But the question is not ultimate. There is no attempt to trace the path by which the actual initial state developed into the present situation. It argues that there must be a Creator of the universe. Learn how your comment data is processed. [2] 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 … A beautiful example of such implicit reasoning is that expressed by St. Josephine Bakhita, who, while lacking any formal education as a young slave, knew that God, the Creator, must exist: Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. 8). To get us started thinking about it, let’s distinguish between reasons and causes. If you encounter tire tracks in the mud, you would immediately come to the conclusion that a vehicle had passed through. 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. 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. If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Reflecting on the great issues that animate our lives -- good and evil, truth and beauty, faith and the soul, free will and consciousness -- Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? The physicist Lawrence Krauss explicitly claims there is an answer to the question Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Conversely, the probability of there … and to annihilate [ to annihilate – to cause to go from being, to nothing. ] I have thought about it a lot since reading your comment. It is two circles of abstraction away from the bullseye of our experience of the existence of things. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. Russell, R., 2001. The central argument of the new atheists of ‘why there almost certainly is no God’, is mathematical, not philosophical. Why is there something rather than nothing? (Op. 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". “Cosmology and Eschatology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology, J. 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.”. We experience the existence of this dog. 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. It discusses modern cosmogony and its implications for the debate about the existence of God. Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing? It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. 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. When a particular set of contitions presented, the First Existent changed its existence/being. The First Existent can be energy/matter that has always existed. Thus the argument proves nothing. 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. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? It is a real entity, a substance. Also in the essay, the starting point of experience is the existence of the universe. Some physicists think they can explain why the universe first formed. It’s all about presenting sound doctrine in plain language. Dog as generic, however, has no existence in itself. Your email address will not be published. . In this theory, mind is fundamental to reality. This reply considers only a couple of aspects. I hope that doesn’t sound too abstract. Premise 1: The existence of everything has an explanation. My purpose is to make it simple and clear. I … In Aristotelean philosophy, dog, as generic, is the principle of form. If this is successful, we will be able to demonstrate “which something”. In his essays he hopes to share that fascination with others. 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. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) posed in regards to the origin of the universe as a part of his argument for the existence of God. 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. That article drew quite a response, including from outside the academic publishing community. 1 Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, part 9. The answer is: Because God, as an act of love, chose to create. Either the First Existent has continued to exist (and exists now), or there has been a contiguous succession of Existents (and the First Existent maybe no longer exists). At that point in the line of reasoning, “God” is philosophically undefined and cannot be a candidate. However, the human experience of existence is the existence of a particular material entity. But wouldn’t this mean God needs an explanation outside of Himself? 3. Walls (ed. '” This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) posed in regards to the origin of the universe as a part of his argument for the existence of 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. This is evident when the phrase is rendered grammatically explicit, namely, “Why is there something rather than there is nothing?”, Although existence may be grammatically predicated of nothing, it has no philosophical meaning. Science Will Never Explain Why There's Something Rather Than Nothing. Why is there something, rather than nothing at all? 10), The title of an argument, “Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?”, is logically and grammatically valid. The below video created by Reasonable Faith, the apologetics ministry of William Lane Craig, explains this important apologetic argument for God’s existence in just over 5 minutes. Scientists stereotypically offer causal explanations. 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… Sign up for our newsletter plus get 50 free theology eBooks in our digital library! 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. What does consciousness have to do with our understanding of the universe? Thanks! Thus the initial probability of there being nothing rather than something is one divided by infinity, which is next to nothing, a virtual zero. From W. Eventually you get back to a point where there was nothing. The material particular exists as an entity; the generic does not. His answer is: Because there being nothing is as improbable as anything can be: it has probability 0. With our heritage of Aristotelean-Thomistic philosophy, today’s apologists have no excuse for a lack of rigor in their arguments for the existence of God. Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. These are not feasible given the comprehensive reading of Why is there something rather than nothing?. “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 The question of why there is something rather than nothing seems useful in terms of looking at that grandeur of it, but really in the end it seems a little unhelpful for other topics that really matter. We would explain its existence by concluding that it was left there by someone. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It suffices that the result is invarian… Premise 2: The set of things, whose existence we experience, are material and mutable (contingent). Hymn Story: What A Friend We Have In Jes... Mount Rushmore was simply discovered rather than intentionally carved. Leibniz’ Contingency Argument. