This problem arises if you do not take the universe to be everything that exists. Modern physics suggests theories which include other universes beside our own. But I did not intend to discuss physics so I am using the word universe as a synonym for everything that exists. As for the Big Bang, there was a research I read about certain kind of radiation which could be interpreted as being caused by "earlier" Big Bangs which permits the possibility that OUR universe goes through endless cycles of expansion and contraction. The theories about other universes and other Big Bangs are just that - theories. However, they aren`t made up simply because "we need some kind of meaning" but because scientists have arrived at certain data which needs to be interpreted through the prism of a new theory because the old ones cannot make sense of it.
The date you mention is actually the earliest possible time which can be measured. It does not mean that the universe didn`t exist before that, it means that since the physical laws which we know weren`t in play before that time, we cannot know what happened before that time, nor can we really talk about time before that time because time as we know it did not exist. But that is far from claiming that the Big Bang was the beginning of our universe. It is, however, the beginning of our universe "as we know it"
"Modern physics suggests theories which include other universes beside our own."
Where are they? Where is your evidence? BTW, what is your definition of "theory?"
"As for the Big Bang, there was a research I read about"
hmm...you read something somewhere, did you? Can you remember where you read it so I can read it too? If you found it on the internet please provide the URL. If was in print please provide the citation.
"certain kind of radiation which could be interpreted as being caused by 'earlier' Big Bangs" Really? Could be interpreted, huh? By Whom? What kind of radiation specifically?
"which permits the possibility that OUR universe goes through endless cycles of expansion and contraction."
You do understand that this is speculation and can in no way be considered a "theory." Not the scientific definition of the word "theory."
"Where are they? Where is your evidence? BTW, what is your definition of "theory?""
I like the multiverse theory, it's fun to play with in philosophical ways, mostly because it's one of those theories with little evidence and noone has any real clue. deGrasse Tyson said that multiverses may explain some of the dark energy in ours, essentially it being the gravity of other universes "tugging" on ours creating false readings.
There's quite a bit of references on Wiki, though I like the encyclopedic way of dealing with religious criticisms by just stating pretty much "Who would ever..?". :)
A theory is a set of axioms through which certain empirical data can be interpreted and be used to better understand the world. A theory without data is pure speculation, but data without a theory is just raw material. Every theory is speculation, but a good theory will enlarge our knowledge about the world and can be used to make precise predictions. When you say that speculation cannot be considered a theory you are mixing the terms. In layman`s terms, a scientific theory can be called falsifiable speculation, while speculation in general is used about things which we usually cannot know. I see there is a prejudice here about scientific theories being infallible. However plausible and verified they may be, there is no ultimate verification of any scientific theory and the history of the development of scientific theories shows that many theories have been discarded as false, replaced by better theories or assimilated into larger theories which give a broader or more detailed explanation of certain phenomena. Therefore there is nothing wrong with me using the term "theory" for labeling speculation about what caused certain phenomena if we have empirical data about that phenomena.
Here is the link you asked for. I didn`t want to post the link because it would be wrong of me to say that I understood the paper, but I do understand the possible implications of it.
I know the Bible says God is The Creator of the universe. But it took him six days. That seems a little less than all-powerful. Unimaginably powerful, perhaps, but it leaves room for a God who could name that tune in fewer notes (and not need a day of rest afterwards).
You can't define something by what it's not. Equally incoherent is defining something as everything. Omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent . . . these are all easy to prove impossible. By defining God in incoherent terms, the only way to believe in him is through faith -- the suspension of disbelief and absence of logic.
God is a meme that seduces by denial.
Hi Rick. Your breath taking discourse hangs on the lexical cliff if ignominality. How do these philosophers deal with non symbolic (words) conscious thought/beliefs?
the confirmed ignorant-----