Arguments from nothing: God and quantum cosmology

Zygon 44 (4):777-796 (2009)
Abstract
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)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2009.01033.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,146
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.John D. Barrow - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.David Hume - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophical Review. Blackwell. pp. 338-339.
On the Nature of Things. Lucretius - 2001 - Hackett Publishing Company.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-11-26

Total downloads

324 ( #8,521 of 2,151,957 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

28 ( #11,357 of 2,151,957 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums