A frequent argument from Apologists is, ” How did something come from nothing?” i.e. what caused the Big Bang. This argument takes various forms and usually gets inserted into the Cosmological Argument and/or Teleological Argument. From a historical perspective, there have been multiple versions of this, from the Kalaam Cosmological Argument to Thomas of Aquinas’s Five Ways. There have been numerous debates between Atheists and Apologists on this topic and the crux of the question always comes to, “How did something come from nothing”?
To which I respond, “How did you know there was nothing”?. Let me explain. Assume you are driving in a remote area, late evening. All of a sudden you see a flying object in the sky. The object defies all normal description of planes and/or spacecrafts. You are pretty certain there is no military base close by. You see the spacecraft do maneuvers that are not within your understanding of what an aircraft would do. You have two potential options on how to assess this experience.
a) I think I saw something that probably defied explanation but I am not sure what it is i.e. IDK – I Don’t Know
b) OR I am very certain that I have witnessed a UFO sighting and I am pretty sure it was aliens from a different world
You see the problem? It is human nature to seek an explanation for everything. Our basic need is to find a reason why and if we cannot find a natural explanation we fix that with a supernatural explanation.
Let us further unpack the “Something from Nothing” Argument. Theists claim that there has to be an external powerful entity (i.e. God) that caused the Big Bang. This entity basically started from the conditions of Ex Nihilo and kick-started the Big Bang. We have a few issues with this line of argument:
- There is the problem of Infinite Regress i.e. now we are left with the problem of trying to find who created God. Apologists try to make a deft move by stating that we don’t need to explain who created God since God exists outside of space and time but that typically does not sell since causality still needs to be addressed
- How do we know that an Agent created the Big Bang? There could have been multiple Big Bangs that could have started at the same time or there could have been a Big Chill or cool down prior to the big bang or there could have been a localized big bang. The fact that we currently do NOT understand what the cause, does not mean that we get to insert “divinity” into the equation
- Finally, we know that we are on a collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy (per Christopher Hitchens) and in the next million or so years there is a whole lot of nothingness coming to us! So the bigger question is why will there be nothing coming very very soon (in galactic timeline)
The broader point is why does the theist not have the humility to say – I DON’T KNOW! Science continues to break barriers and explain so much. To put this in perspective, we know more in the last 80 years that we have known ever since Neaderthal man. The pace and speed of how we understand the universe is changing at tremendous speed. There is no time or place for bronze age uneditable books or worldviews. (as Christopher Hitchens puts it):
The “something from nothing” argument is played out. It has been presented in so many different variations and forms but it always ends up in NOTHING!