David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Zygon 44 (4):777-796 (2009)
This essay explores a simple argument for a Ground of Being, objections to it, and limitations on it. It is nonsensical to refer to Nothing in the sense of utter absence, hence nothing can be claimed to come from Nothing. If, as it seems, the universe, or any physical ensemble containing it, is past-finite, it must be caused by an uncaused Ground. Speculative many-worlds, pocket universes and multiverses do not affect this argument, but the quantum cosmologies of Alex Vilenkin, and J. B. Hartle and Stephen Hawking, which claim that the universe came from literally nothing, would. I argue that their novel project cannot work for reasons both physical (their "nothing" is actually a vacuum state governed by eternal physical laws) and methodological (physical theory cannot explain the emergence of the physical per se). Thus my argument stands. However, as David Hume showed, a posteriori arguments like mine infer a creation, and Creator, of a certain character, namely, a stochastic concept of creation and a panentheistic, partly physical Creator lacking omniscience and omnipotence. Rather than undermining the cosmological argument, as Hume intended, these limitations liberate the concept of the Ground from unnecessary problems, as Hartshorne suggested.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
I. Prigogine (1984). Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature. Distributed by Random House.
John D. Barrow (1986/1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford University Press.
David Hume (2007/2006). Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophical Review. Blackwell Pub. Ltd. 338-339.
Paul Tillich (2000/1977). The Courage to Be. Yale University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Adolf Grünbaum (1989). The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology. Philosophy of Science 56 (3):373-394.
Federico Laudisa, Relational Quantum Mechanics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Paul Davies, The Implications of a Cosmological Information Bound for Complexity, Quantum Information and the Nature of Physical Law.
Michael Bertrand (2009). God Might Be Responsible for Physical Evil. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):513 – 515.
Mark F. Sharlow, Playing Fast and Loose with Complexity: A Critique of Dawkins' Atheistic Argument From Improbability.
Quentin Smith (1998). Why Stephen Hawking's Cosmology Precludes a Creator. Philo 1 (1):75-93.
Shan Gao (2013). A Quantum Physical Argument for Panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (1-2):1 - 2.
Ruediger Vaas, Time Before Time - Classifications of Universes in Contemporary Cosmology, and How to Avoid the Antinomy of the Beginning and Eternity of the World.
Hans Halvorson (forthcoming). Theism and Physical Cosmology. In Charles Taliaferro, Victoria Harrison & Stewart Goetz (eds.), Routledge Companion to Theism.
Added to index2009-11-26
Total downloads284 ( #7,034 of 1,790,533 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #59,533 of 1,790,533 )
How can I increase my downloads?