Proof of a Creator: A Rejoinder to Theodore Schick, Jr.
This essay is a rejoinder to a paper written by Theodore Schick, Jr., Professor of Philosophy, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The 1998 paper is entitled “The ‘Big Bang’ Argument for the Existence of God” and is a rebuttal to the views held by Hugh Ross, noted astronomer and Christian apologist, as expressed within his book The Creator and the Cosmos. The paper was originally published in Philo, the Journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers.
The impetus of Dr. Schick’s paper is to discredit Dr. Ross’s contention that the acceptance of the theory of the “big bang” as the beginning of the universe implies that it must have had a cause beyond the event itself, and Dr. Schick’s corollary contention that such an assertion is nothing but a scientifically updated variation of St. Thomas Aquinas’s “uncaused first cause” argument to prove the existence of God. As blasphemous as it might sound coming from a Catholic such as me, I acknowledge that Aquinas’s reasoning left something to be desired in this case. I don’t contest Dr. Schick’s views on this point.
As a Catholic high school student, I once had the effrontery to ask a priest in religion class, “If it is sufficient to assert that ‘God always was, always is and always will be’ then why can’t we just say the same about the universe?” (The priest’s response was less than memorable.) In his paper, Dr. Schick echoes my youthful inquisitiveness:
“But if we're willing to admit the existence of uncaused things, why not just admit that the universe is uncaused and cut out the middleman? David Hume wondered the same thing….”
The meat of Dr. Schick’s rebuttal to Dr. Ross’s views is that Dr. Ross positions a higher dimensional time, a time in which the spacetime that we know and live within was created: the creator’s time. Since the big bang is held to be the beginning of time, Dr. Ross argues, that implies it must have had a cause, as did the beginning of everything else. Since the big bang is the beginning of our time, then its cause cannot have been within our time (because an effect must follow its cause); rather, it must have been within the higher dimensional time of the creator that Dr. Ross positions. Click to continue: