Please do your best to respond to this post. I won't insult you if you don't insult me.
Cause and effect. How can something come out of nothing? How could the very first thing that happened to start the universe not be effected by anything? It has to go back and back and back until one thing that effected something without being caused. That, I believe, was a god. Can somebody please prove this point wrong?
I just don't understand why theists think the "first cause" argument gets them anywhere. Because even if you accept it it only gets you to a "creator." Period. Nothing about the argument gives you any basis to say anything about that creator other than that it created. So, sure, I suppose if you are a deist it is an okay argument. But if you are, e.g., a Christian who believes in the Holy Trinity and the Bible and the resurrection and sin/redemption and all that I wish someone would explain how all that would follow from merely establishing (if you could) the existence of a "creator." It would be like seeing a watch and instead of just saying that you can establish the existence of a watchmaker from seeing the watch you then go on to say that you know what he had for dinner last night, how he treats his kids, what his favorite movie is, who he took to the senior prom, who he voted for in the last election, etc, etc, etc
@ Cecilia - look at the world. Is it not a beautiful and joyful place? Sometimes? That's why people say "God is love". Jesus remains a separate issue, but as for the rest, well... it's probably a historical accident.
God then is also a vicious predator, a creeping viral infection, and the ravening maw of a black hole. I don't hear Xtians talking about that so much.
Why do you carve out a special exception for the thing you call "god"? Scientists are no different from you (in one way of looking at it) because they want an explanation. Your explanation is God. But scientists use physics and logic and deduction and math. The end result of that process is far more reliable than simply labeling "that which we do not know" as "god". So my question to you (and I mean this as a real question; by no means am I trying to insult), is this: Why do you not dig deeper?
Using your exact same argument, how can you conceive the idea of eternal infinite God coming out of nothing but not the universe itself coming out of nothing?
It's part of and proof of the circular reasoning underlying the argument. People who think this way don't understand that you can't assume part of your conclusion to be true (i.e., that god is not subject to the same rules) without having proved the conclusion first. The fact that they do assume part of the conclusion shows that they have implicitly assumed the whole thing to be true all along.
One of the frustrations of arguing about the existence of God is that their belief really isn't on the line. Even if you soundly disprove every "proof" they trot out, don't count on them admitting even that "you might have something there: perhaps He doesn't exist." The reason for this is the importance of faith to religion, especially Christianity. The more you disprove their position with them letting you change their mind, the more they are demonstrating their faith. Thus, most arguments with believers are rather pointless and doomed from the start.
This is so true which is why I find that most of these kinds of arguments are a waste of time and somewhat boring. Maybe, I suppose, you might plant a seed of unbelief in someone by demonstrating that science does offer answers to this inquiry but the truth is science will run up against the place where we do not yet understand or know and/or the place where what we have come to understand or know only leads to more questions (that is how science goes). And it is at this place that the theist jumps in with "but I do know and understand, it is god!!" So, mostly these kinds of arguments are started by theists who think they've found a brilliant "gotcha" argument to convince non-believers of god's existence. They don't and, frankly, IMO, not much worth engaging. And, as I've said a couple of times here, the kind of argument/evidence allegedly provided by Isaac's proposal that "something can't come from nothing therefore god" does nothing to support belief in any specific god. The best the theist arguing this might hope for is to get someone to say okay, I will call that which we do not know or understand about the origins of the universe "god." But it is a huge, huge leap to get someone to from that concession to "Praise the Lord, I now accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior!"
The mere fact that a theist must rely on faith or a "leap of faith" to accept or believe a particular god-universe hypothesis undermines the very plausibility of that hypothesis.
Thank you. I have had a lot of time and motivation to think about these questions. I find that one of the biggest barriers to communication is the differing assumptions implicit in people's thoughts. I have learned to try my best to articulate both my own and those of others in the hope that actual communication can begin to occur.
To use your own argument, something created God. Who??
Is it? What sense does it make to talk of material reality that exists apart from the universe? I could say that that belief is a baseless assumption...
It makes sense that other universes or forms of material existence could exist, have existed, or may yet come to exist. This is something that many physicists are exploring. We cannot know either way at this time. Either:
1. You believe that the universe is the beginning of all material reality
2. You believe that the universe is not the beginning of all material reality
3. You believe neither; you make no assumption
4. You believe that it is both the beginning and not the beginning
3 (my view) requires no assumption. 1 (your view) and 2 have no basis. 4 is a contradiction.
Our time? What reasons to you have for thinking that a different kind of time exists?
That there is only "our time" requires the baseless assumption that this in the only universe, space and time which have ever existed, will ever exist, or that currently exist. I neither assume that alternate time does or does not exist. Just like above.
This is only problematic if you are a physicalist, which I'm not. It seems clear to those of us who hold to the existence of the soul that we observe the effects of immaterial beings all the time, not just ‘forces’. (sic)
Unfortunately, "those of [you] who hold to the existence of the soul" worship and have worshiped hundreds of different gods, have hundreds of different, often mutually exclusive interpretations of the same gods, and can't even come to the same conclusions related to the "effects of immaterial beings". In addition, many "[effect] of immaterial beings" which can and have been subjected to empirical testing have been found false or wanting. "Those of [you] who hold to the existence of the soul" are using the wrong methods to come to conclusions. In addition, you came to an atheist forum to argue a specific claim. Saying that "it is only problematic if" to defend your reason for not giving up a belief is useless for convincing others of your belief.