- Paperback: 319 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans (June 29, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802863833
- ISBN-13: 978-0802863836
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 134 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy Paperback – June 29, 2010
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— Fordham University
"Skepticism about the possibility of proving the existence of God often relies on data from modern science. In this splendid new book Father Robert Spitzer explores the implications of the latest discoveries in big bang cosmology, string theory, quantum physics, and the ontology of time to craft a series of convincing philosophical arguments. To paraphrase a popular commercial, this is not your father's old 'natural theology' textbook — this is a gripping and compelling account of the best current arguments for theism."
Francis J. Beckwith
— Baylor University
"A most original and insightful case for the existence of God. . . Fr. Spitzer's new proofs pose a serious and compelling challenge to the unconscious hegemony of naturalism in the worlds of both philosophy and the sciences."
Stephen M. Barr
— University of Delaware
"Rare is the theologian who keeps abreast of the latest developments in fundamental physics, and even rarer the one who can discuss them with the theological and philosophical sophistication that Fr. Spitzer displays in this book. A challenging and original work."
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1. The Big Bang theory strongly implies that the universe was created by a non-material source 13.7 billion years ago. Atheistic physicists in a desperate attempt to avoid that conclusion have posited extremely unlikely and untestable theories such as there is an expanding "multiverse" that is spawning an infinite number of new universes. But the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem proves that any multiverse with any positive expansion factor would also have had a finite beginning and thus had to be created.
2. The universe is fine-tuned to be capable of life. There are at least 20 constants that determine the strength of the fundamental forces, speeds, energies, and so forth. Penrose showed that the odds of the universe being created with the calculated low entropy state were 10^ (10^123) - the exponent contains 10^123 zeroes!
3. If the ratio of the gravitational constant and the cosmological constant (the rate that the universe is expanding) was larger by 1 in 10^50, the universe would expand so rapidly galaxies and stars could not form, and if lower by 1 in 10^50, the universe would collapse. Other constants or ratios varying would cause similar disasters such as carbon atoms not forming, rendering carbon based life forms impossible, or nearly all hydrogen disappearing, preventing stars from shining.
4. To avoid the conclusion that the universe was designed to support life, atheist physicists have devised elaborate complicated models that allow the formation of more than 10^ (10^123) universe. But these models require elaborate, extremely unlikely fine tuning in an attempt to prove the universe is not fine-tuned!
5. Twentieth century science now shows that "Planck minimums" determine minimum time divisions (5 *10^ (-44) seconds), minimum spatial intervals (1.62 * 10^ (-33) centimeters) and a maximum speed (300,000 km/sec, the speed of light). And modern metaphysics shows that contradictions occur if reality does not have a minimum finite interval of time, a minimum finite interval of length, and a maximum velocity.
6. Atheist physicists continue to claim there might be a model that shows that time extends backwards to infinity to avoid the necessity of a creation. But famous 20th century mathematician, David Hilbert, proved that although there can be potential infinities such as terms of a mathematical series or potential future time, there cannot be any actual infinities in reality. And if time stretched backward to infinity, all those past times would have had to exist, so his proof can be used to show there cannot be infinite past time.
7. Spitzer shows that there cannot be only conditioned realities (realities that each depend on some other reality for its existence). Therefore, there must be at least one unconditioned reality, a reality that does not depend on any conditions for its existence. There can be only one such unconditioned reality. All other realities are conditioned and each ultimately depends on the unconditioned reality to satisfy its conditions. "And all men call this unconditioned reality God".
8. Lonergan shows that at least one and only one unrestricted (unconditioned) reality has unrestricted intelligibility and intelligence. "And all men call this unrestricted intelligence God".
9. Defining God as the unconditioned reality makes it impossible to disprove the existence of God.
10. Further metaphysical proofs show that God must be Being itself, Truth itself, Love itself, Beauty itself, and Goodness itself. And man has a natural desire for Being itself, Truth itself, Love itself, Beauty itself, and Goodness itself.
I want to emphasis that even though this book surveys these general areas it does so with scientific rigor and is not for the faint of heart. There is a very rigorous critique of inflationary cosmology and string theory. Some previous background in this area will be helpful to fully grasp this analysis. In the third section are philosophical proofs for the existence of God. Personally, I was not interested in this section. It is written in technical philosophical language so it is quite tedious to read unless you are a philosopher.
Overall this book did contribute to my knowledge in critiquing contemporary cosmological theories. Another good book in this area is “Big Bang Big God” which is less technical but still scientifically sound.
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retreat with him as presenter.