The Direction to which Empiricism Points in Regard to a First Cause
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There is something unsettling about how the enormous element of reality of our universe escapes much of
humanity every day. Maybe it is best that astronomy research has progressed at the rate that it has,
allowing humanity to absorb what has been, and is still being revealed. Yet, even current knowledge
of what is beyond our world does not affect humanity in any extravagant fashion. Such a realization of
the vastness and complexity of the universe would cause one to stop and ask why, how, and maybe even Who?
Cultural attractions such as electronic forms of entertainment have replaced the pastime of wondering
about the cosmos.
When looking through a telescope at a star cluster, such as Hercules or Omega Centauri-the two largest clusters visible from earth, one can't help but be in awe at the hundreds of thousands of stars in such close proximity. Step up from a cluster to a galaxy, which contains many clusters within its spiral form, and the sense of awe increases. Our own galaxy is immense and contains many mysterious and beautiful objects. According to Harald Fritzsch, the "Milky Way contains 100 billion stars, and the cosmos encompasses at least that many galaxies." (Harald Fritzsch, The Creation of Matter, 1984, p. 191.) Right now in other parts of the universe, stars and planets are dying while others are being born, supernovas are occurring, and binary stars are orbiting each other at a rate so fast that they complete an orbit in only a few days. This cosmic dance is on display throughout the numerous galaxies and is ignored due to a global blanket of disinterest. Heinz R. Pagels describes humanity's opportunity: "By contrast, our universe has welcomed beings that can think about the universe into which they were born and wonder about its properties." (Heinz R. Pagels, Perfect Symmetry, 1985, p. 121.) Why the failure of modern humanity to contemplate the cosmos more frequently? A similar complacency can be seen in the other fields of science as well.
In his incredible book The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan identifies the declining interest in science as the result of the lack of critical thinking within American society. (Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1996, p. 27.) Rather than examine the inexplicable with a critical eye, many Americans choose to accept or deny something on sheer belief or prerogative. Since science is a field that involves use of critical thought, interest in science is currently in a downward spiral.
According to scientists, the universe is doing something else right now that is even more fascinating: it is expanding in all directions from a single point. This extravagant event may provide answers to when and where the universe began, but it does not explain how, or why. It is within the field of philosophy how and why are contemplated.
In the last three decades, science has made astounding discoveries in the area of the origins of the universe--discoveries that, according to some, point to a First Cause. A combination of philosophy and science in the area of cosmological origins can offer an empirical argument for the probability that a First Cause exists-something within a spiritual realm that is infinite. Science cannot find anything preceding the Big Bang, which leads some thinkers to believe in a Necessary Being. For others, the complexity of the universe is deemed as sufficient evidence of a Necessary Being. George Mulfinger, Jr. describes the universe as being "not just a gigantic machine carrying out its duties in a drab, pedestrian fashion. On the contrary it is possessed of inherent beauty too extensive to be fully observed or comprehended." (George Mulfinger, Jr., Design and Origins in Astronomy, 1983, p. 9.)
Naturalists, evidentialists, and empiricists, all of which are almost one-in-the-same, are not inclined to believe in an intangible reality such as a spiritual realm and/or a spiritual being. The purpose of this writing is to demonstrate that an empirical argument containing evidence of the existence of a spiritual being responsible for creation is more probable than not. Of course, a fair analysis cannot be applied if other presuppositions exist. Skeptics commonly uphold a bias that cannot be penetrated. Likewise, fideism extremists will hold to a belief no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary (e.g. the Flat Earth Society). Removal of bias is difficult, but one must strive to do so when evaluating arguments for and against the existence of God.
David Hume exemplified a biased denial that damaged his credibility as a skeptic. A miracle that met his a priori criteria for miracles was still rejected by Hume due to his presupposition that miracles cannot occur. Even with sufficient empirical evidence pointing to a miracle of creation by a Creator, an evidentialist with an atheistic presupposition caught up in a closed mind will reject the evidence--ultimately sacrificing his or her principle of evidentialism.
More to come...
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