Where is the flaw in this argument?

Okay, so my logic professor is saying that this argument is flawed, but I can't find it.

1) Whatever begins to exist must have a cause for its existence.

2) The universe began to exist (as proven by the Big Bang).

3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.

So you test it by asking these questions.

1) Are the premises true?

2) Does the conclusion follow from them?

The answer to both seems to be yes. If both are true than the argument is not flawed. But my professor keeps telling me I am wrong! So where is the flaw? Is it a fallacy I am not aware of?

Relevance
• 6 months ago

I would think that the universe was created as a side effect to the 'big bang'. In other words the 'big bang' did not happen in order to create the universe, it's creation came about as a result. If you talk about cause and effect then, yes the universes is an effect but I would say created , rather than 'caused'.

• 6 months ago

whatever begins to exist must have a cause. okay so this statement is true because water has a cause through evolution and the elements have a cause because of the big bang and the big bang had a cause. the universe has old stars and new stars so basically the statement the universe began to exist is true. therefore, yes, the universe has a cause.

• Miriam6 months agoReport

Thanks. :)

• 7 months ago

It's the very first statement. Just because something caused or propagated its existence is not

the same as it "having a cause" for its existence. They are really two different meanings

and a play on words. It doesn't have to have a cause. It could merely exist.

Another point is that the Universe may not have started to exist. It may have always

been here, with no beginning and no end.

Since neither premise is absolutely true, then the third statement does not hold up.

Saying 'the universe has a cause' sounds like it has a purpose, when what you need

to say is that 'the universe has a cause for coming into existence' NOT, the universe has a cause.

• sparrow
Lv 7
6 months agoReport

Personally, I believe in God. I was trying to help distinguish the difference between saying, "the universe has a cause" vs "the universe has a cause that made it exist". Having a purpose is a very subjective thing. Useful for who? Only God knows our purpose.

• 7 months ago

The first statement is an assumption. The second statement is a semantic condition (the universe existed before the big bang, just not in the current form). The argument would be less flawed if the two premises began as rhetorical conditons ("if").

• Miriam7 months agoReport

Yeah, but there's an overwhelming mountain of evidence in support of the Big Bang Theory. Also, if I tried to say "It's still just a hypothesis, it hasn't as of yet been concluded to be true or false" about the theory of evolution, you guys would collectively lose your minds.

• Anonymous
7 months ago

Everything you know must have a cause but maybe it does not apply to the singularity. God is the First Cause.

• Miriam7 months agoReport

Right, but I'm talking about things bound by our laws, not God.

• Anonymous
7 months ago

The universe and everything in it was created by God for His good pleasure. So your prof might say ‘who created God?’... a silly question.

God by definition is uncreated. If he had a beginning, whoever or whatever created him would be considered the real God. Then one would have to ask who created THAT God, etc.

At some point we have to end at an eternal being that did not have a beginning and that is who we call God. Note: You would have to believe that matter can magically self-replicate if you don’t believe in God.

I know people will point to the Big Bang, but then we still have to ask who or what started that. And who or what created the giant mass of stuff that went bang in the first place? God? If not God, then you have to believe that material matter has God-like ability to exist forever and/or self-generate. Seems more reasonable to just believe in God at that point.

• Miriam7 months agoReport

Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks!

• Ludwig
Lv 6
7 months ago

Here's another quote for you: "A philosopher since Newton, is someone too lazy to go to the lab."

• j153e
Lv 7
7 months ago

The first statement is recognized by physics as true. It is therefore a valid premise.

The second statement is not totally a valid premise; the universe is theorized to have come into existence; that part is a valid statement; however, the Big Bang is not "proven;" it is a theory (and not presently falsifiable).

The deductive argument is valid, as the conclusion follows logically from the (partially invalid but logically constructed) premises that, if they were totally true, would constitute a true conclusion. The argument is valid, but not sound or reasonable (as not all of the logically-developed statements are true).

• j153e
Lv 7
6 months agoReport

Perhaps you could be helped by understanding category errors, falsifiability, and levels of proof.

• 7 months ago

Statement one is flawed, we have no way of proving for certain that all things must have a cause, also even though the big bang theory is widely accepted as the most plausible theory we would have no way of knowing if the knowledge we have of the universe is anyway translatable to before the universe existed. for all we know the rules of physics could not exist before the big bang so even if premise 1 and 2 were true within the understanding of the universe it still wouldn't necessarily make 3 true

• 7 months ago

It seems that the thing you are overlooking is that the Big Bang Theory is just that a theory. There is no actual way to prove that is what actually happened at the start of the universe.

https://www.space.com/25126-big-bang-theory.html