Doesn’t quantum mechanics explain away God?

I received a question from someone having difficulty sharing the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  The objection that they were receiving was that quantum mechanics, according to the Copenhagen interpretation, undermined the causal principle that the argument relies on.  The causal principle is essentially the principle that for every effect there must be a cause sufficient to produce it.

My response is below:

Some atheists have tried to get a lot of mileage out of quantum mechanics, but unfortunately it hasn’t done everything for them that they had hoped.  Krauss and Harris had an interview regarding Krauss’s book, A Universe from Nothing.  In the book, Krauss tries to explain how the universe could have come from nothing (by which he means the quantum vacuum).  When pressed on the subject, he acknowledges that this is not analogous to the “nothing” that people mean when talking about the beginning of the universe.

 

The scenario you are describing is one in which scientists (the efficient cause) bring about the fluctuations of quantum particles out of a vacuum filled with energy (the material cause) in an area of space and over time.  This just is not analogous to the beginning of the universe, in which the naturalist must be committed to the notion that there was neither an efficient nor a material cause.

 

On another note, let’s say that the Copenhagen interpretation really does challenge the causal principle.  This would lead us to decide which is more obviously true, the Copenhagen interpretation or the causal principle?  I suspect that the causal principle is more intuitively obvious to us, and thus will give us reason to dismiss the Copenhagen interpretation (especially since there are other interpretations that do not require such a leap).

 

Sincerely,

Matt Bilyeu


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