Memoir

>Thoughts on Causality

>A major argument against a deity of any kind which claims to be the creator is who created the creator? Along with Why would a perfect god need to create us unless he was lonely, thus rendering him not perfect? These questions drove me on the first part of my search. I began by looking at Christian responces to these questions and found no substantial argument in defense other than the cliche, He just always was. I am not satisfied, and I dig deeper. Is it possible to truly understand how a deity could exist outside of time itself? My search lead me to the philosopher, Aristotle, who has given us the tools required to gain knowledge. His core belief of his was “man cannot have knowledge of something unless he knows its why, that is to say, its cause.” Thus I began to learn causality. Let me make this disclaimer before I go any further, I am no expert with any kind of formal knowledge on the subject, I have merely read and thought through these ideas to come to my conclusions.

With that said, Aristotle asserts that there are 4 types of causes to take into consideration; to illustrate this, he uses the example of a bronze statue (taken from Physics II 3 and Metaphysics V 2).

Material Cause: that out of which. i.e. the bronze of the statue
Formal Cause: The form, the account which is to be. i.e.. the shape of the statue
Efficient Cause: Primary source of change or rest. i.e.. the artisan, the art of bronze casting, the man who gives advice, the father of the child
Final Cause: The end, that for the sake of which a thing is done. i.e. health is the end of walking, losing weight, purging, drugs, and surgical tools.
According to Aristotle, everything had to come from somewhere, and everythings ultimate cause pointed somewhere as well. Thus according to the ideas of Aristotle, for a scientist to say that there just was always star dust in an infinate universe is absurd, and would requires just as much faith, if not more, to make such an assertion over the notion that it came from somewhere.

Once grasping the ideas of causality I started to wonder if there was such a thing as self-cause, and if so, how could that possibly be explained? I quickly ventured back to the initial cause of star dust. Star dust comes from an exploding star, Therefore, at some point there had to be a star, if not several stars, in the surrounding universe that exploded to form the star dust that collected and had a chemical reaction which in turn generated the big bang that began the formation of Earth and the surrounding universe some 15-20 billion years ago, a “fact” generally accepted by the science community. So back to the initial star, what put that there? The universe, at some point, was absolute nothing which means that there was absolutely nothing in a vast emptiness. To grasp this notion, I had to put it in my realm of conceivability. I imagined my bedroom to be a mini sort of universe, totally blocked off in all corners with no way in or out. Inside that room there was nothing; no furniture, no floor, no dust, no oxygen, no airborne micro-organisms, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. After I was able to conceive this, I had to get star dust in there, but how? I could not use anything inside the room because there is nothing inside the room. I could not use anything outside the room because that would be violating a law by introducing something new that does not technically exist yet. So how does one create matter? Einstein theorized that matter is created from energy and vice versa with E=MC^2. So, an enormous energy had to be generated to create, this is impossible to do using only what is inside of absolute nothing. Unless, that is to say, I were able to generate the incredible amount of energy necessary to generate matter within myself. By inferring this, I realized a number of things. First, this I would be independent of all matter I created because I already existed without that which I created. Second, I had to be able to produce matter, indicating that I had to be extremely powerful. Thirdly, I realized that that which was created is fully dependent on the creator, for without the creator, further somethings could not exist. Since it is impossible for myself to have existed at the beginning of creation, and I must say to generate any kind of something from nothing, I can affirm that it was not I that created the universe. It is also safe to say any other being that has been around since the Earth was formed did not create the universe since they only arrived some millions of years after the Earth was formed. That means that there had to be some thing that existed pre-earth, pre-star dust, pre-time. Thus, my conclusion has led me to accept that there is something that had already existed in the midst of absolute nothing, transending time itself, and that something was able to produce within itself the incredible amound of energy necessary to gerate matter which began the universe. To the best of my current ability this is where causality has taken me, self cause was reached and as a result a powerful something is deduced which transcends time, matter, and creation itself.

I now want to touch on the why a deity created the universe if it was perfect and did not need to create to be whole. I heard a valid argument for this the other night. Is it possible that the deity had in its personality the necessity to create? There have been artists throughout time from the prehistoric period all the way through to post-modern period in which individuals felt a necessity to create a work of art, be it a painting, a sculpture, or a contraption of some sort; there are musicians who write songs and music as part of there personality; there are architects that construct incredible buildings. It seems that creation is part of a persons being. Could this necessity create be a reflection of the personality of a deity that claims to have created man in his image?

Sources:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality
Physics, Aristotle
Metaphysics, Aristotle
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