Sunday, 4 November 2012

Who created God?

I just recently became aware of John’s writing and I’ve been thrilled to find that my university library has a great deal of his books. 

The root of my question has to deal with what seems to always come up me when I talk with non-believing friends. More often than not, I seem to find myself attempting to fight the Dawkins’ “Who created God (because it’s more complex)?” argument or something similar.

I’ve been reading and viewing a great amount in regards to this question, and obviously, I don’t believe in a created God. But, when one digs deeper on this issue, you’re forced to ask a variety of other questions.

For example, do you view God as timeless sans creation? And if so, how do you address the timeless functionality of the mind of God? It trips me up because I constantly apply the finite terms of our existence and imagine God counting down “3,2,1” before the moment of creation. 

Or do you view God as existing in one or more dimensions of time? The further questions I would then have is how do you respond to arguments like “Why did God not created the world sooner?” and “how does he then have no beginning?” 

I would greatly appreciate some guidance in best answering these questions. In the end, I suppose I’ll never be able to fully understand God’s transcendence, but I hope for quick responses to basic questions like these.

Response: We address this “Who created God” nonsense in Questions of Truth

From a philosophical PoV God is “The Ultimate Creator”. By definition no-one/nothing created the Ultimate Creator.  From a philosophical PoV asking “Who created God” is a nonsense.

Dawkins’ “argument” about complexity is just completely fallacious – it’s even hard to formulate in a way that is not obviously wrong.  It also confuses simplicity of form with simplicity of function (Anthony Kenny uses the illustration of the cut-throat razor vs the electric razor: the former is simpler in form but can perform many more functions than the latter).

It is very hard for us to envisage a mind except in time, and we cannot expect to see things through a God’s eye view. But sometimes even great human “creators” seem to get a complete idea of their creation in more or less a single moment (Mozart is said to have composed a Clarinet Trio while playing billiards for example, and whether or not this particular story is true it is clearly logically possible for a creator do conceive of a work of art in an instant).

IF there is anything corresponding to “time” in God’s experience pre-creation we cannot possibly expect to know about it.  And the idea of “creating the world sooner” makes no sense. God created the world at t=0.

PS  FWIW the one respect in which I suspect that Atheism may be logically incoherent and not simply a big mistake is that I’m far from convinced that it is possible to have a contingent necessary entity.  If it is true that “everything that exists and for which is logically possible to have one or more causes, has one or more causes” then it’s hard to see how the Universe can exist without God.

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