I’ve explained at length before how I’ve deduced the nonexistence of the Abrahamic god. Patted myself on my back for my ingenuity. Yay me. Go me. No one cares. Billions of people believe in a god that can’t scientifically exist, so what are they actually worshipping? Didn’t catch me slaying Goliath? I’m too lazy to find the link. XX before XY, okay? Eve never happened. Genetics proves Eve could not have been made by Adam, because the X chromosome existed before the Y chromosome, and both existed long before the homo sapiens species. In fact, long before there were mammals of any kinds. Dinosaurs were female and male. So the creation myth as described in ancient Abrahamic texts never could have happened, even on some metaphorical level.
If you believed in Jewish, Christian, or Islamic beliefs before that paragraph, you probably still do. Actual scientific fact hasn’t dissuaded you before now. Why should it start? This means you are not using facts to dictate your perception of reality, and frankly I’d like it if you just stopped reading right now cuz I’m not talking to you.
See ya. Don’t wanna be ya.
Okay, so now what?
Does this mean there is no god at all? Of course not. I’ve only dismissed the One True God as depicted by Abrahamic myth. I’m going to go ahead and dismiss all the other manmade gods too, without bothering to actually come up with an XX b4 XY thing. I could go to the trouble but I’m just too damned lazy.
I mean come on. Zeus doesn’t shoot lightning bolts out his ass. We know damn well how lightning happens. It can be scientifically explained. I don’t have to go down the damned list of the thousands of other gods that anyone who once believed in The One True God (whichever one they subscribed to) dismissed as unreal even though most of them predate the Abrahamic one. Suffice it to say there is no reputable evidence that at any time in the history of biological life on Earth that any single individual or group of individuals had any kind of divine enlightenment from a god. Many have claimed that but none of them ever proved it. Dismiss one claim, and the others are pretty much just as pointless.
Does this mean it couldn’t be a god? Not quite. It just means it can’t be any god that any sentient creature on Earth ever imagined and/or described to others. Well, if there IS a god and it happens to look kinda like Odin, that’d be more coincidence and luck than divine premonition.
So how do I get from agnostic to atheist then, when we move away from man-made gods? I don’t, really. I mean not technically, although I do get myself off on a technicality. IF some day in the future it’s discovered that there IS a creator of some sort, I will personally not refer to it as a god. I don’t know what I’ll call it. Perhaps I’ll ask him (or her or it) if he’s got a name and then call him that. If he says “I’m God,” I will suggest he goes by a different name because that’s just gonna confuse people, and then explain to him just how many gods we made up in his absence. I’ll recommend he goes by “Zytaevius” which I just looked up is one of the least popular baby names ever. Few people have made an opinion of what that name means for them, so they won’t accidentally confuse this new creator dude with anything they already thought about.
So there is one possibility that this universe was created by some guy or gal or thing that some humans would mistake for a god (probably whatever god they have up until now believed existed anyway). This creator person may or may not resemble one or more of the gods made up in the minds of human beings, much in the same way that a narwhal resembles a unicorn that’s in the water. That’s one maybe.
If this possibility is real, that creator may or may not exist today. It may or may not be either omnipotent or omniscient. Philosophy and rational thought has pretty much ruled out the possibility of it being both. okay, actually technically we’ve ruled out either, come to think of it. You can’t possibly make a rock so heavy you then can’t lift it, if you’re omnipotent. That’s just stupid. You also can’t know everything that’s ever going to happen at the same exact time. You’d be so frozen with possibilities you’d end up doing nothing which would negate the purpose of having foreknowledge. Furthermore, observing suffering in this universe foregoes the idea of a benevolent creator that could affect change. Many religions speak of a ‘mysterious plan’ that necessitates suffering. Mother Theresa was notorious for preaching that this suffering brought people closer to their god. Any god that incorporated suffering into their perfect universe is NOT benevolent. Sorry. They would have found a better way, had they been omnipotent.
So if there’s a creator of this universe, it may have been very powerful but it was not omnipotent, or omniscient, or benevolent. It certainly wasn’t perfect, because it created an imperfect universe.
Whatever made this universe would have left a mark on the universe somehow if it then altered the laws of physics that this universe functions on in order to make changes to it. We’d see the creator’s handiwork in the universe if he affected it at any point after the big bang, but we’ve looked from subatomic particles to supernova and everything pretty much works in accordance with mathematics and explainable scientific laws. Okay some things we haven’t figured out yet. MAYBE the reason we haven’t figured them out is because they are examples of when a god-like being fiddled with his creation. It’s possible we’ll find examples of that in the future, but Believers talk of every day miracles. These miracles are often later explained by other means. The odds we’ll uncover examples of a god fiddling with creation at least inside the Earth are rather remote. Not totally impossible, but practically impossible.
I love it when Believers claim the fossil record exists to test the faith of mankind. If there were perhaps inconsistencies in the fossil record that’d actually be easier to stomach, but so far observations of historical geology are consistent with the idea that these layers of rock happened over millions of years and our archaeological discoveries are in keeping with this consistency. It’s far more likely to be exactly what it appears to be, a record of the development of the planet Earth over eons, in keeping with physical laws as we understand them, rather than the result of some prankster god testing our faith. Granted, I only took one year of Historical Geology back in college. I may have missed something. Generations of geologists have only been studying this phenomenon for centuries. Maybe they all missed something. Again, not impossible, but remotely possible, and practically impossible. So maybe there is a god that no human being has imagined before. This god may have created the universe. This god may or may not be alive today. This is possible. Not likely, but possible. Do I believe this? Of course not. I doubt it, which is why I’m atheist. Do I know? No. Which is why I’m agnostic. If this god existed, it hasn’t tinkered much with the universe since what scientists call The Big Bang. if this god does tinker, it’s in some way we can’t detect. Not impossible, but again not practically likely.
There are Believers who assume the very existence of this universe demands a creator. If it exists, something must have created it. That’s not the case. They cite the Watchmaker analogy. You come upon a watch in the middle of a desert. No one around. You pick it up. It may even still be ticking. If there is a watch, chances are there was a watch maker, who may or may not still be around, looking for his watch. That’s one possibility, and in the watch analogy, it is rather likely. However, the universe is not a watch. It’s a universe. We don’t know how common universes are. We don’t know what causes them. We are inside the universe. We don’t know what good it’s for beyond our own subjective and egocentric uses for it. I am intrigued by how what we’ve learned about sub atomic particles and atoms and molecules tends to be similar in some ways with how solar systems and clusters and galaxies happen, just on a MUCH grander scale. Our Earth revolves around our Sun much the same way electrons revolve around neutrons and protons.
That’s largely theoretical of course. Some scientists have since theorized that maybe sub atomic particles don’t operate that way at all. It’s just how we imagine it. Quantum physics tells us that sometimes particles behave like waves, which is nothing like what we observe with much larger bodies of matter in the universe. Still, I like to imagine the possibility that our galaxy is like a molecule among billions of other galaxies in our universe, and all the stuff in our universe cumulatively comprises one object in a macroverse of objects. Sort of like the Jack and the Beanstalk story. That above the clouds there’s a reality where there are giants. Our universe would be a small item in relation to other items in this much larger macroverse. This macroverse would be as alien to us as the micoverse of electrons and protons and neutrons are. We’d have difficulty even comprehending it much less understanding it, but essentially, our universe could just be one of a pair of shoes that’s been sitting in a closet in this macroverse for what we perceive to be billions of years, but in that macroverse might only have been a few days. Just as molecules often move much faster in the microworld, time probably moves very slowly in the macroworld.
I don’t believe this of course, but it’s no more or less impossible than any god theory. So what was The Big Bang? It was the point at which the object in question was made in the macroworld. Was it made by a god? No. Although we’d probably perceive it to be a god. Maybe we were made inside a machine that makes what we perceive to be universes but are just baubles in the microworld, or maybe cogs for other machines.
It coulda just been instigated by that macroworld’s equivalent of a star, just as our solar system is the result of the remnants of a proto-star exploding, then we were forged and cooled until we became this material universe, and are now slowly expanding and cooling into objects like it tends to do in that macroverse of universes. We could perhaps try to imagine things in our own universe which cool as they expand and think perhaps we’re like that in this macroverse, but chances are the laws of physics as we know them break down in the macroworld just as they appear to do on the quantum level, so trying to understand what we are in this macroworld is again beyond our comprehension.
We could imagine this. We could describe it to ourselves at length. We could choose to believe we are a shoe in a closet or a work of pottery in a kiln that was then placed on a shelf in a dark room. Any one of billions of possible objects just as we can imagine ourselves created by any one of billions of One True Gods.
We could imagine ourselves to be part of a living being, like its bones or its gall bladder. We could simply be a pebble on a beach in this macroworld. Who knows? If we decided, and then began to tell ourselves stories about these objects in this macroverse and the creatures that use them, the god like beings that use us as something in their world, which may simply be part of an even larger macroverse with their own gods, we’d just be inventing yet another religion, wouldn’t we? We have no evidence to any of this. It’s possible, but it’s not very likely, and it’s even doubtful, but it is fun to contemplate, isn’t it?
That’s just one other possibility (or countless possibilities along a similar theme). There are many others. None of them are very likely, but some are more cool than others.
Our universe is currently matter but perhaps it was once energy and billions of years ago there were sentient forces of pure energy at war with one another and one side decided the only way they could defeat the other side was to use their energy to force their opponent’s energy into a material state of existence, thus killing the sentient energy and defeating it. Or maybe it wasn’t war. Maybe our universe is the result of sentient energy forces combining in something we’d equate to a mating ritual. Two or more different forms of sentient energy beings combine to create a material universe, and the black holes that inevitably form as the material universe cools and expands create new forms of sentient energy beings that then excrete from our material universe into another dimension, and create new generations of sentient energy beings that go off and meet and replicate the process again. Our universe may simply be the pupal larval stage of regeneration for an entirely different form of sentient life that is really freaking large and we’ll never understand.
Just saying “my god did it” removes from our free will the chance to explore any of these other possibilities, including ones we can’t even fathom yet. You think the ideas I’m suggesting here are far fetched? I’ve just scratched the surface. Are they likely? No. We will find more likely scenarios as we learn more scientifically. As we expand upon our knowledge of what the universe actually is as opposed to what we were told thousands of years ago it might be and that we took as gospel without being able to prove it.
There was a time when Mankind believed the sky was the limit. We know better than that now, and someday, we will know that the limits we currently consider to be limits, simply aren’t. The Cosmic Microwave Background radiation map is currently as far out as we can see, but we know there is still even more out there beyond what we can learn so far.
As Hank Green is fond of saying: THERE IS NO EDGE.