Question from Rick:
In previous discussions it appears that we have come to rational conclusions:
– Two positions of understanding exist: everything came from absolute nothingness or there is an “eternal imperative”. Most “thinking” people know that an “eternal imperative” is most logical.
– Science, thanks to people like Lawrence Krauss are close to proving that nothing within the Physical Universe was responsible for “everything”
– In conclusion: it appears that the most logical position is that there is in fact an eternal imperative and that eternal imperative is responsible for the existence of the Physical Universe.
In light of the above considerations SmartLX rightly states that the fact of an eternal imperative does not prove the persistence of an eternal imperative. This fact does shift the discussion from “is there a god” to “who is/was God”? It also shifts SmartLX’s position from atheism to deism.
Adam admittedly is going to believe what Adam believes regardless of Science or Philosophical discussions.
Rohit is still committed to Science (because it is simpler) and he believes Science will discover how everything came from absolute nothingness.
Erick just doesn’t know!
So SmartLX, why don’t you create a site “Ask the Deist”, so our conversation can continue?
Answer by SmartLX:
Oh dear, where to begin.
The Eternal Imperative, the hypothetical thing which had existed forever and was responsible for everything else, either did or didn’t exist. In its place could have been not just “nothing within the Physical Universe” but actually nothing at all, according to Krauss, so it’s futile to try to bend his work towards supporting the idea of a god. Another alternative we didn’t discuss was an infinite number of finite “imperatives”, for example an endless series of lone universes. Until the relative mechanics and more importantly probabilities of the three (and any other) options can be calculated, it’s not logical to assume that any one of them is factual. Nor is it wise to go with the option that superficially makes the most sense to us personally, because if quantum mechanics teaches us anything it’s that reality can be counter-intuitive.
Yes, if there was an Eternal Imperative that doesn’t mean it’s still there. But if there isn’t one now, it doesn’t mean there ever was one, only that there’s a potential excuse for lack of evidence for one. If despite what I’ve just said everyone asserts an Eternal Imperative (and not just the party who really wants there to be one) then the discussion becomes about what the Eternal Imperative is. It only becomes about who/what God is if you totally conflate a creator God with the Eternal Imperative, and you haven’t even begun to argue that it’s God – besides pointing out similar qualities in two hypothetical objects, which is at best circumstantial and at worst a blazing logical fallacy. Did you really think you’d be able to slip the existence of a god into an argument with atheists as a starting premise and go unchallenged?
Even capitalising the name “Eternal Imperative” is a subtle implication that it’s a title for a person, not a thing. It’s why Prime Mover and Uncaused Cause are written that way. Mind you, after a quick look around it seems like it’s only you using it to mean what you think it means, here and in the other forums where you appear to be either calling in reinforcements or trumpeting your imminent victory. Among evangelicals and Baptists an eternal imperative usually means an eternal command, for instance to worship or to proselytise. So points for two words’ worth of originality, I suppose.
Question from Rick: