This is a continuation where I left off with “Deconstructing the God of the gaps,” where I argued that the theist’s belief in a creator is not displaced by scientific discovery. This time we will look at what we theists mean when we say “God” is creator.
We believe God created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing). As Robert John Russell said in an interview on “Closer to the Truth”:
“What it means is that without God there wouldn’t be anything in the first place. Thomas Aquinas was arguing for a creator ex nihilo during the time when Aristotle’s eternal universe was the view. He argued that even if it’s eternal it doesn’t mean it’s self-existent. It’s not self-explanatory. It doesn’t answer why it exists.”
Creation is about why things exist, not about how they began. You can watch that interview here.
So, why do we need God? We would say we need Him because without Him there would be no “us” to ask the question. Without God there would be no nature, no science, no mathematics, no religion, no universe, no gravity, no quantum energy, nothing whatsoever. There would just be God. As one of the earliest Christian creeds attests:
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col.1:16-17 NIV)
From the same “Closer to Truth” program, here is John Polkinghorne, former mathematical physicist at Cambridge, now a theologian, debunking some of Steven Hawking’s erroneous notions about God (“god of the gaps”), explaining that what we mean when we say God is creator is that He’s the cause and sustainer of the universe.
Later in this video (@19:35), Brian Leftow, Professor of Philosophy of Christian Religion at Oxford said this:
“Absolutely everything comes from God, absolutely everything depends on God, nothing was a given for God. For us, there are always things we inherited; for God, He inherited nothing. All comes from Him in some way or another.”
He goes on to say, this includes abstract objects (color, numbers, truths, etc), not located in space and time, as well as concrete material things in time and space.
As I’ve said before, we are not saying this proves that God exists but that it’s our answer to why there is something rather than nothing.
Who Created God?
Finally, the question comes up, “Well, who created God?” This is actually not something even asked by professional skeptics who have a good understanding of the theist position (unlike Richard Dawkins).
As atheist philosopher Michael Ruse said, responding to Richard Dawkins dismissive use of this objection, “Christians have some grown-up responses to these sorts of things. And I think that Dawkins does a serious disservice to the cause of non-belief by not being prepared to take seriously the kinds of things that believers believe in.”
When theists argue that the universe has a cause or an explanation, we are saying this infers a substance or a being that would be the first cause of all things and is uncreated and necessary, which then we would call this being “God” (from “Worst Objection to Theism: Who Created God? “).
Here’s a short clip from Oxford Professor of Theoretical Physics, Ard Louis, where he clears up the misconception about trying to show evidence for God and asking who created God.
The misconception is that God is not a “thing” that can be discovered in the universe. God, by definition, is the reason why the universe exists, so if there was no God there would be no universe. The reason this is an important distinction is because if you try to find causation inside the universe, you end up with an infinite regress (like with the multiverse option).
Of course, atheists will no doubt disagree with the theist’s explanation and, again, this does not prove God exists. I’m only giving our explanation. But you’re still left with the question, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” And as long as you have gravity, inflation, multiverses, quantum fields, a universe with a beginning or one that’s eternal, you’re still left with “something” and are not addressing the question. This is the category mistake that people like Dawkins makes when he asks, “Who created God?” as Louis points out:
“God is not an object in nature. So when you say, ‘who created God?’ you’re not talking about the God of Christian theism, you’re talking about some other type of god.”
I tell children who ask the question sincerely, “Where did God come from?” that God invented beginnings and therefore he has no beginning. J.
I like that. Simple and theological. 🙂
Yes, says the puddle, this hole is created perfectly to fit me. In fact, it must have been designed just this way. Therefore a divine Puddle Creator. The divine PC is beyond science. It has always been. It is everything and everything is it. Oh, how very grown up is this sophisticated understanding I present… not like those so immature who point out some other process or mechanism that requires no divine PC for me. They just don’t get it. Not mature enough. Too wooden. Too arrogant.
And your answer to why there is something instead of nothing is…
Silly, Mel. Atheists don’t offer answers.
Dear Leader ignores the miraculous reality of a self-aware puddle.
As a special creation of the divine Puddle Creator, how would we know if there was nothing rather than something? Only arrogant non believers would think my dichotomy of something OR nothing might be false. And we know they’re too wooden in their thinking if they criticize the obvious specialness of this puddle, am I right? There’s always been a divine PC, outside of time and space, silly. You kids….
No, but we might say they’re being insolent in a cheeky sort of way and avoiding the question.
You won’t accept a reasonable answer, like the one from Ark:
“No one knows the answer to this question, Mel.
There is currently only speculation. Speculation based on the assumption that something ‘created’ must therefore have a creator.”
So my puddle analogy is spot on. It, like you, merely assumes its speculation is an answer to a very poor ‘why’ question designed to insert whatever claim one prefers and then misrepresent it to be an ‘answer’ to something rather than present it for what it indisputably is: pure speculation… a speculation, I should add, that is about something outside of time and space for which there is absolutely no means for you or me or the puddle to gain any information about whatsoever!
No it’s not. It’s puerile and ridiculous.
I will just say to you what I said to Nan. Yes, we cannot prove an answer either way, but the theistic position is not just blind speculation. We have a logical reason why there is an answer. To say dismissively that we don’t know doesn’t make the question go away. An alternative answer to the question must be posited and scrutinized just as much as our position is being scrutinized by atheists.
Yet, physicists can posit a multiverse which is purely speculative and has no evidence whatsoever, so why should our view be mocked and the multiverse be given credibility? And the multiverse hypothesis still doesn’t address this question. It only attempts to answer fine-tuning.
Fine. Submit your equations to back up your hypothesis like has been amply demonstrated with the possibility of the multiverse and then you can claim you’re offering something more than pure speculative woo. And besides, the ‘fine tuning’ is the central point of the puddle analogy: just because it is tuned the way it is tuned does not suggest a tuning designer. Good grief, this “puerile and ridiculous’ point continues to elude you.
And yes, the theistic position is blind speculation. The logic you use is fundamentally broken by using premises that do not reflect anything we can know from reality but presents themselves as if true by fiat. This is why the ontological argument is nothing more than assuming the conclusion. Good grief. This too has been explained to you umpteen times, yet you just ignore the criticism and continue to recycle the broken argument as if it had any – and I mean any – knowledge merit when it conclusively does not. That’s why it remains speculation. It is a matter of speaking truth to power that you don’t know because, as also explain ad nauseam, you have placed the claimed agency outside of anything knowable. This is of your own doing, Mel. You. Not me. Not atheists. Not Dawkins. YOU. You want it both ways, keeping your god outside of becoming known (“science can’t answer these ‘why’ questions) but knowable by presuming an ‘answer’ you, You, YOU import.. So it is only right and proper to say dismissively that YOU don’t know any more than I do.
And of course saying an honest, “I don’t know” doesn’t make the question go away. It’s a really bad question because there is no way to know any answer equivalent in all ways to pure speculation including the one you prefer. But this problem doesn’t stop you from making shit up and pretending it doesn’t stink, nor offer you any pause to reassess the claim you keep making that the problem lies with those of us who can smell it for what it is.
Since mathematics can only predict or describe things in the cosmos, THAT would be bad question because it’s fallacious. The multiverse, even it exists, exists inside the cosmos. It’s still “something” no matter how many dimensions you add. It doesn’t answer the question.
Of course, then I have to ask why do we have mathematics in the first place? Why does math work at all? Why are there laws of nature, where do they come from? Even though they accurately describe singularities in nature, they explain nothing.
No, it’s not honest at all, Tildeb. It’s totally avoiding the question and mocking anyone who tries to proffer one. The only reason you think it’s a bad question and say it’s unknowable is because you only believe in scientism, which is a self-refuting worldview because it cannot be proven by science. So you are forever stuck in your closed-minded, myopic worldview with no answer for the most important question of life, why are we here? This is why your cop-out is not a satisfactory answer for most people.
You’ve confused me with someone else. I never suggested any such thing; I simply pointed out that your equivalency between your superstitious nonsense about a divine creator, straight out of Aristotelian physics long debunked about First Causes and contingent agents, and the reasons for considering the multiverse as a hypothesis is misplaced because unlike the multiverse, your model has no mathematical support. It’s pure woo, pure fiction, pure metaphysics ground in assumption, assertion, and assignment. You got nothin’.
Why do we have mathematics? Because the symbolic system of comparative numerical values in quantity work to describe quantifiable relationships in reality. This is where the ever-so-clever Sly Mel continues to ask ‘Why’ questions – not in the least concerned about getting actual answers that are useful and knowledgeable and relative to the question – until someone ‘answers’ goddidit, which is equivalent to saying I don’t know… except to Sly Mel. Then Sly Mel is a happy puddle because he already ‘knew the right answer’!
Oh goody goody. Sky Daddy will be so proud.
Hi Mel! Really great post. On the question of why there is something rather than nothing, are you aware of Leibniz’ Contingency Argument? I discovered a great video on the subject that I shared in a blog post yesterday. I’m not in the habit of sharing links to my blog posts on other people’s blogs, but it’s on my homepage if you’d like to check it out, of just search YouTube.
God bless you! Steven 🙏🏻
Thanks Steven. Will check it out when I get a chance.
How do you get from a creator (deism) to your creator, Jesus the Nazarene?
You have to answer this question first, otherwise what kind of necessary being is a pointless discussion.
I have to answer what question, Mel?
Why is there something instead of nothing? That’s what this post was answering. What’s your answer?
No one knows the answer to this question, Mel.
There is currently only speculation. Speculation based on the assumption that something ‘created’ must therefore have a creator.
If you or anyone wishes to posit a creator, fine by me.
My concern has always been how you arrive at the character Jesus the Nazarene being said creator.
So, how do you get from accepting a creator to stating that this creator is Jesus the Nazarene?
So, you’re conceding there could be a creator?
As I have said before, to you also in point of fact, I have no issues with deism.
So, how do get from the character Jesus the Nazarene to him being the creator of the universe?
So, you’re not really an anti-theist, but an anti-Christian agnostic? In other words, you don’t know if there is or isn’t a God, but Christians must be wrong.
It’s a fair question, and I dealt with it before and will address it specifically in the future. It’s just not the point of this post.
No. And please don’t preempt my answer.
I have no problems if people with to believe in a deity. I don’t. But this is fine.
Deism, as far as I am aware has no specific doctrine.
Theism is godf specific. This I have issues with.
So, can you now answer my question, please:
How do you arrive at the conclusion that Jesus the Nazarene is the creator of the universe. A brief summary will d fine.Thanks.
You said before that you gladly admitted being an anti-theist. But you’re really an anti-Christian agnostic because you don’t know and deism is fine with you. Just so you know, this is the definition of deism below. You cannot say deism is fine and be an atheist.
I’m just trying to ascertain what you actually do believe.
Sure. Based on all the evidence I have come across so far, I consider myself to be an atheist. No question.
But to flesh out the reply, as I sense this is what you want me to do:
If someone wishes to believe in a creator deity- Thomas Paine comes to mind – then I have no gripes with such a belief as there is no god- specific doctrine that accompanies such a belief – as far as I am aware. I came across the terms Cold & Warm deism.
There is no deist handbook or deist holy book.
So just to bullet the points for you.
1. I am an atheist.
2. I have no issues with deism (to date) as there is no official doctrine or dogma or holy book. It is not a revealed belief.
3. And , yes, I am anti-theist/anti-christian/ anti Muslim anti religion in general.
In the words of Jack Nicholson ( A few good men).
”Are we clear?”
Right let me read your links …..
Ark wrote: “No one knows the answer to this question, Mel. There is currently only speculation. Speculation based on the assumption that something ‘created’ must therefore have a creator.”
I don’t believe he’s conceding anything. As he states, it is “speculation based on … assumption.” Speculation is an opinion based on incomplete evidence and assumption is a hypothesis (proposal) taken for granted.
This is essentially the core of Christian belief.
Yes, it cannot be proven, and science cannot answer it either. But the theistic position is not just blind speculation. We have a logical reason why there is an answer. To say dismissively that we don’t know doesn’t make the question go away. An alternative answer to the question must be posited and scrutinized just as much as our position is being scrutinized by atheists.
And one cannot be an atheist and be okay with deism. He or she would be an agnostic, at best. I’m just trying to get through the non-committed murkiness of Ark’s position on this particular question.
You wrote, “To say dismissively that we don’t know doesn’t make the question go away.”
That’s definitely true. But it’s certainly a more honest answer that positing a response built totally on faith/belief/speculation/assumption. 🙂
We’re being honest when we say we cannot prove God and only offering an answer. And there’s a difference between being honest and being dismissive and avoiding the question.
Recycling this dishonesty yet again, Mel? How drool. Theism is about belief, atheism about not believing. Deism is about the possibility of gods, which is a knowledge claim, a gnostic claim. By admitting one does not know one is agnostic. And that is why one can be an agnostic atheist… like Dawkins himself and many other atheists like I am readily admit.
Of course, you have to try to pretend the two are incompatible ideas, that knowledge and faith are equivalent. That’s the intentional dishonesty you commit time and time again in spite of me pointing out why out this recycled apologetic trope is dishonest time and time again.
The puddle wants to know why Mel practices intentional dishonesty? Is it contagious? What motivation drives him to be dishonest time and time again? It would prefer to hear it from you rather than hear only my speculation. It’s funny that way.
Recycling your own atheistic tripe, Tildeb? Dawkins is an anti-theist, which he himself admits to, even though he contradicts himself. And to say you have no beliefs is a convenient cop-out and dishonest because in order to mock us and ridicule our position you must be believing in something else. This is why you have no credibility when you say this naïve nonsense.
All you have given me, Tildeb, is your belligerent scientistic dogma, not some imaginary position of non-belief you pretend to hold. THAT is ingenuous to the core.
Can you link to one of the posts you have written on it so I can re-familiarize myself with your argument?
Sure, you can start with the theological answer, like with the “Incarnation of Christ” series. Historically, with the historicity of Jesus.
I just did a quick click and peruse. I’m pretty sure I have read most if not all of these.
If memory serves absolutely nothing in these posts demonstrates that the character Jesus the Nazarene to be the creator of the universe.
Can you lay out a specific argument?
I will post something more specific to creation in the future, but if you asking for evidence beyond any shred of doubt there is no such thing (as this is also true about a lot of things).
So, in truth, you have only faith and no evidence to really speak of, am I correct?
Here we go again down the Ark rabbit trail. It will depend on what you mean by evidence. If you mean hard scientific evidence that would also include a lot of other things we all believe and take for granted. But you’ll just have to wait, either way.
We have established that I am okay with those who wish to believe in deism.
Now I want to establish what evidence you have to show that Jesus the Nazarene is this creator deity.
Someone like Luke Barnes has at least written a paper for his fine-tuned theory. But what have you got that demonstrates the ”tuner” is the character Jesus the Nazarene?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
Yes, why is there something rather than nothing?
Of course, we’re not even entirely sure the question is meaningful. In previous posts you have conceded that:
1) There was never nothing
2) Not everything has a cause.
So, as there was never nothing, and not everything requires a cause, then anyone can simply deploy the exact same rationale you’re deploying, and it’s a wash.
But, for a moment, I’m happy to grant meaning to the question. Now, we’ve established that Aquinas was wrong in his suggested answer to WHY, so the question remains unanswered by your religion.
Why did an aseitic being create an artificial world, especially when there was no obvious reason or need to? An aseitic being, after all, wants for nothing, and needs for nothing. So, what was its motivation?
What is the purpose of this artificial construct?
Why is there something rather than nothing?
I think you’re confused here. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its nature, or in an external cause. The only thing that would have no cause is what is referred to as a necessary being or thing. It would be impossible for it not to exist. Contingent things are caused to exist by something else. They don’t have to exist. It’s logically possible that the cosmos might not have existed, and if it might not have existed, why does it exist? The only explanation is that it’s contingent on a necessary entity. And if the cosmos itself is contingent, it cannot cause itself.
This is why the question is relevant.
What we refer to as “God” is an uncaused, necessarily existing, non-contingent, non-physical, immaterial, eternal being.
So, John, why do you say there is something instead of nothing?
Yes, I understand the philosophical argument of necessity, I use it in my books, and I would remind you, you can’t define something into existence.
And who’s saying the universe is contingent? Why can’t the universe (of which we only interact with, and understand, 4.6% of) be aseitic?
So, John, why do you say there is something instead of nothing?
I’ve already told you, I’m not even convinced that is a valid question. Knowing only 4.6% of this world, it would be the height of arrogance to suggest I did know… Akin to people not that very long ago making suggestions as to what was holding the flat earth up: turtles, elephants…
But, in answer to your question, as you seem perfectly fine in saying there was never nothing, then I guess I’m also fine in saying just that, too. There was never nothing. We have evidence the universe exists. We have no evidence the god the Pentateuch, Yhwh, exists. And with that being the balance, I guess my suggestion trumps yours with regards to plausibility.
Now, you say in the post, Creation is about why things exist, not about how they began.
Fair enough. You don’t want to talk about the details… But you haven’t answered that why question Mel.
Considering an aseitic being wants for nothing, and needs nothing, why did Yhwh (an aseitic being) create an artificial world?
What was its motivation?
Why is there an artificial something?
I’m curious, Mel… Considering it’s the central topic of this post, are you ever going to answer the Why questions?
I’m curious why you keep asking me this question since I’ve given my answer in about 500 posts. Here’s a good summation. This is from Dr. C. Baxter Kruger’s “Summary of the Trinitarian Vision of God“:
Now, it’s your turn. Why is there something instead of nothing.
Now, it’s your turn. Why is there something instead of nothing.
I believe I’ve already answered that. But to repeat: as you seem perfectly fine in saying there was never nothing, then I guess I’m also fine in saying just that, too: There was never nothing.
I’m curious why you keep asking me this question since I’ve given my answer in about 500 posts.
No, you haven’t provided an answer before, which is why I’ve been forced to repeat the question ad nauseum.
And now you paste someone else’s thoughts? But OK, let’s look at it.
“The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle …
This is fundamentally flawed. An aseitic being cannot “open” and spread out. An aseitic being cannot leak into something new, for that would contradict the very definition of aseity. Something artificial was created… something wholly separate from the aseitic being. And we know this because this world is sealed between the three things an aseitic being could never directly experience, but could impose on an artificial scape: a BEGINNING, a MIDDLE, and an END.
An aseitic being cannot, after all, not be. An aseitic being cannot die. No such limitation exists in this world. A single-celled amoeba will enter this world, uninvited, live its entire life and die in two days. A human being, if they’re lucky, eighty or ninety years. Our planet, the earth, will be reduced to a cloud of atomic dust in about five billion years. And in one shape or another, the universe itself will cease to exist as it does today in a handful (or perhaps a basketful) of trillions of years. For the theist, that inevitably means we’re 1) outside the (eternal) Creator, and 2) inside an artificial scape; a world which did not have to be created, but was, and that leaves the question still unanswered… Why?
“Share Trinitarian life with others.”
By your own attestation, this is also fundamentally flawed. You have repeatedly said Yhwh is not in this artificial world, “He exists outside the universe”. If Yhwh is not here, how can his life be shared?
This is the one, eternal and abiding reason for the creation of the world and of human life.
