***[Moderator Note] Pahu is no longer a member of Think Atheist.  If you would like to add your thoughts to this thread, that is your prerogative; however, the original poster is not able to respond.[/Moderator Note]***

When we set out to explain why and how something happens, we must use the evidence, facts and experience available to us if we are to arrive at a logical conclusion. Using available evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we know that the universe had a beginning and that before that beginning there was no universe and therefore there was nothing. We know this because of the Law of Causality (for every cause there is an effect and for every effect there is a cause). Based on this law, we can use the following logic:

 

1. The universe exists.

2. The universe had a beginning.

3. Before the beginning of the universe, there was no universe.

4. Since there was no universe, there was nothing.

5. Since the universe does exist, it came from nothing.

6. Nothing comes from nothing by any natural cause.

7. Therefore the cause of the universe is supernatural.

8. Life exists.

9. Life always comes from pre-existing life of the same kind (the Law of Biogenesis).

10. Life cannot come from nonliving matter by any natural cause.

11. Since life does exist, the cause of life is supernatural.

 

Many people with a naturalistic worldview assume everything can be explained by natural causes. From the beginning, they reject the possibility of a supernatural cause. Because of this they are left with no scientifically valid answers to the question of how the universe could come from nothing, which is impossible by any natural cause of which we are aware. Many answers have been proposed that go beyond the realm of known evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation and therefore enter the realm of fiction.

 

The same logic applies to life. Using available evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we know that life only comes from pre-existing life of the same kind.

 

[color=blue][i]“Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the Law of Biogenesis. Evolution conflicts with this scientific law by claiming that life came from nonliving matter through natural processes”[/color][/i] [[url=http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/]From “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown[/url]]

 

Life never comes from non-living matter by any natural cause of which we are aware.

 

Now that we have seen proof that God exists, using logic based on known evidence, experience, facts, observation and experimentation, we need to see if He has revealed Himself to us. In the Holy Bible there are hundreds of prophecies given by God who is speaking in the first person. In both Bible and secular history we find that those prophecies have been accurately fulfilled. No other writing on earth comes close to doing this! Only God can accurately reveal the future, ergo, He is the author of the Holy Bible. Within the pages of the Holy Bible He reveals His nature, our nature, His relationship to us, our need for salvation and His plan of salvation for us.

 

The reason the universe and life cannot come from nothing by any natural cause, but can come from a supernatural cause is because God is the self-existent creator of everything and everyone. He is not subject to His creation. He created it and sustains it. It is a mistake to judge God by human standards and human perspectives. God reveals that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

 

If you are interested in more detailed proof, read, [i]“Evidence that Demands a Verdict”[/i] by Josh McDowell.

 

[[url=http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000005147#] From “Reincarnation in the Bible?” [/url]]

 

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Replies to This Discussion

You must stand corrected.

Pagan Christianity definitely is founded from this list.

Courtesy of Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicea and it's most notable bishop from Antioch, Athanasius.

Pagan for the pagans of the empire. Peace by the imposition of  Roman Orthodoxy by the sword. Convert or die. 

 

It is always possible to dream up "explanations" for difficult passages in scripture.  When you start with the presupposition that the christian bible HAS to be true you can come up some amazing stuff that makes even black look white, at least to those who believe that they MUST believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. 

These "harmonizing" explanations do not convince non-believers because they are far less probable than the alternatives to a mind that seeks to derive truth from the evidence rather than twist the evidence to support a for-gone conclusion.

 

In other words, Clair, every time you state that you find these highly improbable explanations to be plausible you are advertising that your mindset is so rigid that it will do almost anything to avoid being confused with the facts.  It severely undermines your claim to be a rational human being.

 

Science progresses by demanding that every hypothesis be repeatedly subjected to serious attempts to disprove it.  Every time it survives such testing it considered to be supported.  The more it is supported, the more certain it becomes that the hypothesis is correct.  The same goes for complex theories that explain how a supported or empirically obvious fact works.

Religion, however, does everything possible to shield its hypothesis from testing, challenge and disproof.  As you demonstrate, time and time again, the theory that best fits the evidence is rejected in favor of less plausible theories that have little or no evidence in their favor. 

In your case the strength of your emotions prevents you from being objective.  You just don't make sense to rational human beings, unless they, too,  have been brainwashed into the same religious faction that you support. 

Your standard of evidence is extremely low.  You have been convinced by evidence that would not be accepted as valid in any scientific, higher academic or legal inquiry.  The "testimony concerning Christ himself" is merely stuff written by unknown authors who could not possibly have witnessed the events about which they write.  At best, they rely on hearsay evidence that has gone through multiple levels.  For numerous reasons (for details see the list of books suggested by other posters) the biblical text cannot be taken as reliable evidence for either the existence of a person called Jesus of Nazareth (and I don't see any reason to actually reject this possibility entirely), his teachings or his life events.  There is little or no reliable confirmatory evidence of any of this outside of the biblical books themselves.  There is nothing equivalent to today's CSI evidence for the death or the resurrection of a person called Jesus of Nazareth around that time. 

If you are convinced by this evidence then you are very gullible and quite uncritical. 

 

If you want to argue that the contents of the O.T. are also true then you have to explain why evidence that should exist to affirm the presence of Jews in Egypt or the Sinai desert does not, in fact, exist.  Instead, archeologists have found multiple material that indicates that the Jewish people arose from among the Canaanites and that the stories of captivity and exodus are merely myths told to the nascent group to help if differentiate itself from the surrounding tribes.  The days have long gone when Middle Eastern digs were controlled by religious groups with an agenda to find things that supported the biblical record and ignore or fail to report things that did not.  Scholars who are obsessed with finding the truth, rather than supporting a religion, are firmly of the belief that the older the tales in the O.T. the less support there is for them as actual it-really-happened "history". Perhaps you have shielded yourself from reading anything written by or about the work of these modern secular or multi-faithed scholars.

 

 

 

 

Reply by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

It is always possible to dream up "explanations" for difficult passages in scripture.  When you start with the presupposition that the christian bible HAS to be true you can come up some amazing stuff that makes even black look white, at least to those who believe that they MUST believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.

 

 Pahu: Isn't it also possible for unbelievers to dream up reasons for denigrate the Bible by refusing to believe in scholarly explanations for difficult Bible passages because they have decided God does not exist and the Bible cannot be His Word?

 

Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM: These "harmonizing" explanations do not convince non-believers because they are far less probable than the alternatives to a mind that seeks to derive truth from the evidence rather than twist the evidence to support a for-gone conclusion.

 

 Pahu: Perhaps those non-believer's minds are more interested in seeking ways to discredit the Bible than discovering truth.

 

Using known laws of physics, causality, fulfilled prophecy, etc., I have given proof that God exists and He is the Author of the Bible. With those facts in mind, we must examine difficult passages with the knowledge that there are rational explanations in harmony with the whole Divine Revelation.

 

The rest of your assertions are based on false information and imaginary tales. Archaeology has confirmed much of Israel's time in Egypt. Here is just one source:

http://www.campuslight.org/wvu/EvidencesCFaith/Chapter5.htm

Another excellent source that confirms Bible historical accuracy is "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell.

the one I believe is the christian one, because it is as yet, compatible with scientific study. While other religious systems fall by the wayside, christianity and the bible continues to stand up under scientific scrutiny.

LOLOLOLOL. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Now that thats out of the way, tell me something, does the sun & other celestial bodies revolve around the earth?

Seriously, google, wikipedia & some science books!

The creator is thought to be self-existent, however, the universe is not.

It could be the universe that is self-existent, without needing a fairy tale creature that created it. If you believe that an entity could exist on its own, then why not some other entity? 

Why does there have to be a creator? Why do you need that layer of abstraction? And what proof do you have of a creator, other than your dusty old book? 

Reply by Akshay Bist 19 hours ago

It could be the universe that is self-existent, without needing a fairy tale creature that created it. If you believe that an entity could exist on its own, then why not some other entity?

 

Pahu:

The universe cannot be infinitely old or all useable energy would have been lost already (entropy).  This has not occurred.  Therefore, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, the universe had a beginning and since the universe is everything that exists, could it exist before it existed?  Something cannot bring itself into existence.  Therefore, something brought it into existence. What brought the universe into existence?  It would have to be greater than the universe and be a sufficient cause to it.

 

All things that came into existence were caused to exist.  You cannot have an infinite regression of causes (otherwise an infinity of time has been crossed which is impossible because an infinity cannot be crossed).  Therefore, logically, there must be a single uncaused cause that has always existed.

 

Akshay Bist: And what proof do you have of a creator, other than your dusty old book?

 

Pahu:

The Universe exists and is real. Every rational person must admit this point. If it did not exist, we would not be here to talk about it. So the question arises, “How did the Universe get here?” Did it create itself? If it did not create itself, it must have had a cause.

 

Let’s look at the law of cause and effect. As far as science knows, natural laws have no exceptions. This is definitely true of the law of cause and effect, which is the most universal and most certain of all laws. Simply put, the law of cause and effect states that every material effect must have an adequate cause that existed before the effect.

 

Material effects without adequate causes do not exist. Also, causes never occur after the effect. In addition, the effect never is greater than the cause. That is why scientists say that every material effect must have an adequate cause. The river did not turn muddy because the frog jumped in; the book did not fall off the table because the fly landed on it. These are not adequate causes. For whatever effects we see, we must present adequate causes.

 

Five-year-olds are wonderful at using the law of cause and effect. We can picture a small child asking: “Mommy, where do peaches come from?” His mother says that they come from peach trees. Then the child asks where the trees come from, and his mother explains that they come from peaches. You can see the cycle. Eventually the child wants to know how the first peach tree got here. He can see very well that it must have had a cause, and he wants to know what that cause was.

 

One thing is for sure: the Universe did not create itself! We know this for a scientific fact, because matter cannot create matter. If we take a rock that weighs 1 pound and do 50,000 experiments on it, we never will be able to produce more than 1 pound of rock. So, whatever caused the Universe could not have been material.

 

FROM NOTHING COMES NOTHING

 

I know that it is insulting to your intelligence to have to include this paragraph, but some people today are saying that the Universe evolved from nothing. However, if there ever had been a time when absolutely nothing existed, then there would be nothing now, because it always is true that nothing produces nothing. If something exists now, then something always has existed.

 

THE BIBLE SPEAKS ABOUT THE CAUSE

 

The Bible certainly is not silent about what caused the Universe. In the very first verse of the first chapter of the first book it says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” Acts 17:24 records: “God, who made the world and everything in it…He is Lord of heaven and earth.” Exodus 20:11 notes: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.”

 

God is undoubtedly an adequate cause, since He is all-powerful. In Genesis 17:1, God told Abraham “I am Almighty God.”

 

He came before this material world, fulfilling the criteria that the cause must come before the effect. The psalmist wrote: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).

 

And He definitely would instill within mankind the concept of morality, since He is a God of morals. Titus 1:2 says that He cannot lie.

 

Only God fits the criteria of an adequate cause that came before the Universe.

 

WHY DOES GOD NOT HAVE A CAUSE?

 

Hold on just a minute! If we contend that every material effect must have a cause, and we say that only God could have caused the Universe, then the obvious question is: “What caused God?” Doesn’t the law of cause and effect apply to God, too?

 

There is a single word in the law of cause and effect that helps provide the answer to this question—the word material. Every material effect must have a cause that existed before it. Scientists formulated the law of cause and effect based upon what they have observed while studying this Universe, which is made out of matter. No science experiment in the world can be performed on God, because He is an eternal spirit, not matter (John 4:24). Science is far from learning everything about this material world, and it is even farther from understanding the eternal nature of God. There had to be a First Cause, and God was (and is) the only One suitable for the job.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The law of cause and effect is a well-established law that does not have any known exceptions. It was not conjured up from the creationists’ magic hat to prove the existence of God (although it does that quite well). The evidence is sufficient to show that this material Universe needs a non-material cause. That non-material Cause is God. If natural forces created the Universe, randomly selecting themselves, then morality in humans never could be explained. Why is this Universe here? Because “in the beginning, God….”

 

[From Apologetics Press :: Bible Bullets; Cause and Effect—Scientific Proof that God Exists; by Kyle Butt, M.A.; http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1762]

The universe as we know it, is about 13.7 billion years old. Before that, we don't know what existed & what the laws of physics were. So entropy only applies to things that happened after the big bang. We don't know about the state of the universe or the primeval atom or the multiverse or whatever was there to speculate on how things would have panned out. So your entropy reasoning goes out of the window.

So, entropy only applies to the universe as we know it, which is about 13.7 billion years old. Ta da! 

Reply by Akshay Bist 18 hours ago

The universe as we know it, is about 13.7 billion years old.

 

Pahu: Is that fact or speculation? Why do you believe it is that old?

 

Akshay Bist:

Before that, we don't know what existed & what the laws of physics were. So entropy only applies to things that happened after the big bang. We don't know about the state of the universe or the primeval atom or the multiverse or whatever was there to speculate on how things would have panned out. So your entropy reasoning goes out of the window.

So, entropy only applies to the universe as we know it, which is about 13.7 billion years old. Ta da! 

