? What caused the cause of god, and what caused that one, etc. pp.
But he says that this contradicts the whole meaning of causality, since we live in a universe where every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Before the creation of space-time, there obviously was no time (nor any space, of course). Yes, that's a confusing concept - but if we accept that space-time WAS created by something or someone, then that creation happened outide of time. It is therefore not a causality - there might be a cause, but it could just as well work without one. Causality is only required if we have time, which was not there before space-time.

His entire argument boils down to infinite regress, and thats what you should focus on. If everything must be caused, then god must have a cause as well. If we can make a special extemption for god and say that he did not have a cause, why can't we make other such extemptions and assume that the universe did not have a cause?
That's what you should ask, there is no logical response to it. God is simply a redundant term here.
SoS:NBA GALE Force
"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

Divine Administration - of Gods and Bureaucracy (Worm/Exalted)

User avatar
NDR-113
Redshirt
Posts: 49
Joined: 2009-09-28 07:24pm

Re: Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby NDR-113 » 2011-01-10 03:13pm

If anything must have a cause, what caused god? What caused the cause of god, and what caused that one, etc. pp.

Well, he claims that since God is outside of any physical laws (convenient, isn't it?) he doesn't need a creator. By definition, God was the first, and only, thing.
Before the creation of space-time, there obviously was no time (nor any space, of course). Yes, that's a confusing concept - but if we accept that space-time WAS created by something or someone, then that creation happened outide of time. It is therefore not a causality - there might be a cause, but it could just as well work without one. Causality is only required if we have time, which was not there before space-time.

That's a good point, I'll bring it up.

User avatar
Serafina
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5246
Joined: 2009-01-07 05:37pm
Location: Germany

Re: Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby Serafina » 2011-01-10 03:21pm

If he claims that, then he is making a special exception for god. If he can do that, why can't we make it for the universe itself?
SoS:NBA GALE Force
"Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent." - Sir Nitram
"The world owes you nothing but painful lessons" - CaptainChewbacca
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Wilhelm Stekel
"In 1969 it was easier to send a man to the Moon than to have the public accept a homosexual" - Broomstick

Divine Administration - of Gods and Bureaucracy (Worm/Exalted)

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14965
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby Batman » 2011-01-10 04:08pm

Because God is special, of course. The universe is not. It's just physics and stuff. You don't really expect consistency out of these people do you? :D
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
SilverWingedSeraph
Jedi Knight
Posts: 965
Joined: 2007-02-15 11:56am
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Contact:

Re: Help with a debate on universal origins

Postby SilverWingedSeraph » 2011-01-10 04:15pm

It's nice that Christians these days have to go all the way back to the Big Fucking Bang to insert "God Did It!" because they know we can already explain every single other fucking thing that they used to say "God Did It!" about. I'm really tired of people trying to claim that the Universe simply must require a Creator, but somehow it's okay for the Creator to have always existed.
  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ


Return to “Debating Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests