Before I begin, it is important that readers of this article understand the positions I’m arguing on, as the terms “Atheist” and “Theist” may have different meanings to different people. For the purposes of this argument, the terms Atheist and Theist are based on the wiki definition of Atheism and Theism. I have included them in a subsection below.
I contend that the argument of a god (or multiple gods) versus no god is a false dichotomy of choice in terms of creationism, after-life, and free will.
Question: If we assume the universe is infinite in age and steady in state (that is to say there was no big bang and “space” is not expanding), does this preclude the existence of a god creating it?
After all, if the universe is infinitely old, then how is it possible that a god could have created it? Typically both Atheism and Theism assume a “start date” for the universe either through the so-called “big bang” model or through a creationist model.
This assumption of a “start date” invokes a supra-natural event in both cases (what was nothing is now something). This assumption of a start date forces the issue of what created the “something.” Yet if one assumes that there was always something, this necessarily rejects the notion of a god creating it or a supra-natural physical creation. I believe the universe is indeed infinitely old and I will argue from this assumption of an infinitely old universe.
One would think that an argument of an infinitely old universe would favor atheists, but in actuality a whole new realm of possibilities becomes available for consideration. An infinitely old universe supposes that some things themselves may be preexisting in nature without necessitating a theistic force to create them.
It is my contention that consciousness in and of itself is a preexisting infinitely old “force” (for lack of a better word) of the universe that simply is and always was. I contend that consciousness is detached from the physical self and that no amount of reductionist endeavors will uncover the nature of consciousness arising in living things. Scientists will never peer down into the atoms of the brain far enough to uncover the ghost in the machine. One cannot discover anything useful about what makes an airplane fly by crashing it into the ground and looking at the broken pieces. One must consider the whole plane to determine the reasons for its ability to fly.
We can currently examine nearly every physical aspect of the conscious mind, yet the debate over what causes a thought to arise is still largely a philosophical one. We can slice and dice brain matter down to the level of the atom, yet no new insights have been gained as to why putting these atoms together into the shape of a brain should give rise to conscious thought.
In fact, there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that the brain acts as a receptor and processor of consciousness, not as an original source. Such a supposition has never been scientifically disproven as being out of the realm of the possible.
The infinitely old universe ALSO has not been scientifically disproven as being out of the realm of the possible. One must remember that originally General Relativity did not assume an expanding universe. Einstein originally scoffed at the idea. It wasn’t until Hubble came along with his study of galactic red-shifts that Einstein grudgingly accepted the big bang as a possibility. The big bang theory itself was created by a Catholic priest named Georges Lemaître as a way to tie theology and science together.
Today, we know that quasar redshift does not obey the Hubble law as it should nor do they show evidence of time dilation, calling this whole expanding universe theory into question.
So I have made two assumptions, both have not been scientifically ruled out of the realm of the possible: That the universe is infinite in age and that consciousness is pre-existing force of the universe.
Given these assumptions, it seems clear that my belief structure does not require a god of any kind, nor does it require a creationist model of any kind, yet it still retains the possibility of theistic type of “soul.” We could say this is a form of theism since consciousness acts as a god force that arises in matter, yet it is non-creationist.
Thus I have demonstrated that there are other scientifically plausible alternatives to the dichotomy of Atheism and Theism in terms of creationism, after-life, and free will.
Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.
Theism in the broadest sense is the belief that at least one deity exists. In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and his relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe.
The logical fallacy of false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy) involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are other options. Closely related are failing to consider a range of options and the tendency to think in extremes, called black-and-white thinking. Strictly speaking, the prefix “di” in “dilemma” means “two”. When a list of more than two choices is offered, but there are other choices not mentioned, then the fallacy is called the fallacy of false choice, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses.