Saturday, June 4, 2011

Updated, Less Confusing (hopefully) 2nd Look at Why the Cosmological Argument Fails

After further consideration of the argument, I remembered the perspective which caused me to first change from strongly agreeing to disagreeing with this most popular of apologists tools.
The cosmological argument collapses on itself because it makes an assertion which rends the subject material categorically unknowable.

Thesis: If there were a point in time in which the laws of physics were broken, we would not be able to comment on what happened during that point in time with the reasoning we use to comment upon the points in time in which the laws of physics do apply.

Consider the following:

If God created the universe from nothing, then he must have broken the laws of physics. (NOT that this is a bad thing in and of itself!!! I am NOT arguing that God is not allowed to break the laws of physics. If he exists, he created and controls those laws, and that is fine! I am counting on him to do so!)

If the laws of physics were broken at any point in history, we would be entirely incapable of looking at, understanding, or commenting on what was going on. Logic does not apply when the laws of physics are broken.

If the universe began the way apologists who use the cosmological argument think it did, then that beginning happened in such a way that it is untestable and incomparable to anything we know.

Conclusion: If the universe 'began' at some point, then it must have happened in such a way that the laws of physics as we know them were broken, and so no comparison can be made with that 'beginning' and what we know of how the universe works now.

We should not make confident assertions about things we don't (or cannot) understand.


  1. Josh, the conclusion from your post is that you can't assertively conclude a full description of the "beginning" using science. Religion is not bound by the rules that holds science because it incorporates faith. If one believes something they can and will assert certain points. They can even cite scientific evidence that supports their perspective, they just can't claim scientific fact or law. It's still belief, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Your thoughts lead to the conclusion that science can't in fact decide anything conclusively about the beginning because its not testable. So science is the thing limited--not one's beliefs or religion. If I believed X I could assert X, but I would have to have something else other than science to back my beliefs. There is nothing logically inconsistent with this. I think your argument may be assuming that the only reasonable means of understanding something is through science, which isn't true.

  2. Thank you for your comment!

    How would you decide which religion(s) is/are true?

    In order to be fair, I have tried to find to find out which religion is right by applying the same criteria to all religions (or at least the 36 that I have spent time researching so far). Since I cannot impose one religion's criteria for truth upon another, I have found a common ground- I use logic and reasoning based on as much evidence as possible to verify if the claims of beliefs have merit- and this looks a lot like science.