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1. I certainly haven't seen any counterexamples to the axiom that 'everything that begins to exist must have a cause' nor do I see anybody actively searching for any.  Any time something happens (e.g. an explosion) we look for a cause; if that is reasonable for little bangs why isn't it reasonable for big bangs as well?  Also, if the above axiom is false then why doesn't anything and everything pop into existence uncaused out of nothing?  Are you at all worried about an accurate facsimile of myself popping into existence behind you right now to say 'boo'?

Greenandwhite, the only things that have ever in the history of humanity been observed to have "begun to exist" are virtual particles, and they do appear to be uncaused.  Everything else we've observed has been one thing changing into another.  Explosions are a good example of this.

One thing creating another is something we've never, ever observed.  So on what basis do you claim it to be the norm?

2. I don't have to show that something began existing out of nothing; the scientific establishment has done a good enough job of that over the last 60 or so years.  After all, the standard Big Bang model is still the consensus candidate for a description of the origin of the universe is it not?

The Big Bang describes what happened since the thing we call our universe started expanding.  It doesn't say that it popped into existence out of nothing.  Humans have never observed nothing.  However, gods supposedly pop things into existence out of nothing.  So yeah, that is something you have to show, but that median doesn't.

3.  If there is a 'cause' of the universe you can call it whatever the heck you want to.  If you don't want to call it a deity, then fine, but I am not sure what else to call something that possesses the qualities of necessary existence, maximal power, maximal knowledge, and personhood - if that isn't God then I don't know what is.

I'm unaware of any other cosmic phenomenon that's demonstrated consciousness/personhood, or knowledge.  Do you?  I mean, humans need brains for those things.  Where is an asteroid's knowledge encoded, and how does it think?  Or a black hole's?  This is your claim, that cosmic phenomena, including the universe itself, have personal characteristics.  Seems like a human bias to me, but maybe there's something else to it.  Share?
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screwtape good post July 31, 2013, 07:28:15 AM