Descartes and Cosmology: An argument for why God exists

(c) 2017 by Barton Paul Levenson

I begin, like M. Descartes, by doubting everything I can doubt. Sense impressions, the world around me, my own history and memories, all have to go. I won't even consider myself a brain in a tank; I doubt the existence of brains and tanks.

What's left? The only thing I cannot doubt is that I'm here (wherever "here" is) doing all this doubting. I think. The Hindus say individual personality is an illusion, but regardless of whether the person thinking is "me" or not, someone is thinking. Cogito; sum.

How did I get here? It may only be failure of imagination, an argument from ignorance, but I can't believe I created myself, nor that I was always here. Those memories I doubt don't go back forever, for one thing. And what does it even mean to say "I created myself?" Wouldn't I have to already exist to create anything? I conclude that I was created, but I did not create myself.

Now let me bring back everything I doubted earlier. Maybe I exist because of reproductive biology, babies, life, etc. In short, nature, the physical world, the material world. If nature created me, the problem is solved.

But where did nature come from? Either it was always there, or it was created. Before 1965 that was an open question, but once Penzias and Wilson discovered the cosmological background radiation, the Steady-State Theory was dead and the Big Bang won.

The universe began 13.82 billion years ago. The tensor calculus expressions for the standard model of the Big Bang show that mass-energy and space-time both came into being at T = 0. There was no time before the Big Bang, any more than there is a place north of the north pole, or an integer greater than infinity.

But extend the analogy from me to nature. Could nature have come from yet another nature? This would be the "macroverse" of folks like Andrei Linde and Steven Weinberg, who recoil from the theological implications of the Big Bang. They prefer to fill the void with some impersonal process, like colliding branes. Nature of the Gaps, so to speak.

The problem with this is, there is no more evidence for a macroverse than there is for a Creator God. None. Nada. Zip. What is more, there seems to be no way to even test its existence. The theory of the macroverse, at least so far, is untestable, unfalsifiable, and unscientific.

I therefore conclude, simply because I am free to, that a creator God exists, and is more like a mind than an impersonal process.

"In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth." --Genesis 1:1.

"Does man forget that We created him out of the void?" -- Holy Qu'ran 19:66-67.

"In the earliest age of the gods, existence was born from non-existence." -- Rig-Veda, Hymn of Creation, verse 2.

Page created:06/15/2017
Last modified:  06/15/2017