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Those damn turtles

The prime-mover argument is really the only argument for the existence of a god that I’ve really taken seriously. It’s why I was a deist for a while. I have to say, though, I’m not sure I understand the appeal anymore.

We’re all stuck going backwards down a chain of causation to get to the origin of, well, everything. The prime-mover argument posits that this must end and there must be some ultimate cause. God, namely. I think we all know the famous retort, who then created God? The argument then seems to be that it’s God, so it doesn’t need a cause. That’s a nice bit of special pleading, but ok. An atheist might say the final cause is nothing, that everything just is and always has been. Then what do we have. Hey, maybe there is a god and it just happens to have always existed. Maybe the universe (or some kind of multiverse) has just always existed. How would we choose between the two ideas?

I like the idea of parsimony. The prime-mover idea has one more entity. It doesn’t actually explain anything; we still have the same problems: why is there a god (something), rather than no god (nothing)? How likely is it that a being capable of creating our existence just happens to exist? The same, if not harder, questions as the atheist’s idea has. So, on account of the simplest explanation being the correct one, I’ll say there’s no ultimate creator of everything.

That’s my opinion, anyway. There’s some wiggle room in whatever terminology you use, but I think that’s pretty straightforward. There are other questions about creator gods, which are pretty fun by themselves. Assuming the god in question created the universe, and that time is a property of the universe, how did the god have enough time to create time? Seems like the act of deciding to make time needs time. That’s a fun question.

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