Let me preface my post by saying what I mean by natural world
. By natural world
I mean all matter and energy
. The reason I use
the term natural world instead of universe is because there may be multiple universes or even dimensions containing other universes. The word universe
can lead to confusion very quickly.
There are two basic statements that I think all people need to address, especially those who believe that no deities exist or that the existence of
deities is improbable (i.e. atheism) . They are:
1. It is false that the natural world always existed.
2. It is true that the natural world always existed.
Statement (2) conflicts with contemporary cosmology and reason. Most scientists believe our universe and even the natural world (as I defined it) had
to have a beginning. But don't take my word for it. Watch this 39-minute long lecture about it by the famous physicist Alexander Vilenkin.
That being said, how is a past-infinite natural world logically incoherent? It is logically incoherent because if the natural world had always
existed, then it follows that there have been an actually infinite number of events or changes. But how could that be? The fact that we live in and
observe the present seems to indicate that the series of events or changes prior to the present have already occurred. But if the natural world is
past-infinite, that would mean an actually infinite number of events or changes have occurred! Sure, the future and past could be potentially infinite
in the sense that new events and changes are constantly being added, but surely the past couldn't be already an actual infinite since we observe the
Statement (1) runs into problems as well. Under atheism, if (1) is true, then that would mean the natural world was produced by nonbeing, literally
nothing, or not anything. If this isn't the definition of magic, then I don't know what is. I don't know what else to say about this, except that some
try to equivocate nonbeing with a quantum field. A universe produced by a quantum field isn't the same as a universe produced by not anything or
nonbeing. And you would still need to ask if the quantum field is past-infinite, which brings you back to the aforementioned contents of this
I will conclude by asking everyone a few questions. Could energy and matter be changeless (to avoid the problems of (2))? Could changeless energy and
matter produce anything? Could there be another category of existence that could be changeless (outside of the natural world)? Is it more rational to
presume an effect was caused by something than to think an effect just happened, uncaused, or without explanation?
edit on 26-7-2012 by Sleepwalk7 because: (no reason given)