Everything That Begins To Exist Has A Cause
In my argument, I explained that the law of causality is strongly founded in philosophical scholarship, so that it would not be dishonest to hold to it for a doctor of philosophy (which I was referring to William Lane Craig, as discussed earlier in the debate, not myself, and not overstating my knowledge of philosophy). Indeed much of science is often grounded on philosophical presuppositions or assumptions. To deny philosophy, seems to me to undermine not only philosophy, but science itself.
As a product of scholarly work in this field, the law of causality is not just an assumption. It is rather based upon the arguments that (1) something cannot just pop into being, out of nothing, and (2) if something could just pop into being out of nothing, it becomes inexplicable why everything and anything does not just pop into being out of nothing.
But Rosa offered an objection to this premise, saying that quantum events are sometimes causeless. But I pointed out that Heisenburg’s Principle Of Uncertainty shows that this is false, to which Rosa replied that this principle was irrelevant. But I do not think it is irrelevant. This principle shows that cause of quantum events is unknown (or unknowable, as it were). However that is not to say that these events are without cause. Rather, the cause is beyond our ability to know. There are a number of scientific theories meant to explain quantum fluctuations.
Therefore this is not necessarily an example of uncaused events. It seems to me to be plugging in non-causality a priori based on naturalistic assumptions. It is an example of a cause that is unknown (or perhaps even unknowable). As the philosopher of science Bernulf Kanitscheider pointed out, “Vacuum fluctuation models are far from being a spontaneous generation of everything from naught. The origin of that embryonic bubble is really a causal process leading from primordial substratum with a rich physical structure to a materialized substratum of the vacuum. This process includes that causal dependence peculiar to every quantum mechanic process.”
Further, and critically, even if it were the case that things could just pop into being without a cause, I assume that Rosa’s preferred conclusion is that the universe is also a quantum fluctuation. But as the physicists Johann Rafelski and Berndt Mueller’s point out in their book The Structured Vacuum, the quantum vacuum is not nothing. It is space without matter; it is part of the universe. If the quantum vacuum is part of the universe, then it seems to me that it is also contingent upon it, and therefore could not be the cause of it. A cause must be greater than its’ effect. As such, the cause of the universe must transcend the universe. Since the quantum vacuum is contingent upon the universe, it follows necessarily that the quantum vacuum could not be the cause of the universe.
Finally Rosa argues that because I pointed out that the causal determinacy of quantum events is debated, that therefore the law of causality is a moot point. But far from being a moot point, what I was pointing out was that the question of whether these quantum events are causeless or not is debated. It is my argument that these, or any events, being causeless, is not open to us as an option.
The Universe Began To Exist
I pointed out a number of times in my previous article that a cause must transcend its’ effect. If all of nature has a transcendent cause, it follows necessarily that there must be something that exists beyond nature. This point seems to have made Rosa uncomfortable in that it was argued that it may be the case that nature did not begin at the beginning of this universe.
The problem, though, is that I never argued that. I argued only for the finitude of the past by appealing to Doctor David Hilbert’s illustration of the hotel. Even if it is the case that this universe was not the beginning of nature, all nature did have a finite beginning. This is not only rooted in philosophy, but as Alexander Vilenkin pointed out, “With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the idea of a past-eternal universe. They have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”
Therefore even if it were the case that this universe was not the beginning of all nature, eventually, we have to face an absolute beginning.
Therefore, The Universe Had A Cause
Rosa again repeated the arguments that I just sort of asserted the existence of a personal transcendence without any logical justification. But I said multiple times, this is a deductive argument. God is not merely inserted without any reason, but is deduced. I argued that the cause of all material, space, time, and nature must be immaterial, spaceless, timeless, beyond nature, and personal as well. So I do not decide on the traits of the cause of the universe, they are rather deduced. Further, Rosa asked how I know that the cause is not natural. Well, the cause of all nature cannot be natural.
Therefore, it is not the case that this argument is special pleading, circular reasoning or dishonest at all. It is simply unpacking what it means to be the cause of space, time, material and nature.