Question from Andrew:
What if Quantum Mechanics are wrong?
What if the supposed undetermined, random events in quantum mechanics are actually under some kind of law and causality? Wouldn’t this be a stronger reason to think the cosmological argument is true?
Do atheists have other arguments to argue against the main premise of the cosmological argument for God; the existence of causality?
Answer by SmartLX:
Short answers: so what, no, and plenty.
As I mentioned in my original response to the cosmological argument (where you’ll find some other, unrelated objections), the behaviour of particles according to quantum mechanics suggests a possible contradiction to the argument’s premise that whatever begins to exist has a cause. If a cause is discovered for this phenomenon then we lose the contradiction, but this hardly matters because the premise has never been demonstrated in the first place.
We’ve never had evidence of anything physically “beginning to exist” in the way that the universe is supposed to have done. Every object which exists now is made up of material that existed before it, and simply came together to form something we then saw fit to quantify and name. As far as we know the matter that comprises you, me and everything we see has existed since the beginning of the universe, if any, and we have no idea how it first began to exist. Therefore there is no basis for the premise that whatever begins to exist has a cause, because the only available precedent is the very thing for which the argument is trying to establish a cause. Without an unrelated instance of creation or emergence ex nihilo with a known cause, the cosmological argument works by assuming its own conclusion or “begging the question”.
Quantum mechanics actually does suppose that certain particles emerge from “nothing”, but again, no cause is known. If a cause were discovered, then the beginning of the universe would be theorised to have not just A cause but THAT particular cause. Furthermore, if the nature of the cause allowed it to be discovered by science in the first place, it would likely not be a god.
Question from Andrew: