عصير كتاب: الإيمان المعقول لـ ويليام كريج Reasonable Faith

Posted: ديسمبر 5, 2015 in لاهوت طبيعي, لاهوت عقيدي, الكتابات العامة, اللاهوت الدفاعي, الإلحاد, عصير الكتب

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

By: William Lane Craig

reasonable-faith

The Absurdity of Life without God and Immortality

· Scientists say that the universe originated in an explosion called the “Big Bang” about thirteen billion years ago. Suppose the Big Bang had never occurred. Suppose the universe had never existed. What ultimate difference would it make? The universe is doomed to die anyway. In the end it makes no difference whether the universe ever existed or not. Therefore, it is without ultimate significance. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 72.]

· As one contemporary atheistic ethicist points out, “To say that something is wrong because … it is forbidden by God, is perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong … even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable …” “The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.” [Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1985), 90, 84.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 75.]

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

· The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends that life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 78.]

· Richard Wurmbrand, who has been tortured for his faith in communist prisons, says, The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The communist torturers often said, “There is no God, no Hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.” I have heard one torturer even say, “I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.” He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners. [Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1967), 34.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 81.]

Ontological Argument

· The ontological argument attempts to prove from the very concept of God that God exists: if God is conceivable, then he must actually exist. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 95.]

· God is the greatest conceivable being. This is true by definition, for if we could conceive of something greater than God, then that would be God. So nothing greater than God can be conceived. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 95.]

Cosmological Argument

· The cosmological argument assumes that something exists and argues from the existence of that thing to the existence of a First Cause or a Sufficient Reason of the cosmos. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 96.]

Thomas Aquinas

· We see in the world beings whose existence is not necessary but only possible. That is to say, these beings do not have to exist, for we see them come to be and pass away. If they were necessary, they would always exist. But all beings cannot be contingent beings, for if everything were merely contingent, then at some point in time everything would cease to exist. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 98.]

G. W. F. Leibniz

· “The first question which should rightly be asked,” wrote Leibniz, “will be, Why is there something rather than nothing?” That is, why does anything at all exist? There must be an answer to this question, because “nothing happens without a sufficient reason.” [Leibniz, “Nature and Grace,” in Selections, 527.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 99.]

Teleological Argument

· Perhaps the oldest and most popular of all the arguments for the existence of God is the teleological argument. It is the famous argument from design, and it infers an intelligent designer of the universe, just as we infer an intelligent designer for any product in which we discern evidence of purposeful adaptation of means to some end (telos). [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 99, 100.]

Moral Argument

· The moral argument for the existence of God implies the existence of a Being that is the embodiment of the ultimate Good, which is the source of the objective moral values we experience in the world. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 104.]

Assessment

· As a result of years of study and reflection, I have come to share Leibniz’s conviction that “nearly all the means which have been employed to prove the existence of God are good and might be of service, if we perfect them.” [Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, New Essays on the Understanding, trans. Alfred G. Langley (New York: Macmillan, 1896), 505.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 106.]

Scientific Arguments

· For example, Ellis, Kirchner, and Stoeger ask, “Can there be an infinite set of really existing universes? We suggest that, on the basis of well-known philosophical arguments, the answer is No.” [G. F. R. Ellis, U. Kirchner, and W. R. Stoeger, “Multiverses and Physical Cosmology,” http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0305292 v3 (28 August 2003), 14 (my emphasis).]

· [Problems With Infinity When speaking of multiverses or ensembles of universes – possible or realised – the issue of infinity often crops up. Researchers often envision an infinite set of universes, in which all possibilities are realised. Can there really be an infinite set of really existing universes? We suggest that, on the basis of well-known philosophical arguments, the answer is No.]

· “Of all the great predictions that science has ever made over the centuries,” exclaims John Wheeler, “was there ever one greater than this, to predict, and predict correctly, and predict against all expectation a phenomenon so fantastic as the expansion of the universe?” [John A. Wheeler, “Beyond the Hole,” in Some Strangeness in the Proportion, ed. Harry Woolf (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1980), 354.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 126.]

· If we extrapolate this prediction to its extreme, we reach a point when all distances in the universe have shrunk to zero. An initial cosmological singularity therefore forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such an extremity. For this reason most cosmologists think of the initial singularity as the beginning of the universe. On this view the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself. [P. C. W. Davies, “Spacetime Singularities in Cosmology,” in The Study of Time III, ed. J. T. Fraser (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1978), 78–79.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 126.]

· As physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler emphasize, “At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.” [John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986), 442.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 127.]

· As Gott, Gunn, Schramm, and Tinsley write: “The universe began from a state of infinite density about one Hubble time ago. Space and time were created in that event and so was all the matter in the universe. It is not meaningful to ask what happened before the big bang; it is somewhat like asking what is north of the North Pole. Similarly, it is not sensible to ask where the big bang took place. The pointuniverse was not an object isolated in space; it was the entire universe, and so the only answer can be that the big bang happened everywhere.” [J. Richard Gott III, James E. Gunn, David N. Schramm, and Beatrice M. Tinsley, “Will the Universe Expand Forever?” Scientific American, March 1976, 65.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 127.]

· Sir Arthur Eddington, contemplating the beginning of the universe, opined that the expansion of the universe was so preposterous and incredible that “I feel almost an indignation that anyone should believe in it—except myself.” [Arthur Eddington, The Expanding Universe (New York: Macmillan, 1933), 124.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 128.]

· He finally felt forced to conclude, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.” [Arthur Eddington, The Expanding Universe (New York: Macmillan, 1933), 178.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 128.]

· The problem of the origin of the universe, in the words of one astrophysical team, thus “involves a certain metaphysical aspect which may be either appealing or revolting.” [Hubert Reeves, Jean Audouze, William A. Fowler, and David N. Schramm, “On the Origin of Light Elements,” Astrophysical Journal 179 (1973): 912.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 128.]

· Hawking notes that the Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems “led to the abandonment of attempts (mainly by the Russians) to argue that there was a previous contracting phase and a non-singular bounce into expansion. Instead almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.” [Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 20.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 130.]

· Linde’s model thus has an infinite future. But Linde is troubled at the prospect of an absolute beginning. He writes, “The most difficult aspect of this problem is not the existence of the singularity itself, but the question of what was before the singularity … This problem lies somewhere at the boundary between physics and metaphysics.” [Linde, “Inflationary Universe,” 976.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 133.]

· Hence, the multiverse scenario cannot be past eternal. They write: A model in which the inflationary phase has no end … naturally leads to this question: Can this model also be extended to the infinite past, avoiding in this way the problem of the initial singularity? … This is in fact not possible in future-eternal inflationary spacetimes as long as they obey some reasonable physical conditions: such models must necessarily possess initial singularities. … The fact that inflationary spacetimes are past incomplete forces one to address the question of what, if anything, came before. [A. Borde and A. Vilenkin, “Eternal Inflation and the Initial Singularity,” Physical Review Letters 72 (1994): 3305, 3307.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 133.]

· In response, Linde concurred with the conclusion of Borde and Vilenkin: there must have been a Big Bang singularity at some point in the past. [Andrei Linde, Dmitri Linde, and Arthur Mezhlumian, “From the Big Bang Theory to the Theory of a Stationary Universe,” Physical Review D 49 (1994): 1783–1826. Linde has since tried to suggest a way to escape the conclusion of a beginning (“Inflation and String Cosmology,” http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0503195 v1 (March 24, 2005), 13. But he does not succeed in extending past spacetime paths to infinity, which is a necessary condition of the universe’s having no beginning.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 133.]

· As Barrow points out, “This type of quantum universe has not always existed; it comes into being just as the classical cosmologies could, but it does not start at a Big Bang where physical quantities are infinite.” [John D. Barrow, Theories of Everything (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991), 68.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 135.]

· According to Vilenkin, “The picture presented by quantum cosmology is that the universe starts as a small, closed 3-geometry and immediately enters the regime of eternal inflation, with new thermalized regions being constantly formed. In this picture, the universe has a beginning but no end.” [Alexander Vilenkin, “Quantum Cosmology and Eternal Inflation,” 11.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 135.]

· Hawking admits, “Only if we could picture the universe in terms of imaginary time would there be no singularities … When one goes back to the real time in which we live, however, there will still appear to be singularities.” [Hawking, Brief History of Time, 138–39.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 136.]

· Vilenkin pulls no punches: “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” [Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One, 176.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 140.]

· Beatrice Tinsley described such a scenario: If the average density of matter in the universe is great enough, the mutual gravitational attraction between bodies will eventually slow the expansion to a halt. The universe will then contract and collapse into a hot fireball. There is no known physical mechanism that could reverse a catastrophic big crunch. Apparently, if the universe becomes dense enough, it is in for a hot death. [Beatrice Tinsley, “From Big Bang to Eternity?” Natural History Magazine (October 1975), 103.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 142.]

· Tinsley described the fate of this universe: If the universe has a low density, its death will be cold. It will expand forever at a slower and slower rate. Galaxies will turn all of their gas into stars, and the stars will burn out. Our own sun will become a cold, dead remnant, floating among the corpses of other stars in an increasingly isolated Milky Way. [Tinsley, “Big Bang,” 105.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 143.]

· Davies concludes, “The universe can’t have existed forever. We know there must have been an absolute beginning a finite time ago.” [Paul Davies, “The Big Questions: In the Beginning,” ABC Science Online, interview with Phillip Adams, http://www.abc.net.au/science/bigquestions/s460625.htm%5D [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 144.]

· Therefore, in the words of another scientific team, “the multicycle model has an infinite future, but only a finite past.” [I.D. Novikov and Ya. B. Zeldovich, “Physical Processes Near Cosmological Singularities,” Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 11 (1973): 401–2.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 144, 145.]

· Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of our universe’s initial low entropy condition’s coming into existence are on the order of one part in 1010(123). [Roger Penrose, “Time-Asymmetry and Quantum Gravity,” in Quantum Gravity 2, ed. C. J. Isham, R. Penrose, and D. W. Sciama (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 249; cf. Hawking and Penrose, Nature of Space and Time, 34–5.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 148.]

· He comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123).” [Penrose, “Time-Asymmetry,” 249.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 148.]

Teleological Argument

· The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning for intelligent life has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance of physical constants and quantities as is requisite for life cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence but cries out for some sort of explanation. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 157.]

· Davies comments: Even if the laws of physics were unique, it doesn’t follow that the physical universe itself is unique …. the laws of physics must be augmented by cosmic initial conditions …. There is nothing in present ideas about “laws of initial conditions” remotely to suggest that their consistency with the laws of physics would imply uniqueness. Far from it …. It seems, then, that the physical universe does not have to be the way it is: it could have been otherwise. [Paul Davies, The Mind of God (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), 169.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 163.]

· Even when we understand the ultimate theory, it won’t tell us much about how the universe began. It cannot predict the dimensions of spacetime, the gauge group, or other parameters of the low energy effective theory … It won’t determine how this energy is divided between conventional matter, and a cosmological constant, or quintessence … So to come back to the question … Does string theory predict the state of the universe? The answer is that it does not. It allows a vast landscape of possible universes; in which we occupy an anthropically permitted location. [S. W. Hawking, “Cosmology from the Top Down,” paper presented at the Davis Cosmic Inflation Meeting, U. C. Davis, May 29, 2003. Pages 4, 5] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 162, 163.]

· Barrow and Tipler have confused the true claim A. If observers who have evolved within a universe observe its constants and quantities, it is highly probable that they will observe them to be fine-tuned for their existence. with the false claim Aʹ. It is highly probable that a universe exist which is finely tuned for the evolution of observers within it. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 165.]

God and Objective Morals

· As philosopher of science Michael Ruse explains, the position of the modern evolutionist … is that humans have an awareness of morality … because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth …. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” they think they are referring above and beyond themselves …. Nevertheless, … such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, … and any deeper meaning is illusory. [Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), 262, 268–89.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 174.]

· The ethicist Richard Taylor powerfully illustrates the point. He invites us to imagine human beings living in a state of nature without any customs or laws. Suppose one of them kills another one and takes his goods. Taylor reflects: Such actions, though injurious to their victims, are no more unjust or immoral than they would be if done by one animal to another. A hawk that seizes a fish from the sea kills it, but does not murder it; and another hawk that seizes the fish from the talons of the first takes it, but does not steal it—for none of these things is forbidden. And exactly the same considerations apply to the people we are imagining. [Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1985), 14.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 175.]

· As Kurtz puts it, “The central question about moral and ethical principles concerns their ontological foundation. If they are neither derived from God nor anchored in some transcendent ground, are they purely ephemeral?” [Kurtz, Forbidden Fruit, 65.] [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Faith and Apologetics, Crossway Books 2008, 3rd edition, Page 176.]

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