History flatly contradicts this statement. The universe is 13.8 billion years old. The earth is 5 billion years old. Humanity is 200,000 years old. Human beings are still evolving. Evolution will continue for many trillions of years more.
So, Mel, your borrowed answer is irreparably flawed. Principally, though, the failure of this answer is in contradicting the very nature of an aseitic being; an entity that wants for nothing, and needs nothing.
So, perhaps you should try in your own words this time? Mel:
John, you are missing the point. You are arguing against the “how” it can be. That is not the question. The question is why is there something instead of nothing? WHY do we exist, not how we exist. I gave you my answer to “why,” what is your “why” answer?
The question is why is there something instead of nothing?
Yes, exactly, that IS the question… I’m asking it, and you still haven’t answered it.
I have answered WHY there is something instead of nothing. You keep wanting to know “how.” But that’s not the question. So, now, it’s your turn. Why are we here, John? What’s the purpose of it all?
No, the pasted answer you provided DOES NOT answer the question.
Read my response again. Unless you want to claim Yhwh is NOT an aseitic being, then what you offered is fatally, hopelessly, irreparably flawed.
Mel, this time in your own words:
That is YOUR question, John. This is not your blog. I gave my answer to “why” we exist, WHY there’s something instead of nothing. You have not answered this question at all. Still waiting….
WHY there’s something instead of nothing. You have not answered this question at all. Still waiting….
For the third time: There was never nothing.
I gave my answer to “why” we exist
No, you gave someone else’s answer… and it’s demonstrably wrong.
Indeed, you KNOW it’s wrong. You have repeatedly confirmed that you believe this is an artificial world. And you’re right. If one is to believe in an aseitic being, then this world HAS TO BE artificial, and because it’s artificial, it is NOT some opening of an aseitic circle. That, Mel, is impossible.
So, if you believe Yhwh is an aseitic being, which you do, then please, finally address the question (in your own words) in such a way that it does not contradict the nature of an aseitic being.
For the third time: There was never nothing.
And you can prove that how?
Again, you cannot prove that, you are still stuck in the “how,” which is not the question. And I gave a “why” answer that I personally agree with. I just used a theologian to express it in a more articulate and theological way.
But you have YET to give me ANY “why” answer, John. Why the avoidance and diversionary tactics? I’m still waiting….
And you can prove that how?
Can you prove there was once nothing?
Again, you cannot prove that, you are still stuck in the “how,” which is not the question.
I’ve already proved it. By the very definition of aseity, the answer you provided is demonstrably wrong.
D e m o n s t r a b l y w r o n g .
Seriously, forget relying on other people to think for you. It’s not working. Take a moment and really think about this. You know the pasted answer you gave is wrong. You know it contradicts aseity. You know this is an artificial world. There was no “opening of a circle.”
So, Yhwh is an aseitic, necessary being. Fine. Philosophically, we can agree on this. What, then, was the motivation for creating something that did not have to be created?
Mel, are you going to answer the question, in your own words, and in a manner that is logically sound and non-contradictory when considering aseity?
You’ve said in the past, across a number of posts:
Provided you stand by your words, it is clear from these statements that you know Kruger’s suggestion, “opening the circle,” is dead wrong. If it were accurate, then Yhwh (an aseitic being) would inhabit this universe, which you have gone out of your way to say in not the case. Indeed, if Kruger’s suggestion were accurate, this universe—and everything in it, including evil and death and decay and suffering—would be Yhwh.
You know this, Mel, which makes me wonder why you copied and pasted an answer you knew to be HOPELESSLY FALLACIOUS.
So, Aquinas was wrong, and Kruger was wrong. Neither have answered the “Why” question.
Therefore, instead of borrowing other people’s (failed) thoughts, I’d like to hear your answer, Mel: Why is there an artificial something?
John, sorry but you are wrong about your assumptions. We have a highly developed theology about how God includes us in this “circle” called (weak) Panentheism. It was articulated by the early church but not well understood in the West. Here’s a post I wrote about it: “The Divine Essence and Energies of God.”
Yes, I know panetheism in some detail, in all its numerous guises. It is pantheism with a hat, but that hat, I’m afraid, doesn’t solve your problem. You see, you wish to claim aseity, yet then completely ignore what aseity means in an attempt to try and fit a-god-who-is-not-here into a-god-who-really-does-exist.
You claim “God is NOT the universe!”, which is correct if God is aseitic, but then you inject panetheism which says God, through emanation, is present everywhere and in everything… with a little over the edges. This view, of course, is mirrored in John 1:3 “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”
Can you see the problem? I think you can, and have, but have made a mental and emotional choice not to ever shine a light on this contradiction. An aseitic being has neither the capacity to grow, nor the means to leak and spread out into something new, for that would contradict the very definition of aseity. And this is why you have previously, and correctly, said:
A “constructed” world is a false world, Mel. It is an artificial contrivance. It is, as you yourself have said, “Not God.” That aseitic statement, and panetheism’s notion of emanations, are self-contradicting. Indeed, you’re trying to present two antagonistic ideas simultaneously, and hoping (praying) no one sees through it.
Sorry, but I see through it.
So, which is it: Is Creation an artificial construct (“God is NOT the universe!”), or is Creation panetheistic God fabric?
You can’t have it both ways.
If you are actually trying to think about this, and I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, then organise your thoughts, Mel. Presently, you wouldn’t pass first year philosophy in even a third-rate university.
Aseity and pantheism (in its rawest, truest meaning) are inseparable. There was never nothing. This is a standard theistic position. There was always something, and that something was an aseitic being, and everything was that being. Everything. There was nothing outside, for there was no outside. Recognising this means recognising that Creation is wholly artificial. It has nothing of the actual world (the aseitic being), and we know this because this world, and everything in it, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. These qualities are unknowable to the aseitic being, they do not exist (even in an abstract form) in the actual world, and as they are unknowable, your proffered idea of panetheism is irreparably flawed. An aseitic being cannot be a part of something that it is not. Critically, it cannot cease being aseitic…. But that is exactly what you are suggesting.
In short: you posit aseity to excuse your Creator from the rules of causality, which is fine, but then you jettison aseity so as to lend some sense of credibility to a desired relationship (between the Creator and the created) which you claim answers the Why.
It doesn’t. Philosophically, the two positions are self-negating. Historically, it’s simply lubricious. The universe is 13.8 billion years old. The earth is 5 billion years old. Humanity is 200,000 years old. Human beings are still evolving. Evolution will continue for many trillions of years more.
As you can (hopefully) see, your Why question remains unanswered:
This is what I mean by evidence.Mel.
the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
“the study finds little evidence of overt discrimination”
synonyms: proof, confirmation, verification, substantiation, corroboration, affirmation, authentication, attestation, documentation;
And you have nothing that indicates the character Jesus the Nazarene is the creator deity you claim.
Skimmed over the comments from the “usual gang of skeptics”.
Tildeb wants to become the totalitarian dictator of all reality. JZ wants evidence for meteors hurled at the Earth by beings that don’t exist. Nan preaches about the objective truth of subjective morality. And Dig-Dug Pearce STILL won’t admit that his words are ordered and meaningful.
Why are you dialoguing with them? Show some self-respect, man! Your time would be better spent talking to your houseplants. Plants, unlike atheists, produce something of value.
LOL! I’m still trying to determine if atheists are something instead of nothing. I guess it’s an unanswerable question. I’ll never really know if they actually exist or not.
Finally! You have mustered the intellectual honesty to admit you don’t know! Finally!
Now, you must confess that even though atheists don’t know either, their position is stronger than yours.
It feels good to finally admit it. Thanks.
Gosh, JB. It’s soooo refreshing to read your studied perspective of us “skeptics” who happen to disagree with Mel. My day is complete.
Subjectively disagree with Mel, Nan.
Happy to help!
Is this why people talk to you , John?
Do you consider this to be an example of ordered and meaningful?