I have a question regarding the Kalam argument: Can the universe or universes can come from quantum random fluctuations? Is the quantum vacuum part of the universe (material, energy)? What exactly is a vacuum in quatum physics? Finally, can you give me some tips about how to study apologetics books? How can I remember and master the material? Any tactics and methods you use will be helpful, since there is a lot of information I almost forget it in a week.
Is belief in zombies the same as belief in the resurrection? Why or why not? Why is it that it seems God is an imaginary friend? Why doesn’t he talk to us? Thanks for your patience and help, may God bless you, thanks for helping me with my others questions. I had fallen in my faith, but thanks to you, I have much more confidence each day!
The Kalam argument goes something like this (for those who read this Q & A but have not heard of this argument). Premise: Anything which begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore it was caused. That “cause” is the Creator/God. This is a very powerful argument. However, the question remains whether the premise is logically necessary. Essentially, this is what your question points to.
The spontaneous creation of particles out of the quantum vacuum has been used as a refutation of the Kalam argument. Unfortunately for those who use it, this refutation is not a good one! The fact is that according to quantum theory (and according to experiment), it is possible for fluctuations in the field of space to temporarily produce particles and antiparticles out of the “vacuum” of empty space. This theory is used to explain such properties as spontaneous emission (necessary to explain the function of lasers). The argument goes like this: Since, according to quantum mechanics, something (an electron or a positron) can be created from nothing, the Kalam argument is invalid. This counter-argument to the Kalam cosmological argument does not hold up. The reason that the universe itself is something. There must be a universe within which these quantum fluctuations can occur. No universe, no quantum fluctuations. There is a sense in which the “vacuum” of space is not truly empty, even if there are not physical particles in a particular small volume. The universe is filled with varios fields, such as gravity fields, electromagnetic fields and the like. There is a thing which fluctuates, even if it is not a physical thing.
Some have argued that the entire universe could have been created as a fantastically gargantuan quantum fluctuation. There are a couple problems with this. First of all, in what would this fluctuation occur? Perhaps a universe could be created within a greater universe, but quantum fluctuations must be fluctuations of something. There is no basis, either in experiment or even in any reasonable description of reality as we know it, which allows for a quantum fluctuation to occur that is not occurring in something. What would this fluctuation be a fluctuation of? This simply makes no sense. In any case, there is obviously no scientific evidence for such a thing. But beyond that, there is not even a rational basis for belief in such a thing.
There is a fairly small subset of cosmologists who are philosophically committed to naturalism/atheism. Such people are required by their philosophy (not by scientific evidence) to devise such ad-hoc unscientific arguments such as the multiverse theory or the quantum fluctuation theory. We should beware of such philosophically-induced unscientific arguments dressed up as science.
Of course, the shoe can be worn by the other foot. In other words, we should be aware of presuppositions of believers as well. Personally, I find the Kalam argument for the existence of God to be a compelling one. It agrees with everything I know about the universe. However, it is an argument, not a proof. We cannot mathematically prove the existence of God. Any argument for the existence of God is just that—an argument and not proof. I believe that the arguments for the existence of God (cosmological, teleological, moral and other arguments can be included in the list)are massively more compelling than any arguments against the existence of God (default scenario, existence of evil), but these are arguments and not proofs and should be treated this way.
As for tactics, I do not have a lot of useful insight. What I try to do is “pay attention.” In other words, when I read, listen or watch, I like to ask myself questions. Why is this happening? What is the cause of that? How might they be connected. A sense of curiosity is very helpful. Another thing to remember that forgetting something the first time you hear it is perfectly normal. Generally, we remember a concept the second, third or fourth time we hear it. Simply studying the Bible or apologetics consistently, with careful thought, will produce knowledge and understanding in the long run. I am sure your memory is a lot better than mine because you are young. Well, begin putting that active mind of yours to use on a regular basis. Study challenging books, study particular topics deeply, study philosophy and history, train yourself how to make reasonable arguments… Over time all of these will produce fruit in greater understanding.
Is believe in zombies the same as belief in the resurrection? NO!!! Belief in zombies is utterly irrational. If a person believes in zombies, it is probably not worth having a rational conversation with that person. Belief in fairies, goblins, elves, zombies werewolves and such is evidence of a lack of ability to rationally choose what is true. There is absolutely no connection between the rational Christian belief in a final resurrection and the irrational belief in zombies.
I am guessing from your next question that you have a part of you which thinks you are crazy to believe in a God you cannot see. I can relate to this. Hebrews 11 (the whole chapter) defines faith as belief in things which cannot be seen. You cannot see God. You cannot see salvation or the Holy Spirit. For the intellectually-minded among us it can be harder than average to believe in things which are unseen. However, God is real and the Bible is inspired by God. The evidence for these (including the Kalam argument) is sufficient to support the reasonable conclusion that God is real and Christianity is true. If you have doubts about this, join the club. However, for me the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, the evidence for the historical and scientific reliability of the Bible, the evidence from fulfilled prophecy and much more gives me a great deal of reason to conclude that the Bible is inspired by the Creator God. Why does God not force us to believe? Because he loves us and he respects us, and he gives a choice of whether to believe or not. If God dropped notes out of the sky or suddenly moved a truck out of the way when it is about to hit us, we would be forced to believe, but that is not the way God operates. Free will is real. It is a wonderful gift. But free will is not consistent with God forcing us to believe in him.