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Switch to Forum Live View A Jew Proves the Existence of the Primal Cause
2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 8:35AM #1
Shibolet
Posts: 3,885
A Jew Proves the Existence of the Primal Cause

The universe is composed of matter from the size of a galaxy down to the size of an atom. In 1922 a Catholic priest, George Lemaitre formulated the theory of the big bang. Never minding that he was a Theist, Scientists from all over the word, especially Cosmologists immediately adopted the theory of the big bang as the best the world had achieved so far as the beginning of the universe was concerned. Carl Sagan in his book "Cosmos" declared in page 285 that the big bang had given us the beginning of the universe.

Now, that we have the best to assert that the universe had a beginning, I would like to ask if the universe caused itself to exist or it was caused by something else that preceded it. Any attempt to reply that the universe always existed, will contradict the big bang and together with it, about 90% of all scientists throughout the world. 

if the reply is "yes" that the universe caused itself to exist, how could it have caused itself to exist if it already existed? If it already existed, there would be no need to cause itself to exist for it already existed. Bottom line, the universe was caused to exist by something else that preceded its existence. If the reply is "no" that the universe did not cause itself to exist, it is only obvious that it was caused to exist by something else not composed of matter aka the Primal Cause to explain the fact that It is not constituted of matter. 

According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect cannot extend back ad infinitum or the Primal Cause that caused the beginning of the universe would not be there to cause the beginning. Hence, "In the Beginning HaShem aka the Primal Cause caused the beginning of the universe." (Gen. 1:1)
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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 9:02AM #2
Abner1
Posts: 6,624
Shibolet wrote:

> Now, that we have the best to assert that the

> universe had a beginning, I would like to ask

> if the universe caused itself to exist or it was

> caused by something else that preceded it.



This is known as a "false dichotomy" - picking only two options that you find acceptable and thus ignoring any options that don't lead to your desired conclusion.  There are actually more than two options.  I can think of four right off the top of my head (including your two):



1.  The universe caused itself to exist. (A temporal loop.)

2.  The universe was caused by something else that preceded it.

3.  The universe underwent a phase change at the time of the Big Bang, but existed in some other form before that time.

4.  The universe did not have a cause.



> if the reply is "yes" that the universe caused itself to

> exist, how could it have caused itself to exist if it

> already existed?



We wouldn't know.  Our sense of logic is based on the laws of our universe as we have experienced them so far, which we understand only incompletely (as noted by the fact that science continues to rapidly advance).  It would be rather arrogant of us to claim that we know enough about the universe to rule out the possibility of chronal loops.



Similarly, we cannot rule out the idea of an eternal universe that underwent a phase change.  The Big Bang was the beginning of the universe *as we know it*, because all evidence of any times before such a violent event would have been wiped out in the Big Bang.  That doesn't prove that the universe couldn't have existed before then - just that we don't and possibly can't have any evidence of what happened before a certain point.



And then there's the option that really blows your argument out of the water ...



> Bottom line, the universe was caused to exist by

> something else that preceded its existence.



Unless, of course, the universe was uncaused.  Scientists have good reason to think that uncaused events occur - according to the theory of quantum mechanics, one of the most successful of scientific theories, uncaused events are not only possible, they are actually quite common on a quantum scale.  You are basing your argument on one aspect of science (the Big Bang theory) but ignoring another aspect of science (quantum mechanics).  That really doesn't work.  If you want to use science to back you up on the universe as we know it having a beginning, you also have to deal with science saying that uncaused events are possible.



> According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect

> cannot extend back ad infinitum



That aspect of your argument is metaphysical, not scientific.  When scientists look at causality, they find that it doesn't work the way metaphysics claims it does.  For your argument to work, you have to accept the science you want to accept and reject the science you want to reject ... which makes it a rather incoherent argument.



Sorry, this isn't a new argument, and it just doesn't work.
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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 1:06PM #3
Blü
Posts: 26,191

Yo, Shibolet

Still flogging this dead horse? It failed last time - nothing's changed, so why do you think it'll succeed now?

