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Chapter Three: God the Creator?

Section 1: God the created?

There may be no creator, or one creator, or many creators. A single God is not necessary to explain the universe.


Chapters One and Two concluded that the all-powerful, all-knowing and compassionate Jewish-Christian-Muslim God cannot exist. But that does not mean that no other version of God is possible. We can ignore the Bible and Quran, but don't we need God to explain the existence of the universe?

The assertion that the universe proves the existence of God is based on one or both of the following arguments:

a. philosophy: the idea that the universe
    could not exist without a creator;
b. nature: the idea that physical phenomena
    prove the existence of a creator.

These two arguments are related - it can be argued that evidence from nature proves the philosophical case for God - but they are best analysed separately. This section looks at the philosophical question; later sections examine the physical evidence.

3.1a Argument from cause and existence

The philosophical argument for God is based on the observation that some objects, such as a violin or a computer, cannot exist without a creator which caused them to

Explaining the Universe

Jews, Christians and Muslims insist that God created the universe. In both philosophical and practical terms, however, that theory turns out to be unsustainable.

3.1: God the Created?
Where did God come from?

3.2: The balanced universe
Improbable is not impossible

3.3: Creationism
Holes in Noah's Ark

3.4: Intelligent design
False assumptions and faulty reasoning

3.5: Evolution
Reproduction, mutation and environment

3.6: Summary

Finished this chapter? Move on to

Chapter 4
Why people believe

If God does not exist, why do so many people believe in him?

There are many reasons, from the strength of community to fear of death.

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come into existence. In this case, the creator is human.

At some point in time the universe came into existence. The creator which caused it to exist is God.

The argument can also be expressed as follows:

• nothing can exist without being created;
• the universe exists;
• therefore the universe was created;
• the creator of the universe is God.

At first glance, this argument - the existence of the universe proves the existence of God - is appealing and it convinces many people. But as an argument, it has a fatal weakness - the idea that nothing can exist without being created. It's time to examine the implications of that assertion.

3.1b A yes-or-no question

Is it true that nothing can exist without being created? Expressed differently, does everything that exists need a creator?

If you answer yes, you must accept the following implications:
• the universe exists, therefore it was created - call that creator God
• God exists, therefore he was created - call that creator God-squared
• God-squared exists, therefore he was created - by God-cubed
• God-cubed exists, therefore he was created - by God-quadrupled
• and so on and so on.

If everything that exists needs a creator, there must be an infinity of creators. That conclusion does not create a philosophical problem - there may be an infinity of creators - but it destroys the claim of believers that nothing exists beyond God.

If you answer no to the question (not everything that exists needs a creator), you must accept the following implications:
• God does not need a creator, and
• the universe does not need a creator.

If things do not need a creator the universe does not need God. Like its predecessor, this conclusion does not create a philosophical problem - the universe may, or may not have a creator - but it takes away the necessity for God.

We still have to look at the physical evidence, but we have arrived at a point where philosophy tells us:
there may be no creator, or only one creator or many creators;
a single creator is not necessary to explain the universe.

These conclusions present no problems for non-believers and agnostics. Believers, however, need a statement that confirms their prejudice that the universe needs a creator but God does not. They therefore reject these conclusions and come up with a compromise, known as the First Cause Argument: "yes, the universe exists and needs a creator; no, God, the First Cause, exists and does not need a creator".

Unfortunately, this statement is merely an assertion, based on neither facts nor reason. It proves not the existence of God but the depths of illogic that believers must go to in order to protect their illusion.

3.1c Narrowing the options

Let's take these conclusions a little further. We have:
a. an infinity of creators;
b. one creator;
c. no creator.
How do we choose between them?

Answer: apply Occam's Razor - the simplest solution is always preferable. Compare the three options again:
a. an infinity of creators: is it likely that there are countless creators? is there any
    physical evidence to back up this proposition? how do we explain the
    relationship of each creator to the creator above it in the hierarchy?
b. one creator; we have to explain both the eternal existence of God and the
    mechanism by which God created the world
c. no creator; we have to explain either the eternal existence of the universe or
    the mechanism by which the universe came into existence.
Option a. forces us to explain an infinity of phenomena; b. forces us to explain two phenomena; c. forces us to explain one phenomenon. The simplest solution is therefore c: there is no creator.

Occam's Razor in itself is not proof, although it is acceptable as proof as long as there is no contrary evidence. Does such evidence exist? So far we have looked at the question from a theoretical perspective, but will we have to change our minds when confronted with hard facts? Does the physical nature of the universe force us to conclude that there is a God? We begin that discussion in the next section.

Chapter Three: Section 2 The balanced universe

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If God existed, he would...

admire the beauty of a universe that he did not create

recognize that eternity is meaningless

deny both heaven and hell

disown all men and women who speak in his name

denounce the harm caused by religious "morality"

help the human race to thrive without him

If God existed, he would be an atheist.

What is the difference between science and faith?

science is certain of nothing and requires proof of everything

faith is certain of everything and requires proof of nothing

Which do you trust?

"I know there is no God"
"I believe there is no God"

Check the answer

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