It's quite interesting. I enjoyed it.
A very reasonable and true response, but, predictably, the religious would respond that god caused the big bang. For an answer that does not require any supernatural antecedent, please read my comment (Jack Howard). It precedes yours as I view the site. Since nothing existing is an ok starting point, the only thing a religious puke can say is that god created nothing. Huh! What! Hopes this helps.
Jack, RE: "predictably, the religious would respond that god caused the big bang" - that's when you ask them if that means their god existed before the BB. Naturally, they're going to say "Of course," and that's when you explain the impossibility of that, because neither time nor space existed before the BB - at least not in this universe - therefore there was no before for their god to exist in.
(While I believe that what I say is true, you might want to run it past Nelson, for an accuracy-check - that would appear to be his forte.)
Hello archaeopteryx: My, albeit limited, understanding is that believers in Open Theism and Process Theology hold that creation ex nihilo entails an encapsulation of space-time domains much like String Theory's M-space hypothesis wherein a preexisting cosmic domain that had always existed as the realm of the Deity was the launching pad from where the Deity performed its creative act of this cosmic domain.
Speaking of which, Robert, I ran across an interesting book you might appreciate, entitled on Process Theology, in which, each chapter consists of an article by various authors such as Basinger, Bloesch, Clarke, Craig, Demarest, Gruenler, Henry, Holmes, Mannoia, Morris, Peterson and Pinnock. Fascinating to compare the various viewpoints.
I've also read a number of Kaku's works on string theory - fortunately, he doesn't wax theological --
That's as idiotic as when you ask someone to prove there is a god and they tell you to look in the mirror,
One way to debunk this is saying there was once a a big BANG and matter flew all over the universe in which we are made of :)
Another response Jeremy, is, "If you were made in god's image, that's gotta be one butt-ugly god!" See how that flies --
The same argument works for Satan.
"The universe can't pop out of nothing. Someone must have created it. I worship Satan. Therefore Satan must have made the universe."
More seriously, ask you opponent to form his argument in syllogistic form so that you can analyze it. Either he will refuse or he'll produce an invalid argument.
"The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window."
-- Stephen King --
Good points Sir.
The universe itself is my proof... it wouldn't be here without _______
You can replace God with whatever you want- The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Zeus, Thor, Satan, The Great Giant Squid in the Sky, Itself, Nothing, etc...ad nauseum, and the argument is just as invalid.