03 Nov False arguments about the origin of existence Part1
Mediaeval European conceptions about the nature and existence of the universe were strongly underpinned by the authority of the Church which in turn relied upon arguments from scriptures that had long since deviated from their true originals. As modern scientific thinking developed, it met a great deal of hostility from the Church whose authority it challenged. The rift in European culture between science and religion deepened steadily until the two became irreconcilable. Eventually, religion came to be seen as a domain of blind beliefs and consolatory rituals about which science could have nothing to do with God, let alone deferring to the authority of Divine Revelation. The Darwinian account of evolution sealed and popularized a tendency to regard existence as self-originated and self-sustained, a process which unfolded by itself according to laws which would, sooner or later, be understood fully (and therefore to some degree manipulable) by human beings. Many scientists (by no means all) have in principle and practice maintained that natural causes or so-called laws of nature are sufficient to explain all phenomena.
While the Prophets who, despite having lived in different places and at different times, were unanimous on how existence originated and is sustained-as indeed they were on all other essential issues pertaining to life and existence-and again while a considerable number of scientists agree with the Prophets on this matter, scientists and philosophers who favor naturalistic and materialistic views of existence differ greatly in their explanations.
Before passing on to discuss this viewpoint, we should point out that unlike the Prophets who, despite living in different places and at different times, were unanimous on how existence originated and is sustained-as indeed they were on all other essential issues pertaining to life and existence-and again unlike a considerable number of scientists who agree with the Prophets on this matter, scientists and philosophers who favor naturalistic and materialistic views of existence differ greatly in their explanations. Some of them attribute creativity and eternity to matter and attribute life and consciousness to it. Others argue that nature is eternally self-existent and claim to explain everything by natural causes and laws. Still others, unable to explain the origin of life, attempt to explain existence with notions such as chance and necessity. Quite briefly, we shall discuss the impossibility of explaining existence unless the existence and Unity of God is affirmed.
Nature and Natural Laws and Causes
Natural laws have a nominal, not a real, existence
•They are propositions tendered as explanations of particular kinds of event or phenomenon, they allude to imaginary forces inferred from the motions or relationships of events or phenomena. The law of gravity or the law of reproduction and growth in living organisms or other laws such as magnetic attraction and repulsion are not entities whose existence is verified through our own external senses or through instruments that enhance those senses.
•Whatever truth the law of gravity, for example, may be said to have, can we claim that the real universe (one in which that law operates) has (or must) come about because of it?
•Is it at all reasonable then to ascribe the existence of anything, let alone intelligent and conscious living beings, to entities that exist only as propositions?
Natural laws and causes are inferred from the motions or relationships of events or phenomena in the universe
•Therefore they are, in principle, dependent upon events or phenomena rather than their origin or originators. Certainly, they are not self-dependent or self-existent.
•The existence of the universe as a whole and of all events or phenomena within it is contingent. That is, their existence is not absolutely necessary-it is equally possible for them to exist or not. Evidently, there are almost limitless alternatives for any particle of sustenance which could form the building block of an embryo, to go to any one of its innumerable cells. Anything whose existence is contingent cannot be eternal and needs one with the power of choice to prefer its existence over its non-existence or merely potential existence.