As I told you last time, the idea that the universe could have begun with an explosion was first suggested by Aleksandr Fridman / Alexander Friedmann in an article in the journal Zeitschrift für Physik in 1922, discussing possible different values of the 'cosmological constant' in Einstein's equations. Lemaître, apparently independently, developed the same idea from 1925, and his expansion of it was far the more influential, but it wasn't the first. (Lemaître finally met Einstein at a conference in Brussels 1927, and Einstein rejected his ideas.)


to assert that the universe had a beginning,


More accurately, to assert that the Big Bang took place. The Big Bang was the beginning of our universe, but as Abner said, it wasn't necessarily the beginning of everything since the Big Bang itself would (as far as we presently know) prevent us from finding out any information about whether prior states existed, and if so what.

Incidentally, what evidence supports your claim that "90% of all scientists" would reject that possibilty? I'd expect - let's say - 90% of astrophysicists to allow it as such.


that the universe caused itself to exist


I've never heard any physicist make that claim. I have however heard believers make the claim that God caused himself to exist. If you set out to describe step by step how he did that, you'll quickly see that the notion's very silly.


If the reply is "no" that the universe did not cause itself to exist


As I said, the reply is necessarily "no" to a proposition so innately silly.


it is only obvious that it was caused to exist by something else not composed of matter


Whence does that not composed of matter magically appear? It doesn't follow from anything you've said - indeed, as a statement about reality, it doesn't even have meaning (unless 'imaginary' counts).

The image of our universe as having an expansion phase (explosion) and contraction phase (gravity-driven implosion) leading to an new explosion phase &c ad inf, goes back to Lemaître's time; as an element in a set of parallel universes since Everett's 'many-worlds' paper 1957; and as a "bubble" inside a metaverse at least since the 1970s with the rise of superstring theory (which became M-theory and latterly, a faded star among cosmological hypotheses).

You need to deal with all those possibilities as well as the others mentioned by Abner and others again, such as the idea that time exists because energy does, rather than vice versa.


According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect cannot extend back ad infinitum


As Abner said, that's an armchair argument, whereas your problem is to present an evidence-based argument acceptable to physics. That hasn't been done, not least because as QM shows, countless phenomena occur throughout the universe every second which in classical terms have no cause - in your terms, begin to exist but not as the result of a cause, hence are not effects.
 


or the Primal Cause that caused the beginning of the universe


This brings us back to your not composed of matter attempt to make a god magically appear in the argument without saying what real thing you mean to denote by the word 'god'. What objective test will tell us explorers of reality whether a real someone or something is a 'god' or not?


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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 3:10PM #4
rideronthastorm
Posts: 9,223

LOL excuse me I just had to laugh about this. Primal cause yea, I was thinking this was  a way to sneak God into it. Its funny the way jewish and Christian folks have a way of sneaking God into stuff and try to sound like theyre not talking about God. LMAO.

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 3:50PM #5
iamachildofhis
Posts: 11,927

iama: The replies to Shibolet indicate that the posters consider it possible that humans can be omniscient concerning that which exists. 


We DON'T exist in a realm to which a "nothing" REGION can be ascribed!  Nature abhors a vacuum.


The following article addresses this issue:


Does Quantum Physics Refute the Kalam Argument for God?


"In a previous post I argued that a common atheist intuition about what would count as proof for the existence of God also provides a foundation for the intuition that something cannot come into existence from nothing without a natural cause. If this intuition is true, then it would provide much more support for the first premise of the Kal�m Cosmological argument (KCA). For those who are unfamiliar with this argument for the existence of God, it goes like this:

  • P1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  • P2. The universe began to exist
  • C. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

I alluded in my previous article to observations in quantum physics that critics claim are direct counter examples to the premise, “whatever begins to exist has a cause.” These observations have also surfaced several times in the comment boxes here at Strange Notions. I’ll call them, collectively, the quantum physics objection. So what exactly is this objection?


