On several blogs that I frequent there are debates and arguments amongst people who normally agree, with debates centering on Intelligent Design and the existence of God. One of the better reasons that agnostics and atheists point to is that the origin and existence of God cannot be explained.
That misses a philosophical point of great significance. Why does anything exist? I am not talking about teleological purpose but the why as in the origins of existence. Existence itself can be analyzed but in the end, it cannot be explained.
We know that everything is made up of atoms which in turn are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, which in turn come from various quark configurations, or at least so I understand. It has been a few years since I looked at anything on sub-atomic particles. However, about 20 years ago, I was playing AD&D with a group that were mostly graduate students, including 4 or 5 Christians, 2 Atheists and 2 Neo-Pagans. (We got along well enough to play the game.) I remember a conversation between a couple who doing graduate work in Physics at MSU and they discussed a hypothesis that they were working on where quarks were simply 4 dimensional folds of 3 dimensional space. (I do not know if this is still a working hypothesis or if it's been discredited, but it really doesn't matter for what I am saying.) If this is the way it is, that means everything is 4-D waves interacting with 3-D space, and if you think about it, that could explain both charge and mass. If this is the truth, still much is unexplained such as how does space fold on itself, why does it, and whatever forces it to do so must be outside of our entire sphere of reference. If it is not the way it works, the final question still stands.
In truth, the only thing we can be certain of is our own existence (I think therefore I am
), but to philosophically center on that would put us in the absurd position of that guy in the second book of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
series who believed that he was the only thing that existed and only interacted with others because he felt like it and it was better than sitting around being lonely. There is a point at which we need to trust our senses and our senses tell us that existence is real.
But existence itself cannot be explained. The universe was born of a big bang, but what was the so-called Cosmic Egg that existed before the big bang? Or did nothingness itself explode. We have to go to a point where something came into being out of nothing or we have keep going back forever and ever. Either path will lead to a point where reality itself as we understand it will break down. We intuitively pass over that point in a leap of faith that leads some to Atheism and others to God, but it is a leap of faith for both.
When we say that atoms are made of certain elementary particles which are constructed of quarks, we may be more factually accurate than the ancients but we in the end come to the same spot.
The earth sits on the back of giant elephants
Who stand on the shell of a great turtle
Who swims in a great sea
but what holds the sea, no one knows.
Science too will reach the point where reality passes beyond what we can see and analyze. The point where everything either goes on forever, or is made of nothing.