After looking around and reading a few reasons people give for being atheist, I've been quite surprised to find that nobody seems to share the reason that first made me an atheist. I've always thought it funny that people turn to religion to answer questions like where we came from, where the world came from, and what are purpose of life is. Most religions attribute such things to the presence of a creator of some sort, a supreme being that made everything. However, this idea has a serious flaw... what created the creator? What created existence in the first place? Why does anything exist? These are questions I've never been able to answer, and I doubt anyone ever will be able to.. not even religion. I was just wondering if anyone else had ever wondered about these things, and what they thought.
first of all, surely you know that the BBT isn't about origins but rather is simply the best theory for the evolution of the universe from the initial expansion to what we see today. the BBT does not deal with origins. to say that the Big Bang Theory describes the origin of the universe is just false.
now, my understanding of multiverse theories, quantum fluctuations, bubble universes, and all that is such that it doesn't rule out the BBT specifically because the BBT is not about origins but rather about cosmic evolution.
accepting the BBT theory does not preclude the universe being eternal.
and so your statement, "Actually I haven't posited the existence of any deity," isn't true because you do indeed posit such an existence. your questioning the logic of the OP in saying the the creator requires a creator is a question that's based on your defense of the dogma of your deity being eternal, requiring no creator.
1. if you agree that natural explanations are infinitely more probable than supernatural explanations then we're all done. if you suggest that the universe was caused to exist by a supernatural being, and as a Christian i assume you do, then you are suggesting something that is infinitely less probable than any naturalistic explanation that can be offered. where does that leave you besides a dogmatist rather than a rationalist?
2. ok. i'll go along with "i don't know" then. but then neither do you. and again, if you suggest that the universe was caused to exist by a supernatural being, and, once again, since you're a Christian i must assume you are, then you're claiming to know something which you just acknowledged we don't.
3. ah but when we've established a cause and effect relationship it's been through observation leading to hypotheses which in turn leads to experimentation which develops evidence backing up a particular hypothesis. where is this evidence for the cause you're suggesting?
here's the thing, if you're only suggesting that the universe possibly had a creator and that we don't know what the origins of the universe were, assuming for a second that it had an origin at all, then i'm fine with that. i agree, that a creator created the universe is possible. of course, as you yourself acknowledged, it's not at all probable and that's what matters. but if you're suggesting that the universe was created i would ask you why. you would, in my experience, say that the universe is complex and because complex things are designed with intent then so much the universe be designed with intent. or you'd say that everything that begins to exist has a cause and so the universe, on the unfounded assumption that it began to exist, must have had a cause as well. what is that cause? god! then i would have to respond by pointing out, as has been pointed out in this thread already, that a creative agent posited to exist as the creator of the universe due to the complexity of the universe would be infinitely more complex than the universe the agent created and so would require a creator itself. i would also point out that if everything that begins to exist has a cause then so must your god, insofar as he exists he requires a cause.
and that's why understanding what you believe specifically would answer those questions. are you dogmatic in saying that the universe was caused to exist by Yahweh like Christian dogma holds? or do you choose to reject that piece of dogma? without knowing what you believe i am forced to make assumptions based on a Christian person template and that's likely unfair to you and will result in misunderstandings and missed common ground.
And the bible can't be counted as evidence, if I were to submit a paper for publication saying that something is true simply because my paper says its true I'm fairly sure I'd have trouble getting any furthur papers published. It really doesn't matter how many things are proven true in the bible, the same can be said about my history book and just becuase it says god is real on the inside front cover doesn't mean its true.
Arent you really afraid to say there is no god. I just know I am not brainy to understand a lot but all i need to know that by reading the bible it is evil through and thru.
Try not too hard to explain just do not have any prejudice against us who think differently from you.
We are not saying you should not believe what you want as you will never know for sure as no-one has come back to tell us. In the bible it is heresay as Moses was alone when talking to god and mary was alone when she said jesus had arisen from the dead.
Just answer me why so called religous people only have hatred in their hearts, sending death threats to those who disagree with them.
If tomorrow there was no child being abused or not having enough food then I will say perhaps Christainity is right.
What makes me angry is knowing any ,little child is being abused. If god is so great why doesnt he stop this.
Dont get me wrong I believe you should have your beliefs.
"Self-creation was not mentioned as it is absurd from the start."
It isn't if reality is inherently probabilistic. As some other people mentioned virtual particle pairs etc. Note that such events also indicate that causality isn't a universal principle. Rather, conservation of energy would be, and particle pairs could be created in a way I guess you could look at as both cause and effect at the same time.
Although my knowledge of physics and cosmology is also fairly limited, as I understand it, the Hartle-Hawking state is a hypothesis for how the big bang could originate from quantum fluctuations.
And speaking of the big bang. I have no idea why you would use the big bang as an argument to reject a self-existent and eternal universe. That concept in no way whatsoever implies that the part of reality that we observe couldn't be a transient part of an eternal and necessary nature(For example the probabilistic effects). Also, we don't actually have knowledge of t=0. As far as I know, there's no rock solid reason to conclude that the universe "started" there. We could well be dealing with a breakdown of the mathematical models when they seem to predict a starting point. Either way, it doesn't prevent nature from being eternal though.
The real problem with positing creators is that it effectively amounts to saying that nothing really needs an explanation. Unlike an "eternal nature" hypothesis, in which complexity forms from simple beginnings, the "eternal creator" hypothesis implies that "the most improbable being imaginable is in fact necessary". When you do that, you really have some explaining to do with regards to how you can dismiss naturalistic variants of the Omphalos hypothesis( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalos_hypothesis ) where the apparent history of the universe can't be trusted. As the complex and fantastic doesn't need explanation, we might all simply have appeared here 5 minutes ago with fake memories.
You'll probably respond that you find it absurd, but that's also my response to the eternal creator hypothesis. In my mind, it has zero explanatory power. It's even worse though, I don't even know if the words used, like "creator" or "god" refer to anything in reality, so I can't tell if it's actually a valid statement. I have a strong feeling such arguments are like people in 1000AD discussing the conditions at the end of the earth. If nothing else, at least the history of the flat earth hypothesis should have learned theists the dangers of assuming that unobserved phenomena must exist. In this case, a beginning of nature itself.
Oh, but it's the most infuriating thing that they either continue to use the argument that everything had to have a creator, even in the face of the fact that God must not have had a creator, or they don't grasp the paradox. Grrrr!!! It's one of the most frustrating conversations to have. How do you not get that the foundation of your argument, that everything had to have a creator, cannot be asserted if you then insist that God is the exception? You're going to have to find another argument.
Further, if God already existed, he would have some certain traits and the universe, or lack thereof, in which he existed would have some traits. So, God couldn't have created those traits. If God has a physical body, imagine all the things that would necessarily have to already exist before God started creating. The very laws of physics would have to exist to some extent. So God couldn't have even created everything because he couldn't have created himself.
But no, that just elicits the dull cow stare. *sigh*
Technically speaking we can't really assume that the laws of physics as we know them hold true outside of our own existence, if one were to take the position that a god created our existence then that god existed outside of our existence previously and thus we must assume that such a being is not subject to the natural laws we know. Anyway you look at it though, as Amuck stated the rule of exception simply doesn't work... for theist or atheist views. Assuming the universe is not eternal and was caused by something should imply that whatever caused the universe also had a cause.
I've had this same discussion before with a very smart girl once, and she told me it's what she likes to call the rule of exception. They say that proof of God is in the fact that everything must have been created, because everything must have been created... except God.
lol. that's hilarious! hey, i can "prove" any assertion i make by excluding my assertion from the rules of evidence and by holding it above and beyond logical argumentation.
how sad that someone would say such a thing seriously and hope to keep any credibility.
Oh no, lol.
What I meant is that's the term she uses to describe the argument that others make when they say the proof of God is "his creation". When I said she was very smart, I wasn't being sarcastic.