0
Does God
Exist?
Does God Exist?
“The universe that we observe has precisely the
properties we should expect if there is, at bottom,
no des...
Does God Exist?
“For since the creation of the world God's invisible
qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have
...
1.The Universe
The Cosmological Argument
"…the first question which we have a right to ask
will be, 'Why is there something...
1.The Universe
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe ...
1.The Universe
• Foundational principle
• Empirical support
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
1.The Universe
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe ...
1.The Universe
• Big Bang Cosmology
The universe began to exist.
1.The Universe
• Edwin Hubble - Discovered in 1929 that
the universe is expanding (based on galactic
redshift).
Evidence f...
Galactic Redshift
1.The Universe
• George Gamow - Predicted in 1946 that
there would be microwave background
radiation from the extremely ho...
Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
1.The Universe
• Big Bang Cosmology
• 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
The universe began to exist.
1.The Universe
The universe began to exist.
2nd Law of Thermodynamics - in all energy
exchanges, if no energy enters or le...
1.The Universe
• Big Bang Cosmology
• 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
• Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem
The universe began to exist.
1.The Universe
“It is said that an argument is what convinces
reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince
even...
1.The Universe
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe ...
1.The Universe
• Immaterial - Created all matter
• Timeless - Created time
• Personal
Nature of the cause.
1.The Universe
• Button pushed from eternity (universe would be eternal)
• Button pushed by a physical cause like a Rube G...
1.The Universe
1) Abstract objects
2) Minds
Nature of the cause.
2 Types of Immaterial Entities
1.The Universe
"Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a
corner because they have proven, by their own meth...
2. Intelligent Life
The Design Argument
“…Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually
fulfilled atheist.”
- Richard Daw...
2. Intelligent Life
1. Cosmological Constant (10^53)
Examples of Fine-Tuning
2. Intelligent Life
• Controls the expansion rate of the
universe.
• Too Large = Universe flies apart
• Zero or Negative = ...
2. Intelligent Life
1. Cosmological Constant (10^53)
2. Gravity (10^36)
Examples of Fine-Tuning
2. Intelligent Life
• Too Strong = Land based animals larger
than insects crushed.
• Zero or Negative = No stars or solid
...
2. Intelligent Life
1. Cosmological Constant (10^53)
2. Gravity (10^36)
3. Multi-Parameter Combinations
Required for Exist...
2. Intelligent Life
Parameters Required for Star Formation
“Were the neutron heavier by only one percent,
the proton light...
2. Intelligent Life
Parameters Required for Star Formation
“To illustrate how truly ridiculous this number is, we might no...
2. Intelligent Life
1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to
chance, physical necessity, or design.
2. The fine-tuning i...
2. Intelligent Life
1. No evidence yet for a Grand Unified Theory
2. Does not account for the initial conditions of the
uni...
2. Intelligent Life
Fine-Tuning: Due to Physical Necessity?
“Despite all the progress in gauge theories, quantum gravity,
...
2. Intelligent Life
1. Hit the bullseye by sheer luck.
2. Increase the size of the bullseye
3. Throw lots of darts
Fine-Tu...
2. Intelligent Life
Hitting the bullseye by luck
• If the universe were not life-permitting, we
would not be here to notic...
2. Intelligent Life
The Firing Squad Analogy
2. Intelligent Life
The Firing Squad Analogy
1. We should NOT be surprised that we DON’T
observe that we are dead.
2. We S...
2. Intelligent Life
Increasing the size of the bullseye
1. Are all fine-tuning examples mistaken?
2. Could there be other, ...
2. Intelligent Life
Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis
1. Doesn’t necessarily explain fine-tuning
2. The Mu...
2. Intelligent Life
Example: Andre Linde’s Chaotic Inflation Multiverse
1. Supply the energy needed for the bubble universe...
2. Intelligent Life
Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis
1. Doesn’t necessarily explain fine-tuning
2. The Mu...
2. Intelligent Life
Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis
Odds of a Fine-Tuned Universe
10^10(123)
Odds of ou...
2. Intelligent Life
The Teleological Argument
. . .A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a
superintelle...
Questions?
OBJECTIONS
Scientific Progress vs.Theism?
1. The Beginning of the Universe
2. Fine-Tuning
3. Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of ...
God of the Gaps?
1. Philosophical arguments merely supported by current
scientific evidence.
2. Conclusions follow from pre...
Could There Be Multiple Gods?
1. Possibly, but this would still be theism and it would refute
naturalism/atheism.
2. Occam...
Any Evidence for Christian Theism?
1. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
2. The empty tomb.
3. Post-mortem appearance...
Is Belief in God Evolved?
Genetic Fallacy - When an idea is either
accepted or rejected because of its source,
rather than...
How Could God Cause the Universe
Without Time?
Simultaneous Causation - The second main
argument against the causal order ...
