Our best evidence and reasoning, from several fronts, suggests that the whole of physical reality (all contiguous space, time, and matter) truly began to exist, whether it was at the Big Bang or not.
• First, gravity equations yield a past-bound singularity, which represents the introduction of space, time, and matter itself.
• Second, General Relativity's singularity model is true, which is a particular kind of singularity model, and it too would constitute a true begging to space and time and matter.
• Third, past eternal expansion ends up requiring faster-than-light speeds (for particles), according to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, and quickly represents a violation of the causality principle in Einstein’s special relativity.
• Fourth, total entropic decay has not arrived yet, but it is ostensibly easy to show that, given the 2nd law of thermodynamics, a past-eternal universe/multiverse would require that it has arrived.
• Fifth, total generalized entropy is not maxed, and this likewise demands there be a thermodynamic beginning (applicable to virtually all quantum cosmological models), and which seems coterminous with a cosmic beginning.
• Fifth, it is logically/metaphysically impossible for prior events to number to infinity, and yet if the physical world were past eternal, it would require an infinite regress of events.
• …a beginningless-cosmos model is true (e.g. emergent, pre-BigBang, cyclic).
• …the Schrödinger equation implies the past is eternal. [Forthcoming]
• …time does not truly exist. [Forthcoming]
• …there is no first point in time. [Forthcoming]
• …the singularity isn’t a first event (it is not in time). [Forthcoming]
Of all the known ways the Universe's physical laws, constants, and initial conditions could have been, few ways would ever allow any life to exist.1
• First, various constants of physics are fine-tuned, like the cosmological constant, the strength of gravity, the balance of the strong and electromagentic force, the weak force, and the proton-neutron mass difference.
• Second, various initial conditions are fine-tuned, including its initial mass-density, its initial distribution of energy, the Big Bang's “explosion” strength, the character of the density perterbations yielding start formation, and the density-ratio of radiation to normal matter.
• Third, various laws of physics are fine-tuned, including the notion of gravity itself, and the strong nuclear force itself, as well as the electromagetic force, Bohr's quantization rule, the Pauli exclusion principle, and more.
But against the truth of that first claim, plausibly…
• Changes just yield different life forms
• Constants can't be different (T.O.E.)
• Life-friendly Universes are rare but probable
• One can't do probabilities with an infinite range
• New knowledge will eliminate fine-tuning
• Over 99.9% of the universe is hostile to life.
And against the relevance of that first claim, plausibly…
• Many universes exist or existed, and we won the universe lottery.5
• The Universe is equally fine-tuned to permit rocks, etc.6
• God would need a fine-tuner, too.
• “God did it” is not an explanation.
• We wouldn't be here otherwise (Anthropic Principle).
Of all the known ways that a life-permitting universe could have been, few have initial conditions, laws, and physical constants which would ever allow its potential lifeforms to learn about it. (See paper cited here.) This is a uniquely awkward and shocking development for atheists because it means for them that we got really lucky for no reason. If God exists, however, then the Universe’s amenability to being discovered and known is not nearly so surprising or improbable. Such a universe is the kind of thing God would plausibly choose to create.[Note: these three links will lead to some quotes from experts and a paper, but the arguments are not developed on BeliefMap yet.]
Features of living organisms resemble the products of an intelligent mind intentionally arranging parts for a purpose.
• The cell and its inner-workings seem to be.
Actually it is not relevant. Plausibly…
• [Life evolved in an unguided way that mimics the pattern of intelligent design].[Forthcoming]
Our perception, memory, reason and so forth can justify beliefs, and have a propensity to recommend to us true beliefs rather than false ones.1
• …x law of physics is constant.
• …x happened in the past.
• …x exists outside my mind.
• …x is conscious.
• …x is objectively morally wrong.
• …x could've occurred.
Actually it's not relevant. Plausibly…
• Reliable faculties were selected for by an unguided evolutionary process.[Forthcoming]
Humans are innately inclined to believe in God or gods (contra naturalism), instinctively finding it commonsensical or intuitive, even if they and/or their culture ultimately resist it and are “educated” out of it.
• Atheist scientists find theism intuitive. (Boston study, 2013)
• Atheists in general find theism intuitive. (Finland study, 2013)
• Humans are born believers. (Oxford study, 2011)
• Intuitive thinkers favor theism. (Harvard study, 2011)
But so what? Plausibly,
• The God intuition is a misleading evolutionary byproduct?
Some actions are morally wrong despite what anybody believes.
This is relevant because the existence of such specifically personal facts in the world is unlikely if the world is, at bottom, impersonal (e.g. just particles and physics), and yet it is very much the kind of thing we would anticipate if a God exists who grounds the world and who could not fail to have been loving, honest, etc.
But so what? Plausibly… [All Forthcoming]
• X's net consequences are bad.
• X is done for bad reasons.
• X wouldn't be done by an “ideal observer”.
Some thing exists which is such that it could not have failed to exist; it could not be missing from any truly possible reality.
• Turri's Argument from Beginnings
• A “Sum-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• A “Start-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• Pruss's Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
• A Big Bang Argument from Beginnings
• Rasmussen's Modal Argument from Beginnings
• Weaver's Argument from Beginnings
Genuine supernatural events have occurred within human history, ones which are plausibly imbued with spiritual significance.
• Jesus was raised from the dead (resurrected).
• Ezekiel accurately prophesied Tyre's destruction.
God's properties are incoherent or yield contradictions.
• …all-powerful (e.g. able to lift unliftable rocks)!
• …free (will)
• …perfectly rational
• …both timeless and personal
• …both timeless and a creator
• …both omniscient and libertarianly free
• …both omnipotent and omnibenevolent
• …both all-just and all-loving
By way of response, however...
• …it is rather bearing the “maximally consistent set of knowledge, power, and benevolence” that must be incoherent.1
The idea of a God existing is extravagant and intrinsically improbable; the so-called prior probability of God’s existence—prior to looking at evidence for or against—seems very low. This is relevant because a low prior probability is functionally similar to having evidence against it. More complex and bold hypotheses have more ways/chances of being wrong. We expect them to be wrong in the absence of sufficient evidence.
• The God of bare theism is more simple than a single fundamental particle. God is a unified soul (an unbreakable thing with no parts)1, and its the simplest possible soul: it only has three fundamental properties (those necessary for being a soul), and in their simplest form—without limits.2
• Reason alone confirms theism (or something close). [Forthcoming]
Fundamental reality is mind-less (or mathematically describable). This is relevant because God is essentially a thinking-thing without limits, and God's nature cannot be captured by mathematical equation.
No, [All Forthcoming]
• Abstract objects exist (numbers, shapes, propositions, etc.).
• Mentalia exist (ideas, beliefs, desires, willings, etc.).
• Moral facts exist (e.g. torturing a child for fun is wrong).
• Souls exist.
• An afterlife/heaven exists.
• The cause of physical/natural reality exists (since matter and natural laws etc. are contingent).
Any good God who exists would've chosen to ensure less (or no) suffering occur.
• It would make for a better world.
• It is more loving.
• Plausibly, greater goods require, risk, or result in suffering. Like the conjunctive goods of…
• …free will in a choice arena
• …best forming our own character
• …God's atonement for people like Paul
• …worldly people turning to seek God
• …love-bonds forged in suffering
• …solidarity with Christ in suffering
• …true evil-conquering stories
• …a knowable unfolding natural order
• …sacrifices for good causes
• …being of use to those in need
• …appreciating heaven (no suffering)
Any loving God who exists would've chosen to ensure less (or no) disbelief occur.
•Belief in God is required for relationship with God.
• Some would just immediately reject relationship.
• Some non-theists would just form a perpetually improper relationship.
• Some potential converts would abandon proper relationship later in life.
• Greater relationship goods obtain with God's silence.
• Greater goods in general obtain with God's silence.
• God can have relationships with non-theists.
Theistic explanation is illegitimate; real potential explanations cannot feature God.
• “God-did-it” is just an appeal to ignorance-gaps.
• “God-did-it” is just an appeal to magic.
• Explanations don't compound the mystery.
• Explanations don't explain “too much”.
• Meaningful claims are verifiable (by senses).
• Meaningful claims are falsifiable/testable.
• Explanations cite effective mechanisms.
• Explanations are unificationist.
But no, God can theoretically feature in a real potential explanation…
• All agree: outlandish evidences for God could warrant theistic conclusions.
• Theism does best explain some facts.
• Theism can be rational.