Michael Egnor on why evil shows that there IS a God
|March 4, 2018||Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mind, Naturalism, Religion|
Evil is not a problem, and in fact does not exist, if there is no God. And Goff errs in proposing that the universe is a Mind and that the Mind embodied in the universe is the ground of existence.
The universe is not a Mind. It is a manifestation of a Mind, the creation of a Mind, but it has no mind itself. A mind is an aspect of a soul, and what characterizes a mind is its ability to hold the form of another substance in it without becoming that substance. For example, my mind can grasp the idea of a tree or of justice, but I do not therefore become a tree or justice. The universe certainly has forms, but those are substantial forms, which make the universe and the component parts what they are. There is no reason to impute “mind” to what is clearly an assemblage of material substances.
Furthermore, the universe is contingent. Its essence — what it is — does not include the necessity that it is. Nowhere in a physical description of the universe or of its laws is there any necessity of its existence. When we describe a distant galaxy or the Big Bang, it is possible that we are engaging in fantasy or error. But the ground of existence must have necessary existence — its essence must be existence. What it is must be that it is. That is clearly not true of the physical universe. More.
See also: At Aeon: Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious, and somewhat like a human. Goff: “However, it now seems to me that reflection on the fine-tuning might give us grounds for thinking that the mental life of the Universe is just a little closer than I had previously thought to the mental life of a human being.” Indeed. If we keep going in this direction, we will run into Zeus. The only remaining mystery is why our Stone Age ancestors gave up on him after a while.
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And the naturalist’s biggest problem, to hear him tell it, is the persistence of stubborn doubt about naturalism.