I don't come on here too often, to be honest, but something has really been getting at me lately. "How did the universe become?" I can't necessarily consider myself an atheist, and if I did it would be a "soft" atheist, but overall, I'm more of an agnostic. Basically, do any of you have any theories or have heard of any theories or ideas concerning the topic of our origins? Did the universe just pop up out of nowhere? Is there a higher power?
Great topic Dalton! This is something I ponder frequently.
First let me share my insights on Agnosticism and Atheism. I think it is very possible to be both. The base word for agnostic is derived from the word "knowledge". The base word for Atheism is derived from "belief", specifically a belief in some form of god.
I consider myself to be an agnostic atheist. I don't KNOW if God exists with any absolute certainty because I have yet to see sufficient empirical evidence of such an existence so that puts me in the agnostic camp. Based on all the theories (speculation in my book) that has been provided to me thus far in my life, it is hard for me to BELIEVE that a god exists and is responsible for the creation of everything. That makes me an atheist.
Hope that helps. Now on to your main question...
The funny thing about the origin of the universe is that there is no scientific evidence that fully proves how the universe was formed. There are some brilliant physicists trying to figure this out. There are some very good postulates out there based on what we know about the universe and physics, but nothing that proves without a doubt how the universe came to be. Some of the work being done at the LHC at CERN is hoping to get us closer to that "knowledge".
I tend to side with the big bang theory for the most part, but ironically, I take it somewhat on faith because I have not personally read all the scientific texts that explain the process in detail. My personal "belief" about the origin of the universe is that it makes sense to me that the entire universe could have existed as a tiny and very dense mass (about the size of a pin head) and that something triggered this object to expand (big bang without an actual bang). Personally I speculate that our universe collided with another universe in singular dense form and therefore created the initial "bang". (Yes I believe that we are part of a multiverse, not a universe). Furthermore I believe that at some point (well beyond our lifetime) that our universe will contract and reform to that initial point of singularity, and many eons will before another singular dense universe collides with it to start the process all over again!
So as an agnostic atheist I find it pretty humorous that I place faith in so many things. I think we all do.
Actually, I would venture a guess, that most theists are actually agnostic. They don't actually KNOW that god exists. They have yet to prove it sufficiently...oh and the burden of proof is on the believers to prove god's existence. They can't say "well prove he doesn't exist" as an argument to prove their own belief. I don't understand why "god" has to be so secretive anyway. Just reveal yourself already so we can get on with life. haha. Well I grew tired of waiting so I've personally moved on, but you get my meaning.
I'm interested in your thoughts on all this (and others as well)!
Keep an open mind,
I wouldn't consider relying on someone's solid expertise to be "faith" as long as you've vetted them (or someone you trust has). "Confidence" would be a better word; "faith" to me implies no rational reason to believe.
I have absolutely no idea. Science has accumulated a lot of evidence, and made some great mathematical models based on that evidence - but the further back we look, the fuzzier the picture gets, and the harder it is to confirm such theories.
Honestly, I think the 'problem' of origins is simply an infinite one. Some say that we can't talk about 'time' in a context prior to the big bang, because our spacetime continuum began at the big bang. That being said, I think it imprudent to simply assume that time is unique to our cosmos, and equally imprudent to think that our time would necessarily extend outside our cosmos. If multiple universes exist, then time, and causation itself, may not be contiguous throughout.
Our very context of extrapolating events may not even apply outside of our spacetime - and quantum science seems to point in that direction. Given that, I find it highly preposterous that there would be any merit to projecting anything like our concept of consciousness beyond any other scope than our very own existence.
What she said.
You just blew my mind. Universes with no time? Would they have no movement?
Well, we define movement as a relationship between position and time, so I guess they wouldn't. Specifically, though, I was thinking of a cosmos that had time, but where time might flow in another direction, or be a different dimension of time than our cosmos - or even a place with 2 dimensional time.
Why can we assume the universe requires a creator but the creator does not. To do this requires that the creator can exist outside of the universe. If we place the creator inside of the universe, it requires a creator.
You could say god is nowhere.
"Why can we assume the universe requires a creator but the creator does not."
I certainly agree with that. That's exactly why the discussion is circular and caves in on itself.
If there were a creator, then what created the creator?, and on and on and on it goes.
In some eastern schools of thought, god in the absolute state is uncreated and unexpressed. Everything else that exists somehow sprang from that highest state to the various planes and sub-planes of the spiritual, then causal/mental, then astral and finally to the physical universes.
Some say.. "God was One and wished to be many"... but from where did that desire arise if in the highest absolute state there is no creation or expression? What was the catalyst for our existence? (this is never explained but is promised to be revealed when you get back to that state or plane of being/nonbeing etc.. LOL)
For these absolute monists the only real thing is god and everything else is illusiary including our sense of self. This is why they preach the losing of self or suppression of the ego. "God + Desires = Man.. "Man - Desires = God. etc.. One can look at the entire creation as the body and being of god including our little selves. We are like drops of water in the ocean of god.
The big bang to these people is only that last stage of expression that the physical universes (yes plural) rolled out from. There are even more and larger astral universes and even larger still Causal or Mental Universes. The spiritual planes are above all these and beyond all name or form. They are beyond time and space.. etc.. It doesn't matter because they are all illusion. We just have to see through these illusions to get back home.
In other words, they don't know how the universe came into being but decided to come up with a much more elaborate and interesting story to tell everyone than the other religions.
It strikes me that either belief requires the follower to wait for the afterlife/enlightenment for the belief system to make complete sense. It's an extreme form of procrastination...we'll get around to ironing out the kinks in our theology later. It also makes acceptance of mystery (some would call it bull shit) a requirement for good religious practice.
"Dad, God doesn't make sense. I don't understand how this could all be true."
"You're just not believing hard enough. Have faith. It will make sense in heaven."