Something From Nothing? August 13, 2007Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, freethought, religion, science, skepticism, theism.
In a recent email conversation with a Christian I was annoyed by his frequent assertion that atheism implied that at the beginning of the universe something had to have come from nothing. (Perhaps I am easily annoyed.)
The crux of my response was this: We humans have no idea what rules or conditions exist “outside” the universe. It looks highly unlikely that we will ever have any information about what things might be like outside of the universe. For this reason no one can make any reasonable claim to knowledge of what can or cannot happen or exist outside the universe.
There may be whole civilizations of “gods” out there, or there may be nothing. Most likely there is something completely undefinable and unimaginable to us.
Atheism makes no claims about what exist outside the universe other than the reasonable: “Whatever it is, it probably isn’t intelligent and all powerful.”
What we do know is that there was a big bang and there was rapid expansion of space, creation of stars, galaxies, planets and (at least on one) life. What caused the big bang, or whether or not it needed a cause will probably never be known.
Something may have come from nothing, or maybe not.