Author Topic: If not God, then how did the universe start?  (Read 3226 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
If not God, then how did the universe start?
« on: August 12, 2012, 07:54:14 AM »
I imagine this has been discussed to death, but it's something that has been fresh in my mind recently, one way or another.

Hal's recent thread suggesting that theists are delusional pissed me off quite frankly, because I have never heard anybody ever explain how the universe started if there wasn't some sort of un-created intelligence behind it (God).

And if that can't be explained, it seems mighty arrogant to label somebody deluded who believes it was God.

So - can it be explained?

Caveat: I am very poorly educated generally in all things science, so if you could use laymans terms as much as possible I'd appreciate it.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10853
  • Darwins +280/-37
  • Gender: Male
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2012, 08:01:24 AM »
If your god can be without cause, why not the universe?
In other words:
"If not bigger god, how did smaller god start?"
Ascribing the beginning of the universe to your god just begs the question as to how it came to be. It's not an answer.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline HAL

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5012
  • Darwins +98/-17
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 08:02:22 AM »
How did the universe start?

I don't know.

Offline jetson

  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 7275
  • Darwins +170/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Meet George Jetson!
    • Jet Blog
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 08:02:55 AM »
Just because we do not have an answer, does not mean that you can make one up.  Where is any shred of evidence whatsoever that a god is necessary, or involved if one even existed?  Where?

Think of it this way.  A bunch of humans standing around wondering where the heck we came from, and slowly peeling back the layers of complex information and facts about our universe, attempting to figure it all out.  Simultaneously, someone invents the idea that there must be something out there that created it all, because - there just must be?

I truly have no idea how anyone can stand around and assume there must be a god in charge of creation just becasue there is no current explanation.

3sigma

  • Guest
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 08:11:45 AM »
Hal's recent thread suggesting that theists are delusional pissed me off quite frankly, because I have never heard anybody ever explain how the universe started if there wasn't some sort of un-created intelligence behind it (God).

And if that can't be explained, it seems mighty arrogant to label somebody deluded who believes it was God.

So - can it be explained?

Nobody knows for sure what caused the Big Bang. Atheists don’t claim to know what caused the universe to come into existence.

Theists do claim to know what caused the universe to come into existence. They claim “God did it.” However, they haven’t a shred of sound evidence or a single sound argument to support that claim or even the claim that their God is real.

Saying “God did it” is just an admission of ignorance and defeat. It is a shallow answer to comfort shallow thinkers. It is a condensed way of saying. “I don’t know how it happened, but not knowing makes me feel insecure so I’m going to assume a simple answer that reinforces my comforting religious beliefs and I’m unable or unwilling to investigate any further.”

Offline HAL

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5012
  • Darwins +98/-17
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 08:34:15 AM »
He probably thought he would be able to pin somebody down because they would say they knew how the universe started. I don't think magicmiles really wants an answer.

Barring that he'll just probably huff and puff a bit and leave the thread to die off.

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 08:45:03 AM »
My aim here is not to present evidences for God. I'm interested to know if any alternate explanations exist. You're all a bit defensive, so far. Except Hal.

Relax. We're friends....right? (mostly..)
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline pianodwarf

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4356
  • Darwins +208/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Je bois ton lait frappé
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 08:50:03 AM »
My aim here is not to present evidences for God. I'm interested to know if any alternate explanations exist. You're all a bit defensive, so far. Except Hal.

{bold mine}

Your use of the word "alternate" here presupposes that "God did it" is, itself, an explanation.  But it isn't.  What it means is, "An unknowable being did something using unknowable methods for unknowable reasons".  Such an "explanation" is no explanation at all.

Quote
Relax. We're friends....right? (mostly..)

Pretty much.  :-)
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Traveler

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2056
  • Darwins +142/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • no god required
    • I am a Forum Guide
    • Gryffin Designs
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 08:52:03 AM »
There are several hypotheses out there, but no one knows. Saying that we don't know is very comfortable for a scientist. Science is about exploring, testing, seeking answers. The universe is very, very, VERY ancient. Learning about its beginning is very, very, VERY difficult.

Some religious people like to say that god has always existed. Well, if god could always have existed, so could the universe I suppose, in one form or another. But no one's ever managed to explain how god came about, and I'm not really buying the "always" thing about god OR the universe.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline HAL

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5012
  • Darwins +98/-17
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 09:04:01 AM »
My aim here is not to present evidences for God. I'm interested to know if any alternate explanations exist.

Suppose every single person who responded said "I don't know".

How would that affect your view on the subject?


Offline kin hell

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5378
  • Darwins +152/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • - .... . .-. . /.. ... / -. --- / --. --- -.. ...
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2012, 09:20:12 AM »
....the relatively common atheist statement that theists are delusional seems to be the real point here.

What's worth understanding MM is that the "delusional" is not be about gods (or target a god specifically, if any), it can apply directly to the fact that many many theists just claim they KNOW.

It has nothing to do with god, the god invention is just a symptom of the delusion.
Their delusion is the idea that somehow they know.

Without the slightest shred of evidence required.

And then they try to reverse engineer the real universe (where rationality normally is the preferred tool of choice for life choices) by awarding the concept of "Faith" kudos.

It is absolutely delusional to give "Faith" (as a tool for making life choices) the slightest merit in the real observable world.

A rational person says "I don't know" when presented with your questions. An irrational person claims knowledge.
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Dante

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2179
  • Darwins +71/-9
  • Gender: Male
  • Hedonist Extraordinaire
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 09:46:02 AM »
"Uncreated Creator" seems to me the most arrogant and asinine belief in these discussions.

Why is that so much easier for theists to believe? Energy and matter couldnt be eternal, but a sentient being could? That's more plausible? Really?

How, pray tell, would a presumably sentient being exist, uncreated? How would it acquire knowledge? How could it be self aware with nothing to relate to?

Sorry, but its nonsensical.

Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Traveler

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2056
  • Darwins +142/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • no god required
    • I am a Forum Guide
    • Gryffin Designs
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 09:48:57 AM »
....the relatively common atheist statement that theists are delusional seems to be the real point here.

What's worth understanding MM is that the "delusional" is not be about gods (or target a god specifically, if any), it can apply directly to the fact that many many theists just claim they KNOW.

It has nothing to do with god, the god invention is just a symptom of the delusion.
Their delusion is the idea that somehow they know.

Without the slightest shred of evidence required.

And then they try to reverse engineer the real universe (where rationality normally is the preferred tool of choice for life choices) by awarding the concept of "Faith" kudos.

It is absolutely delusional to give "Faith" (as a tool for making life choices) the slightest merit in the real observable world.

A rational person says "I don't know" when presented with your questions. An irrational person claims knowledge.

Somehow this brings a fresh perspective to my understanding of WHY most religions seem absurd to me. I had thought only of the god belief being delusional ... but it really does come down to the ridiculous notion that they think they can KNOW something without evidence. Thanks for this.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Garja

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 759
  • Darwins +38/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 09:54:32 AM »
My biggest problem with theists using this argument (not saying the OP is doing this) is they attempt the scientific high ground with it by starting their argument with "everything" has a cause, and neglect to see that by saying "everything" they pull god into the same situation and that he needs to have a cause.  This is despite the fact that we are talking about and event that, if my understanding is correct, exists outside of time and space - we aren't really certain that the typical laws of causality apply.  In any case, I think its just a typical "god of the gaps" argument dressed up in a question that I honestly don't see science ever answering with any kind of certainty.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline kin hell

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5378
  • Darwins +152/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • - .... . .-. . /.. ... / -. --- / --. --- -.. ...
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 10:18:30 AM »
....the relatively common atheist statement that theists are delusional seems to be the real point here.

What's worth understanding MM is that the "delusional" is not be about gods (or target a god specifically, if any), it can apply directly to the fact that many many theists just claim they KNOW.

It has nothing to do with god, the god invention is just a symptom of the delusion.
Their delusion is the idea that somehow they know.

Without the slightest shred of evidence required.

And then they try to reverse engineer the real universe (where rationality normally is the preferred tool of choice for life choices) by awarding the concept of "Faith" kudos.

It is absolutely delusional to give "Faith" (as a tool for making life choices) the slightest merit in the real observable world.

A rational person says "I don't know" when presented with your questions. An irrational person claims knowledge.

Somehow this brings a fresh perspective to my understanding of WHY most religions seem absurd to me. I had thought only of the god belief being delusional ... but it really does come down to the ridiculous notion that they think they can KNOW something without evidence. Thanks for this.

My pleasure Trav

Key for me in regards to my active dislike of the potential of this delusion, is the ability for the unscrupulous to make claims  >and be believed<.

To claim, for instance, that one is an interpreter, a direct conduit between god and man, and because the believers are trained from birth (or desire) to choose "Faith" over rational appraisal, then any sort of ridiculous "Knowledge" can be accepted.

And how is this Truth ever verified?   By the self-fufilling idiocy of "it is true, because I have the faith to Know it is true....  irregardless of what the real world shows"



It grinds my teeth.

So magic, when you comment about the injustice of atheists calling theists delusional and base your position on the idea that atheists cannot know (perhaps just for now) what came first, you fully underline the most core and basic delusion upon which all theism is based.



"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Online jdawg70

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1932
  • Darwins +347/-7
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2012, 12:24:41 PM »
My aim here is not to present evidences for God. I'm interested to know if any alternate explanations exist. You're all a bit defensive, so far. Except Hal.

Relax. We're friends....right? (mostly..)

My favorite response to the question "How did the universe begin" is basically:
I don't know.  Good question.  How do we go about finding the answer?

Better that I admit ignorance than to make up an answer.  Well, unless it's the SAT I suppose.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6406
  • Darwins +829/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 02:31:55 PM »
The good thing about science is that there is no penalty for wrong guesses. A wrong guess gets you that much closer to the right answer and helps you eliminate other wrong guesses. With religion a wrong guess (based on no evidence, so it really is just a guess, a shot in the dark)  could mean eternal damnation.  :)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Brakeman

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1243
  • Darwins +47/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2012, 02:47:47 PM »
Time was created at the big bang, as time is a function of gravity and speed. There is no "time" before "time. Time is not infinitely regressable.
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Online Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11906
  • Darwins +298/-82
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2012, 04:24:05 PM »
I agree with Hal: I do not know. But I'll go a step further and say, I do not care, either.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2012, 09:05:42 PM »


So magic, when you comment about the injustice of atheists calling theists delusional and base your position on the idea that atheists cannot know (perhaps just for now) what came first, you fully underline the most core and basic delusion upon which all theism is based.

I never said it was unjust, I said it pissed me of.

It probably always will, but then again I'm easily pissed off. I'm also easily distracted, so I am going to have to take another break from the forums for a while and catch up on work.

Until then.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline boobatuba

  • Freshman
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Darwins +6/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2012, 10:07:51 PM »
"God did it" is one of those answer that scientists would call, accurately, "not even wrong."

Offline jaimehlers

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4768
  • Darwins +546/-14
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 07:46:00 AM »
"How did the universe start?" is a question that we simply don't have enough information to answer.  We have the expansion of the universe and the cosmic microwave background radiation, and possibly some other things I'm not aware of.  Backtracking from those, it's reasonable to conclude that the universe started as a massive expansion of energy that later coalesced into matter.  But we simply don't know how that actually started.

That's the fundamental problem with assuming a god, or some other thing, started the universe.  For example, let's suppose for a moment that a god did actually start the universe.  That presupposes the question of where that god came from.  If it came from somewhere else, where is that somewhere?  We have no evidence of a place where a god might have come from (discounting purely subjective evidence from a person's belief, for we have no way to determine how accurate it might be).  If it did not, and (say) appeared when the universe did, then how does that differ from the universe starting itself?

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12130
  • Darwins +646/-27
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2012, 08:52:24 AM »
So - can it be explained?

Sure.

In the beginning there was the Ginnungagap.  On one side was Niflheim.  It was a realm of ice.  On the other side was Muspelheim.  It was a realm of fire.  Then, when the two regions mixed, they created a giant, named Ymir.  And the rest, as they say, was history.

Don't like that one?  Okay.

In the beginning there was The Firm.  They were a corporation that designed and constructed universes.  They have always just existed.  One day - whatever that means outside time and space - their sales team said they had a customer who wanted a particularly sparse and lonely universe, one that would be hostile to life.  The design team thought that was stupid, but hey, the customer is always right.  So they designed a universe with superhot stars, relatively rare planets, and vast stretches of empty intergalactic vacuum.

They turned the designs over to production, but they were held up by finance.  Apparently the customer was on credit hold.  The sales argued with the finance department and a few days later - whatever that means outside time and space - they were given the green light.   They created a singularity with some preset, finely tuned laws and then lit the fuse.  Some time later - whatever that means outside time and space - boom.  The sparse and lonely universe hostile to life expanded into being.  The customer was very happy.

Don't like that one?  Too fucking bad.  It's true and you cannot prove it isn't.  Plus, your alternative is shit.  One guy doing all the work?  Right.  Obviously it would take a whole team to create a universe.  I mean, how often to do see one person invent, finance and manufacture anything let alone as complex as the universe?  One person couldn't even design, make, market, distribute and sell a DVD player.  And even if your "single designer" hypothesis were possible, what about the tools?  Where did he get the tools?  And you would still have to have a customer.

Miles, you have the mind of a child. 
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline HAL

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5012
  • Darwins +98/-17
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 12:24:40 PM »
Hal's recent thread suggesting that theists are delusional pissed me off quite frankly, ...

Good. I'm glad you're pissed off. You should be pissed off that others think you are delusional. Now do something about it.

Quote
because I have never heard anybody ever explain how the universe started if there wasn't some sort of un-created intelligence behind it (God).

In the first place, saying a god created the universe is not an answer to how, it's an answer to who. Science is trying to answer how, religion only says who (or what) created it. How is that even satisfying?

But what would it matter if it was shown that a god did create the universe? OK, that explains who did it, but not how, so you'd still be asking (along with us) how the universe was created.

But that just leads to the next question - how did this deity come to exist? Why would you end up at a more satisfying place than you are right now?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 12:28:08 PM by HAL »

Offline Astreja

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2972
  • Darwins +256/-3
  • Gender: Female
  • Agnostic goddess with Clue-by-Four™
    • The Springy Goddess
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2012, 12:30:49 PM »
And even if your "single designer" hypothesis were possible, what about the tools?  Where did he get the tools?

Never mind the tools -- Where did this designer get the energy to do anything at all, even think about creating a universe, if energy/matter didn't exist until the Big Bang?  I think that there was something already in existence pre-BB, something natural and not necessarily self-aware.
Reality Checkroom — Not Responsible for Lost Articles

Offline inveni0

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 556
  • Darwins +11/-1
    • iMAGINARY god
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2012, 01:38:23 PM »
My aim here is not to present evidences for God. I'm interested to know if any alternate explanations exist. You're all a bit defensive, so far. Except Hal.

Relax. We're friends....right? (mostly..)

I don't believe that you want alternate explanations, but let me give you some that are just as true as the idea that God did it.

1) The universe is the result of two "star whales" mating, and we're riding the back of the female star whale until it releases us into an eternal space.  (We detect this ride as the expansion of the universe.)
2) At the very smallest level of existence, there are two specks of "light".  These specks collided, by accident, 4 trillion years ago and started sucking space inward.  When all of the space was sucked inward, the specks exploded, and now we have a universe.  These specks didn't have a beginning, though.  They aren't matter or energy.  They just always were in existence.
3) We exist within a computer simulation, programmed by an advanced race of beings that has existed for 400 trillion years.  These beings are known as "The Prayli", and they will one day power off their machines, and we will be completely erased.

What's the matter?  How can you say that my three explanations sound ridiculous?  I assert that they are absolutely true, because no one is offering me any alternate explanations.

/s

Now, if THAT doesn't show you the flaw in your thought, then I don't know what will.
http://www.imaginarygod.com

My book designed to ease kids into healthy skepticism is available for pre-order. http://www.peterskeeter.com

Offline waterdownpoet

  • Novice
  • Posts: 2
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2012, 03:18:07 PM »
why this obsession with beginings and endings, what if there are no beginings or endings
it's always been there in one form or another

Offline nogodsforme

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6406
  • Darwins +829/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2012, 03:32:42 PM »
why this obsession with beginings and endings, what if there are no beginings or endings
it's always been there in one form or another
Religious groups had the monopoly on beginnings, middles and endings for many centuries. They have pretty much lost the middle to science, so they are hanging on real tight to the beginning and ending. Science, with the Hadron Collider, etc, is moving towards explaining the beginning.

I predict that when the scientific community comes up with an explanation of the origins of the universe, religious people will say, "Well, yeah, okay, so the beginning is all physics. And the middle is all chemistry and biology.  But you guys don't know how it will all end, do you? Hah! Until you can tell us that, it's god."

Notice how people have become so obsessed over the end of the world and the rapture? That's all they will have left. Until. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline relativetruth

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 593
  • Darwins +7/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2012, 03:42:33 PM »
Our universe is just one of a googleplex of universes 'created' by the multiverse of sething energy.

Each universe is just a bubble in the boiling cauldron of existence.

At the start of each universe the main constants (G-gravity, C-Speed of light, the number of dimensions, etc) are set randomly.
Over 99.99999999% of all these bubbles just fissile out and disintegrate.

We have evolved and exist because the constants of this universe provided the space for our appearance!
God(s) exist and are imaginary