Aaron concludes: "But it seems silly to take it from there and assert a belief in the lack of a thing, whether it's a god or a fairy."
On this reckoning, as soon as I posit the existence of something fictional that I have just thought up (like little red-faced six-legged space warriors landing a flying spaghetti-plate UFO craft from the planet Kolob on some deserted spot on Earth) you will still say that nobody can "assert a belief in the lack" of this possibility---nor even if instead "it's a god or a fairy" [which are only further inventions of the human mind].
By contrast, I am saying that when a concept has been invented inside the brain of man or woman, then that is the start and end of it. It is fiction.
So I'll repeat what I wrote elsewhere a few hours ago:
"Someone, somewhere, in the Palaeolithic prehistory of homo sapiens was the first to invent the baloney idea that purporting there was a god could explain a lot of things that were not otherwise understood.
Billions of people have accepted this baloney ever since. This does not make the baloney god any more believable than formerly---in fact no more believable than the many other fictional story inventions like pink unicorns and Bertrand Russell's solar orbiting china teapot between Earth and Mars.
That is why I cannot accept the baloney god idea, even to the level of 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% "So I agree with Michael Jensen, Joan Denoo and others earlier in this long thread that I hold to the view that 100% is effectively the most satisfactory answer, on current knowledge, to the question of the original post.
What I am 100% against is anything that speaks for the possibility of anything that can be construed as supernatural.
I am a 100% natural philosophical scientist who allows for zero percentage with regard to the supernatural.
I accept all the proven laws of science, besides which there are likely to be further laws of science as yet unknown. Among them all, lie the answers to understanding the origins--or the endless existence--of the Universe.
Further to these remarks I applaud that currently known physics, theoretical physics and cosmology with their applicable knowledge of quantum mechanics and fundamental-particle high-energy physics look quite capable of explaining the actuality of an ever-existing Universe.
Professor Vic Stenger's excellent books summarise.
I have written before in this thread about these matters--roughly one year ago and two years ago--where I briefly explain (as also in "Origins").
We don't have to have any awareness of an entity for it to exist otherwise it's existence would be dependent on our thoughts. How many people know that I exist? Does their knowledge or lack of knowledge affect my existence? If someone's knowledge affects my existence, then that means I exist/ed. Or am I thinking about this all wrong?
Philosophy can get really tangled up, backwards, etc. My ideas don't make things true or false. Maybe I made up something in my mind. Maybe the universe IS god. I don't think that would be a meaningful understanding to have personally. If something IS everything, then saying that god is the universe is the same as saying something like this: everything is everything. It doesn't explain anything.
Here's a wonderful Sagan quote: In many cultures, the customary answer is that a God or Gods created the Universe out of nothing. But if we wish to pursue this question courageously, we must of course ask the next question, where did God come from? If we decide that this is an unanswerable question, why not save a step and conclude that the origin of the Universe is an unanswerable question? Or, if we say that God always existed, why not save a step, and conclude that the Universe always existed?