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Closing Argument - David Anderson

I'm really rather amazed that you're still holding to the idea that something can be created from nothing without any sort of cause. We can certainly disagree on what the cause was, but to say that we can start out with "No space, no time. Nothing for anything to exist in." and then from all of this lack of anything, something suddenly appears, without any reason for this to happen, violates all logic. How could quantum mechanics make something out of nothing, when quantum mechanics didn't even exist and had nothing to act on? I certainly do agree that there was no space and no time, and (at least in the natural sense) nothing for anything to exist in. So to even look for a natural origin for the universe when there was nothing natural before nature was created, is a complete paradox. Nature could not have been created by natural means, any more than a woman can give birth to herself.

In order for quantum mechanics to create matter and energy out of nothing, quantum mechanics had to have existed when nature did not exist. This would mean that quantum mechanics are themselves a supernatural force. They could not be a natural force if they existed when nature did not exist. They would also have to be a timeless force, since they existed when time did not exist. If this is the claim you are making, that quantum mechanics are a supernatural, timeless force (and a creative force, obviously), then all we would have to do is decide whether or not quantum mechanics are an intelligent force. If they are, then I guess what you call 'quantum mechanics', I call 'God'. Of course, I've never heard you or anyone make the claim that quantum mechanics are an intelligent force, so I would have to say that if quantum mechanics were in any way responsible for the creation of the universe, they were merely a tool of the higher force that most of us call 'God'.

It is necessary that whatever force created (or controls) the universe is intelligent, since there is much order to our natural laws. Without an intelligent force, matter and energy could perhaps exist, but there would not be any order in the universe. I agree with science that the universe is overall moving towards disorder (though order can increase in certain systems, of course, but only due to another system moving towards disorder). But if our universe is overall moving towards disorder, then where did the order it is moving away from, come from? Either the universe started out incredibly orderly (which would be a sign of an intelligent creator) or the universe started out disorderly but became orderly over time, only to eventually stop becoming orderly and start moving back towards disorder. This second scenario, that the universe moved from disorder, to order, and is now moving back towards disorder, is what I honestly believe happened. This would also require a power higher than nature, since nature cannot possibly have caused the move from disorder to order, since such a move is not possible by natural laws.

You said, "We simply have no idea what it means to be outside of time. Now, we know what outside means. You can be outside a house. You can be outside a country. But then again, we can picture what those mean. Can we picture what it means to be outside of time? No. We can't." You're right that we can't imagine exactly what it's like to be outside of time, since we've never been outside of time. But a person who'd never been outside of a house could not imagine exactly what it's like to be outside of a house, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to be outside of a house. Just because we can't imagine what something is like, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I can't imagine exactly what it's like to be on a planet in another solar system, but that doesn't mean there are no planets in other solar systems. The argument that we can't imagine what it's like to be outside of time doesn't support the idea that it would be impossible for God to be outside of time in any way.

Then you said, "you can't have indirect evidence unless direct evidence is also possible." Science, the court system, and historians would disagree with you on that. There is no direct evidence for the Big Bang. No one has ever observed the Big Bang, only the results. Directly observing the Big Bang is impossible. And people are frequently convicted of crimes based on indirect evidence alone. Suppose Mr. Brown is found stabbed to death, the knife by his body has Mr. Jones' fingerprints on it, and Mr. Jones is seen fleeing from the crime scene with blood on his shirt. All of this is indirect evidence that Mr. Jones killed Mr. Brown, yet it would probably be enough to convict Mr. Jones, even though directly observing the murder would be impossible. We have no direct evidence that Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492, only the indirect evidence provided by historians. Direct evidence of the 1492 voyage would be impossible.

You said, "Anything transcendent, by definition, is unobservable." Good point, but we are aware of many things that are unobservable. Thoughts and emotions have never been directly observed, yet no one denies that they exist. All we have ever directly observed are the results of thoughts and emotions. In other words, we are able to indirectly observe thoughts and emotions, yet we cannot, even in theory, directly observe them. The same is true of God. We can experience God, as we can experience thoughts and emotions, yet we cannot directly observe God. I should note that I believe there have been occasions where God has manifested Himself physically (such as before Moses, and in the body of Jesus Christ), but I would also count these as indirect observations since they witnessed a manifestation of God, and not God directly.

You say, "What you're doing is looking at the universe around us, and when you can't find the answers, you're assuming something other than the universe must exist to help account for the universe. That's not science." I am no more 'invoking God' to explain the universe than one would 'invoke an artist' to explain how a painting came to be. As I said earlier, we can learn a lot about an artist from observing a painting of his. Like if it was a painting of the Eiffel Tower, we could know that the artist had seen the Eiffel Tower at some point, at least in a picture. To say that looking at the universe and not realizing that something created it, is as illogical as looking at a painting and not realizing that someone painted it. You say it's not science? Well, is it 'science' to look at a painting and say, 'someone must have painted this'? If so, then assuming a creator for the universe is science.

You said, "When we 'create' something IN the universe, we are really just rearranging molecules, atoms, or subatomic particles. That's a completely different concept than creation OF the universe." I completely agree. And if those molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles always existed and have merely been rearranging themselves for all of eternity, then I would agree that no creative force is necessary for them to exist (but we would still be stuck with an intelligent, supernatural force since they could not have, by chance alone, arranged themselves properly to form the orderly universe we are currently moving away from). But if, as science has convinced me (and apparently you as well), those particles came to exist out of nothing, then something had to have created them. We can disagree what that 'something' was, and you can even try denying that something brought them out of nothing, but I think simple scientific logic would support my stance.

You said, "Everyone is not born with the knowledge that God is good and the devil is bad. If everyone was born with that knowledge, why are there other religions?" Other religions basically state the same thing. They may label God and the devil differently, giving them other names or alternate characteristics, but there is nearly always a clear parallel between the Judeo-Christian God and their god (or primary god), as well as between the devil and their devil-figure, be it Hades or whatever.

You say, "It takes way more faith to believe in something that there is no reason to believe it exists than what we can observe around us." As I pointed out earlier, there is much was can experience without observing, such as thoughts and emotions. If you're going to stick only with what you can observe with the five senses, then you'll be living a very sheltered life indeed. Have you ever directly observed Quantum Mechanics creating matter and/or energy out of nothing, or have you only read what others had to say about it? If you have not directly observed it, why do you believe in it? The only answer you can possibly give is 'logic and/or faith'. The same reason about 90% of your neighbors here on Earth believe in God. In fact, almost everything you believe, you believe without direct observation but only with logic and/or faith. Believing that the Big Bang happened, or that Columbus sailed across the Atlantic in 1492, or whether or not O.J. Simpson killed Nicole and Ron, or whether or not anyone has thoughts and emotions, is not based on anything you can even hope of directly observing. You say indirect evidence is not enough, no matter how overwhelming it is. Even you know that this is completely false.

What it really boils down to is what I've said from the beginning. If the universe began to exist, as science agrees, then it had a cause. Quantum Mechanics may unlock the door to figuring out the process by which the matter came into existence, but something had to have put the Quantum Mechanics there so that they could do their work. Since we know that neither nature nor time existed prior to the creation of the universe, then we know that this force is both supernatural and timeless. And since it created, we know it is creative. And since there is order to the natural laws, we know it is intelligent. Whether you want to call this supernatural, timeless, creative, intelligent force 'God' or not is up to you. Whether you want to accept that the 'God of the Bible' is this force or not is up to you. Whether you want to contemplate the purpose of this supernatural, timeless, creative, intelligent force or not is up to you. But if you want to deny the existence of this supernatural, timeless, creative, intelligent force…well, that's up to you, too. But don't pretend that denying its existence will make it not exist.