Joined: Sep. 2004
When I wrote, " One other option (out of several) is that there are metaphysical entities, forces and laws (analogous to what we find within our universe) that cause universes to happen (analogous to the forces which cause it to rain.)"
|I am well of aware that many people hold this belief, but ultimately how did these "forces and laws" originate? You must be implying that they were ever present, which would conclude that there was no beginning to the universe...but, that these "forces" were swirling around other there until which time something purposefully sprang forth which led to our ultimate existence? |
Is that what you're saying?
Good questions. Let me answer them in parts.
1. "ultimately how did these "forces and laws" originate?"
There is always an unanswerable question about the ultimate nature of things: either you ask "but where did that come from," in which case you are led into an infinite regress of first causes, or you accept that something "just is."
This problem applies equally to theistic viewpoints, because the question of "where did God come from" is no more answerable than the question that ftk asks about a possible causes of metaphysical principles behind the arising of our universe. It is as reasonable to say that these principles just are, uncaused, as it is to say that God just is, uncaused.
2. ftk also asks, "You must be implying that they were ever present, which would conclude that there was no beginning to the universe...but, that these "forces" were swirling around other there until which time something purposefully sprang forth which led to our ultimate existence?"
First of all, yes I am saying that these forces might be considered "ever-present," just as God is considered ever-present by the theist, as I explained in section 1 above.
But I'm not saying what you think I'm saying in the rest of the quote.
The universe - the physical world in which we live, had a beginning about 14.5 billions years ago. I am saying that it is a possible view, different than theism, that there are metaphysical realities (that is, realities beyond our physical universe) that caused our universe to come into existence (and perhaps have caused many other universes to come into existence, although there is absolutely no way to know whether that is true.) I am saying that this metaphysical reality did not have a beginning (just like, to the theist, God has no beginning), but that is different than saying that our universe - our particular physical universe - had no beginning.
And last, ftk once again brings up the key issue of this discussion when she writes " until which time something purposefully sprang forth.
Does a rain storm "purposefully spring forth?" No. A rainstorm is a natural product of the world, springing forth from the natural world neither by design nor accident, but as a natural result of the world from which it arises. Similarly, in the view I am describing, our universe sprang forth as a natural result of the metaphysical reality that underlines it: neither on purpose (because there is no "person" out there - no source of intentionality,) nor "by accident."
One of the difficulties in this discussion is this: we, as human beings embedded in a world of time, and thus of cause-and-effect, project these notions onto our metaphysical notions. However, just as Christian theology sees God as existing outside of time and as manifesting his Will in ways that are holistically present rather than as through fiddling around with proximate causes, so too does this view I am describing see these metaphysical principles as outside of notions of time-and-space causality. Time and causality are properties of the universe we live in as we experience it, but there is no reason to believe that time and causality apply in the same way to metaphysical reality.
And finally, just to make this clear: this is philosophy we are discussing, not science.