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? In first grade, we were taught the faith from The Penny Catechism. Common illustrations of this given are wandering in the woods and discovering a pocket watch. However, they also face a different challenge. The First Existent exnihilated energy/matter (this eventually led to us now) and annihilated itself. 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). So a priori gets us nowhere. Philosophy starts with our common experience of reality, our common experience of the existence of material entities. The logic of the argument goes like this: 1. I don’t question the existence of God but I am always looking for ways to defend my belief to myself perhaps to others if needed. To that, many apologists would reply that for the universe to be that which exists necessarily it would have to be eternal. Existence is posited of the universe analogically to, not univocally to, existence as existence is posited of an entity of immediate human experience. cit., para. 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). Here I shall examine his argument for this answer and I shall argue that it does not work because no good reasons have been given for two of the argument's premises and that the conclusion of the argument does not constitute an answer to the question van Inwagen wanted to answer. 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. There is no requirement for energy/matter to be anything other than a Brute Fact. 563–580. After all, if we accept that we exist to ask the question, then we’ve proved something exists. 2. The form of existence is “contingent”, the energy/matter is “necessary”. The valid philosophical starting point is the human experience of the existence of a particular material entity. 8 Ontology Studies 9, 2009 Adolf Grünbaum 1. Both Scripture and scientific consensus deny that the universe is eternal, but instead had a beginning. 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 … It is eccentric. 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 … The is-ness of the universe is one of its interesting features. This is especially evident in a line of reasoning of which the conclusion is the existence of God: There must be some being which is the cause of existing of all things because it itself is the act of existing alone. Are Jesus and Michael the Archangel One and the Same? . As a result, there is no standard format or sections to look for as in the table above. While much of the conversation around the path to openness was constructive … Underlying the question of why something exists (even God) rather than nothing, is the matter of the difference between contingency and necessity. So, then, why is there something rather than nothing? There just is. It is, perhaps, the mystery of last resort. 13 No. I’ll file this whole paragraph in the … In theology, the topic question cannot be asked expecting the answer to affirm the nature and existence of God independently of God’s revealing himself to man. 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. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. The one thing that is not explained by the nature of each material entity, within human experience is its existence. 2. Thereby they cannot explain their own existence. 1. Those who reject the Contingency or Cosmological Argument typically do so in disagreeing with this second premise. 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. ), New York: Oxford University Press, pp. In a word: God. When predicting something that science will never do, it's wise to recall the French philosopher Auguste Comte… The First Existent can be other than energy/matter, and had no beginning of its existence. 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. The conclusion is not about existence. –––, 2008. However, Elliott Sober (1983) argues that scientists also accept equilibrium explanations. The conclusion is, “There must be (exist) some being which . Some, like the philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), asked “Why may not the material universe be the necessarily existent being?”1. For the universe to exist contingently, argues Leibniz, it must have an external explanation. Leibniz thought that the fact that there is something and not nothing requires an explanation. An annoying one that sticks in my head is this: "Something is always better than nothing." 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. However, the Leibniz Contingency Argument clearly is not formulated to present the God of the Bible as the one true God. A theist and anti-theist are arguing about the existence of God. 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. First, the conclusion of an argument for the existence of God is not: 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. And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage ….” (The Holy See, “Josephine Bakhita”, para. It has real existence. Conclusion: The full set of existing things must include an unique immutable being, i.e. I have recently posted an essay to my personal blog, Theyhavenowine.wordpress.com, which I hope presents the mathematics simply to the average reader. Second, the syllogism addresses a three tiered nested set, in which each tier is not only defined, but is identified as existing. Premise 1. Read more at his website, Copyright © A.D. 2018 Catholic Stand | Powered by Astra. Or better yet, think of a simpler example. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Certainly everyone would agree that the universe exists, so at least we are safe with point number 3. Introduction "The first question which should rightly be asked," wrote G.W.F. – Article Image captured from the Reasonable Faith video. The nature of this dog is a composite consisting of the principle of form and particular matter. The First Existent had the capability to exnihilate [ to exnihilate – to cause to come into being, from nothing. ] And if the universe has a cause, it follows that the cause cannot be a part of the universe. They are not satisfied that the only acceptable explanation for the universe is God. Charles Hodge said, A cause is something. Articles will read more like essays, rather than scientific experiments. “The first question that should rightly be asked is, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?'”. What exists today is a form of existence of the energy/matter. Premise 1: B is a subset of A Physicists and philosophers debate the efficacy of quantum physics, and the value of philosophical analysis, to explain why there is Something rather than Nothing. 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