Hartle-Hawking Model?
1. Susceptible to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem.
2. Uses concept of ‘imaginary time’ to avoid the ...
Contra Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem?
“For many physicists, the beginning of the universe is
uncomfortable, because it sugge...
QuantumVacuum Fluctuations
“The processes described here do not represent the
creation of matter out of nothing, but the c...
Does God Exist?
Does God Exist?
Does God Exist?
Does God Exist?
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Does God Exist?

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Many people assume that belief in God is based purely on blind faith. Best-selling books such as Richard Dawkins' “The God Delusion” and Christopher Hitchens' “God is Not Great” have aggressively argued that belief in God is irrational at best. From the academic standpoint, it appears that God may, indeed, be dead.

However, the declaration of God’s death may be premature. New scientific discoveries are reinvigorating classical arguments for the existence of God. In this talk, we will take a look at some of the most powerful contemporary arguments for a personal Creator.

Published in: Spiritual, Technology
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Transcript of "Does God Exist?"

  1. 1. Does God Exist?
  2. 2. Does God Exist? “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” - Richard Dawkins
  3. 3. Does God Exist? “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made...” - Apostle Paul (Romans 1:20)
  4. 4. 1.The Universe The Cosmological Argument "…the first question which we have a right to ask will be, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?" - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  5. 5. 1.The Universe 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. 2. The universe began to exist. 3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. The Cosmological Argument
  6. 6. 1.The Universe • Foundational principle • Empirical support Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
  7. 7. 1.The Universe 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. 2. The universe began to exist. 3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. The Cosmological Argument
  8. 8. 1.The Universe • Big Bang Cosmology The universe began to exist.
  9. 9. 1.The Universe • Edwin Hubble - Discovered in 1929 that the universe is expanding (based on galactic redshift). Evidence for Big Bang Cosmology
  10. 10. Galactic Redshift
  11. 11. 1.The Universe • George Gamow - Predicted in 1946 that there would be microwave background radiation from the extremely hot early stage of the universe. • Discovered in 1965 Evidence for Big Bang Cosmology
  12. 12. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
  13. 13. 1.The Universe • Big Bang Cosmology • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics The universe began to exist.
  14. 14. 1.The Universe The universe began to exist. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state. (example, heat from a fire disperses)
  15. 15. 1.The Universe • Big Bang Cosmology • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics • Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem The universe began to exist.
  16. 16. 1.The Universe “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe.There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” - Dr. AlexanderVilenkin (agnostic physicist) The universe began to exist.
  17. 17. 1.The Universe 1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause. 2. The universe began to exist. 3. Therefore, the universe has a cause. The Cosmological Argument
  18. 18. 1.The Universe • Immaterial - Created all matter • Timeless - Created time • Personal Nature of the cause.
  19. 19. 1.The Universe • Button pushed from eternity (universe would be eternal) • Button pushed by a physical cause like a Rube Goldberg machine. • Button pushed by a personal agent. Nature of the cause.
  20. 20. 1.The Universe 1) Abstract objects 2) Minds Nature of the cause. 2 Types of Immaterial Entities
  21. 21. 1.The Universe "Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth.And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact." - Dr. Robert Jastrow (agnostic physicist) The Cosmological Argument
  22. 22. 2. Intelligent Life The Design Argument “…Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” - Richard Dawkins
  23. 23. 2. Intelligent Life 1. Cosmological Constant (10^53) Examples of Fine-Tuning
  24. 24. 2. Intelligent Life • Controls the expansion rate of the universe. • Too Large = Universe flies apart • Zero or Negative = Universe collapses • 1 in 10^53 The Cosmological Constant
  25. 25. 2. Intelligent Life 1. Cosmological Constant (10^53) 2. Gravity (10^36) Examples of Fine-Tuning
  26. 26. 2. Intelligent Life • Too Strong = Land based animals larger than insects crushed. • Zero or Negative = No stars or solid bodies could form. • 10^36 Gravity
  27. 27. 2. Intelligent Life 1. Cosmological Constant (10^53) 2. Gravity (10^36) 3. Multi-Parameter Combinations Required for Existence of Stars (10^229) Examples of Fine-Tuning
  28. 28. 2. Intelligent Life Parameters Required for Star Formation “Were the neutron heavier by only one percent, the proton light by the same amount, the electron twice as massive, its electric charge twenty percent stronger, the neutrino as massive as the electron etc. there would be no stable nuclei at all.There would be no stars, no chemistry.The universe would be just hydrogen gas . . . .” - Dr. Lee Smolin (atheist physicist)
  29. 29. 2. Intelligent Life Parameters Required for Star Formation “To illustrate how truly ridiculous this number is, we might note that the part of the universe we can see from earth contains about 10^22 stars which together contain about 10^80 protons and neutrons.These numbers are gigantic, but they are infinitesimal compared to 10^229. In my opinion , a probability this tiny is not something we can let go unexplained. Luck will certainly not do here; we need some rational explanation of how something this unlikely turned out to be the case.” - Dr. Lee Smolin (atheist physicist)
  30. 30. 2. Intelligent Life 1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to chance, physical necessity, or design. 2. The fine-tuning is not due to chance or physical necessity. 3. Therefore, the fine-tuning of the universe is due to design. The Design Argument
  31. 31. 2. Intelligent Life 1. No evidence yet for a Grand Unified Theory 2. Does not account for the initial conditions of the universe. 3. Grand Unified Theories don’t necessarily eliminate fine-tuning Fine-Tuning: Due to Physical Necessity?
