Monday, April 23, 2012

A Lot Of Something On Nothing

{Don't miss our nomination period to nominate your most attractive physicists}

Looks like the debate originating out of Lawrence Krauss's latest book "A Universe from Nothing" continues. This time, Vic Stenger wrote an opinion piece with counter argument against a recent NY Times OpEd opinion piece by Philosopher David Albert.

The problem here, of course, is the insistence that (i) there has to be something and (ii) that this somehow can stop at God and that's it. Stenger stated this clearly:

Albert is not satisfied that Krauss has answered the fundamental question: Why there is something rather than nothing, that is, being rather than nonbeing? Again, there is a simple retort: Why should nothing, no matter how defined, be the default state of existence rather than something? And, to bring religion into the picture, one could ask: Why is there God rather than nothing? Once theologians assert that there is a God (as opposed to nothing), they can't turn around and ask a cosmologist why there is a universe (as opposed to nothing). They claim God is a necessary entity. But then, why can't a godless multiverse be a necessary entity?
In other words, if one lives by the philosophy that everything must be the result of something, then one must also ask "What is God the result of?" One can't simply shift the rule and stop asking the same question by the time one reaches God. If one argues that the rule doesn't apply to god (i.e. "god state" is the ground state of the system), then why can't cosmologists argue that vacuum state is the ground state of our universe and stop there? The vacuum ground state has more experimental evidence than the god ground state (which has none). So which one would you believe in?

Zz.

2 comments:

Metacrock said...

The atheist retort "why is there God" is misplaced, it turns upon the basic atheist strategy of reducing God to the contingent level.

It makes sense to say where naturalistic processes and materiel things come from because thy are contingent. God is not a big man in the sky, not that at all. God is the basis of reality; that sounds like an empty phrase but it's not. It's the most meaningful concept of all.

God is not a man or a thing in creation he' snot on par with natural things, He's not contingent but necessary.

The only possible answer to that would be "because being has to be." that's it nature that what being Does. God is being itself.

that's what it means to be necessary it has to be it can't fail to be.

ZapperZ said...

If your whole argument here is based on what "makes sense" to you, then it is very weak, because what you said makes NO sense to me.

Besides, arguing for the validity of something just because it makes sense doesn't work in physics. We have seen things that didn't make sense before, making sense now because of our knowledge and familiarity with those things.

Not only that, you're missing the whole point of the article. It is arguing that the "god of the gap" in this case, i.e. the formation of something out of nothing, is no longer a "gap", because there CAN be a logical, physics explanation for the existence of the universe WITHOUT requiring some "god" to intervene. That is what is being emphasized here.

Zz.