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Logic, Science, the Existence of God, and Chickens and Eggs

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One of the most popular arguments for the existence of God is St. Thomas Aquinas’ Cosmological argument that deals with the reality of causation.  Skeptics of the argument insist that it is circular in nature, and “science” either demonstrates or seriously suggests that the argument is flawed.

But is it?

There are different versions of the argument, but the brief description of the one below takes up one of the most common secular objections to it, allegedly from a scientific point of view, and makes the case that real science and logic actually support the cosmological argument.

So, consider…

The cosmological argument makes use of the fact that ALL MATERIAL THINGS must have a cause in order to exist.

As such, any MATERIAL THING observed in the universe is the effect of some preceding cause.

Material things never just pop up on their own.  There is always a cause for a material thing.

We also KNOW THROUGH SCIENCE that the ENTIRE MATERIAL UNIVERSE has NOT ALWAYS EXISTED (Among other things, consider the ramifications of the gravitational paradox and Olber’s paradox with an infinite or always-existing universe.),…

…and since the Universe Consists of All Material Things, it could only have been brought into existence by something else that is not also a part of the material universe.

Only a non-material entity can be outside of or not part of the material universe.  Therefore, only a non-material entity could have brought the material universe into existence.

Now, think of having a box of dominoes, and you decide to set up a chain pattern of the dominoes on a table.  Moreover, these dominoes will represent different eras from the beginning of time (first domino) to the end of time (last domino).  The dominoes will not move on their own, so you use a finger and knock over the first domino, which then hits the next one and so on.

Note carefully how you are not part of the domino chain itself, but you caused the chain to begin its progress.  As such, you are the uncaused (not part of the dominoes), first cause of the domino actions.

In the Cosmological Argument, the Uncaused First Cause of all that is material must itself be immaterial, and this is what the argument refers to as being God.

Accordingly, to ask the skeptic’s allegedly scientific question “what caused an uncaused immaterial being?”… based on the understanding that all material things require a cause… is a silly non sequitur. The skeptic might just as well ask why a freshly poured cup of water at room temperature isn’t dry after it is understood that water at room temperature is wet. 🙂

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Some other unthinking skeptics also like to present the ancient chicken and egg riddle as an alleged illustration that suggests the impossibility of proving the existence of God, but here are a few things to consider in response:

1. Are there any animals that can come into being without having at least a mother and usually a mother and father?  Answer: No.

2. Consider the silly answer of the egg existing first (suspend reason for a moment by leaving aside the inquiry concerning how this material thing “just happened to be”).  It must consist of at least a female to continue to produce more eggs, so if the first egg only consisted of a male, that would end any possible kind of further reproduction.

3. Animals that inbreed result in funky hybrids that are sterile.

4. Individual eggs from chickens can and do develop into more chickens.  Individual chickens from eggs cannot and do not develop into more eggs.

   Or…Eggs develop into Chickens.  Chickens do not develop into Eggs.

5. After the egg develops into the Chicken, the egg ceases to exist.  After laying eggs, most chickens continue to exist as chickens.
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In the final analysis, the reason why the riddle is silly is because it is mistakenly used by some to apply to the existence of God question.  However, the existence of God transcends material causality, so the riddle has no real application to the question.

OVV

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