Physics describes how objects move and behave in the world, but traditional physics has a limit when it comes to describing really small objects, such as electrons or quarks. For that we need quantum physics (also called quantum mechanics), which explains the nature and motion of atoms as well as the particles that make up atoms. Because these particles are so small, they can act in very strange ways. For example, scientists have observed so-called “virtual particles” emerging, apparently without a cause, from an empty vacuum. They have also observed atomic nuclei decay and emit alpha, beta, or gamma particles in an unpredictable way that appears to not have any cause.


If these things can occur without a cause in the quantum realm, then it seems that P1 is not true and the Kal�m Cosmological argument is undermined or refuted. How could a defender of this argument respond to this objection?


Not Something from Nothing


 
The major intuitive support behind P1 is that something can’t come from nothing without a supernatural cause. The case of virtual particles “popping into existence” does not overturn this intuition because these entities do not emerge from “nothing.” They instead emerge from the quantum vacuum, or a field with a very low energy level. Columbia University Philosopher and theoretical physicist David Albert writes:
 



“[V]acuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems—are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff...the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those [quantum] fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings—if you look at them aright—amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing."



 
Albert’s reasoning also applies to alpha or beta particles that emerge from a decaying atomic nucleus, an event that is also not a case of “something coming from nothing.” Since the quantum physics objection does not invalidate the broader intuition “something can’t come from nothing” that undergirds P1 (i.e., “whatever begins to exist has a cause”), then we could reformulate the KCA and just rely on this uncontested foundational intuition:


  1. If the universe began to exist from nothing, then the universe has a transcendent cause
  2. The universe began to exist from nothing.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a transcendent cause.1


Some people object to this reformulation because, in the words of atheist Aron Zavaro, “[M]odern physics has seriously challenged the common-sense intuitions which have given rise to belief in P1,” such as the intuition that something cannot come into existence from nothing without a supernatural cause. Zavaro goes on to claim that, “[T]he everyday man on the street would surely tell you that empty space stays empty! The man on the street would also surely tell you that a spaceless-timeless state could never produce anything without God's help...such commonsense intuitions are false.”


However, I disagree with this critic’s assessment. First, people may not properly think through a hypothetical situation involving the word “empty.” If you ask most people what it would be like to spend 24 hours in an “empty room” they’ll usually say it would be “boring,” as opposed to being “fatal” which is the correct answer because you would suffocate after spending a few minutes in a vacuum without oxygen or even air pressure.


The normal man has a correct intuition that “empty” space cannot produce anything; he is just mistaken about a factual claim related to what he perceives to be empty space. The space he thinks is empty isn’t truly empty; it contains an invisible, low-level quantum energy field. Armed with that knowledge, the average man may indeed agree that small particles could come into existence from that energy field, but he would rightly judge that these particles have some kind of cause or origin for their existence. On the other hand, there is no further analysis that will demonstrate that a true state of “nothing” (or a total lack of being) can have a hidden property which allows things to come into existence through it.


Still Causes at Work


 
It’s also debatable whether virtual particles and atomic decay are examples of “uncaused events.” Some interpretations of quantum physics describe events without causes, but others, such as the interpretation offered by the late David Bohm, include no uncaused events. Under Bohm’s view, (or the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation) the way particles behave or act is completely determined by the physical events that happened earlier in time. The eminent quantum physicist John Bell has praised this interpretation and laments the difficulty quantum researchers have in developing models that include truly free or random observers. He writes, “It is a merit of the de Broglie–Bohm version to bring this [non-locality] out so explicitly that it cannot be ignored.”2


The fact of the matter is that there is no consensus on which physical interpretation of the equations in quantum physics is correct and, more importantly, our inability to find a cause for quantum events no more justifies the conclusion that there are no causes any more than our inability to detect alien life justifies the conclusion there is no alien life in the universe.


Even if we suppose that a suitable interpretation of quantum mechanics is found that proves there are events which are uncaused, would that refute the KCA? I don’t think so because while it’s possible for events to not have causes (such as a ball to rolling to the right instead of to the left when set on a perfectly sharp cone) it doesn’t seem possible for things to not have causes (the ball just appearing for no reason at all).


Even if the event of a virtual particle coming into existence or the event of an atom decaying are causeless, it doesn’t follow that the virtual particle or the alpha particle themselves are without a cause for their existence. Their causes are the quantum vacuum and the decaying nucleus respectively. The events associated with the coming into existence of quantum particles simply have a probabilistic cause (as opposed to a predictable physical cause) which regulates their occurrence under given conditions. If this were not the case and these particles were truly mysterious, uncaused entities, then scientists would be unable to replicate in the laboratory the circumstances where these particles come into existence. John Jefferson Davis writes that:
 



“Quantum-mechanical events may not have classically deterministic causes, but they are not thereby uncaused or a causal. The decay of a nucleus takes place in view of physical actualities and potentialities internal to itself, in relation to a spatiotemporal nexus governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. The fact that uranium atoms consistently decay into atoms of lead and other elements--and not into rabbits or frogs--shows that such events are not causal but take place within a causal nexus and lawlike structures."3



 
Similarly, the actions of creatures with libertarian free-will may not have an antecedent physical cause, but that does not mean that those actions occur “without” a cause. Just because I cannot predict exactly when a person will choose to speak, this does not entail that the words which emerge from her mouth are some kind of weird “uncaused” event. The words she speaks have a real though indeterminate cause.


A critic may try to use this line of argument and say that the universe may simply be an event that occurs under probabilistic causation and came into existence without God’s creative act. I don’t think this is a successful reply because events presuppose the existence of objects, space, and time in order for the event to occur. Probabilistic causation in the absence of anything cannot produce a universe any more than a burnt down casino containing the ashes of roulette wheels could, via probabilistic causation, produce a winner of a game of roulette. However, God’s ability to create ex-nihilo could allow for the simultaneous emergence of both the occurrence of the first event (the universe coming into existence) and the existence of the first thing (the universe itself).


Conclusion


 
Uncaused events in quantum mechanics do not refute the principle that something cannot come from nothing. Furthermore, the reduction of causation in quantum events to unpredictable probabilities does not refute our normal experience that objects simply do not appear without a cause. This leaves us with sufficient evidence to believe that “whatever begins to exist must have a cause for its existence.”


First PUBLIC comment to the, above, article:


Thanks for this post. I would add that the principle of causality is not the result of an inductive inference (or any inference, for that matter), but a first principle perceived by the intellect on the basis of the nature of being itself. Nothing can give what it does not have. From no being, being cannot come; from nothing nothing comes. Because this truth is based on the nature of being itself, it is not open to refutation by encountering effects whose cause is undetectable to us. In other words, even if we could construct an empty room containing no "elementary physical stuff" at all, and particles then appeared within the room, having no detectable cause, we would *still* know that these particles had a cause, even if we could not detect the cause. The principle of causality is not contingent upon whether or not we can first clear the room of the "elementary physical stuff" before particles show up having no detectable cause. That's why I recommend not stopping with (or resting entirely upon) the 'you-can't-start-with-an-empty-room' defense, because the principle of causality is a *first* principle, not the productive of an inductive inference."

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 6:30PM #6
Abner1
Posts: 6,624

iama wrote:


> The replies to Shibolet indicate that the posters consider it


> possible that humans can be omniscient concerning that


> which exists.


None of the replies so far addressed that issue in any way.  If you cannot understand the statements of others well enough to reflect them accurately, it's best if you ignore the posts of others entirely instead of misrepresenting them.

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 10:18PM #7
Blü
Posts: 26,191

iama


The replies to Shibolet indicate that the posters consider it possible that humans can be omniscient concerning that which exists.


Not so. But we accept that we have knowledge of quite a few things. And that in future we'll have more knowledge, and sometimes knowledge amending what we presently know.


"I argued that a common atheist intuition about what would count as proof for the existence of God"


What real thing does he intend to denote when he says 'God'?


"also provides a foundation for the intuition that something cannot come into existence from nothing without a natural cause."


If one's ignorant of QM, perhaps it does. Otherwise it doesn't.


""none of these poppings—if you look at them aright—amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.""


I'm not aware that anyone suggested it did. It does however show that there are entire classes of phenomena which occur in reality and have no cause in terms of classical physics.

But the Big Bang is not necessarily a creation ex nihilo anyway. Instead it may be a phenomenon of pre-existing energy. And since he talks freely about 'intuition', I add that my intuition says that's the case.

And if time exists because energy exists, and not vice versa, then the existence of energy would be a sufficient explanation without requiring a beginning.


""there is no further analysis that will demonstrate that a true state of “nothing” (or a total lack of being) can have a hidden property which allows things to come into existence through it.""


I agree. Obviously non-existence doesn't exist, hence doesn't exist in or at any place or time. It's nothing and it's nowhere. Indeed you could argue it isn't even an 'it' - all we have is the concept of it.

Which is why I find the energy notion attractive, though it's surmise rather than an evidence-based proposition.


"others, such as the interpretation offered by the late David Bohm, include no uncaused events"


Indeed, and it's an interesting argument. However, the Copenhagen interpretation is still orthodoxy and thus still true.


"there is no consensus on which physical interpretation of the equations in quantum physics is correct"


That's not correct. The absence of unanimity is not the absence of consensus. And consensus still favors the Copenhagen interpretation.


"it doesn’t seem possible for things to not have causes"


A particle emitted in the course of radioactive decay is a thing, and its coming into existence doesn't have a cause in classical terms. (Nor can you use de Broglie-Bohm theory to predict it, though that's said to be deterministic.)

But as to the existence of things having a beginning, my energy hypothesis avoids that problem altogether.

By contrast the god of theology has that very problem despite all the cries and handwaving of his fans - if matter needs to have a caused beginning, so does god - unless he's imaginary, of course.


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2 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2015 - 11:10PM #8
williejhonlo
Posts: 4,100

Sep 21, 2015 -- 8:35AM, Shibolet wrote:

A Jew Proves the Existence of the Primal Cause

The universe is composed of matter from the size of a galaxy down to the size of an atom. In 1922 a Catholic priest, George Lemaitre formulated the theory of the big bang. Never minding that he was a Theist, Scientists from all over the word, especially Cosmologists immediately adopted the theory of the big bang as the best the world had achieved so far as the beginning of the universe was concerned. Carl Sagan in his book "Cosmos" declared in page 285 that the big bang had given us the beginning of the universe.

Now, that we have the best to assert that the universe had a beginning, I would like to ask if the universe caused itself to exist or it was caused by something else that preceded it. Any attempt to reply that the universe always existed, will contradict the big bang and together with it, about 90% of all scientists throughout the world. 

if the reply is "yes" that the universe caused itself to exist, how could it have caused itself to exist if it already existed? If it already existed, there would be no need to cause itself to exist for it already existed. Bottom line, the universe was caused to exist by something else that preceded its existence. If the reply is "no" that the universe did not cause itself to exist, it is only obvious that it was caused to exist by something else not composed of matter aka the Primal Cause to explain the fact that It is not constituted of matter. 

According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect cannot extend back ad infinitum or the Primal Cause that caused the beginning of the universe would not be there to cause the beginning. Hence, "In the Beginning HaShem aka the Primal Cause caused the beginning of the universe." (Gen. 1:1)


A self-manifested universe would contradict the way material bodies change, which is towards dissolution.

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2015 - 3:27AM #9
Shibolet
Posts: 3,885

Sep 21, 2015 -- 9:02AM, Abner1 wrote:


Shibolet wrote:

> Now, that we have the best to assert that the

> universe had a beginning, I would like to ask

> if the universe caused itself to exist or it was

> caused by something else that preceded it.



This is known as a "false dichotomy" - picking only two options that you find acceptable and thus ignoring any options that don't lead to your desired conclusion.  There are actually more than two options.  I can think of four right off the top of my head (including your two):[/quote




This is no answer to my quest.



1.  The universe caused itself to exist. (A temporal loop.)


2.  The universe was caused by something else that preceded it.

3.  The universe underwent a phase change at the time of the Big Bang, but existed in some other form before that time.

4.  The universe did not have a cause.





1. Neither temporal nor forever. Simply logically something cannot cause itself to exist.

2. That's the right answer whereas given by myself in the thread.

3. The big bang is jus a theory aka a guess, not a fact. We don't even know it ever happened.

4 . Wrong! You are implying that the universe came out of the hat of the magician which is a joke.



> if the reply is "yes" that the universe caused itself to

> exist, how could it have caused itself to exist if it

> already existed?



We wouldn't know.  Our sense of logic is based on the laws of our universe as we have experienced them so far, which we understand only incompletely (as noted by the fact that science continues to rapidly advance).  It would be rather arrogant of us to claim that we know enough about the universe to rule out the possibility of chronal loops.





You would not know that something cannot cause itself to exist! As I can see, you need a lot of reading to understand the works of Logic.



Similarly, we cannot rule out the idea of an eternal universe that underwent a phase change.  The Big Bang was the beginning of the universe *as we know it*, because all evidence of any times before such a violent event would have been wiped out in the Big Bang.  That doesn't prove that the universe couldn't have existed before then - just that we don't and possibly can't have any evidence of what happened before a certain point.





What can you do or know, just that the Primal Cause does not exist?



And then there's the option that really blows your argument out of the water ...




> Bottom line, the universe was caused to exist by

> something else that preceded its existence.





How do you know that one if you don't know any thing else? If the universe was not caused to exist by something else that preceded it, who did it or what? If you don't know it, don't sing your song before the fat lady does hers. Not too good for credibility.



Unless, of course, the universe was uncaused.  Scientists have good reason to think that uncaused events occur - according to the theory of quantum mechanics, one of the most successful of scientific theories, uncaused events are not only possible, they are actually quite common on a quantum scale.  You are basing your argument on one aspect of science (the Big Bang theory) but ignoring another aspect of science (quantum mechanics).  That really doesn't work.  If you want to use science to back you up on the universe as we know it having a beginning, you also have to deal with science saying that uncaused events are possible.





Please, explain what is quantum mechanics and how it works. If you don't know, don't mention it anymore.



> According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect

> cannot extend back ad infinitum



That aspect of your argument is metaphysical, not scientific.  When scientists look at causality, they find that it doesn't work the way metaphysics claims it does.  For your argument to work, you have to accept the science you want to accept and reject the science you want to reject ... which makes it a rather incoherent argument.





There is nothing metaphysical in Logic. You are already looking for a way out with some respect.



Sorry, this isn't a new argument, and it just doesn't work.




I know, so why did you pick it up for a reply? You could have saved both our times.

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2015 - 3:44AM #10
Shibolet
Posts: 3,885

Sep 21, 2015 -- 11:10PM, williejhonlo wrote:


Sep 21, 2015 -- 8:35AM, Shibolet wrote:

A Jew Proves the Existence of the Primal Cause

The universe is composed of matter from the size of a galaxy down to the size of an atom. In 1922 a Catholic priest, George Lemaitre formulated the theory of the big bang. Never minding that he was a Theist, Scientists from all over the word, especially Cosmologists immediately adopted the theory of the big bang as the best the world had achieved so far as the beginning of the universe was concerned. Carl Sagan in his book "Cosmos" declared in page 285 that the big bang had given us the beginning of the universe.

Now, that we have the best to assert that the universe had a beginning, I would like to ask if the universe caused itself to exist or it was caused by something else that preceded it. Any attempt to reply that the universe always existed, will contradict the big bang and together with it, about 90% of all scientists throughout the world. 

if the reply is "yes" that the universe caused itself to exist, how could it have caused itself to exist if it already existed? If it already existed, there would be no need to cause itself to exist for it already existed. Bottom line, the universe was caused to exist by something else that preceded its existence. If the reply is "no" that the universe did not cause itself to exist, it is only obvious that it was caused to exist by something else not composed of matter aka the Primal Cause to explain the fact that It is not constituted of matter. 

According to the concept of Causality, cause & effect cannot extend back ad infinitum or the Primal Cause that caused the beginning of the universe would not be there to cause the beginning. Hence, "In the Beginning HaShem aka the Primal Cause caused the beginning of the universe." (Gen. 1:1)



A self-manifested universe would contradict the way material bodies change, which is towards dissolution.



A self-manifested universe would not exist; so it contradicts nothing.

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