Creation from nothing – how, by what or who?

The crux of debate about the origin of the universe is whether something can arise spontaneously from nothing, that is that the Big Bang was a contingent event without any cause, such as an 'uncreated creator'. 

The central concept that receives little or no attention in this debate is the concept of 'nothing'. By definition, nothing cannot exist. How then do we then even arrive at the idea of nothing?

The word 'nothing' is simply a contraction of 'no thing'. This shows that there is no positive conception of nothing, only an idea of the absence of some thing or other, or of all things (and, if one prefers, of all matter and energy). Thus, nothing is not an empirical concept, there is no basis for it in experience, only in the interpretation of perception… the deduction that something is not present (where it was expected to be). 

On the BBC programme "The God Question - the Cosmos" it was held by Dr. John Lennox that theologians that the choice between God or science is a false dualism since the Big Bang creation 'from nothing' is acceptable both to science and theology, but that God, not science, put the universe there, being 'Himself uncreated'. This idea he did not bother to explain (just as he did not explain how "The fact is that there is a God watching means that there's going to be justice"). An unidentified Muslim on the BBC programme claimed that "The question 'Who made God?' is actually an illogical question." He did not demonstrate or give any context to explain how a question could be illogical, however, he simply asserted it. So much for his logic.

All who would argue that the universe was created from nothing by an 'uncreated creator', are appealing to nothing as a precondition of existence. The only alternative is that the universe was created from something prior to the Big Bang, which obviates the idea of its creation from nothing.  When theists insist that it was created by God and define God as 'uncreated', they simply mystify the issue yet further, as whatever was never created evidently cannot exist. To assert it could while lacking all evidence of the possibility is totally illogical (and totally not empirical, of course)… so it appears as sheer mental stubbornness. By that measure, the universe, created from nothing by God, logically makes God nothing too.

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Comment by booklover on January 12, 2014 at 10:10am

"...makes God nothing too."

I like that!

Comment by kent l thompson on January 9, 2014 at 3:55am

Sometimes I can only wonder if any of it exsist in any form anywhere.....could all just be an illusion.........from the beginning to the end? Probably not........but sometimes I cannot help but wonder........all I know is that I will accept the conclusions drawn by science over an elusive sky monster that seems to know only destruction not creation.......if any of this makes sense to you I will be amazed! Have a wonderful day all!

Comment by Michael Penn on January 7, 2014 at 10:41am

I have heard of an explanation that has something (whatever it is) hanging like clear sheets with a close proxsemity together, and everything started when one of these sheets bumped into the other. This produced a visible effect sort of like throwing a rock into a pond, and our universe was on its way, complete with sound. We suppose the sound to be the "big bang." Another way of explaining this would be two sheets of glass that bump and strt a reaction where they crack and break, ever expanding through the sheets with the "broken particles" unable to go anywhere, but it all becomes our universe as we know it.

This is a model used to explain an idea and it has no more usefulness than "the rock in the pond" and a "ripple effect." Perhaps at this time we cannot really know any more.

Your "universe created from nothing by an uncreated creator" amuses me, and yet the theists want to believe it that way. They accept a bible proven logically to be wrong, full of bizarre stories that could not possibly be true, and leaving their god himself on the borderline of myth. Next they want to jump their god back and forth from the bible into an infinite cosmos like playing some giant chess game, appearing not to have enough sense to know that there is nothing "scientific" here. Science doesn't work that way, and christian logic went right out the window. Funny thing is, they don't understand why you can't see it their way.

One might get as far proving our origins using a Batman comic.

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