Tag Archives: Nothing

Why Does The Universe Exist?

The question ‘Why does the universe exist?’ can be answered in two steps:

1) First of all we will have to know as to whether there is any God or not;

2) If we can somehow come to know that there is a God, then we can further ask the question as to why he created the universe. When we will have the answer to this question, we will also come to know as to why the universe exists, why we exist.

The above two have already been answered here1 and here2 respectively.

But even if we somehow come to know the reason as to why the universe exists, yet this will not answer all the questions. This is because we can still ask the question: Why does God exist? If there is a God, then what is the reason that there will have to be a God at all? If we think that there is actually such a reason, then we must keep in mind that we will have to find this reason within God’s existence itself and not outside of it, as otherwise there will be an infinite regress. That means God must have to be a necessary being, not contingent. But what is the reason due to which God will have to exist at all? I think I have already answered this question here3, where I have shown that the existence of nothing is self-contradictory and that therefore only something can exist, and not nothing. I have also shown that simply by default this something will always be spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite.

So I think I have answered all the questions that can possibly be asked: Why does God exist? Why does the universe exist? Why do we exist? God will have to be there because existence of nothing is self-contradictory. Being there he will have to create the universe in order to overcome his utter loneliness.

Reference:

  1. https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/is-fine-tuning-actually-required-for-proving-the-existence-of-god/
  2. https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/why-did-god-create-the-universe/
  3. https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/is-there-a-god/

 

 

 

 

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Lawrence Krauss’ Faulty Logic

In the year 2010 scientist Lawrence M Krauss wrote an article in Wall Street Journal1 in which he has argued that as the total energy of our present universe is found to be zero, so from this it can be concluded that it has originated from nothing. The gist of his argument is something like this: let us suppose that the universe has actually originated from nothing at all. (Here this nothing is the so-called nothing of the scientists, not the usual nothing of the philosophers.) Then in that case the total energy of the universe would obviously be zero, because here everything has started from zero or nothing. Surprisingly scientists have also found that the total energy of the present universe is zero. So naturally it can be said that it has actually originated from nothing, because in that case only its total energy is expected to be zero.

But this reasoning is faulty. This is because it can be shown that 1) if the universe has originated from something and not from nothing, then in that case also the total energy of the universe would be zero; and 2) if the universe has been created by some supernatural agent, then again its total energy would be zero.

Case 2): First I will show how the total energy of the universe would be zero if it is created by some supernatural agent. Let us say that this supernatural agent who has created the universe is God. Now what does it mean that the universe has been created by God? As universe primarily means its space, time, matter and energy, so universe created by God will mean its space, time, matter and energy have been created by God. That will further mean that before creation by God there was no space, no time, no matter and no energy. That will again mean that God was in no space and time and that God did not contain any matter and energy. That is the reason as to why theists always describe their God as spaceless, timeless and immaterial. Neither this spaceless, timeless and immaterial God can contain any energy, because energy was also created by God along with the creation of the universe. That means the total energy content of God is zero. Therefore the total energy content of the universe will also be zero, because universe cannot contain more energy than the source from which it has originated.

Here it might be objected that neither energy nor matter can be created or destroyed. But if we keep in mind that the total energy of the universe has always remained fixed at its zero value, then we can say that as such energy has not been created or destroyed at all. Only that it has taken positive and negative forms in the universe, the total energy always remaining zero. The same can be said about matter also.

Case 1): Here we will have to rely on the findings of two modern scientific theories e.g. the two theories of relativity. Regarding any scientific theory it is usually said that all theories are provisional. That means any current scientific theory can be superseded by some new theory in future. But if the old theory is a well-established and tested theory, then it can never be totally falsified. Only its limitations will be known to us. Although Newton’s theory of gravity has been replaced by Einstein’s theory of gravity, yet Newton’s theory has still its applicability in limited cases.

We say that the universe had originated from something. That means before the origin of the universe from that something there was nothing else other than that something – no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Space, time, matter and energy came into being after the origin of the universe from that something. Now Einstein’s general theory of relativity has shown that space, time and matter are so interlinked that there cannot be any space and time without matter. Similarly there cannot be any matter without space and time. Again from Einstein’s special theory of relativity we come to know that matter and energy are equivalent. So instead of saying that there cannot be any matter without space and time, we can also say that there cannot be any energy without space and time. Now we have already shown that the initial something was without space and time. But we have also shown that there cannot be any energy without space and time. So the initial something cannot have any energy. Therefore the total energy of the universe originated from that something will also be zero, because it cannot have more energy than the source from which it has originated.

So, if the universe has a beginning, then it is quite immaterial as to whether it has originated from something or from nothing or whether it has been created by God. This is because in all the three cases above it will start with zero energy. So from the mere fact that the total energy of our present universe has been found to be zero, it cannot be concluded that it has actually originated from nothing, because in the other two cases also its total energy would be zero. So zero total energy cannot be the only factor on the basis of which we can conclude that our present universe has actually originated from nothing.

  1. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703946504575469653720549936

How to prove that There is a God?

 

The question as to whether there is a God or not can only be answered properly when we will be able to settle the matter regarding the age of our universe. Either our universe is infinitely old, in which case we will have to assume that it was always there. Or we will have to assume that it is not so old; rather it began to exist merely 13.8 billion years ago. Scientist Paul Davies in an article “Is the Universe a Free Lunch?” has explained very nicely as to why our universe cannot be infinitely old and that why it should have had a beginning:

Some people dislike the notion that the Universe had a beginning. Why can’t it have existed for ever? The answer is simple. There are many physical processes that are irreversible; if the Universe were infinitely old, these processes would all have run their course. The Universe would already have reached its final state.

“An example will make this clear. The Sun cannot keep burning for ever. After a few billion years it will run out of fuel and die. So, too, will all stars. Though new stars are still forming, the stock of raw material is finite, and eventually it will be exhausted. So if the present state of the Universe cannot endure for eternity, it cannot have existed for eternity.1

As the universe has a beginning, so the next question that will naturally come to our mind will be this: What was there before the beginning of the universe? Was there anything at all? Or, was there absolutely nothing?

So our query as to whether there is a God or not has ultimately brought us here: now we will have to seek an answer to the question as to what was there before the beginning of the universe. Let us suppose that before the beginning there was nothing. Now what is nothing? Nothing means non-existence of everything. If nothing is non-existence of everything, then we can further ask the following question: can non-existence of everything have any existence? If we say yes, then in that case nothing will not be proper nothing at all. This is because we have already seen that nothing means non-existence of everything. But if non-existence of everything exists, then in that case at least one thing will exist, namely non-existence of everything. If at least one thing exists, then how can it be proper nothing, because we already know that nothing is non-existence of everything? So for nothing to be proper nothing, this non-existence of everything must not have any existence. That means nothing can only be proper nothing by not existing at all. That will further mean that only something can exist and not nothing. So we arrive at the conclusion that before the beginning of the universe there was something, and not nothing, from which our universe has originated. If the universe has originated from something, then that will mean that before the origin of the universe there was nothing else other than that something: no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Space, time, matter and energy came into being only after the origin of the universe from that something. That means the initial something was neither in any space nor in any time. Being neither in space nor in time it will thus be spaceless and timeless. Being spaceless and timeless it will also be changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite.2 Whether one will call this something God or not is purely her discretion. But one thing we should not forget here: we have arrived at this conclusion simply because we have found that our universe cannot be infinitely old and also because we have found that the existence of nothing is self-contradictory.

Our contention that before the beginning of the universe there was no space and no time is also supported by the following fact: Cosmologists say that the universe is expanding. But when it is asked what it is expanding into, we usually get the answer that it is not expanding into anything, because it is not embedded into any higher space-time.

The question why existence of nothing is self-contradictory has been elaborately discussed here3 and here4 by Peter Sas.

 

Reference:

  1. www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/is-the-universe-a-free-lunch-1340153.html
  2. https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/who-created-god/
  3. http://critique-of-pure-interest.blogspot.in/2014/09/why-is-there-something-rather-than.html
  4. http://critique-of-pure-interest.blogspot.in/2014/11/the-inconsistency-of-nothing-objective_17.html

A Universe from Nothing? : Part I

Scientist Stephen Hawking in his book “The Grand Design” has written that the universe can and will create itself from nothing because there is a law such as gravity. As per him spontaneous creation is the reason as to why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. Therefore he thinks that it is not at all necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.1

That an entire universe can come out of nothing is not a scientifically proven fact, rather it is merely a speculation. This speculation is also based on a logically flawed assumption, the assumption that the void is a real void. Here scientists have assumed that our universe is a Godless universe, and that therefore the void is a real void. But it may be true that this is a Godless universe, or it may not be true. As the believers cannot claim that they know with certainty there is a God, so also neither the scientists can claim that they know with certainty there is no God. However there is a definite way to know with certainty that there is no God. Here I am not claiming that there is a definite way to know with certainty there is a God, but I am only saying that there is a definite way to know with certainty there is no God. And this definite way is the scientific way.

If scientists ultimately become successful in explaining everything in this universe, including its origin also, without invoking God, then we will have no other option but to admit that the universe we live in is a Godless universe. But there is a very big “IF” here, if they become successful. Until they achieve their success here, they do not know whether they will be ultimately successful or not. So until they achieve their success here, they do not know whether it is a Godless universe or not. All their earlier successes cannot give them any assurance that in future also they will be equally successful. If somebody claims that there is no reason as to why they will not be successful, then I will have to bring in Hume here, but I think it will not be necessary. It is like climbing a mountain peak. So long as one is not there at the peak, she does not know whether she will be able to reach there at all. But once she has reached there, she knows with certainty that she has done it. So in order to come to the conclusion that we live in a Godless universe scientists will have to be able to give a scientific explanation for each and every single fact, every single event, or every single phenomenon of this natural world, and not a single fact, single event or single phenomenon should be left unexplained.

If the scientists claim here that they have explained almost everything of this natural world without invoking any kind of god, then I will have to point out to them that the origin of the universe has not yet been explained in a properly logical way. Before proceeding further here I want to quote a single line (or, a part of it) from an essay by Keith M. Parsons, an atheistic philosopher: “…[P]rima facie the most promising location for a Creator would be in the “creation” event itself, the origin of the universe.”2 If the most promising location for a Creator would be in the “creation” event itself, then this Creator must have to be eliminated first from the “creation” event, because that act only can ensure that there is no such Creator.

So until this so-called Creator has been eliminated from the creation event by providing a most plausible, and natural, scientific explanation (A) for it, we cannot have any idea as to whether the void is a real void or not. This is because if there is a creator God, then as per the theists that God is everywhere and therefore the void is no longer a real void. So let A be provided first by the scientists. Then only we can be sure that the void is a real void. Therefore A should always come first, and then only we can conclude that the void is a real void. But in the case under consideration it has already been concluded that the void is a real void without giving a natural explanation for the origin of the universe. And that makes all the difference.

Let me try to make my point more clear. Let e0 be the event zero, the origin/birth/creation of the universe, and let e1 to en be all the events that have so far happened in this universe after its origin. Let ne0 be the natural explanation for event zero, and let ne1 to nen be the natural explanations for events e1 to en respectively. Let us now suppose that scientists have already been able to provide ne1 to nen, but that they have so far failed to provide ne0. Will this situation allow us to conclude that there is no God? No, we cannot come to any such conclusion, because if there is a God then there will definitely be his hand behind the event zero. Yes, we can say this with absolute certainty, because God, if he is really God, and if he is really there, will not be our God at all, and neither will we recognize him as such, if he has no control over our destiny. In other words, if this universe is not his creation.

Therefore in order to establish that there is no God one must have to show that there is no hand of God behind the creation event. All the other natural explanations ne1 to nen put together cannot prove that there is no God. But once ne0 is given, it is firmly established that God does not exist. Therefore so far as the question of the non-existence of God is concerned, we can say that when ne0 has already been given, ne1 to nen will become unnecessary. And when ne0 has not yet been given, ne1 to nen are simply useless. And thus we can say that the necessary and sufficient condition for establishing the non-existence of God is that there will have to be a natural explanation for the origin of the universe (ne0).

Therefore so long as ne0 has not been given, we cannot come to the conclusion that there is no God. And therefore so long as ne0 has not been given, neither can we conclude that the void is a real void. And therefore so long as ne0 has not been given, neither can we say that as virtual particles can appear from out of nothing, so also an entire universe.

Here scientist Victor J. Stenger would perhaps have said that so long as there is no evidence for the existence of God, the default position is that there is no God. So in that case they are fully entitled to treat the void as a real void. But in an article titled “A Critique of the Void”3 I have very clearly shown that this universe even if created by a God may not display any evidence of his existence if it is the case that this God is non-interventionist, that is, if it is the case that he has not intervened at all after the creation of the universe. So from the mere fact that so far there is no evidence for the existence of God, it cannot be concluded that this universe is a Godless universe. In such a case the matter regarding the existence or non-existence of God can only be settled at the creation event itself. So scientists are in no way entitled to treat the void as a real void until it is firmly established that this void is really a void, that is, until the creator God is eliminated from the creation event by providing a natural explanation for it.

Scientists usually say that as there is no evidence for the existence of God, so it is reasonable to believe that there is no God. Here I have very clearly shown that neither is there any evidence that something can actually come out of nothing. On the basis of this lack of evidence we can also say that it is reasonable not to believe that the universe has actually originated from nothing.

Reference:

  1. Book: The Grand design, Published by Bantum Books, New York, Ch: The Grand Design, page 282.
  2. No Creator Need Apply: A Reply to Roy Abraham Varghese (2006), www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/varghese.html
  3. https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/a-critique-of-the-void/

 

 

A Fundamental Flaw in the Thesis: A Universe from Nothing

PART I

Most of the modern physicists maintain that the universe has actually originated from nothing, thus requiring no supernatural agency for its creation. Here their logic is something like this: as they have found that the total energy of the universe is zero, so they have argued that no outside agent was at all necessary to provide the initial input energy for starting the universe; therefore, it can simply originate from nothing. If the total energy of the universe were having some very big non-zero value, then it would not have been possible for them to maintain the same thing that the universe had actually originated from nothing. Because in that case they would have to explain as to where all the energies of this universe had come from, because all those energies cannot simply come from nothing. However, the total energy being zero, this problem no longer bothers them. Although the total energy of the universe is always zero, still there are lots of energy in this universe, all originating from nothing in the form of positive and negative energy, thus keeping the total energy of the universe always zero. The same thing can be said about matter also. As the total matter of the universe is zero, so they say that all the matter of the universe can simply come from nothing, because zero does not have to come from anything. But what shall we have to say about space and time? Can nothing generate so much of space and time that we find in this universe? Or, was there some supernatural agent that had actually provided space and time to our universe? Or, would they say the same thing about space and time also that as the total space as well as the total time of the universe is indeed zero, so space and time can simply come from nothing? Was it then that space had actually originated from nothing in the form of positive space and negative space, thus keeping the total space of the universe always zero? Was it the same case for time also? Can it also be said about time that it has actually originated from nothing in the form of positive time and negative time, thus keeping the total time of the universe always zero? If there are negative space and negative time, then where are they? Are they in this universe? If they are not, then how come so much of space and so much of time have simply come from nothing? Scientists believe that from nothing, nothing comes. The universe started with zero energy and zero matter, and its total energy and total matter always remain zero. Neither any extra energy nor any extra matter added to, or subtracted from, the initial zero value of them. So, from nothing, nothing has actually come. But if there is neither any negative space nor any negative time in our universe to counterbalance the positive space and the positive time respectively, then there is a real problem here. This is because here nothing has given rise to something really positive.

To remove this imbalance in the quantity of space and time, scientist Victor J Stenger has proposed in an article (The Other Side of Time, 2000) that there is another side of time, opposite to our time axis. As our universe goes on expanding from zero time to positive infinity, so in the other side of time there is another universe that goes on expanding from zero time to negative infinity. If in our universe space and time are considered to be positive space and positive time, then in the universe located in the other side of time space and time can be considered to be negative space and negative time, thus keeping the total space and the total time always zero. Two objections can be raised against this proposed solution. First of all, this can never be verified, and Stenger himself admitted that: “…this scenario cannot be proven, just presented as a possibility that provides a non-supernatural alternative to the theistic creation.” This is tantamount to saying something like this: we suffer lots of injustice in our earthly life. All this will be properly compensated for in our heavenly after-life. Even if it is true, it can never be verified, and therefore it will purely be an act of faith if we accept it as true and live accordingly. So, we cannot accept Stenger’s proposal as a viable solution here, because it will also be an act of faith. The second objection is that initially both energy and matter were zero when the universe originated from nothing and that the total energy and the total matter of the universe always remain zero in this very universe. We have not gone to the other side of time for seeking a solution to any possible imbalance that could have arisen in the totality of these two entities. So, why should we have to go to the other side of time for setting right the imbalance that is definitely there in case of space and time? Why cannot the total space and the total time of this universe always remain zero in this very universe itself? Perhaps there is some substance in this universe that helps keep the total space and the total time of the universe always zero. At least Einstein’s general theory of relativity suggests something like that. At one place Einstein has written about GR: “When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter.” If time and space and gravitation cannot have any separate existence from matter, then the total matter of the universe being always zero, the total time, the total space and the total gravitation of the universe should also always remain zero. Therefore we can say that there is definitely some substance in this universe due to the presence of which the total space and the total time of the universe always remain zero. And so, we need not have to go to the other side of time at all for setting right any imbalance or asymmetry that can be there either in case of space or in case of time. Due to the presence of this substance we can say that the universe starting from nothing with zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy will always contain zero total space, zero total time, zero total matter and zero total energy, thus not showing any asymmetry or imbalance anywhere.

But what is this substance? Whence has it originated? What are its properties? These are the questions that are to be answered by the scientists only. As a layperson, I can say this much only: so long as scientists will fail to provide a suitable answer to this question, science will remain incomplete.

PART II

I.

When scientists say that the universe can simply come out of nothing without any divine intervention, they think of the universe in terms of its energy content only. In the book ‘The Grand Design’, page 281, scientist Stephen Hawking has written that bodies like stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing, but a whole universe can.1 The message is very clear from this: The total energy of a whole universe is zero and that is why it can come out of nothing; but stars or black holes will fail to do so, because their total energy is not zero. But universe means not only its energy; universe means its space-time as well. So if we now apply the same logic to space-time as well, then we can say that the total space-time of a whole universe must also always have to be zero, because in that case only a whole universe can appear out of nothing. Here my question is: How does the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remain zero?

As the universe appeared out of nothing, so initially there was no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Scientists have successfully shown how the total matter-energy content of the universe has always remained zero. But we are not satisfied with that explanation, we want something more. We also want to know how the total space-time content of the universe has always remained zero. And it should always remain zero if the universe has actually appeared out of nothing. Otherwise scientists will have to explain as to whence appeared the extra residual space-time that was not already there at the beginning.

If stars or black holes cannot appear out of nothing simply because their total energy is not zero, then can a whole universe appear out of nothing if its total space-time is not zero?

The last question above will further boil down to this one: Do the physicists think that energy cannot just appear out of nothing, but space-time can, supposing that the total space-time of the present universe is not zero?

Or, do they think that like life, mind and consciousness, space and time are also emergent entities only, and therefore, not directly coming from big bang nothing?

II.

Something can appear out of nothing provided that the totality of that something always remains zero. Actually anything can come out of nothing if this condition is fulfilled. This is the principle which some scientists have relied upon when they have proposed that our universe could have arisen out of nothing due to a quantum energy fluctuation in a void. They have found that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The total energy being zero, the total matter will also be zero due to matter-energy equivalence. If the total matter as well as the total energy of the universe is zero, then why should they have to come from anything at all? They could have come from nothing as well. So these scientists have proposed that our universe has simply appeared out of nothing. But when they have proposed this theory, they remained totally oblivious of the fact that universe means not only its matter and energy, universe means its space-time as well. So, if the universe has actually appeared out of nothing, then just like matter and energy, space-time also has appeared out of that primordial nothing. So like matter and energy, the total space-time also should always remain zero.

However, if it is the case that space-time has not directly appeared out of nothing, then the total space-time need not have to be zero. No sane person on this earth will ever say that the total number of human beings in this universe must always have to be zero, because no sane person believes that human beings have directly appeared out of nothing. However if ‘x’ has directly appeared out of nothing, then logic and common sense dictates that the totality of that ‘x’ must always have to be zero.

Here it may be objected that there is a law of conservation of matter and energy in science, but that there is no such conservation law for space-time. So there is no violation of conservation law if nothing generates so much of space-time. Even if it is conceded that this is a valid objection – here I must say that I do not think so – it can still be pointed out that there is one more reason that can be given as to why the total space-time of the universe should always remain zero. This reason we find in Einstein’s general theory of relativity. As per GR space, time and matter are so interlinked that there cannot be any space-time without matter. Similarly there cannot be any matter without space-time. If there cannot be any space and time without matter, then the total matter of the universe being zero, the total space-time of the universe should also always be zero. So we can say that GR alone gives us sufficient reason to conclude that if the total matter of the universe always remains zero, then the total space-time of the universe should also always remain zero. Here the question becomes quite irrelevant as to whether the universe has originated from something, or from nothing.

So from GR we come to know that the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe should always remain zero, but we do not know yet how it does actually remain zero.

If science cannot give any satisfactory answer to this question, then the naturalistic world-view of modern science will prove to be inadequate for explaining the real world.

Reference:

  1. The Grand Design by Hawking and Mlodinow, Page 281.