By: Faras Ahmed
While contemplating the limitations of physicality discussed in the previous blog post, we now delve into the fascinating realm of the Cosmological Argument—a philosophical and theological perspective that seeks to explain the existence of God by examining the origins and nature of the universe. Now, a little disclaimer, I will be presenting some of my own understanding and viewpoints, so some of the most common heard points might not be here.
The first point is, there has to be a first cause. Now, everything has to have a cause. I like to look at the French phrase of "action-réaction." Because something has to start it. You don’t have a reaction when there is nothing to cause it. Some atheists give the counter argument of the Eternal Universe: Atheists may argue that the universe itself is eternal and does not require a first cause. They propose that the universe has always existed in some form or has undergone infinite cycles of expansion and contraction. If such was the case then there wouldn’t be a universe. Imagine a row of dominoes, the last piece can not fall without the first piece falling, if there was an infinite number of pieces before it and no beginning, how would the last piece fall if there is first one to fall. This established that there couldn’t have been an infinite number of universes before ours.
In lieu of this, some atheists like to reply with the Multiverse Theory: Atheists might explore the concept of a multiverse, which suggests the existence of multiple universes beyond our own. According to this view, our universe could have emerged from a larger, eternal multiverse, eliminating the need for a singular first cause. Again, who's behind this multiverse, for something so big to exist, it couldn’t have brought itself into existence. For right now, I’ll leave it at that, and talk about the complexity of the universe to support this at another time.
Let’s talk about the Law of Conservation of Energy. This fundamental principle in physics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only change forms. Supporters of a first cause argue that the initial energy required for the universe's existence had to come from an uncaused, external source. This probably rings a lot of bells for those who remember science class in school. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. Such a paradox, because the energy had to have come from somewhere. Some will argue with the Quantum Indeterminacy, which atheists sometimes invoke the principles of quantum mechanics, asserting that at the quantum level, cause-and-effect relationships may not apply in the same deterministic manner as in classical physics. They argue that the universe's origins could be a result of quantum fluctuations or natural processes without the need for an external cause. Here's the problem, if there was no universe to begin with, then quantum fluctuations shouldn't exist. And what natural processes, nothing existed.
Moving on to the next point, let’s explore the concept of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The second law states that entropy, or the measure of disorder in a closed system, tends to increase over time. Advocates of the cosmological argument contend that the existence of an ordered universe points to an initial cause that arranged the universe in a state of low entropy. In simpler terms, it means that things in the universe tend to decay or move towards a more disordered state. This aligns with the theory of the Big Bang, where everything was once a lumped-up mass of the unknown. It suggests that someone or something with power had to place it there, bypassing the Law of Conservation.
Now, let's delve into the intriguing realm of the Big Bang theory. According to this scientific explanation for the origin of the universe, it posits that the universe began as an incredibly hot and dense state approximately 13.8 billion years ago. From this initial singularity, the universe rapidly expanded and continues to expand, giving rise to the galaxies, stars, and planets we observe today. This theory finds support in evidence such as the observed expansion of the universe, the cosmic microwave background radiation, and the abundance of light elements.
In the end, I find it remarkable to draw a connection between scientific theories and ancient scriptures, such as the Holy Quran. Revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 1400 years ago, it predates concepts like the Big Bang by centuries. A verse that particularly stands out is Chapter 21 Al-Anbiya', Verse 31.
اَوَلَمۡ یَرَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اَنَّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ کَانَتَا رَتۡقًا فَفَتَقۡنٰہُمَا ؕ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنَ الۡمَآءِ کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ حَیٍّ ؕ اَفَلَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾
It states, “Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?”. This verse beautifully captures the essence of the Big Bang theory, describing the transformation from a compact mass to the vast expanse of the universe and highlighting the significance of water in the creation of life.
With such parallels between scientific understandings and ancient texts, one cannot help but ponder the depth of wisdom and knowledge encompassed within religious scriptures. It serves as yet another compelling piece of evidence in favor of the existence of the God of Islam.