The Origin of the Universe … another “Allah did it” claim.

history.bigbangIt appears to be a rather common and very persistent religious belief. Today’s example comes from a young chap called Razeem Naushad, who has popped up and with a bit of a swagger, is attempting to make an “Allah” claim as follows …

Haha…when I hv added to this group I saw a question asking me that am I a muslim or exmuslim..That was a gud question.Coz no one can be a non muslim while he was born..almighty god has created every one as in the state submitted themselves to him that is MUSLIM..and gave the authority later to continue as muslim or not , with some limited choice..So it seems every one that are not muslims are exmuslims

Er yes… so apparently he thinks we were all Muslims when born. So anyway to cut to the chase, the conversation goes in the usual direction …

My child hood was indoctrinated with atheism…then I went out and looked around how can I say that there is no creator for this universe…its illogical..

And of course, “Where is the evidence?” is the query that is raised in response to all this, and the pat answer of “everything comes from something” pops up. When asked for evidence and to expand upon that, he replies …

Nothing originates from state of nothing…for a hen there shud be an egg or for an egg there shud be a hen..any of the one must be there…so the first state must not vaccum neither scientists said that the universe is there…it has no beginning nor end..and they developed STEADY STATE THEORY.. but the invention of EXPANSION OF UNIVERSE rejected the STEADY STATE..coz if the universe is expanding there shud be a reason and it has a beginning..for the very reason it must have a creator…some body calls it as energy or power while the book revealed people calls it GOD..and this energy or power is just his attribute..the state before bigbang or time its just him..that is the eternal truth..Quran says:هواﻻول واﻻخر-HE IS THE FIRST AND THE LAST…

And so my reply was as follows …

So essentially your response is that …
– everything has a cause (no exceptions) and thus something must have caused the big bang
– your answer (which I note has no objective verifiable evidence) is to claim Allah is the cause, and you cite the Quran as evidence

OK, I have a couple of objections to this answer:
– The Quran is not “evidence” it is simply a claim in respect of this.
– The implicit rule, that everything has a cause, apparently does not apply to Allah, so clearly there are exceptions to this rule of “Everything has a cause”, so where did all this energy or power in Allah come from, what caused that? My real objection here is that making things up, does not actually answer the question, it simply adds an additional layer of pointless complexity, one that has exactly zero objective evidence.
– Additionally, the big bang, does not actually describe the origin of the universe at all, it is simply a model that describes the early expansion.

There are also other additional objections to raise as well, but that’s enough for you to ponder over for now.

In the end, when faced with things we do not know, the very best answer is to simply say “I do not know”, and not make things up that have no evidence at all.

You believe … I get that … that’s fine. I don’t, I find no evidence for the religious claims, and for the same reason there are many other things I do not believe in. In fact, if we both compiled a list of things we did not actually believe in, I suspect we would find a great deal of overlap and much in common. The fact that you do believe is perhaps a reflection of your cultural inheritance and also your emotional investment in the belief. Looking at things no human really understands and declaring your specific belief to be the solution is a bit silly and something I’d recommend against within a scientific context.

It is interesting to observe how rather common it is for humans to look upon the things we simply do not understand or grasp at all, and declare “God did it”, but of course, not any old god, but instead the specific one we just happen to inherit from our specific culture – it tells us a great deal about human psychology and nothing at all about these unknown things. It is perhaps understandable, because it is also a comforting answer that helps to not only remove a mystery, but also assists in re-enforcing the belief.

Humans have always done something like this. If you looked back upon human history, you can see how other things such as weather, the seasons, thunder and lightening were not just mysterious unknown things, but also terrifying because we had no apparent control over such things at all. In order to grasp both meaning and also control, we attributed such things to gods and attributed rules to these gods so that we could grasp not only an illusion of meaning, but also an illusion of control by trying to obey the rules.

We now understand all these and appreciate that no gods are required to explain them, but the pattern persists, we still have a tendency to wander up the the edge of our bubble of understanding and then point beyond into the unknown and declare that what lies beyond to be a god.

Why are we like this? Well basically because attributing such things to external agents gave us a distinct survival advantage and hence the tendency to be like that was naturally selected.

The age of reason is upon up, it is time to put these toys of our childhood down and seek out the answers that are actually true …

I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and in many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about a little, but if I can’t figure it out, then I go to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me. – Richard Feynman

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