• Dear Theists, Why Are We Here?

    first causeAs an atheist, I get asked about the First Cause constantly despite the fact that any theist could just Google it and learn that the First Cause Argument was refuted hundreds of years ago. Not only that, but it has been refuted in multiple different ways. Still, religious believers will question atheists on this and insert their poor interpretation of what an atheist’s answer might be.

    Why are we here? Obviously something can’t come from nothing, so therefore atheists must believe that all this is an accident, right? WRONG!

    For starters, we don’t actually know that something can’t come from nothing. In fact, we don’t even know what nothing is nothing. Lawrence Krauss has a book about this and it is really worth a theist’s time to check it out. If “nothing” else, you might learn something about why we know what we think we know and how science actually works. Check out A Universe From Nothing.

    Second, there is no shame in admitting ignorance. While we know that the Big Bang happened, we don’t know much else. We can say that because space and time are linked, it makes no sense to really talk about a before the universe. Stephen Hawking once described it by asking what is south of the South Pole. Since the South Pole is the most southern location on the planet, one can’t go any further south. The same might be the case with space/time.

    But let’s turn this question around on the believer. If God created the universe and God is eternal, what was God doing before he created the universe? And if God is perfect and necessity is the mother of invention, why did God create the universe? Wouldn’t God have been perfectly content to just exist in… a nonexistent universe? Where did God live before there was a universe to live in? Oh, Heaven – right. When did God create that place? Why did he create Heaven? Where did God live before he created Heaven? Did Heaven exist before God? If so, then who created Heaven? If not, then where did God live before he created Heaven? Wasn’t he perfectly content there? Again, if necessity is the mother of all invention and God doesn’t need anything because he is perfect, then why is there anything at all? Why are we here?

    Just something for religious believers to think about… have a lovely and rational day. 🙂

    Category: AtheismfeaturedGodPhilosophy


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.


    1. That is the sticking point: god is a perfect being according to all monotheists. Perfection has no need, no desire, no intention, does have no emotions (how can a perfect being love? emotions just are for imperfect beings to help negotiate through an imperfect world), perfection just is – perfect. No law of thermo dynamics, no entropy.
      God according to the theists could not have created anything. Creation is out of desire to remedy an imperfect situation, to fulfill a need.
      God is simply illogical all around – especially when considering how a being that is timeless and dimensionless can create anything whose intricately interwoven properties are time and space.
      Did god suddenly become aware of time?
      What happens to a timeless god who suddenly becomes aware of time, of entropy? He who had no future and past…what happens? He who had no space or time (can a time and space less being conceive of such? can a borne blind person conceive colours?) what happens?

    2. Excellent post! I often hear that god was “lonely” so he wanted to create people who could choose to love (and worship) him. I don’t see how a perfect being could be lonely, but even if I grant that, why didn’t he just create other godlike beings who could relate to him better? It’s like a lonely old woman who gets a bunch of cats (and burns the cats the misbehave).

    3. Just stumbled upon this while doing research for a paper and thought I’d comment though it’s been two years since the post. I am commenting as a professing Christian 🙂

      I would agree 100% with Stephen Hawkings assessment that Time and Space are forever linked and you are right there is not a lot of sense in talking of a “before” the universe. And the reason I believe there is not a lot of sense in that is because to speak of “before” is to speak in reference to time.

      Just the same you asked in the final paragraph “If God created the universe and God is eternal, what was God doing before he created the universe?” There is a contradiction in this sentence, because to speak of eternal is to speak outside of time. So to ask what God was doing “before” the universe is again to invoke time. Time is a measurement, but eternity cannot be measured. The problem is that you and I are finite beings who cannot think outside of time because we live within Time. God is not restricted to the boundaries of time, but because he is God he is able to act within time. So as we speak and think of eternity we must remember that we cannot do so without thinking in the measurement of time.

      So Yes, God created the universe (time and space) and yes God is eternal (existing outside of time).

      The best way to answer the rest of your questions is to say that God created the universe and ultimately humanity not out of a need for praise, but to display his glory. God is not incomplete and he requires no need for praise. If he had a need for praise then he would have stopped after he created the heavenly beings (angels) and he would have created them to only worship him with no other choice. Further, if God needed praise and needed recognition then he would not have given humanity the choice to reject him. He would have created them only to obey and praise him. God is thus not incomplete and therefore created a universe to fill something that was lacking, but has been eternally fulfilled. Creation is the display of his glory and the opportunity for humanity to recognize his glory and follow him is the good gift of a good creator.

      Finally to Kraut2 your assertion that “perfection has no need” is true, but where you are false is in saying that perfection cannot have emotions. The Christian God is not just one (as the muslim Allah) but is three-in-one (Father, Son, and Spirit). The Christian God has eternally displayed love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. towards one another and has allowed humanity to display the same actions towards each other. This does not take anything away from his perfection!

      Have a rational day and what a good God who has given his people the ability to be rational 🙂

      1. ” to display his glory?” Why would a God need to do that? Again the question remains, if God is perfect, why would he do anything at all? Wouldn’t he just be content within his perfectness?

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