Back to series index >>
This is part of a series of posts in response to "The Agnostic Inquirer" by Menssen & Sullivan.
Menssen and Sullivan take the traditional tracks of discussing causality, whether everything needs a cause, etc. My stance on cosmological arguments, ever since hearing them, has been that we just don't know. This gets mixed in with a little bit of "if cause A precedes effect B, how could there be a cause A when there was no time scale with which to call effect B "prior" to the creation of the temporal universe?" Similarly, in assuming the hypothesis is true and a timeless, spaceless, disembodied mind created the universe... how does choice occur in a non-temporal realm? We constantly refer to "states" of being. Is there a "meta-time" in which god can do such things? Nevermind that we have no frame of reference for how power and knowledge can reside in non-space.
In any case, this question simply seems beyond our reach, and it has never struck me as clear how we can trace back our existence to a specific point in space-time (the Big Bang) and then state out of our unknowing that we know exactly what the cause is/was. Even if we know there was some first cause such that we don't fall into an infinite regress... what leads us to suggest that we should start piling on human-like attributes to such a thing? A mind? A loving desire to bring about creatures to share in its/his/her goodness? The ability to design? While I get why it makes sense to suggest that a mind caused the universe because the only things that choose and decide (from our experience) are minds, as stated above we have no experience of minds not in this universe or not in an animal of some sort. Thus the extension simply doesn't hold -- one can't transfer the property of a mind in a human to a realm no human is known to inhabit and to a being nothing like a human in terms of how the mind is developed, educated, and sustained (fed with nutrients).
Furthermore, why couldn't anything be on the other side of that curtain? A universe generating force/machine/entity? A computer on which we're living this simulation? An infinite regress (I realizing most hold an actual infinity can't exist... but that's in our universe with our mathematics)? An entirely different system of logic, physics, math?
Or... perhaps we'll just never know. That's okay with me. Surely this is an unsatisfying conclusion, but it's where I currently stand. I don't think one can assert what or who caused the universe from a realm outside our experienceable universe.