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.

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Setting the theist's theory aside do you agree that logic dictates the universe either has to have a cause or has to be self-existent and eternal?
dammit man, I wanted to write that post.

Just to extend what you said about the Uncertainty Principle, during the early inflationary stage of the Universe, when the quantities were so small and dense, quantum fluctuations is believed to have caused some serious events: Quantum fluctuations are the most probable explanation for the non-homogeneous nature of any particular local area of the universe.

We can use this inflation theory to predict certain properties of the observable Cosmic Background Radiation today. Those properties have consequently been tested to be true.

So spontaneous things are not just limited so small nucleic emissions, they could also possibly explain the grand structure of the universe, and who knows, the trigger for the big bang itself. We just don't know yet.
Do I understand correctly then that you do not support the theory of The Big Bang and an expanding universe?

Actually I haven't posited the existence of any deity just the same as I would not rule out an FSM, at least not in this discussion at this point. I would assume that you would not posit the non-existence of a deity or FSM at this point either as there is no point in this stage.

I just wanted to see if there was a common ground for a logical, reasoned discussion. My "reasonable" foundation would be three options for the existence of the Universe; 1)it is an illusion 2) it is the effect of a cause 3) it is self-existent and eternal.

1) Can be thrown out thanks to Descartes.

2) An effect by definition has to have a cause. A cause by definition has to have an effect. A cause does not by definition need to have a cause. An effect by definition does not need to have an effect.

3) Doesn't work if you support the Big Bang as it is generally defined and accepted.

Infinite regress only occurs if we twist Hume's critique of Cause and Effect.

I hope that by "Uncertainty" you aren't referring to Heisenberg's Principle as the response below indicates. If you are, then you are misusing the Principle, otherwise disregard my comment.

Self-creation was not mentioned as it is absurd from the start.
Speaking of quantum events, it is the case that occasionally, due to quantum flux, a pair of particles will spontaneously generate in a vacuum, of equal and opposite charges. Shortly thereafter, they will encounter one another and annihilate each other, resulting in a net change of zero.

However, when these particles appear near a black hole's event horizon, occasionally, the path taken by one of the two will cross the event horizon, from which it cannot escape, and the other particle will wend its way out into the universe. This is the cause of Hawking radiation, and is one reason why black holes, eventually, evaporate.

Stephen Hawking's book, The Universe In A Nutshell, has a more detailed and probably understandable explanation for this. :)
There is no known cause, not that we've been able to determine, though. Some of the multi-dimensional theories might have a thought or two on the subject, though.
Nerd pron!
Nelson

I suggested you don't accept the BBT because your first paragraph combines several theories of cosmological origin into one, some of those generally accepted and some not.

We don't need to get into the details of the details as long as we agree that the BB has a starting point, and if not then the Universe it eternal.

Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I do believe in God. However, my point in responding to the post was not to argue God's existence but to see if the op had any logical basis for asking for a "creator of the creator".

1. No. I just want to determine if there is any rational foundation to this discussion and to show there is a rational foundation to my position.

2. No. Not knowing the cause of an effect does not remove the need for a cause. "It just does" is not a rational answer. "I don't know" , yes, but not "it just does". Otherwise we would still be saying maggots appear on rotten meat because, "they just do". "It just does" is something I tell my kids when I am embarrassed for not knowing the answer to a difficult question.

3. You don't need to know the exact cause of an effect in order to know that it has a cause. Have any scientific studies not known the cause of an effect before knowing it was an effect and then worked out the cause rationally? Positing and proof of God or the FSM as the cause of the origin is not necessary to determine if the Law of Cause and Effect is rational and whether or not we are looking at the cosmological origin in that rational framework.

I'm not ignoring anything. How is using the Law of Cause and Effect, a rational principle deeply ingrained in the scientific method, a special pleading? If I am understanding or using the Law irrationally or incorrectly, please let me know and I will revisit my position.

BB=effect
x = cause

BB by definition needs an x. Is this not true?

Defining my God to you will not bring us any closer to determining if either of our positions is rational or absurd.
I disagree with most of your arguments, but won't counter them as we are just tap dancing at this point.

My no response a few posts back was not meant to deny probability of a creator but to deny any postulating about probabilities at all.

Just one question, back to my original reason for posting which was not to prove or disprove existence but to check for a common ground of logical thought.

Do you think logic allows for an uncaused cause? I know I have asked, but you answered and then wavered based upon my understanding of your questions to me. Just a yes or no would be nice. :)
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*

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