Comprehending Nothing Without God

Question from Topher:
First time asking here, so I have a lot of questions, and I apologize in advance…

[snip – SmartLX]

Thanks!

Answer by SmartLX:
I’ve moved your questions into my section for easy reading, without editing them. The answers will be the quick-and-dirty ones because we’ve covered them many times before. Search the site for keywords like “origins” for a lot more material.

How often do atheists doubt that God doesn’t exist?
Depends entirely on the atheist. Some never do, some occasionally do, some actively wish a particular God existed but can’t bring themselves to believe. I am fairly confident that there are no gods based on the conspicuous lack of good evidence, but I recognise it’s not intellectually defensible to be certain.

Do atheists believe nothing is self-existing?
Depends on the atheist but none of us have experienced true nothing, we’ve always been surrounded by something. It’s very hard to speculate on the nature of nothing when it’s never been observed.

If nothing is self-existing, why is there something?
If there was once nothing and now there’s something, it’s because “nothing” was unstable. Matter and antimatter can emerge from a space where neither previously existed, balancing each other out by keeping the net matter/energy at zero. That’s the best hypothesis so far, if a something-from-nothing scenario is considered.

Doesn’t anything require something?
Not based on the above phenomenon. Apart from that though, we are in no position to say what is required to create matter and energy because everything we see consists of matter and energy that has existed since the Big Bang, merely converting from one form to another over time. Perhaps it has been like that forever, even before the Big Bang.

At the very least the natural laws are self-existent, right?
We have no idea what they are contingent upon, if anything. If there are multiple universes the natural laws for each might be completely different. Every universal value we think of as constant might suddenly vary by 50% next week, for reasons we wouldn’t have time to discern before we were destroyed by the resulting cosmic upheaval.

If there was no time or space pre- Big Bang, how or why were there natural laws if there were?
Continuing the thought just above, perhaps there weren’t, and what you think of as natural laws are dependent entirely on (or emergent from) the presence of time, space, energy and matter.

Scripture gives you simple answers to questions like these, or at least gives you the confidence to assert certain answers. You have no assurance that your answers are correct except the insistences of the text itself and your fellow believers, so while you do not need to consider them further you are merely rolling their uncertainty into the all-encompassing assertion that God took care of everything. Atheists simply admit they don’t know, and are content from day to day with not knowing because as long as we don’t believe in creator gods the only alternative for us is self-deception.

6 thoughts on “Comprehending Nothing Without God”

  1. To the question, if nothing is self existing then why is there something, I would add that I call the inconsistency of nothing…the pregnant nothing.

    Thus, the very nature of nothing was/is the source of something, which means that teal nothing, in human sense of the word,w never existed, thus there is something, which only seemingly came out of nothing.

    Otherwise, there would be truly nothing and before and now and in the indefinite future, if the previous inconsistent nothing was a real nothing.

    So, inconsistency here is another word for the nothing consisting of something, i.e. pregnant nothing.

    1. “Doesn’t anything require something?
      Not based on the above phenomenon. Apart from that though, we are in no position to say what is required to create matter and energy because everything we see consists of matter and energy that has existed since the Big Bang, merely converting from one form to another over time. Perhaps it has been like that forever, even before the Big Bang.”
      First of the “above phenomenon” has never been proven to be an actual “phenomenon”. So you can’t base an argument upon something that for all intensive purposes has never occurred. For no one has repeated the steps that could have produced the “phenomenon”. So the “phenomenon” never occurred. And judging from how everything that is around being used as evidence, and that it all appears to have been created then it makes more sense to look at the possibility that all was created by an Intelligent being.

      1. Gerald writes: [For no one has repeated the steps that could have produced the “phenomenon”. So the “phenomenon” never occurred.]

        You are somewhat right here, Gerald. We cannot say, with 100% certainty, where all the energy in the universe came from. We have ample evidence that the universe started from a small point a long time ago, and that all the energy was present at that start. Where the energy came from is not known. We do know that matter/energy can pop into and out of existence from nothing (to be specific, by nothing we mean vacuum energy), so the idea that something can come from nothing has been experimentally proven (Casimir Effect) and therefore we can at least postulate that the energy for the universe came from something similar.

        The phenomena, in other words, has occurred and does occur every second of every day, but it hasn’t occurred at the scale of the universe that we’ve directly observed. Until we are able to prove that it can occur at the scale of a universe, the only thing we can accurately say is that we don’t know where the contents of the universe came from.

        [And judging from how everything that is around being used as evidence, and that it all appears to have been created then it makes more sense to look at the possibility that all was created by an Intelligent being.]

        God of the gaps argument by you. While we know something can pop from the nothingness of vacuum energy, and we know that the universe started out from a small point and expanded into what we have today, we have absolutely ZERO data that supports the existence of gods, or that these gods created anything. The reason a naturalistic explanation is pursued while a god explanation is not is because there is evidence that things happened, but no evidence that those things were a result of god activity.

  2. On SELF DECEPTION of the BELIEVERS in god(s), I wonder if there is a possibility the self deceived one, in this particular regard, is AWARE of their self deception, at least to a certain degree.

    I trust that BELIEVERS IN GOD(S) ALL KNOW they are FOOLING THEMSELVES and have NO SHAME about it, the ABSENCE OF THIS KIND OF SHAME on self deceivers’ side is the major DIFFERENCE between the CHARACTER traits of BELIEVERS IN GOD(S) and that of ATHEISTS.

    Further, self deceivers are even MORE PRONE to deceive the OTHERS, in this and any other particular matter.

    This is why I CANNOT TRUS a god believer, in my mind they are CHEATERS of their OWN SELVES and then of all the OTHERS around them.

    1. Niki. Why wouldn’t it be the ones who refuse to accept the evidence that because everything appears to be intelligently made that there must be God, that you are the ones who are fooling yourselves. Christians have the fact that everything appears to have been designed, but also we have the fact that all you and other Atheists have to offer in place of there being God is that maybe it all happened some other way. Yet, you all have no evidence that some other way was in any possible. Plus there have been so many other Atheists or Agnostics who have confessed that everything seems to have been designed. Along with this there are evolutionists and other scientists who themselves say that they really don’t see that the claims that are being offered in support for evolution are actually supporting evolution but instead support the Biblical narration for how life and for that matter the universe appeared.
      Please provide any facts that you have that have been verified in a lab showing how any of the speculative ways that Atheists imagine that their form of life happened has ever been duplicated. There are none. For if there were that evidence would have already been offered to quiet those of us who believe and trust in God.
      Adding along with all of this the very attempts that have been made to show how life could be made, all point to the fact that it takes a being with intelligence to make life. There are so many maybe’s and it’s possible’s that confront and quiet the Atheist’s claims that themselves blow the theory of evolution out of the water, and the halls of science.

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