Is a first cause really necessary?

I recently blogged that I had reached the conclusion (some decades ago) that there has to be a creator of all that is in the Cosmos. I set out my reasons in my book ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’ Summarising succinctly: it is the incredible complexity of it all, the inter-connectedness increasingly perceivable, the near-impossibility of perceiving all of what seems to be there and, worse still, our inability to explain most of it without recourse to statements of belief.

Starting from a clean slate – because my early bitter real-life experience made a mockery of my family’s belief in God, an interventionist god – I was quite intrigued to find that there is an innate, an inbuilt, yearning in humanity to seek the source behind the wondrous features, as well as the terror, of Nature, whether on land or in the skies. How could that be?

Complex explanations of facets of the material sphere led to claims of curious connections between components, the causes of which seemed to be in the realm of an intangible, non-material sphere, akin to that of psychic phenomena. Are explanations of causes and relations in these latter spheres any clearer than a ground-level fog in which visibility is no more than about 3 steps? Or, could it be that our efforts to understand are comparable to seeing one’s plane enter a very dense cloud, only to see a thin film of near-nothingness surrounding the plane as it flies through?

I am not being sceptical in order to challenge my beliefs, although I do this from time to time to make sure that I am intellectually grounded. What I am keenly aware of is that finding causes in any arena of investigation in either the material or the immaterial spheres is fraught with great difficulty. What then happens to those who hope to trace all causes back to the first cause? I refer to both cosmologists and the religious leaders.

What if there is no first cause? What if the concept of cause and effect, with its implicit and inherent chain of linkages is itself infinite; that one cannot postulate a beginning, a first cause which is not an effect? Looking for the first cause is surely an expression of belief; if not, of hope!

What if everything we know to exist, together with all the ‘unknown unknowns,’ always existed, with change (including both deterioration and evolution) an inherent, an inbuilt, feature of that existence? Would acceptance of this scenario also be a statement of faith, or an acceptance of probable reality?