Ch. 8: Evidence of a God

All throughout Bel Canto we have seen religion, Catholicism in particular. Here in chapter eight we see it even more with Father Arguedas having a bigger role as he performs confessions with several of the characters. During the dialogue between Father Arguedas and Beatriz I noticed some of the things he was saying were a bit weird, like when he told her all she had to do when she sinned was just come to him, confess, and her sins would be forgiven. Who is forgiving her sins, what evidence do we actually have that would lead so many to believe that there is a God?

There is a lot of scientific evidence that would lead many to say that there is no way there is a God out there. As I am researching however, I find that there is also a lot of evidence that a God exists. Evidence that points towards the creation of the universe by something other than chance.  The law of cause and effect ( Law of Causation or Causality) states that everything that has a beginning must have a cause. Merriam-Webster defines the Law of Causality as a principle that every change in nature is produced by some cause. This is a law that can not be disproved, it is as concrete as the Law of Gravity. With this being truth we then must move forward with the statement that the universe had a beginning, therefore the universe had a cause (Geisler and Turek). There is a great deal of evidence that the universe had a beginning and it is accepted by most modern scientists, because none of it can not be disproved. Some of this evidence includes: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, radiation discovered from the Big Bang, the expansion of the universe, and the Theory of General Relativity.

In 1916 Albert Einstein went on a quest to try and find that the world was eternal, but his findings did just the opposite. He continued to pursue with a relentless effort to try and disprove what he had found and show that the universe was self-existent, even to the point of dividing by zero (Geisler and Turek). His calculations eventually lead him to accept what he coined as the Theory of General Relativity, one of Einsteins greatest discoveries that revolutionized the scientific understanding of space, time, mass, energy, and gravity (Redd). The Theory of General Relativity states that time, space and matter are interdependent (Einstein). You can not have any of them without having all of them, which then shows that there had to be a beginning to the universe, because they all came in to existence at the same instant. There was no time before matter and space. Notice that I previously said “at the same instant”. This would lead us to believe that the Big Bang actually did occur.

All the universe was created from nothing in an instant. This declaration would disprove the Law of Causality though if we were to affirm that it was true. Why? Something (the universe) can’t come from nothing (nothing). The Big Bang isn’t nothing though, so maybe the Big Bang could be the cause of nothing coming from something, and that nothing could be the Big Bang. But then where did the Big Bang come from? Some scientist claim that it came from virtual particles that can create themselves. These particles then spontaneously combusted resulting in the Big Bang, and the inception of the universe . It is necessary for arguments sake to mention that virtual particles have never been observed, nor have they ever been created by a scientist. Even if scientists were to be able to create particles from nothing, they would be the cause, they would be the ones creating something from nothing. Technically they would be essentially disproving what they set out to prove in the first place if they were to successfully pull off this Houdini act. The idea of virtual particles is not scientific whatsoever, so we must then move on to a more logical approach. Is it more logical to believe that a God who exists outside of time, space, and matter created the universe in one instant; forming time, space and matter interdependently? Or is it more logical to assume that virtual particles that have never been seen or created, collided in one particular moment starting the onset of time, matter, and space?

I know there is no way to concretely prove the existence of a God who created the universe, just as there is no way to scientifically disprove the existence of a God. However, I find it interesting to look at the science behind both sides. There is most definitely science that supports the idea of no supernatural beings, but I want to see which side is stronger. I want to look more from the atheistic side as I move forward. Can I find scientific evidence that would result in less faith being needed to believe in the universe being self-existent, or will I end up with the same results as Einstein?

 

-Bryson Allen

Works Cited
1) Einstein, Albert. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 1916. Print.
2) Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004. Print.
3) Redd, Nola Taylor. “Einsteins Theory of General Relativity: A Simplified Explanation.” Space.com. Space.com, 10 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.

 

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3 thoughts on “Ch. 8: Evidence of a God

  1. sariegel says:

    Bryson, I really enjoyed reading your post this week, and I’m sorry we didn’t have a chance to discuss your research in class. Scientific arguments for and against the existence of God can be extremely interesting. I think it’s good that you recognized that your post was somewhat biased toward an assumption of the existence of God, and plan to explore a more atheistic argument in the next step of this research for the sake of your research question. Honestly, it would be nearly impossible not to be biased in this research, as the possibility of the existence of God, whether you are a devout Christian or an atheist, is central to everyone’s belief system.