 

Pahu: You begin by saying you don't know what existed & what the laws of physics were. Then you assert entropy only applies to things that happened after the big bang. How do you know it didn't apply before the BB if you don't know? How can you confidently assert that my entropy reasoning goes out of the window when you admit you don't know what happened before the BB? 

 

Is it possible your reasoning goes out the window, by your own admission?

Pahu: Is that fact or speculation? Why do you believe it is that old?

Science.

I believe in something that has been vetted by scientists the world over. It is something that I can calculate myself, if I had access to equipment or could build some crude equipment of my own.

You believe in an dusty old book with NO proof for its explanations. It has many inconsistencies. In all it is a rubbish book.

How do you know it didn't apply before the BB if you don't know?

How do you know it didn't? It has been determined by scientists that the laws of physics weren't the same before the big bang & that the laws came into operation in the first moments of the big bang. Using that I can say that entropy (most likely) didn't apply before the big bang.

It funny how you question things that have been scientifically proven but unquestionably follow whats written in a few thousand year old rag.

Is it possible your reasoning goes out the window, by your own admission?

No. Read the last paragraph.

Read a book on astronomy and astrophysics, will you? There are plenty of popular science books out there that explain it in layman's terms. Hell, there are YouTube videos that explain this. Why are you even talking about something that you know absolutely nothing about?

 

The age of the universe can be calculated from red shift of galaxies moving away from us (see Hubble's Law, Hubble constant) and from the distribution of the cosmic microwave background radiation - which is the remnant of the Big Bang.

 

We know that the laws of physics break down at a certain point because of quantum mechanics, which divides everything into discrete packets (hence the name quanta). That includes time. You can't calculate anything below the Planck time - the lowest amount of time that can measured.

Five-year-olds are wonderful at using the law of cause and effect. We can picture a small child asking: “Mommy, where do peaches come from?” His mother says that they come from peach trees. Then the child asks where the trees come from, and his mother explains that they come from peaches. You can see the cycle. Eventually the child wants to know how the first peach tree got here. He can see very well that it must have had a cause, and he wants to know what that cause was.

Who's to say your example couldn't be applied to the universe itself? From a primeval atom we get a universe, and over billions and billions of years as stars collapse and galaxies collide, it ends up once again as a primeval atom, until it rapidly and violently expands into a universe. 

I'm sure you'll ask how I know any of that to be true, and the answer is I don't. It's a hypothesis, one of many. And if it turns out that it's wrong, big deal. Humans have always and will always have a desire to explore, learn, and create. To just accept one of the hundreds of creation myths as fact without question is absurd. Why would you want to allow yourself to mentally stagnate like that?

If humans just accepted that god is in heaven and whether or not we eat, live, or die is all up to him, we would never have advanced in any area. Improved Agriculture, Science, Philosophy, Medicine, Industry, the electricity powering the computers we all use to argue with each other and the forum server we do it on, let alone the computers themselves, would not exist if we applied the blanket "Well God is there and he says this is all I need" conclusion to everything else. So why apply it to anything at all?

Reply by Akshay Bist yesterday

Of course you can say you prescribe to no particular religious model, but believe that the universe needed a creator. Well the problem with that is where did this creator of yours come from? Did s/he have another creator or did it just exist on its own, yada yada. Its absurd that you can argue that the universe couldn't have come into existence on its own so it needed a creator, but then when asked about the origin of this creator of yours you claim it to have come into existence on its own or having always existed. Its like you need a layer of abstraction -  a creator created the universe & there is nothing more to it.

 

Pahu: It's amazing how often this question comes up, even after I have answered it several times. The universe cannot be infinitely old or all useable energy would have been lost already (entropy).  This has not occurred.  Therefore, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, the universe had a beginning and since the universe is everything that exists, could it exist before it existed?  Something cannot bring itself into existence.  Therefore, something brought it into existence. What brought the universe into existence?  It would have to be greater than the universe and be a sufficient cause to it.

 

All things that came into existence were caused to exist.  You cannot have an infinite regression of causes (otherwise an infinity of time has been crossed which is impossible because an infinity cannot be crossed).  Therefore, logically, there must be a single uncaused cause that has always existed.

The universe cannot be infinitely old or all useable energy would have been lost already (entropy).  This has not occurred.  Therefore, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, the universe had a beginning and since the universe is everything that exists, could it exist before it existed?

Ever heard of a multiverse?


Therefore, logically, there must be a single uncaused cause that has always existed.

Yes, the multiverse, not your imaginary friend.

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