Reason, Free Will, and the Big Bang

I have recently listened to Kontroversen in der Philosophie by Prof Hoenen:

http://www.podcasts.uni-freiburg.de/podcast_content?id_content=93

One of the controversies there was the question whether the Universe if eternal or not. Recently I have employed the logic from the lectures on the everything list

http://groups.google.com/group/t/thread/ba5f90b7e68bccf

when there was a comment about determinism. I hope that the dialog below shows that philosophy could be sometimes useful.

A. “we also know that everything, absolutely positively everything, happens for a reason OR it does not happen for a reason.”

B. “What about Big Bang? It has also happened for a reason?”

A. “I have no idea, but I do know it happened for a reason or it did not happen for a reason.”

B. “Well, then you have an infinite progression, as then you have to find a reason for that reason and so on.”

C. “The idea of the Big Bang is that the visible universe evolved to its present state from a state of extreme density and temperature. It is independent of whether there was a previous state, as in the models of Andre Vilenkin or those of Sean Carroll, or not as in the Hartle-Hawking model.”

B. “This still shows that there are physicists who do not believe in

but we also know that everything, absolutely positively everything, happens for a reason OR it does not happen for a reason.

In other words such a statement does not follow from physics that we know. ”

C. “Of course it doesn’t follow from physics. It follows from the meaning of the words (assuming it refers to things that happen). It’s a tautology. ”

 B. “It is a good point but then the question is what this tautology has to do with the external world (provided we assume that there is some).”

A. “Yes, but there is nothing illogical about infinite progressions; or maybe the Big Bang happened for no reason, nothing illogical about that either.”

B.  “This would contradict with your previous statement:

but we also know that everything, absolutely positively everything, happens for a reason OR it does not happen for a reason.”

A. “A chain of “why” or “how” questions eventually comes to a end or they do not, and there is nothing illogical about either possibility.”

B.  “Well, it would be good if you explain how such a statement agrees with your previous statement, quoted above. In my view, they contradict with each other.”

A. “What the hell are you talking about? The Big Bang happened for a reason OR the Big Bang happened for no reason.”

B. “I would say though that “something does not happen for a reason” and “something happens for no reason” are two completely different statements.

If however you accept that “something happens for no reason“, then I do not understand your problems with free will. In the latter case, I freely for no reason just do something, there is no problem then.”


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