And why can't the universe's beginning be this uncaused first cause? I've read up a bit on this subject some (though probably not enough) to know that it's conjectured that time and space were created at the same instant with the big bang.
Because, according to the argument, anything with a beginning must have a cause. If the universe had a beginning, then it must have a cause. The first cause can not have a beginning, because anything with a beginning will have a cause. That's how we know that the universe itself can't be the first cause.
You're right about the Big Bang, though. It is commonly held that time and space began at the Big Bang. Whatever caused the universe must exist outside of time and space.
The bottom line about the Big Bang is that we don't know what preceded it; neither I nor you can claim to know. What you're doing is making an appeal to ignorance, claiming that although science has figured out the approximate age of the universe, it can't (or hasn't) yet found out what caused the universe, or even whether our understanding is correct that it needs a cause.
Completely the opposite. I'm saying that science can find out what caused the universe, and that the evidence we have now points to some sort of deity.
You wouldn't have even known the age of the earth were it not for science, yet here you go claiming god to be in the undiscovered realm of what science has yet to illuminate.
Of course I wouldn't know the age of the Earth without science. How would I? God hasn't popped down to chat about geology lately.
You're right that we have no direct evidence about what went on before the universe began. But we can drawn reasonable assumptions based on the evidence we do have. We know that the universe had a beginning, and therefore should probably have a cause. We know that this cause needs to be powerful, it must have at least as much energy as the universe in order to create it. We know about the other attributes I mentioned above. The evidence we do have draws a picture that looks more and more like God.
The fine tuning argument goes to show just how vague the arguments for God have become.
It doesn't seem very vague to me.
It is not a coincidence that during this transition 'miracles' rapidly dissipated.
I'm more inclined to believe that miracles were always rare, and that these days the ones faking it just get caught more often. It is unfortunate that true miracles are discredited.
The only designer scientifically evidenced, though, is evolution, not a deity. There's your designer.
The word "designer" implies intelligence. Evolution is a mindless process. Unless you want to say an intelligent agent guides evolution, but I'm sure that isn't what you meant.
Also, I never actually mentioned design in life. I could go on about it for hours, but this argument is based in cosmology, not biology. The fine-tuning argument is about design in the overall makeup of the universe.
Also, if you have five minutes check out this video on how stupid it is to assume that god designed us
The whole first minute of that video was interesting, because I've seen the same evidence used to support the idea that Earth itself is designed for life. The rest of it was pretty interesting, too. But it doesn't really effect anything I said. The fine-tuning argument is about the mathematical improbability of a number of constants (gravitational constant, for example) all being at just the right values to allow life to exist in our universe. It says nothing about how well designed anything in the universe is.
And ask yourself, does it make sense for an intelligent designer to have designed bodies with human attributes?
Yeah, it makes pretty good sense. After all, what are our bodies supposed to do? They let us run around living a life for a century or so (or less). And they do a decent job. I'm happy with mine, although I wish it were about thirty pounds lighter.
How about the planets? We're on the only detectable one suitable for life within the huge distance that we're able to detect now (thanks again to science for that). So we've got a gigantic universe but only one life-bearing planet...what's the deal with that?
Well, if you were designing a universe, and you had one specific species in mind to live in it, would you waste time building millions of planets that were capable of holding life but didn't have any?
Anyway, I'm still not convinced this is the only planet suitable for life. We've only detected about four hundred exoplanets so far, out of the trillions that must exist. Not a very good sample size. Also, our detection methods are skewed. The main way we find exoplanets is by looking for stars that wobble. The wobbling means something is in orbit around the star. Of course, bigger planets will cause a more noticeable wobble. And so will planets close to their parent stars. So it isn't surprising that most of the planets we've discovered are large and close to their parent stars.
The video you posted above has some relevance here. The first minute goes over the fact that a vast majority of the universe will kill you dead. And it's true (that's always a bonus). In a majority of the universe, even if you have an Earth-like planet orbiting a sun-like star at just the right distance, life just can't work. Our solar system sits in a part of the Milky Way that is well suited to life. But there are similar places in this and other spiral galaxies, so I still hold out hope that there is more life out there.
By the way, that bit in the video about Andromeda colliding with us is stupid. By the time Andromeda collides with the Milky Way our sun will have already exploded.
You might label that god but now you have to demonstrate that Deism is in err and such a being intersects with the universe from time to time.
Ah, well, this argument can't do that. All it can do is show that some sort of deity exists, and tell us a few things about that deity. It's interesting that the attributes we can derive from this argument have all been attributed to deities in ancient beliefs, though. How did the ancients happen to hit on this combination of attributes? It might count as circumstantial evidence that the deity has interacted with humans at some point, at least in a "truth behind the legend" sort of way.