The Rationalist Presents: A Pondering on Creationism: Is The Argument That The World Could Not Have Come Without Creation A Valid Argument?
People hold strong beliefs which are very important and personal to them, I really respect that. But we are called 'Homo Sapiens', that's what our specie (man) is called. 'Homo' is an ancient greek word meaning 'man' and 'Sapien' comes from an old latin word meaning 'Wise'. Thus, we humans are perceived, expected and are supposed, to be 'wise'.
We are supposed to apply logic, wisdom, ration, or simply put: good thinking, in all we do. Not just because we called ourselves Homo Sapiens though, but also because good thinking brings solutions to the most of our problems, it leads us to doing the right things and get the right results. It is through good thinking that we have made use of natural resources to create every great thing we have and enjoy today from spoons to phones to cars to rockets - everything!
So good thinking is really important. It is on this note that I don't shy or cower away from trying to apply good thinking to every topic of life. It is on this note that you should too, accept that good thinking be applied to everything.
The argument that the world could not have come without creation is a very common argument. It is one of the major replies to atheists, evolutionists and the like:
"Oh look at the beautiful trees, the sky, the water falls, the birds, the flowers! You can't tell me they could have all come without a creator making them."
Mohammed Ali raised this argument once also while talking religion and theism in some YouTube video I watched, he said:
If I told you, you who don't believe in God, if I told you that this glass sprung into existence, would you believe it? That this glass made itself, no man made this glass, would you believe it? Would you believe if I just told you this thing made itself? No, no. You wouldn't believe it, right? If I told you this television station popped into existence, no man made it, you would say that Muhammad Ali is crazy. Alright, well, this glass can't make itself. If I told you that the clothes you have on wove themselves, that nobody created them, those clothes made themselves, you wouldn't believe it. But if your clothes didn't make itself, if that glass couldn't make itself, if this building didn't make itself, then how did the moon get out there? How did the stars and Jupiter, Neptune and Mars, and the Sun get out there? How did all this come here if a wise planner didn't make it?
As convincing and thoughtful as this argument may sound it is fallacious and invalid, because if we're saying nothing could have existed if it wasn't created then we are saying God was created, because God is a thing in existence. If you then say Ok, God was created the question still remains 'who created God? Who created the creator that created him? And the one after and the one after? Like that with no end'.
If you say God created himself then the question also still remains who created the material(s) with which he made himself? And if he made the material(s) then who made the power/ability to make things in him with which he used in making himself?
So you see? 'Nothing could have existed if it wasn't created' is not a valid argument, it doesn't answer the question it claims it does.
Great British Philosopher and Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell, I found, also made a similar argument in a lecture he gave in 1927 tittled 'Why I am not a Christian'. He said:
Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in this world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God). That argument, I suppose, does not carry very much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but, apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography , and I there found this sentence: ‘My father taught me that the question, “Who made me?” cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question, “Who made God?” ’ That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, ‘How about the tortoise?’ the Indian said, ‘Suppose we change the subject.’ The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.