I think it is really disingenuous (usually anyway) to use “first cause” arguments for the existence of God. Because the part of that argument that gets sliced off by Occam’s Razor is not that there is A CAUSE, but that the cause is called GOD and he (assumption) is all-powerful (assumption) has a consciousness (assumption) is intelligent (assumption) has a plan (obviously a cylon) is the only one of his kind (assumption) is outside of nature (assumption) wishes to be worshipped (assumption) should be worshipped (assumption) communicates to humans (assumption) is knowable and true things have been written about him (assumption) created the earth, life and the heavens spontaneously in their modern forms without the use of the mechanism of evolution yet made it appear as though he did (assumption) created human beings “in his own imagine” (whatever that means) wants us to be happy (assumption) gives each of us an eternal soul at conception (assumption)….ad nauseum.

Cosmologists do not think that the universe came from nothing – but from an extremely low-entropy “seed”. If you want to call that “seed” God or whatever triggered the expansion God and proceed to worship it – that’s fine. However, don’t pretend that the first cause argument has anything to do with any traditional culturally defined god concept.

It makes just as much sense to argue for the existence of God by pointing at the sun and saying – look it shines on everyone, it is the source of nearly all energy on earth, without it we would die, without it there would be no life, the energy coming from it fueled evolution on earth over millions of years giving birth to life and it is the source of all life even now. The sun is God. God exists.

The only thing that makes that argument unsatisfying to your average theist is that they do not think of the Sun as intelligent, purposeful or personal. Yet, they will make those assumptions concerning first cause.

Now, having said that, I do not think that it is reasonable to say that somehow Occam’s Razor disproves the existence of God, or even a Creator God or even whomever your personal God may be. Occam’s Razor is used simply to point out what explanations are preferred, not which ones are true. It’s simply not an avenue to disproving anything because we may just find out there IS a tea pot floating around in orbit somewhere. The scientific community just decided that assuming that were true was not useful to further inquiry, so we decided to limit assumptions as much as possible when discussing stuff.

Now, if you wish to make those assumptions related to your personal God concept, that is up to you. However, be honest about it. If you tie your proof of God to “whatever initiated the expansion of the observable universe” I doubt very much that you are getting close to proving anything remotely resembling in complexity and meaning that which millions call “God”.

Thinking to Believe

In response to various cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of a creator God some atheists appeal to the principle of parsimony—often dubbed “Ockham’s Razor”—to argue that invoking God to explain our cosmic origins is both unnecessary and unhelpful.  Introducing a divine being to explain the origin of the universe is said to be less parsimonious than simply acknowledging that the universe popped into existence uncaused from absolutely nothing.

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