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Christianity is not about doing good but making sense of life when sad, miserable sick or poor

A book of apologetics reminds me why that is the faith’s enduring strength

By on Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Atheist advertising campaign launched

I have just finished a stimulating book called Unapologetic by Francis Spufford. Published by Faber and Faber at £12.99, it relates the author’s decision to be “unapologetic” about his newfound Christian faith. Sub-titled “Why, despite, everything, Christianity can still make surprising emotional sense”, it is the story of Spufford’s journey into the Christian fold (he is an Anglican) after 20 years as an atheist.

In his conclusion he remarks that “virtuous and idealistic atheists are at work all over the place, but it is observable that a surprisingly large number of believers are to be found among those who volunteer to work with the dying, the demented, the addicted, the institutionalised and the very impaired and afflicted, where the best that can be done is to love for the sake of it, and to keep sorrow company.”

I agree with him. To love without hope of response, encouragement or progress of any kind, and often in the face of great suffering, is very hard. I don’t say that virtuous and idealistic atheists can’t or don’t do it, but it is difficult for them to make sense of lives that are seemingly “useless”; hence the atheists’ temptation to bring in euthanasia or “mercy-killing”, as the kindest thing to do under the circumstances – and the fight to keep it at bay by believers whose faith teaches them that there is more to life than this world can offer.

Martyrs also challenge those of no faith. Why lay down your life for something nebulous that can’t be proved, when you have the chance to live? The only answer to that, to paraphrase Julian of Norwich, is that “Love is the meaning”. I think Spufford would have understood the witness of the least-known of the seven new saints, canonised last week by Pope Benedict XVI. This is Fr Jaques Berthieu, a French Jesuit, martyred in Madagascar in 1896 aged 58. The RomeReports news agency relates that his kidnappers gave him a choice: to renounce his faith and live – or suffer immediate death. They tempted him by saying, “We will make you our counsellor. We will make you our head.”

The priest simply replied, “My son, I’m sorry; that I cannot do. I prefer to die.” He was killed there and then and his body was thrown into a river. Before being captured, Fr Berthieu had several opportunities to escape. But his faith and his love for the local people made him choose to stay with them.

This kind of heroic witness is very rare, even among Christians. As I said, to an outsider it can look absurd, illogical, a waste. But Christianity, as Spufford discovered, is not about being “holier than thou” or do-good social work or being a member of a particular political party. It is about making sense of life when you are “sad, miserable, sick, poor [and] lonely”. As Spufford points out, the bus advertisement that encouraged people to “enjoy” their life because “there is probably no God” is insufferably patronising to those whose circumstances, unlike the comfortable lives of the metropolitan elite, have given them a heavy cross to bear. His book, persuasively and beguilingly written, is a worthwhile and thought-provoking contribution to the on-going debate about belief or non-belief.

  • JabbaPapa

    Why are you waffling on about facts ?

    I mentioned “philosophical beliefs” — you’re just attempting to change the subject.

  • JabbaPapa

    I even agree that some atheists hate religious people, but I would point out that that hatred is pale in comparison to the hatred that some religious people feel towards those of a differing religion.

    Please — I’ve posted an example directly belying that statement.

  • TreenonPoet

     I was attempting to stick to the subject. You claimed that Richard Dawkins wants his own preferred doctrines to be forced on children. I could not think of a single doctrine that he wants to force on children so I asked you to give one example. You replied “Children should not be labelled by their parents’ religion“. I am saying that this is not a doctrine and it could not be ‘forced’ on children. It is not a doctrine because it is based on reasoning (not a mixture of reasoning and preferences). One of the facts on which the reasoning is based is that children are born without knowledge specific to one religion. Facts are not doctrines, and doctrines are not facts. Facts that one teaches to others are not doctrines. You do not seem to understand that (maybe because you have presented doctrine as fact for too long), yet you accuse me of not understanding what a doctrine is.

    I did not want to change the subject by arguing about what constitutes a philosophical belief.

  • JabbaPapa

    I did not want to change the subject by arguing about what constitutes a philosophical belief

    Right — so the subject is indoctrination, to which you respond by saying that –

    a) certain doctrines are not doctrines

    b) you refuse to discuss what constitutes a doctrine

    Simply because to do so would contradict your prejudice.

    This is NOT a fact : “Children should not be labelled by their parents’ religion“.

    Again : I’m really not *that* interested in yet another pointless “discussion” with somebody who quite manifestly does not fully understand what a doctrine actually is…

    As evidenced by the following incoherent statement :

    You do not seem to understand that (maybe because you have presented doctrine as fact for too long)

    Somehow you have managed to understand the exact contrary of what I’ve said — which is indicative of a gross analytical failure on your part.

  • Peter

    MaybeGod did not do it since there could be an underlying action,but the eventually the series will end and an action will have had to be originated. without 

  • Peter

    TreenonPoet, you said:

    “If you want an explanation of why particle pairs pop in and out of existence, saying that God did it does not advance our understanding at all.”

    First I never did assert that God undertook that particular action, and such an action may indeed by the product of underlying processes as yet undiscovered.

    However, the principle remains that the universe is not infinitely small and therefore eventually there must be an action which does not rely on underlying processes, or in other words, does not depend on actions on a smaller scale.

    Such an action cannot be said to simply happen spontaneously due to the presence of energy or gravity, because then energy or gravity become the underlying processes which require investigation.

    The original action must take place without the presence of anything, otherwise it is not original.  This is an unavoidable issue of principle, the only logical conclusion in a universe which is not infinitely small.

    Therefore whatever originates such an action cannot be defined as “anything” in the space and time sense of the word familiar to our universe.  Rather  it is an “otherness” whose existence we can establish through reason, but whose nature we cannot define.
     

    This “otherness”, this creator which continually creates our universe by originating actions, we call God, and the nature of God can only be found only in Revelation.

  • JabbaPapa

    Freedom being, of course, a doctrine.

  • TreenonPoet

     Have you been reading too much Aquinas? If you say that we call the creator God, that only gives a name to what you have just described. It does not establish any connection to all the other concepts that have sadly been given the same name, such as the God that always answers prayers, or the God who is not bound by mere human logic and can interpret ‘always’ to mean ‘never’.

    But there is no need for such a concept. When you write that energy must be an underlying process, I presume you refer to the process that transforms, propagates, or stores that energy. Whatever that underlying process is, why should there necessarily be any process that underlies that underlying process. Or if such a process is discovered, why should there necessarily be a process at an even lower level? That higher level processes had underlying processes does not infer that every process must.

    Naming your ultimate process ‘God’ reveals your agendum. What you are really doing is applying religious pseudo-logic in which you work backwards from your conclusion (that God exists) trying to make the premises fit and discarding inconvenient arguments (such as those I have presented).

  • TreenonPoet

     I don’t understand most of your post. I did understand that you don’t think “Children should not be labelled by their parents’ religion” is a fact. I would dispute that, but I will lazily fall back on my point that even if (as you claim) it is a doctrine, it is not one that can be forced on children.

    To respond to your point that freedom is a doctrine (as the nesting level was too deep for me to reply the the post in which you made it) I would ask how freedom can be forced on children.

  • Oconnord

    ” I do not pretend to understand”…. I wish I said that first! It’s the most sensible point of view to have, I think. A lot of trouble is caused by those people who claim to understand things they don’t,(or can’t).
    I think the entirety of existence is vast, but knowledge will always be limited. Knowledge cannot exist without something to contain it. So the vessel would have to be understood, leading to further knowledge….etc..etc.. So of course you are into a paradox. 

    That’s as close as I’ll get to philosophy… and I expect to get spanked for even trying it!

  • Oconnord

    Jabba, apologies, but I have a slow connection, due to living on a mountain! 

    Now I also have to load comments five at a time. It is very difficult to keep track of the threads and replies. It is just too slow and laborious. I often enjoyed reading discussions that I hadn’t commented on, but it looks like it will be difficult for me to do so in the future.

    Perhaps you’ll think it a impossibility….. but I might be even more ill-informed in the future! 

  • Oconnord

    Oops I deleted a bit in the middle on that. It said that I don’t try to understand things I can’t.

    Which is why I then gave that example.

  • JabbaPapa

    Actually NO, you’re the one who is attempting to work backwards from your conclusion, in your very incoherent attempts to try and have Theology defined by one particular set of theories in the physical Sciences, instead of according to its own methodologies and those of Philosophy.

  • JabbaPapa

    I don’t understand most of your post

    It’s nice of you to admit the truth, for once.

    you don’t think “Children should not be labelled by their parents’
    religion” is a fact. I would dispute that,

    People commonly assume various moral axioms of their belief system or of their cultural upbringing to be factual in nature, but usually they are not.

    People similarly often fail to realise that the most commonly accepted beliefs of a society are doctrines or metaphors, rather than facts.

    Scientific and forensic methodology deal in facts — morality deals in beliefs and doctrines.

    but I will lazily fall back
    on my point that even if (as you claim) it is a doctrine, it is not one
    that can be forced on children.

    Any and all doctrine can be forced on children, and our basic and most commonly shared moral values are routinely provided to them in that fashion — such as the doctrines that no race nor ethnicity is superior to another, that material goods can be obtained in exchange for monies and vice-versa, that slavery is wrongful and evil, and so on and so forth.

    Those acting contrary to these doctrines, by acts of racism, theft, or slavery are rejected, reviled, and punished.

  • JabbaPapa

    This sort of discussion is philosophical by nature.

    Which is the central failure of Dawkins’ position, that he is so willfully dismissive of that fact…

  • Peter

    “Whatever that underlying process is, why should there necessarily be any process that underlies that underlying process. Or if such a process is discovered, why should there necessarily be a process at an even lower level? That higher level processes had underlying processes does not infer that every process must.”

    You have no evidence to conclude that any process can exist without requiring an underlying process.

    I, on the other hand, have the whole of nature as evidence that natural processes require underlying processes to actualise them.

    You are making assertions without evidence.

  • teigitur

    Early start, or late to bed Damo?? lol
     As for philosophy, well I recon if one delves too deep one could drive oneself and everyone else around, mad.

  • TreenonPoet

     I agree that I have no evidence to conclude that any process can exist without requiring an underlying process (whether or not such evidence exists). I do have evidence of the conservation of energy, which tends to oppose your God hypothesis.

    You cannot see the ‘whole of nature’. You see nature at the macroscopic levels that the senses allow and at the microscopic levels that technology has so far allowed, but you cannot see nature at the very levels that we are discussing. All you are doing is extrapolating into the unknown and applying the false principle of the god of the gaps – that if you don’t know, then you can claim that God did it and nobody can (presently) prove you wrong.

  • TreenonPoet

     If children were not taught to think irrationally, and especially if they were taught to think rationally, as I’m sure Richard Dawkins would like, then they would be better able to question what they were told. If a teacher tells a pupil that children should not be labelled by their parents’ religion, the pupil might ask whether a child inherits a particular religion from its parents (i.e. genetically), to which the truthful answer is no. The pupil might ask a number of questions, and if honest answers are provided, the child is not being ‘forced’ to believe the conclusion other than by the force of reason.

    Catholic schools are encouraged to infuse all lessons with religion, to get children to believe in God (or if parents have instilled this, to reinforce it), to get children to worship this God every day, etc. And when a pupil asks an awkward question, such as why God does not answer all prayers, the pupil is either fobbed off with obfuscation, or is the victim of reproval. That is the sort of force which Dawkins condemns, and nowhere has he advocated using similar techniques to instil what you refer to as his preferred doctrines. Your attempt to paint Dawkins as an indoctrinator is utterly despicable.

  • JabbaPapa

    I do have evidence of the conservation of energy, which tends to oppose your God hypothesis

    ??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!

    What is that statement even supposed to *mean* ????

    All you are doing is extrapolating into the unknown

    Actually, you’re the one doing that — just saying …

  • JabbaPapa

    If children were not taught to think irrationally, and especially if they were taught to think rationally

    If pigs had wings, bacon would be a kind of poultry …

    FYI, “to think irrationally” is an oxymoron.

    as I’m sure Richard Dawkins would like

    Your intellectual slavery to this man is depressing.

    then they would be better able to question what they were told. If a
    teacher tells a pupil that children should not be labelled by their
    parents’ religion, the pupil might ask whether a child inherits a
    particular religion from its parents (i.e. genetically), to which the
    truthful answer is no. The pupil might ask a number of questions, and if
    honest answers are provided, the child is not being ‘forced’ to believe
    the conclusion other than by the force of reason

    Childhood trauma ? Crappy teachers in your comprehensive ? Mentally abusive parents ?

    Dunno about you, but I was taught to start questioning things from the age of 3 onwards.

    And when a pupil asks an awkward question, such as why God does not
    answer all prayers, the pupil is either fobbed off with obfuscation, or
    is the victim of reproval.

    Only if that pupil has some really crappy teachers, bad at their jobs.

    Your attempt to paint Dawkins as an indoctrinator is utterly despicable

    oooooooh sorry for insulting the Most Holy Atheist !!!

  • TreenonPoet

     I mentioned Dawkins because this branch of the thread was started by Bob Hayes who criticised Dawkins, and you added further criticisms. I do not like to see people treated unjustly. Dawkins is certainly treated unjustly by many religious people, particularly since the publication of The God Delusion. Your attempt to portray him as the leader of a cult is not addressing his arguments at all and tries to pretend that the factual points that he makes are mere opinions.

  • TreenonPoet

    I raised the objection of conservation of energy earlier in the thread. A hypothetical prime mover would be putting energy into a system – energy that appeared to come from nowhere.

    I am not extrapolating because I am prepared to accept that what might be expected at deeper levels of detail based on extrapolation might not be the case, even though it was the case for each higher level of detail.

  • Peter

    ” I do have evidence of the conservation of energy, which tends to oppose your God hypothesis.”

    Nobody asserted that the origination of actions would involve the insertion of energy into the universe from outside.

    Remember what I said earlier, nothing which originates actions can be defined as anything within the space and time of the universe.  

    Energy is a phenomenon which exists within the space-time of the universe and therefore cannot be instrumental in the origination of actions. 

    Rather, energy, like everything else in the universe, is a product of actions which have been originated and are being originated at every moment in every location, otherwise the universe and everything in it, including energy, would cease to exist.

    Each original action, therefore, cannot involve phenomena such as energy which exist within space-time, otherwise the actions themselves would not be original actions.

    The fundamental concept of a universe which is not infinitely small is that the original actions cannot include as part of their operation that which they produce as a consequence of that operation.

    To assert otherwise is to misunderstand that crucial point.

  • TreenonPoet

     

    Energy is a phenomenon which exists within the space-time of the universe and therefore cannot be instrumental in the origination of actions.

    My point is that the original action would manifest itself at a higher level as new energy.

  • Peter

    The existence of energy at every single moment and at every single point in the universe depends upon a series of simultaneous actions at progressively lower scales, so far undiscovered, culminating, because the universe is not infinitely small, in an original action which does not depend on an action at a smaller scale.

    Whether the energy is new or old, growing or constant, positive or negative, zero or non-zero, is irrelevant to this understanding.

    What is crucial is that without such original actions being constantly undertaken, the energy and therefore the mass of the universe would not continue to exist.

    The nature of the original actions is a mystery to us.  They cannot be anything pertaining to our space-time otherwise they would not be original.  

    We can only reason that they exist because they are necessary, given that the universe is not infinitely small.

  • TreenonPoet

     

    Whether the energy is new or old, growing or constant, positive or negative, zero or non-zero, is irrelevant to this understanding.

    It is totally relevant because your model must be consistent with higher level observations or it fails. It is observed that energy is conserved. Yet again you seem to be applying the religious method by ignoring inconvenient facts.

  • Peter

    The conservation of energy at every moment in time and at every point in the universe is itself a process which relies on underlying actions, as yet undiscovered, which occur simultaneously on progressively smaller scales.

    However, because the universe is not infinitely small, there must be an action which does not rely on an action at a smaller scale.

    Without such an action being originated, the conservation of energy will cease to exist or, in other words, energy will cease to be conserved.

    Your observation that energy is conserved depends on actions being originated outside our space-time, otherwise such actions would not be original.

    And original actions are an inevitable necessity in a universe which is not infinitely small.

  • TreenonPoet

     

    Your observation that energy is conserved depends on actions being originated outside our space-time, otherwise such actions would not be original.

    No it doesn’t. I have already described an alternative hypothesis that does not rely on actions being originated outside our space-time. My hypothesis is consistent with the conservation of energy; yours isn’t.

  • Peter

    Yours may be a hypothesis; mine is not.

    My conclusion is the product of sheer reason which you seem to deny.

    A universe which is not infinitiely small must have a smallest possible scale upon which the rest of the universe is built on progressively larger scales.

    That scale of actions cannot depend on a smaller scale within the universe and therefore must by default originate without.

    Your hypothesis that original actions at the smallest scale can take place naturally, without the need for actions on a smaller scale, flies in the face of reason.

    It is just an obstinate attempt by atheists to deny a logical and rational conclusion.

    The Dawkins Foundation for Reason is like the Orwellian Ministry of Truth.  Both practise the exact opposite.

  • Peter

    “A hypothetical prime mover would be putting energy into a system – energy that appeared to come from nowhere.”

    No one is saying that the origination of actions is putting energy into the universe.  You are making that up for the sake of your argument.

    The origination of actions allows the energy which already exists within the universe, – energy which you observe to be conserved –  to continue to exist, just as it allows everything else in the universe to continue to exist.

  • TreenonPoet

    You asserted that every action taking place in the universe is due to an original action at a fundamental level (which you claim to be initiated outside space/time). Now you suggest that you were not talking about the initiation of actions at all, but about allowing actions. I am not making this up, as can be seen by anyone who bothers to read your time-wasting comments. Despite the objections to your earlier hypothesis, I see that you have since stated it as fact on another thread. I am not interested in what the reasoning is behind your new hypothesis as you do not seem to understand what ‘reason’ means.

  • TreenonPoet

     

    It is just an obstinate attempt by atheists to deny a logical and rational conclusion.

    The birth of a conspiracy theory? I have not been colluding with anyone else in my replies to you, yet you blame atheists (plural). Is that another of your conclusions arrived at through pure reason?

  • JabbaPapa

    My point is that the original action would manifest itself at a higher level as new energy.

    This statement either defies the definition of “energy” in Physics — or you’re using “higher level” in its more proper philosophical meaning of referring to consequence rather than cause, in which case you’re simply agreeing with Peter’s analysis.

  • JabbaPapa

    Your hypothesis *assumes* that energy and causality are already in existence — it does not address the problem of the very existence of causality in the first place, rather than its non-existence.

    Causality must necessarily have a non-causal origin.

  • JabbaPapa

    No one is saying that the origination of actions is putting energy into
    the universe.  You are making that up for the sake of your argument.

    Bingo — I’ll let this post by Peter stand as a response, as I am in agreement with its fundamental statements.

  • Peter

    “Now you suggest that you were not talking about the initiation of actions at all, but about allowing actions. ”

    I think you have misread my comment.

    I stated that the origination of actions allows for the existence of actions (or processes) further up the scale, including the capacity for energy and its conservation which you observe.

    If such actions were not originated at every moment and at every point, you would no longer observe any process such as the conservation of energy, because both it and you, and everything else in the universe, would cease to exist.

    Again, I stress this is not a hypothesis, but the result of rigorous reasoning which you seem to deny.

  • JabbaPapa

    You are confusing First Causes with Second Causes, and the possibility of an underlying Zero Cause.

    You cannot see beyond an “action” being a phenomenon inside the Universe, except that any such action inside reality is a Second Cause at most.

    The existence of energy is a First Cause, phenomena produced by that energy are at most Second Causes, but more likely to be ordinary phenomena in observable reality as ordered within causality.

    These upper levels of reality do not, indeed cannot, constitute the origin of energy nor causality themselves.

  • JabbaPapa

    Dawkins continually pretends that his own personal opinions, that is to say the doctrines that he believes in and tries to indoctrinate others into believing, might be “factual” in nature.

    Nope.

  • TreenonPoet

     I am using the terms higher level and lower level in the sense that Peter originally implicitly defined. The incompatibility of Peter’s first hypothesis (which he claims as fact) with current physics is what I am trying to demonstrate.

  • TreenonPoet

     Not long after The God Delusion was published, the McGraths’ book The Dawkins Delusion was published. It claimed to be a refutation of The God Delusion, but did not come up with a single valid argument against Dawkins’ arguments. The only valid criticism, as I remember, was that Dawkins had not defined religion. (I think this was valid because the word is commonly understood in different senses and commonly misunderstood. I note that the McGraths did not define it in their book either, so they obviously did not consider it to be a major criticism, but I think that if one does not assume the definition that Dawkins intended, one could think there was something wrong with his argument.) How could the McGraths be so unsuccessful if Dawkins continually got his facts wrong?

  • TreenonPoet

     You stated that the origination of actions allows the energy which already exists within the universe to continue to exist, and now you confirm that. Allowing something is different to initiating something (which is what your former hypothesis referred to, as in ”Something must be responsible for originating such an action”). Since you claim your evidence to be nature, can you think of a single example in nature where something within a system is initiated by something outside the system that does not involve either an increase in the energy within the system or the emission of energy from the system?

  • JabbaPapa

    In fact, the concept of “higher level” was introduced by yourself — I cannot see that it forms any part of Peter’s proposals.

    He was talking about “underlying processes”, which implies a lower level.

    Instead of addressing his points, you’re attempting a paradigm shift instead.

  • JabbaPapa

    TreenonPoet : Not long after The God Delusion was published, the McGraths’ book The
    Dawkins Delusion was published. It claimed to be a refutation of The God Delusion, but did not come up with a single valid argument against Dawkins’ arguments. The only valid criticism, as I remember, was that Dawkins had not defined religion. (I think this was valid because the word is commonly understood in different senses and commonly misunderstood. I note that the McGraths did not define it in their book either, so they obviously did not consider it to be a major criticism, but I think that if one does not assume the definition that Dawkins intended, one could think there was something wrong with his argument.)

    How could the McGraths be so unsuccessful if Dawkins continually got his facts wrong?

    Because it was badly conceived and badly written, maybe ?

    I dunno — I’ve not read the thing. Don’t really need to, some of Dawkins’ claims are just such OBVIOUS howlers !!!

    Person A providing some suggestions that person B attacks with whichever degree of incompetence does not validate those suggestions — debating society rules do not pertain in the real world of factuality.

    Besides — I would read “It … did not come up with a single valid argument against
    Dawkins’ arguments” as meaning : “I, TreenonPoet, did not personally accept any of its arguments against Dawkins’ book” …

  • Peter

    You are confused.

    I repeat.

    At the lowest possible scale actions are originated, but not within space-time.

    If they took place in space-time, they would not be original actions because space-time would already exist when they took place.Consequently by default they must take place outside of spacet-time.

    These original actions are those on which the actions within space-time at higher scales depend.  

    Consequently these original actions are responsible for, or permit, all actions and processes within space-time at higher scales.

    Is such original actions were not to take place, all actions in space-time would cease, inasmuch as they would be unable to continue.

    These original actions cannot occur naturally because they have no actions on smaller scales to actualise them.

    Nor can they come into existence by magic like Harry Potter, as some atheists would like to believe.

    Reason tell us that these actions must be originated by something which exists outside of space-time, because otherwise they would not exist, and if they do not exist, our space-time would not exist.

    Reason also tells us that whatever originates these actions must have a vested interest in keeping our space-time and us in existence, because the moment such actions cease to be originated, we and our space-time cease to exist.

    The ongoing origination of actions is effectively a continuous creation of our universe, and whatever is doing the originating is acting as a continuous creator.

    Without a creator continuously creating our universe by originating actions at the lowest possible scale, our universe and everything in it, including ourselves, would cease to exist.

    That is why we are 
    thankful to a creator for keeping us in existence at every single moment of time.

  • Peter

    Regarding your question about energy, the total energy of the universe, our space-time, is zero.

    This means that there was never any energy put into into the universe in the first place.

    Your concerns about energy coming into the universe from original actions are therefore groundless.

  • TreenonPoet

     I am not concerned about energy coming into the universe because I agree that there is no energy coming in. That is my point. Your original actions idea would violate this.

  • TreenonPoet

     So you think that I am a liar, you think that Dawkins is a liar, and you suspect that the McGraths are incompetent. There does not seem much point in my going any further on this branch of the thread.

    A good example of incompetence is where somebody thinks that the word ‘underlying’ implies the concept of a lower level, but does not simultaneously imply the concept of any levels higher than the lower level. You might like to remove the relevant comment from elsewhere in the thread.

  • Peter

    TreenonPoet you said ” I am not concerned about energy coming into the universe because I agree that there is no energy coming in. That is my point. Your original actions idea would violate this.”

    On the contrary, the fact that the total energy of the universe is zero, is proof that actions which are originated outside the space-time of the universe do not bring energy into the universe.

    The fact that no energy is comes into the universe from outside does not prove that such original actions do not take place.  

    This is because the universe is not infinitely small and, since it exists and continues to do so, it requires that actions which take place at the smallest extreme of the universe be originated beyond that extreme.

    These actions cannot be originated naturally from within the space-time of the universe because there exists no smaller scale of actions to actualise them.

    Nor can these original actions simply magic themselves into existence.

    Instead there must be an originator of these actions which must by necessity exist outside of the space-time of our universe.

  • Laurence

    Neo-atheism is not atheism. Merely it is a hatred of religion, expressed cowardly as a hatred of Catholicism.