Facing the Facts
Finally, I started to ask myself the tough questions like, "Is this all there is in life? Hating Mondays and loving Fridays? Mechanically going through the motions of life, punching your time card, checking the boxes, motivated only by the next opportunity to get a 12-pack and play video games?" Somehow I had the honesty to admit that, if God does not exist, then the answer to these questions is, ultimately, "Yes, this is it." This was a frightening realization to me, like the harsh reality we face at a funeral. We know in the back of our minds that we will all die someday, but that fact is brought into the light when we get that diagnosis, that phone call, or we have to carry that casket. The Catholic apologist Matt Fradd said in his story of conversion from agnosticism,"When you die, people will talk about you the same way you talk about people who are dead now." Like the motivation that comes from the realization of one's own mortality, the thought that my life might be meaningless motivated me. It motivated me to search for the truth about God, reality, and the purpose of my life.
The Worst Birthday Present Ever
"It is said that an argument will convince a reasonable man, and that a proof will convince even an unreasonable man. Now that the proof is in place (referring to the BVG theorem), physicists and cosmologists can no longer hide behind even the possibility that the universe is past infinite. There is no escape. They must face the reality of a beginning," and later,"To view an inflationary universe without a beginning is impossible."
Let Nothing Be Nothing
If the universe really did begin to exist, then that would mean that prior to its absolute beginning, the universe was literally nothing. While it may sound simple enough, it is important to understand what is meant by the word "nothing." Nothing is the complete absence of being, and it has no properties or potentialities, that is, it does not have in itself the potential to become something. It is not the low-energy state of a quantum field or a vacuum, both of which have properties, namely, that they are conditioned by time. It is also not a void, because you can have more or less of a void, and a void is dimensional and orientable. One scientist once joked, "nothing is the stuff rocks dream about." So, if the universe was really nothing before it began to exist, then it could not have moved itself from nothing to something – that would imply that it could do something. There would have to be a transcendent cause, a cause outside of the universe, that brought the universe into existence out of nothing. Also, since there is literally an infinite gap between nothing and something, we can infer that the transcendent cause would have to be all-powerful or omnipotent (sound familiar?). Suppose someone is still willing to deny the first premise and say that something can come from nothing. This raises the question, "What is it about nothing that makes it only able to produce universes?" In other words, if something can come from nothing, then why have we never observed it? Why don't random planets, objects, molecules, or even BMW's and Border Collies pop into being out of nothing? This might sound silly, but that is only because it is perfectly consistent with a silly notion, the notion that something could come from nothing.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made (Rm 1:19-20).
† Under the Mercy,
Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd Ed. Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000. Print.
Grossman, Lisa."Why physicists can't avoid a creation event." New Scientist. Retrieved on 11-11-2014. URL: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328474.400-why-physicists-cant-avoid-a-creation-event.html. Web.