matter and space

here, we did ask what a timeless existence would look like.

To close this set of questions, we ask what did god use to create matter?

If, as the apologist insists, god created space, where was god before? Did he create several chunks of space or just one big enough chunk? How was god moving in a space-less existence?


Atheism and other random stories

A big question, that is, if any question should  be so called is asked of atheists. The OP posits

The biggest question I would have for an atheist is, If there is no God, where did matter come from? I have never heard a plausible answer to that query. Some would retort, Well where did God originally come from? As if the inability to answer the second question somehow adds credence to the inability to answer the first. My response first of all would be that I don’t know, but second it’s a question that doesn’t demand an answer given God’s omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent nature. He’s self-described as the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. The Bible says that the wisdom of God is as foolishness to man, and the wisdom of man is as foolishness to God. It is futile to believe that all we can sense physically is all there is. There is more to life than just the material world, but atheists are unwilling to accept it.

The first problem with this question is to assume that matter had to come from someplace while making special pleading for god. Before we deal with answer to the query, I have not heard a coherent reply to the question what is god. To posit what is unknown as the cause of another is to me a case of high ignorance, to state it with so much confidence is silly.

And this author cannot ignore the challenge about the origin of god. If in his response he says god always is, we will ask, why can’t we say the same of matter? Matter as we know it may not be omniscient but I know it is omnipresent. I think a case of omnipotence can be made for we know of nowhere where matter does not act.

Whatever the bible says is in need of verification. It can’t stand on its own. That it is in the bible does not make it true. The bible says many things including, pregnant virgins, talking donkeys, walking snakes, and transporter whales among other absurdities; are we to take all these as true because they appear in the bible. I don’t know if there is any verse in the bible in praise of intelligence.

There could be more to life than what we can sense, the only problem is because we can’t sense it, we have no way of knowing that there is. It is rational and reasonable to either suspense judgement on their existence or to not believe in them anyway until such a time there is adduced evidence to support their existence.

Random story 1

Al Shabaab, the younger brother of Al Qaeda and cousin to IS seem to have found a new playground at our upper most border. They come kill at will and disappear in the darkness only to resurrect and strike again.

Random story 2

Due to non cooperation by the government, dead and missing witnesses, the clown who runs our PR government was freed by the ICC. The other two suspects are hoping they will as well be in a place to make witnesses disappear. When I grow up I want to be high up in government.

Random story 3

About two weeks ago a politician died. That is not news. The news is that Raila, the former prime minister is rumoured to want to vie for his seat. If this rumour is confirmed, then I can comfortably say there is no low a politician cannot stoop to. Besides stooping too low, am not sure how he will respond to those who have said he seeks power for its own sake.

It is holiday time, soon, be happy and make merry.

How do we know anything: A response

Our friend Debilis in a recent post created a strawman of materialists arguments against whom he obviously would come victorious. He starts by writing

The idea is that, if we can’t measure it, there’s no reason to think it exists.

I don’t know if materialists, whoever they are, make such a claim. I am interested in knowing how he could know something exists unless given by experience or by his senses. I have to say here, that the human mind can conceive of concepts, or ideas that exist nowhere else except in his imagination but given by things in nature. I can conceive of an animal with the legs of a leopard, a camel’s face and a sheep’s tail, and finger nails of a human. This abstract animal doesn’t exist but one immediately sees that it is formed of those things that man draws from nature.

Our friend goes on to write

It is simply false, factually incorrect, to say that all evidence is physical–and demonstrably so.

but offers no evidence to support his claim that this is false. He assumes that by making the assertion he has proved its falsity. No you have barely scratched the surface. Please, show me, if you can, how materialism is false.

He continues in the same manner,

But this is so far off the mental maps of most non-theists that it is difficult even to explain to them the concept that not all evidence is physical. They often respond with “Show it to me so that I can test it scientifically.” or “But without evidence, how can you know things?”. The point is completely missed.

where one on reading for the first time thinks he has read something profound but is just a strawman. It is not every time that you will be asked for scientific test. For example, when I see a painting and like it, a scientific test is not needed to verify that I like it and  two all this purely physical.

Whereas it is true that

We each have a basic experience of reality: a sense of the truths of logic, a sense of one’s self as a thinking person, a sense of right and wrong, and, of course, a sense of the physical world around us. This experience is the basis for everything we know. It isn’t perfect, of course, but we accept it as valid until we have a reason to think otherwise.

I don’t see how this is an argument against materialism or better still how it supports anything out of our sense perception. In fact, this statement supports the claim of materialism that experience is the basis of everything we know. To claim it is not perfect, is to miss the point. Our senses do not make judgements, that is done by the understanding or mind if you want to call it that.

It is at this point I get lost

No one believes in the mind because of what they saw in a brain scan (there’s no evidence for the mind to be found there, anyway). We believe in the mind because we experience our own thoughts. Nor do we believe in the moral, or even the physical, for any other reason than that we experience these things. This is almost tediously obvious.

Does he sincerely believe in mind/brain dualism? That the mind is not a brain state. That our thoughts are brain states triggered by sensations reaching the brain or recall from memory?