  32. 32. 2. Intelligent Life Fine-Tuning: Due to Physical Necessity? “Despite all the progress in gauge theories, quantum gravity, string theory etc. not one of these problems has been solved. Not one mass or coupling constant of any particle considered now to be elementary has ever been explained by fundamental theory.” - Dr. Lee Smolin (atheist physicist)
  33. 33. 2. Intelligent Life 1. Hit the bullseye by sheer luck. 2. Increase the size of the bullseye 3. Throw lots of darts Fine-Tuning: Due to Chance?
  34. 34. 2. Intelligent Life Hitting the bullseye by luck • If the universe were not life-permitting, we would not be here to notice!
  35. 35. 2. Intelligent Life The Firing Squad Analogy
  36. 36. 2. Intelligent Life The Firing Squad Analogy 1. We should NOT be surprised that we DON’T observe that we are dead. 2. We SHOULD be surprised to observe that we are alive.
  37. 37. 2. Intelligent Life Increasing the size of the bullseye 1. Are all fine-tuning examples mistaken? 2. Could there be other, exotic forms of life?
  38. 38. 2. Intelligent Life Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis 1. Doesn’t necessarily explain fine-tuning 2. The Multiverse requires fine-tuning
  39. 39. 2. Intelligent Life Example: Andre Linde’s Chaotic Inflation Multiverse 1. Supply the energy needed for the bubble universes 2. Form the bubbles 3. Convert the energy of inflaton field to the normal mass/energy we find in our universe. 4. Allow enough variation in constants of physics among universes. Requires mechanisms to:
  40. 40. 2. Intelligent Life Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis 1. Doesn’t necessarily explain fine-tuning 2. The Multiverse requires fine-tuning 3. Observational evidence against the Multiverse
  41. 41. 2. Intelligent Life Throwing lots of darts - The Multiverse Hypothesis Odds of a Fine-Tuned Universe 10^10(123) Odds of our Solar System forming by random particle collision 10^10(60) Calculations by Roger Penrose
  42. 42. 2. Intelligent Life The Teleological Argument . . .A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question. - Dr. Fred Hoyle (atheist astronomer)
  43. 43. Questions?
  44. 44. OBJECTIONS
  45. 45. Scientific Progress vs.Theism? 1. The Beginning of the Universe 2. Fine-Tuning 3. Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life Pro Theism Against Theism? 1. Theory of Evolution 2. Weather Phenomena
  46. 46. God of the Gaps? 1. Philosophical arguments merely supported by current scientific evidence. 2. Conclusions follow from premises, whether we like the conclusions or not.
  47. 47. Could There Be Multiple Gods? 1. Possibly, but this would still be theism and it would refute naturalism/atheism. 2. Occam’s Razor would suggest that additional gods should be shaved away in favor of the simplicity of single-God theism.
  48. 48. Any Evidence for Christian Theism? 1. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross. 2. The empty tomb. 3. Post-mortem appearances to Jesus’ followers (including the conversion of Saul of Tarsus and Joseph, brother of Jesus) 4. Origination of the Christian faith in spite of severe disadvantages. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
  49. 49. Is Belief in God Evolved? Genetic Fallacy - When an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit.
  50. 50. How Could God Cause the Universe Without Time? Simultaneous Causation - The second main argument against the causal order being the temporal order is that simultaneous causation is possible. Indeed, it might seem that simultaneous causation occurs in the actual world, for instance when an iron ball depresses a cushion (Kant 1965,Taylor 1966, Brand 1980). http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-metaphysics/
  51. 51. Hartle-Hawking Model? 1. Susceptible to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem. 2. Uses concept of ‘imaginary time’ to avoid the singularity, a dubious metaphysical move.
  52. 52. Contra Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem? “For many physicists, the beginning of the universe is uncomfortable, because it suggests that something must have caused the beginning, that there should be some cause outside the universe,” - AlexanderVilenkin
  53. 53. QuantumVacuum Fluctuations “The processes described here do not represent the creation of matter out of nothing, but the conversion of pre-existing energy into material form.” - Dr. Paul Davies (agnostic physicist) An Exception to the Causal Premise?
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