Sep 13, 2014

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
Why it's a circular question.
 
Gottfried Leibniz, a 17th-century German mathematician and philosopher, once asked, "Why is there something (creation) rather than nothing?"
 
Then he answered it: there's something because the universal designer wanted there to be something. 
In other words "because God did it." 
Of course, it took the existence of the universal designer for granted.
 
But, for all anybody knows, a material cause of the universe might be eternal itself. 
 
Eternal God or eternal material--either is impossible to comprehend, anyway.
Try and really understand either. You only come to a dead end.
 
For the secularist scientist, the frank answer is, “I don’t know and might never know.”
 
For the theist, “God did it.” Thereby, the blank is filled in.
The theist may define the universal designer as the greatest being. 
At the same time, the theist can't explain what exactly the greatest being is. 
Although he may say it's all powerful, all knowing, and eternal, those properties aren't observed in the world. They're abstract concepts. 
 
One may wonder how a hypothetical "greatest being" exists eternally to begn with. 
The greatest being neither eats or sleeps. 
The church answer is God just is. Nothing else. 
 
One wonders too why the greatest being made the cosmos when it didn't need to. 
Or why humankind was made, when the greatest being didn’t need it, either. 
In fact, the Old Testament book of Job says God doesn't need anything from humans--
Job 35:6 If you sin, how does that affect [God]? If your sins are many, what does that do to him? 7 If you are righteous, what do you give to him, or what does he receive from your hand? 
 
A church answer may say God made the cosmos for his pleasure. 
It sounds as if God needs pleasure, then. 
 
Leibniz, the above philosopher, contended that this is the best of all possible worlds that God could create. 
The designer always does what's best. 
Leibniz seemed to say he had special knowledge about it. 
But he doesn't say from where he got that special knowledge. 
Or is it that the philosopher didn't have special knowledge. 
Leibniz says that the all powerful being made the universe. 
But his reason is built on ambiguous language. 
What is more, the ambiguity of language supports faith and faith supports the ambiguity of language. One unsubstantiated thing supports the other unsubstantiated thing. 
Liebniz, good luck with the cicularity. You'll need it. 
 
There's a lesson in what the French philosopher Auguste Comte said in 1835--
He said science will never figure out what the stars are made of. 
But within decades of his saying that, astronomers began to determine the chemical composition of stars; they analyzed the spectrums of light the stars emitted. 
Comte should have said, "I dont' know, but maybe somebody else will later."
Leibniz should have said that, too.