When a person makes a claim such as this

That is, unless one has imbibed the materialist dogma that all evidence is physical. In that case, one doesn’t want to start with basic experience, but with that dogma. And this is entirely arbitrary. No one has ever been able to give a reason to believe it, and there is a rather long list of reasons why it is false.

but fails to give a single piece of evidence to support this claim, it is time to ask them to come back to reality.  It is contemplation of chimeras that led man to create phantoms, ghosts, gods, demons and genii. It is a failure to consult nature, to try to understand her that one makes a claim that starting with experience is a dogma that is fallacious. Man learns, but by experience and it is only by turning to nature does he truly learn about his surrounding and himself. To claim it is arbitrary and false is to base ones knowledge on what the priests tell him.

He then writes in conclusion

 I agree that we shouldn’t accept an idea without a reason to do so, but that would mean rejecting this arbitrary claim that all evidence is physical.

which then leaves me wondering what was his point in the very first place? Was it to show that we shouldn’t believe those things for which we have no evidence or is it to make a contrary claim that we should believe in chimeras because we can think them? But if we reject the claim that we should not believe things we don’t have evidence for, where will we stop? Do we start believing in winged horses, talking donkeys, fishes for public transport and people rising from the dead to name but a few?

In attacking materialism, Debilis wants us to accept chimeras as having the same probability of existence as those things we have experienced through our sense organs. He wants us to have for our teachers priests, monks and imams who when they had the reins of power, the world was in darkness. It is by consulting nature, only, that we can learn about it. If we stray from it and start believing in chimeras, we lose our grounding and end up believing in phantoms we have created in our minds.

Is the universe proof of god

When I last wrote about the universe, I did say that it is a sufficient cause and need not be caused, our friend of the Canaanite massacre fame has written a post arguing that the universe need a cause.

First he starts with a bad set of arguments for which he offers no evidence in support of. He tells us

Every effect has a cause
The universe is an effect
The universe needs a cause.

How he gets to the second premise I don’t know. The first premise has also been shown to be false since it has been observed at the quantum level and even in radioactivity that there are effects that do not require a cause. Since the first and second premise are not factually correct, we need not go to the third premise or conclusion whichever you prefer!

The universe is indeed an effect, and therefore cannot be uncaused. It cannot have caused its own existence, for it would have had to have existed before itself in order to cause itself, which is absurd.

Why would an always existing universe be absurd? How does positing god as creator of cause and effect become less absurd? Still the fellow doesn’t give us any reason why we should think the universe as an effect and not a sufficient cause. In the contrary I offer two arguments, one that matter, whatever it is, can’t be created or destroyed and the universe is all matter it couldn’t have been created; two there is no evidence so far as we know when there was a break in the cause-effect chain such that if god is to be posited as starting the effect, universe, he needed to have been caused by something outside itself ad infinitum.

The universe is limited, for we see the evidences of limitation all around us……stars die, resources get used up.

In all these death matter ain’t lost. There is a transformation from solid to gas to heat but then the total sum remains zero. While still here, if the stars collapse naturally into themselves, why would a creator be needed at their formation, that is, if stellar collapse doesn’t require a divine destroyer why should we posit a divine creator at its beginning?

God is not an effect, and therefore does not need a cause.

We are not given any reason why this should be true and why the same can’t be said for the universe.

The syllogism above is simple, but no more simple than looking at nature and coming to the conclusion that there must be a God, for nature could not have come about by itself.

Why does one need to posit that a god is involved in nature?

I honestly believe that people have to work a long time to convince themselves that God does not exist.

Yes you are right, you have believed so much falsehood that it would be a Herculean task to convince you of the lack of existence of gods.

As they used to say in the South, some people have “too much education and not enough sense.”

As we say on this blog, the above statement is representative of most theists!

And for entertainment and education here is Lawrence Krauss’ A universe from nothing

The universe does not need a creator

In this last feature, I present his argument against the creation of the universe. Many theists are wont to ask, if there are no gods then where does the universe come from. I have without resorting to cosmology and astronomy argued that what exists necessarily does not need to be created and matter being thus did not have to be created. I cannot imagine the annihilation of matter leave alone it’s creation. This being the case, an immaterial god who is said to leave outside of time and space[William Craig please explain what you mean here] couldn’t have been the cause of all causes[our natural universe].

I have included a video by world renown cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, which I hope you will find both informative and entertaining.

Our philosopher had this to say

They tell us gravely that there is no effect without a cause; they repeat to us very often that the world did not create itself. But the universe is a cause, not an effect; it is not a work, has not been made, because it was impossible that it should be made. The world has always been, its existence is necessary. It is the cause of itself. Nature, whose essence is visibly acting and producing, in order to fulfill her functions, as we see she does, needs no invisible motor far more unknown than herself. Matter moves by its own energy, by the necessary result of its heterogeneity; the diversity of its movements or of its ways of acting, constitute only the diversity of substances; we distinguish one being from another but by the diversity of the impressions or movements which they communicate to our organs.

Jean Meslier