A Post About Nothingon February 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm
I listened to the recent episode of the Atheist Experience podcast in which a caller debated Matt Dilahunty on the existence of god.
The caller’s first point to prove god’s existence was to ask Matt whether he would agree that something cannot come from nothing, to which Matt replied (correctly) that no, we don’t know that for a fact. Tracie also made an excellent point about the definition of nothing. Do we even know what nothing is? How do you define nothing because even empty space is something.
This question is supposed to be a ‘gotcha’ that theists use to argue for the existence of god. It goes like this:
“Do you agree that something cannot come from nothing?”
“Well, the universe had to come from something then, therefore, god.”
Except that it’s not that easy. Even if I were to grant the idea that something can’t come from nothing, and therefore the universe had to come from something, it still doesn’t implicitly mean that the god of the Bible did it. It could mean that a very advanced alien race used some type of Genesis Device to create our world, and while this alien race might appear to be godlike to us because of their advanced technology, it still doesn’t get you to the Abrahamic god.
If we both agree that something can’t come from nothing and you say that god must have created the universe and I say aliens must have, what are we left with? Two people making assertions that have no evidence to back them up, that’s where.
And I can turn this argument around if I said, “Can we agree that intelligence does not exist outside of a physical brain?” If your answer is yes, then I could argue that god )or at least an intelligent god) doesn’t exist because it lacks a physical brain, since god is supposedly spirit and non-corporeal. I know that’s a crappy argument, but it’s worth every bit as much as the something from nothing argument, which to say is nothing.
Am I oversimplifying this?