    Recently, I have been considering the possibilities of math supporting the existence of God. For example, all of Sara’s research into the Golden Ratio’s appearance in nature seems to suggest that chaos isn’t truly chaos. The fact that we cannot reproduce this pattern, though the Fibonacci sequence comes close, reminds me of what you explained about virtual particles. The difference, of course, is that virtual particles have never been observed.

    You’ve really stacked up quite a case for the existence of God from scientific theory and reason, which many claim should be kept separate from religion. I’d never heard of the Law of Causation, per say, but it makes logical sense. I’m afraid I don’t have many ideas for research questions for more of an atheistic assumption that God does not exist. However, if you want some interesting ideas for support of the existence of God, you could watch or read about God’s Not Dead. It would be interesting to look into whether the ideas they pose in that movie work more to support or disprove the existence of God. You are correct in saying, though, that it’s impossible to truly prove or disprove God.

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  2. bsejdiu942 says:

    Hey Bryson,

    I was interested in your topic since it’s a very large idea that many people from many cultures discuss about today. To give a bit of background, since talking about the idea of a deity usually means those discussing it have a bias, I was raised as a Roman Catholic and a Muslim at the same time since my parents couldn’t decide which belief to expose me to. However, I identify as an agnostic atheist, so perhaps I can offer you some other research questions you can move forward with in regards to the “God” question. You discuss about certain laws, about how the universe works and how it’s probable that a creator had to be there to make the universe. That concept is controversial within the astrophysics community, because of the very nature of the universe. We cannot see beyond the veil of the background microwave radiation, or the light first stars of the universe, but we can ascertain from the movement and information from that era of time that the universe did exist as a singular point of unimaginably small proportions. One of the great questions of science today is what caused that expansion? Was it a God? Was it a being? Was it chance?

    The thing is we don’t know right now, as we don’t have adequate evidence before the beginning of what we mark existence as. Another question comes into mind when we discuss about a God creating the universe, and that is which one? Humans have made thousands of deities, usually based on culture, and conveniently portray similar physical features as those who believe in them. I believe the idea of a higher force pushing the universe into existence, is a force separate from the deities that many cultures believe reign over earth and humanity. It’s an argument brought up by many theists who try to bring evidence for their specific god or gods or goddess, when in reality they are discussing an entity that they cannot prove belongs to either Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Interesting points of research I would recommend would be, why do humans search for higher powers? What is the drive behind that need? The ethical nature of religion, how it has benefited or hurt humans (Perhaps a religion you’d like to focus on specifically or in general)? Why are many people in the 21st century moving away from organized religion and the idea of a personal God? Areas of research in psychology include confirmation bias, such as why we see what we want to see? Some individuals who discuss atheism far more fiercely than I do could be points of research, I would look at the logic discussed by Sam Harris, or Richard Dawkins, or Carl Sagan (Maybe Christopher Hitchens, although he can be a bit vulgar and straight to point on his opinion). They offer certain points about how the existence of these specific God’s are unlikely, however are open to evidence if such evidence exists. Overall, I’d be very interested in seeing where you go with your research on the God question.

    Bekim

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  3. dgromels says:

    Hello Bryson, I very much enjoyed reading your blog post this week as I think you did an excellent job presenting a very polarizing topic in an objective manner. I share your curiosity about metaphysics and cosmogony and feel I too often look at the issue from a biased standpoint, as I was raised in a non-religious environment and fall into the agnostic atheist spectrum with Bekim. I have read many sources on the topic in developing my beliefs, but I must admit that many of them were authored by well-known atheists like Richard Dawkins and Eric Hoffer. I believe it is important to look at questions to which we will likely never know the answer from multiple standpoints, which is something you seem to be willing to do based on your blog post.
    In your post, you discussed some scientific findings that you feel support the existence of a god such as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I think it would be interesting for you to continue to look at the science argument on the topic, but also consider looking at philosophical arguments for and against a god. While science gives us many insights into the possibility of the existence of a god, philosophy offers us a way to look at the issue from a standpoint of reason. I would recommend looking at two related arguments that Dawkins uses in his book “The God Delusion,” Occam’s Razor and Russell’s Teapot. You might also want to look at Eric Hoffer’s very famous work “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” if you decide to take Bekim’s suggestion to look at why we crave religion. Hoffer has some interesting insights into the development of religion as a reaction to the perceived corruption of the modern world, allowing people a sense of community and self-worth. It might also be interesting to look at the similar features of different religions to see if there are some universal aspects that meet some psychological needs in humans.

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