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in category Kalam (Theology)

Why is an infinite regress not possible?

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Given we are preceded by an infinite period or duration, it would suggest an infinite regress of causes should be possible
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I don’t endorse the infinite regress argument. I only ever raise it to highlight one angle that dawah carriers take.

Likewise, it’s interesting to note that Stephen Hawking argues that time begins at the moment the quantum particle ceases to be a quantum particle and turns into the universe. The universe is the source of space, time, gravity, physics, etc.

Before the universe, we only had the quantum particle and therefore no laws and no time for which there are many reasons… the huge amounts of energy in the universe had to come from somewhere. The more compact something is the more energy is produces when it is pulled apart. As the universe has super amounts of energy, the starting point would have to super small - the smallest thing we know is the quantum particle. So let’s call the starting point the quantum particle.

There are other reasons too. E.g. the infinite regress argument. Hawking notices that things depend on other things. So everything must depend ultimately on something that is independent and therefore timeless. So he explores the idea it is “God” but he uses his Christian-European concept of God to dismiss God. Hawking argues that if the universe depended on a sentient God then we would surely see miracles and other interference from God. As Hawking says he hasn’t seen any evidence of such interference, he concludes the ultimate cause has to be something that isn’t sentient.

The Quantum particle isn’t sentient but it is also so small that the laws of physics no longer apply. So we have now found a theory of something that is both timeless and non-sentient. This is what he calls the Quantum Particle or the God Particle.

Therefore, he says, it is nonsensical to ask what was “before” the quantum particle as there was no time “before” the quantum particle and therefore there is no concept of “before”.

I would say if you read the above points - you simply replace the words “quantum particle” with the word “God” and it sounds like the same argument.

I would also say his labelling of the “uncaused cause” as the “quantum particle” is as speculative and flawed as labelling it as “God”.

The rational part of the argument where we can agree with Hawking is based on scrutinising the world around us and concluding that the universe requires an “uncaused cause”. That’s what we can know using the mind.

Labelling that “uncaused cause” moves into the realm of the unseen - we just can’t speculate on these things. Our only recourse here is revelation.

Hence, we are informed that this uncaused cause is Allāh سبحانه و تعالى (Glorified and Exalted). Without revelation, the mind can imagine all sorts. Just as Muslims argue the uncaused cause is Allāh, Christians argue it is God, and now Stephen Hawking argues it is the Quantum Particle.

Hawking uses the same infinite regress argument to claim the Quantum Particle is the ultimate cause of the universe. It’s eye-opening to consider what has happened here. Whenever we move the tiniest bit away from the Islamic/Qur’anic/Sensed Reality way of thinking… it opens a can of ugly worms that causes more harm than good.

The universe requiring a cause is an attribute of the universe that we can sense in the world around us. I’m not going to pretend this means we are somehow directing sensing the cause or we know what it is. Instead, the Qur’an tells us what the cause is - and more importantly - what we need to do about it.

Conclusion

I don't say it is or isn’t flawed. My reason for not using it is that it’s not needed for the practical problems at hand. It’s a red herring that distracts from the real issues. The fact is, in normal life, people are rational. If you find a box of chocolates on your pillow you know somebody put it there. You know somebody made the chocolates. We can deep dive into the mechanism of how you know but we never do. Instead, we focus on the topic at hand - there’s a box of chocolates!!! Should we eat it, should we bin it, should we say thank you… do I have a secret admirer?

There’s a bunch of real life topics to be dealt with. Nobody looks into the philosophy of it. This is the issue that needs addressing. It is ideology that has led us to these topics. We’re being played. It’s also too emotive as well leading to unnecessary argumentation.

When I come across those who have adopted Greek philosophical methodology in their thinking I find other less emotive ways to build the rational way of thinking first. Then I use that as a reference. It’s a journey.

If you keep the discussion practical then you build practical people. If you turn to philosophy and speculative theology - you’re wasting your time.


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