Cosmology and Theology

Some Mistakes in the Cosmological Case Against God
Chapter
Part of the Technikzukünfte, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft / Futures of Technology, Science and Society book series (TEWG)

Abstract

Cosmological results yield philosophical conclusions only with the help of extra-philosophical premises that must be grounded on non-question-begging arguments. I argue that in the cosmology case, the argument from cosmology to anti-theism is such that the philosophical juice would have to be supplied by an inference to the best explanation whose role is to justify the thesis that one may dispense with God in explanations of the existence of the universe. Problems abound with both in a case of extra-disciplinary transgression. My conclusion is accordingly negative: No genuine inference is provided here and no dispensability thesis offered an adequate ground. I argue that no additional premise may provide a bona fide argument with (i) either a scientific principle or some cosmological data among the premises, and (ii) an anti-theistic philosophical claim as a conclusion. The relevant details of converse arguments in favor of indispensability theses based on inferences to the best explanation are taken into consideration, and so are stronger reasons, put forward by Immanuel Kant and Gottlob Frege, to reject the theistic claim within the confines of philosophy. Concluding remarks are offered to the effect that a genuine philosophical challenge emerges from Lawrence Krauss’ and Robert Scherrer’s claim regarding the return to a static universe. If they are right, we know now that we would have held in the past the false belief that the universe is static and that we would be holding the very same false belief in the future, when we know, although only as a matter of sheer luck, that it is indeed expanding.

Keywords

Cosmology Dispensability arguments God (existence of) Inference to the best explanation Krauss (Lawrence) Theology 

References

  1. Benacerraf P (1996) What mathematical truth could not be - I. In: Morton A, Stich SP (eds) Benacerraf and his critics. Basil Blackwell, Oxford, pp 9–59Google Scholar
  2. Frege G (1950 [1884]) Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Eine logisch-mathematische Untersuchung über den Begriff der Zahl/The foundations of arithmetic: a logico-mathematical enquiry into the concept of number. English translation by J. L. Austin with German text. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Hawking S, Mlodinow L (2011) The grand design. Bantam, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Kant I (1965 [1781]) Immanuel Kant’s Critique of pure reason. (English trans: Kemp Smith N). St. Martin’s, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Krauss LM (2012) A universe from nothing: why there is something rather than nothing, with an afterword by Richard Dawkins. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Krauss LM, Scherrer RJ (2007) The return of a static universe and the end of cosmology. Gen Relativ Gravit 39:1545–1550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lucas JR (1961) Minds, machines and Gödel. Philosophy 36:112–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Penrose R (1989) The emperor’s new mind: concerning computers, minds, and the laws of physics. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Susskind L (2005) The cosmic landscape: string theory and the illusion of intelligent design. Little, Brown and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Susskind L (2007) The anthropic landscape of string theory. In: Carr B (ed) Universe or multiverse. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 247–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Swinburne R (1979) The existence of God. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance

Personalised recommendations