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June 4, 2022 12:01 am
Many people who deny the existence of God conclude that the universe must have somehow brought about its own existence. Today, R.C. Sproul demonstrates the absurdity of self-creation.
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Information is needed in almost every day, all within years of founding the Corinthian congregation needs to see them reformed The Sopranos. The church is made reforming regularly in the history of the church. Sometimes that reform is more the nature of a revitalization, but I think people have, especially in America, been to content to be satisfied with entertainment and with shallowness and we need a seriousness about God about Christ and about his word and I think, to be drawn again to a passionate interest in the word is going to take a major reformation of the church today. My hope is that this series will serve the church by causing people to reflect on what the church ought to be.
According to the word of God, the necessity of reforming the church teaching series with W. Robert Godfrey visit Lincoln here.org/teaching series to learn more. Did the universe just pop in the being one day that all happened by chance will explore that today on Renewing Your Mind.
If you attended public school Lord attending public school like no more than likely were taught early on that the answer to that question is yes, that everything we see around us sky the oceans the flowers and trees and animals, even you and me is the result of chance that notion is so firmly planted in the modern mind that it can be difficult to convince people of the reality of Genesis 11 that God created the universe out of nothing. But as we join Dr. I see school today. Here's a question to consider which explanation requires more faith to continue now with our study of defending the faith and we've been looking at the possible alternatives to account for reality as we encounter it. You will recall, we listed the four principal arguments to account for the universe as we know it first from being allusion. The second one being self creation. The third was self existence for was creation by something that is self existent. Ultimately though we noticed again that three and four.
Both have the idea of self existent being in their premise will get to that later. But the first two are two that we have to deal with before we come to three and four and we've already eliminated that one.
Making use of course of the Cartesian manner of reasoning to the knowledge of the self and now we come in our study to the second one which is not the only alternatives that atheists offer to full bodied theism, but certainly the most frequent alternative proffered by opponents of theism.
Now it's rare indeed that somebody will come right out and say that the universe is self created, but I'm using this as a generic principal under which we subsume several different types of self creation. Even though people won't say that that's what they mean. The concept may fairly be defined as an idea of self creation. Let me illustrate that in a few way's, before I look at variations on this theme may take a moment first to look at it as I've written it. The idea of self creation is a concept that we say in philosophy is analytically false. That is, it is false by definition. Then I remind you that at the beginning.
We looked at those principles of knowledge, the principles of epistemology that were crucial for understanding the truths of any sort and I said principles that we ought never to negotiate as see us because those who reject theism along the line will reject one or more of those principles of knowledge such as the law of non-contradiction. The law of causality and so on that when we look at the idea of self creation.
It's manifestly absurd because for something to create itself to be in effect. That is its own costs to create itself.
It would have to exist before it existed where to put it another way to create itself would have to be before it wipes artist stated 1 More Way that would mean that something would have to be and not be at the same time and the same relationship which clearly violates the law of non-contradiction and puts this idea into the level of pure irrationality and absurdity again for something to create itself. It would have to antedate itself. It have to be before it was his everybody understand her height so the idea of self creation is biological analysis a false premise. Now let me just before we continue make a comparison and contrast between this concept here of self creation and the concept here and number three of self existence.
To say that something is self existent is to say, it is eternal and it has the power of being within itself.
That is its unknown created now rationally terms of logic. There is nothing absurd or irrational contained in the idea of self existence or eternal existence that is at least as we will see later in more detail.
A rational possibility because it violates no law of reason.
It violates no law of logic to speak of somethings being self exist, but to speak of its being self-created on the other hand does violate rationality and the laws of logic because it violates the law of non-contradiction is not just set, so I'm suggesting that nothing can be self-created. I think I may have already use illustrations to children that were arguing about the origin of things and one of the little boy said the other word of the trees come from in the voice of God made the trees awarded the grass come from God made the grass or did you come from God made me will then word of God come from, and the profound dancing little boy gives is that God made himself.
That may sound fun, but it is not sound is even God could not make himself that even God would have to be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship and manifestly even be does not have that ability to be in my faith at the same time the same relationship. Hamlin understood the options to be or not to be avid both ways at the same time and in the same relationship while I get less luck than at how different theories of self creation have been articulated in the past.
