Laurence Krauss wrote a book titled "A Universe from Nothing" explaining how the Universe might have began. In this book Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the Universe existed, if, in fact, there was a Pre-Big Bang state.

This question suggests the Universe has a beginning and an ultimate uncaused cause. If the universe ( including its physical laws ) cannot spontaneously burst into existence from nothing, what might the nature of this something be? Must it to be a sentient creator? And if not, how does one explain the existence of the Universe?

By denying a sentient creator, how is this not claiming matter and energy just spontaneously came to be and changed and arranged themselves into something new? Or if it is suggesting that, does that make sound sense?

A rock doesn't suddenly change from being a rock into an axe head unless acted upon by something else.

  • You're asking where did X come from if not from a creator. If not from a creator X would have to have come from a source that wasn't a Being. I don't know how to justify this. X being made by a being who created it seems to make the most logical sense to us as humans, from our limited vantage point. Could it logically have been something else? I don't know if we yet have the answer to this. – carb0nshel1 Jan 3 '16 at 18:26
  • The laws of physics are contingent on the universe existing. Without a physical universe, there are no physical laws. Contrast this with the laws of logic which exist independent of a physical universe. – user18800 Jan 4 '16 at 3:32
  • By "decision," what do you mean? Lots of things emerge without an explicit design, but did not emerge from nothing either (markets and prices, social conventions, languages). – James Kingsbery Jan 6 '16 at 21:12
  • Also, I feel like we've had questions about the necessity of a creator God for the universe, is this question different than those? – James Kingsbery Jan 6 '16 at 21:14

You're running smack into the limitation of ontological naturalism. Krauss and naturalists like him simply do not have an answer for where the universe came from.

Some naturalists believe the universe is eternal. Others believe it spontaneously popped into existence. I use the term believe because naturalism can't empirically support either claim. It's a presupposition.

Now, in regards to your question: "If X cannot emerge from nothingness, must X's existence be the decision of a Creator?" there are only two logical possibilities:

  • The universe is eternal
  • The universe has a cause

The "universe from nothing" idea is indefensible nonsense. Even Krauss admits this in his mistitled book.

  • What else is an uncaused cause? Causes are explanations of events. – Philip Klöcking Jan 5 '16 at 14:44
  • Great answer. You lost me on the second part, though. This question is already assuming the universe has a cause, its asking about the identity of that cause: Sentient Being, or not Sentient Being? What is more plausible? – sol acyon Jan 6 '16 at 4:35
  • @PhilipKlöcking Great point. All causes obviously are not sentient, in fact i'm sure most aren't. However, this question stems from the special nature of this cause being, as you said, unexplainable. More precisely, the first cause which would have to be outside of time and space. Many causes are not sentient, however, if we only have two choices: First cause was sentient or First cause wasn't, what is more probable? This is the question. Logically speaking, This first cause being an inanimate object seems to need more explaining than one that's Sentient. Ocams Razor seems to suggest sentien – sol acyon Jan 6 '16 at 4:41

First of all (in the general case), there are "things" that "come to existence" (emerge) without a creator, and there are others that do require a creator. Typically, things that are made by nature and/or random processes do not require a "sentient creator" whereas, tools, buildings, ships, etc., do.
Focusing in the specific case of our Universe, I submit as a possible explanation, that just like there are "spontaneous" emissions of particles from radioactive materials, our Universe "came about" from a spontaneous perturbation of highly unstable energy field, in a 4-dimensional space volume. The wave created by the perturbation caused a 3-dimensional "surface" (in 4-dimensional space), which is our Universe. No "sentient being" required for this.

  • "From a spontaneous perturbation of highly unstable energy field". And where did this energy field come from? I think you are largely missing the point. When I say "nothing". I'm really talking about "nothing". Otherwise how did that get here? See the linked question for more on why this matters and the idea of an "infinite regress". – sol acyon Jan 7 '16 at 5:45

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