Philosophy, Science, Science & Religion

The “Why?” Question [Part II]

As we saw previously the “Why?” question cannot be applied forever. In fact sometimes it won’t even make sense. But can we find the ending to the infinite amount of whys we can apply?

The famous biologist and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins usually avoids the question of why the Universe exists by saying that it’s a silly question and it doesn’t make sense. Is it truly a silly question? In my opinion its not exactly as pointless as Dawkins makes it seem to be. In their latest book “The Grand Design”, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present a possible scientific explanation to why the Universe exists and to why there is something rather than nothing. The book perfectly demonstrates how we can scientifically explain existence and this shows that questions like what is the purpose of the Universe won’t only be part of philosophical and religious study but also of strict scientific study.

A key point in the “why?” quest is human nature. There is a major problem in human reasoning and it is not obvious most of the time. We live our lives having for granted that we posses free will. Although free will as we understand it in everyday situations does not exist, we can accept that a deterministic form of free will does exist. In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking writes that “free will is just an illusion”, according to modern Physics. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer perfectly said “Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills”. So, since the illusion of complete free will is part of human nature and questioning, we begin to assume what is the source of our desire to find the purpose and deep meaning in the Universe. We tend to think that there must be a mind behind everything, a mind that is free to act, that is exercising its free will. This mind is often called God and it is usually the end to the infinite amount of whys. The reason why a God is a good solution for many people is because it’s a mind, much like our own mind. We are so deeply affected by everyday situations and choices that a “choice” is almost always a good answer to a problem: a choice must be made in order to proceed further. This is exactly how many view the origins of the Cosmos; a choice was made by a supreme all-powerful being and all the laws of Nature came to be. It all goes back to the First Cause and Cosmological arguments which of course satisfy our need for totality, but do not have strict logical meanings.

However, this does not prove that there is no mind behind the Universe. It shows us that our emotions often lead us to wrong conclusions though. When dealing with cosmological and scientific issues in general it is essential that our emotions do not influence our reasoning a lot, since it is mostly based on common sense, which doesn’t always apply. Nevertheless, it is more probable that there is no human-like intelligent mind behind the Cosmos, like God. There are the laws of Nature and, in accordance to those laws, the constant development in science shows us that we might be able to tell for sure why is there something rather than nothing.