One of the most widespread attempts to use the concept of self creation as a substitute for the notion of creation of the universe by a self existent eternal being took place during the Enlightenment where even though the Enlightenment movement was not monolithic in its premises. Some of the Enlightenment thinkers were theists. Some were not. But in the French encyclopedia's movement. People like Devereaux, for example, bulbar argued vociferously against the existence of God and for them. The chief principal of Alfaro more of a Enlightenment that swept through Europe was the idea that now with the advent of modern science. Of the 18 century, the God hypothesis was deemed no longer necessary in order to explain or to account for or to provide a sufficient cause for the universe and the encyclopedias. For example, argued that in place of the God hypothesis, which former generations believed was a rational necessity. A logical necessity to account for reality as we encounter it. Now that can be released with impunity because now we know the difference. Encyclopedias that material things in the universe come into being through what is called spontaneous generation, spontaneous generation. The spontaneous generation means that things simply begin on their suddenly without any developmental. But they come into being. And the idea came to class where people would gladly would seek mud puddles that it happened overnight in the street that looked down in the mud puddles that see tiny little fish eggs are tadpoles and they say look what's happened here in this mud puddle life is just coming spontaneously out of the mud puddle not analyzing what was going on with birds carrying things and dropping them in the mud and so one that the causes for the origin of the tadpoles were not visible to the naked eye, and so there was a period of time in history where people believed that X knee hello things came on the wrong that is the fundamental law of science was ignored. X knee hello Lee will fit. Let me write that down X knee hello Lee Hill fit out of nothing. Nothing comes in. The reason why you have this axiomatic premise in science that out of nothing, nothing comes is because the scientist understands that out of nothing. Nothing can come it doesn't come because it cannot come. Nothing doesn't produce something because nothing can produce something and will look at that again more fully in a little while but this principle was challenged in the Enlightenment with this concept of spontaneous generation things just pop into existence on their own now. I remember as a young person going to high school, listening to our science professors be little these former principles of spontaneous generation and telling us that nobody believed in spontaneous generation anymore. I don't think they were quite accurate in their assessment of what people were saying because there are still widespread pockets of belief in some form of spontaneous generation. But what our science professors were trying to teach us in school was that this idea that grew in the prominence in the 18 century for things just coming into existence by themselves has been bonked and should have been debunked. The minute it was uttered because it involved a logical impossibility from the outset, but I remember to my astonishment a few years ago reading an essay written by a Nobel prize-winning scientist from the West Coast on this concept of spontaneous generation and he said we have come to the place now in modern science, where we can no longer affirm the concept of spontaneous generation and he went on to say that reality cannot be generated by itself spontaneously and we have to replace that concept of spontaneous generation with a more refined and sophisticated scientific idea, which he defined as, and I kid you not.
Gradual, spontaneous generation, I read that a night. I'm why I laugh blessed when this man holds his Nobel Prize in size is a very learned man Aaron is talking nonsense like this. And sometimes the more learned you are, the easier it is for you to get away with lots and statements gradual spontaneous generation. In other words, you can't get something out of nothing quick to it.
It takes time.
You have to wait for it in the evolutionary process for this nothing to yield something that might take eons and eons. But if you have enough patients. Sooner or later something can create itself again.
At this point, here's where the philosopher and the scientists, but heads because at this point, the scientist is left half of the scientific method. Back in the laboratory someplace when he parked his car in the parking lot. It took half of the scientific method. The empirical half the inductive half with somebody left the deductive side back in the car in the trunk.
They need to go back and open up the trunk and look at the statements that butcher rationality gradual, spontaneous generation of somebody says to me nobody really believes in self creation, gradual, spontaneous generation or two spontaneous generation brings to mind the old axiom arose by any other name still arose. If you analyze these concepts of spontaneous generation what you find is a sophisticated attempt to articulate this idea of self creation. When the humble spacecraft was launched as an important scientific enterprise in the unit by the United States America. There was a radio broadcast that day in which a very prominent and famous astrophysicists was quoted as talking about the significance of now increasing our understanding about her space and changing horizons by virtue of this new technology.
And he went on to explain how the beginnings of the universe took place in his judgment, 15 to 18 billion years ago, said when the universe exploded into being.
Here's a case where this astrophysicists used language that was heavily conditioned by philosophy word being is a word that is filled with philosophical content and he talked about the origin of the universe. He put a timeframe on it.
15 to 18 billion years ago the universe exploded. Now he didn't say the universe exploded into its present form which would be one thing. It's one thing to say that prior to 15 to 18 billion years ago the universe was in one form, it would have existed. It was real there was substance there.
It had being and then it changed dramatically with the Big Bang herself thing to 18 billion years ago. That's one thing but this physicist use the word exploded into being.
My father curious what you mean exploded into being. What was it before the explosion was it the opposite of being the antithesis of banquets and philosophical categories is nonbeing which is a synonym for nothing. So now we have what it takes is not just time but it takes some enormous explosion for something to come out of nothing and if you go back far enough in time.
18 billion years. Perhaps you can find this great explosion where reality comes into being from non-reality that ladies and gentlemen is philosophical nonsense that is sheer irrationality, and I suspect that if I had the opportunity to interview the physicist who made that statement he would be quick. I'm convinced he would be. I hope he would be quick to say I misspoke. I meant to say that there was a present or previous state of being that changed at the time of the great explosion, but I don't mean to suggest that the explosion came from nothing into something. I hope and trust that that's what the physicist would say if we had the opportunity to interview him and that he just like any other scholars capable of of same things on the spur of the moment without thinking them through. But you pay attention to the verbiage of people who are as prominent as this particular Astro physicist what we see spontaneous generation, gradual, spontaneous generation universes exploding into being, but far and away the most frequent form of self creation that we meet in the modern culture is the idea of creation by chance, namely that the universe comes into being through some power attributed to chance. Usually, the formula goes space plus time plus chance I don't have time in today's lecture to explore that particular aspect of self creation and because it is used so widely and so frequently. I want to address it in a separate lecture. I've written a whole book on it entitled, not a chance and see how this relates particularly to modern concepts of quantum mechanics and physics and so on which series tended to teach us that at the subatomic level. Actually, we have scientific evidence of things coming into being out of nothing based upon the Heisenberg indeterminacy principal and some other theories set forth by Niels Bohr and others as it will look at that more closely in our next lecture, but just to recapitulate again today. What were doing is receiving for possibilities to explain the presence of anything. Remember, the oldest question in philosophy and in science is the question why is there something rather than nothing and I tried to labor the point to you that I want you to think about if there ever was a time when there was nothing absolute nothingness know God no matter know nothing what could there possibly be now if there was a time when there was absolutely nothing. The only way you could go to try to explain the presence of something would be through some kind self. Something coming out of nothing by itself, which is a task I wouldn't sign from God to gremlins or scientists amino acid anything to create itself as the self creation theories are built on a faulty foundation space plus time plus chance to not equal anything but alone. Everything you're listening to the Saturday edition of Renewing Your Mind reach week we continue Dr. RC Sproul series on classical apologetics is called defending your faith were making the complete series available to you. 32 messages at all.
When you give a donation of any amount of regular ministries. We will be glad to send you the 11 DVD set. You can reach us by phone to make a requested 800-435-4343. You can also find us online at Renewing Your Mind.war. Hebrews 11 three says, by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. The Bible teaches that God created out of nothing, which means God created the universe completely. Not out of a pre-existing substance course that flies in the face of modern thought, doesn't it. But we can have confidence that God's word is not why you and your family can continue your study of this important topic.
When you request defending your faith will send you all 32 messages when you call us today with a donation of any amount at 800-435-4343 if you prefer you can give your gift firstname.lastname@example.org our Saturday series on apologetics is a great way for you to learn more about a biblical worldview and how to engage with the culture. Later ministries we also emphasize the importance of learning about theology, biblical studies, Christian living, and church history to find a variety of teaching on these topics. When you listen to ref that are 24 hour Internet radio streaming service you can listen for free at any email@example.com more when you download the free ref net app next Saturday. Dr. Strohl continues his critique of the idea of self creation and you will continue to look at this question, could the universe really have been created by chance, the way Dr. Spruill answers that question may surprise you so I hope you'll join us next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind