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If nothing can come from nothing and the universe, and therefore all matter and energy, cannot be eternal according to the second law of thermodynamics, does this necessitate the existence of a non material, or supernatural creator?

What about quantum field theory? The theory explains how something can come from nothing (a quantum vacuum), but I've also read about how the quantum vacuum isn't truly nothing as it has properties and energy.

Basically, can anyone comment on the validity of this article, God created not quantum fluctuation? Feel free to ignore the first section as it does not pertain to the question.

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  • This question currently has two votes to close on the basis that it is "primarily opinion based". That seems odd to me - if we are saying that metaphysical ideas are just "opinion", presumably we should close all questions on this site on that basis. If a question like this is not within the proper domain of philosophy, I really don't know what is. – Ben Jun 8 '18 at 1:05
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    Define "nothing". The issue with this argument is we do not know what the state of things was like before the Big Bang. We do not even know if "before" is a valid term to use, or if the time that we experience is local just to our universe. – MichaelK Jun 8 '18 at 5:16
  • The issue is with the ambiguity of the term "nothing" : if quantum vacuum is not nothing, it must be something: thus, it is not true that QFT support the idea that "something can come from nothing". – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jun 8 '18 at 5:56
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    This is really broad... There are very many approaches in philosophy. – rus9384 Jun 8 '18 at 6:52
  • Is creating any different to glunging? How do you tell? – Baby Boy Jun 8 '18 at 7:04
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“What created the universe?” is one of the most fundamental questions and also one of the most difficult questions in science and philosophy. Certainly, there is no definite answer now. But to answer this question by invoking another entity that is the one that created the universe always leads to the question of what created that entity. If the answer is that that entity occurred spontaneously by itself, then the answer can similarly apply to the universe: the universe occurred spontaneously by itself. This is what most contemporary physicists believe. For example, The Big Bang Didn't Need God to Start Universe, and Stephen Hawking says universe not created by God.

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As user287279 has correctly pointed out, the requirement of a creator for "the universe" (i.e., existence) naturally begs the question of who created the creator. Either you get an infinite regress, or you accept that something had to be "first" (i.e., non-created), in which case it would be legitimate to posit that existence itself is non-created (i.e., it just is).

While I agree with this view, I would go a bit further than this, and say that it is not really correct to say that existence "occurred spontaneously", since the very concept of spontaneous occurrence presupposes a pre-existing state and a temporal distance between the "before" and "after" states. In my view, it is more accurate to say that "the universe" (i.e., existence) includes all things, including time, and hence, there can be no temporal description of any state "prior to" the universe. If that reasoning is correct, then it is not proper to say that the universe "occurred spontaneously". It is more accurate to say simply that existence exists - i.e., that existence just is.

This description of metaphysics is consistent with your assertion that "nothing can come from nothing". Under this view we do not posit that the universe was created spontaneously from nothing; we just say that it exists. There is no time prior to existence where there was a state of nothing, and hence, there is no creation ex nihilo. On that basis, I would say that your linked article presents you with a false alternative. It is false to say that everything has a cause, because the first thing cannot have had a cause (i.e., cannot have evolved from a prior state). Existence itself is un-created and hence un-caused; so it is not necessary to offer the false alternative that either God created the universe, or a "quantum fluctuation" (whatever that is) did it, or it was "grubbled" into existence, etc. (Incidentally, quantum physics is a dead end in metaphysics; it is quackery.)

Note: As users in the comments have pointed out, there are a lot of competing metaphysical theories in philosophy. The theory I am describing is the Objectivist theory of metaphysics. If you want to get a good understanding of this question, you should read different metaphysical theories; familiarise yourself with their arguments and counter-arguments. Hopefully the above exposition gives you a place to start.

  • But the universe had a beginning. The Big Bang. This beginning itself requires some cause. If the beginning of the universe has not been known (in the sense there would be no actual date when it could began), I would agree the universe has not been created (since begging the question), but this makes me think otherwise. – rus9384 Jul 18 '18 at 21:17
  • The Big Bang is a cosmological theory, which, even if accepted, does not imply that every existent has a cause. In his lecture on the beginning of time, Hawking argues that the Big Bang model has no temporal state prior to the bang, which vitiates 'cause'. He states, "Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them." – Ben Jul 19 '18 at 1:36
  • I know, but unobservability does not really imply inexistence. That's just a form of belief. But if the Big Bang is an effect, it has a cause. We cannot discuss what this cause is since it's undefined, but it exists. Regarding time it is impossible that anything happens somewhere, where time does not exist, since time is a causation. – rus9384 Jul 19 '18 at 6:48
  • I have no idea what you mean when you say that "time is a causation". In any case, nothing in this answer is affected by whether there was a big bang or not. Either you get an infinite regress, or you accept that something had to be "first" (i.e., non-created). If the first thing was the singularity at the start of the big bang, that is fine, but that means the singularity had no cause. – Ben Jul 19 '18 at 6:56
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"Why is there something rather than nothing? What created the universe?"


Self-reference and recursion is one reason offered by cosmologists. Also: See the term in my screen-name, "Tautological."

I strongly favor the cyclical model and self-reference as an explanation for the creation of the universe.


References and Sources:--

Other References and Further Reading:--

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In the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1) the Buddha describes how a supposed Creator God came to believe himself omnipotent and how others came to rely on his sovereignty. His description was based, not on speculation or hearsay, but on his own direct knowledge. The Buddha explains that when our world system disintegrates, as it regularly does after extremely long periods of time, the lower sixteen planes are all destroyed. Beings disappear from all planes below the seventeenth, the plane of the Abhassara gods. Whatever beings cannot be born on the seventeenth or a higher brahma plane then must take birth on the lower planes in other remote world systems.

Eventually the world starts to re-form. Then a solitary being passes away from the Abhassara plane and takes rebirth on the plane of Maha Brahma. A palace created by his kamma awaits him there: "There he dwells, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long time." After ages pass, he becomes lonely and longs for other beings to join him. It just so happens that shortly after the brahma starts craving for company, other beings from the Abhassara plane, who have exhausted their lifespans there, pass away and are reborn in the palace of Brahma, in companionship with him.

Because these beings seemed to arise in accordance with the first brahma's wish, he becomes convinced that he is the almighty God: "I am the Great Brahma, the Vanquisher... the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being." The other brahmas, seeing that he was already present when they took birth in his world, accept his claim and revere him as their creator.

Eventually this misconception of a Creator God spreads to the human plane. One of the other brahmas passes away and is reborn here. He develops concentration and learns to recollect his previous life with Maha Brahma, but none of his lives before that. Recollecting that existence he recalls that Maha Brahma was considered the "father of all that are and are to be... permanent, stable, eternal." As he is unable to remember further back, he believes this to be absolute truth and propounds a theistic doctrine of an omnipotent Creator God (Net 69-70, 155-66). https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/jootla/wheel414.html

So the Buddhist view is that the multiverse is eternal, but everything changes.

String theory seems to be suggesting that the higher dimensions of that system in some sense are a space for all possibilities, all possible pasts and futures for our universe, and all possible sets of fundamental constants and starting conditions https://phys.org/news/2014-12-universe-dimensions.html

These are the only two satisfying accounts I know of.

protected by Keelan Jun 8 '18 at 11:38

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