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Before the creation of the universe?

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XL | 17:17 Tue 04th Mar 2008 | Religion & Spirituality
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wonder if anyone can help - i'm looking for varying beliefs and theories from advocates of inteligent design, as to what the 'inteligent designer' was up to before creating the universe.

my research so far shows that theists believe things to be created (something cannot come from nothing, etc) but the paradox this creates, ie: 'Who created the creator?', is more often than not answered with 'the creator (or god) has always been'.

On this basis, and judging by the volume of this common response, is there any established theory or belief, religious or otherwise, as to what the creator was up to before getting to work with the universe? Honing skills? Existing in another plane?

Please take this enquiry in the right spirit - its meant as a genuine enquiry as to what supports the beliefs surrounding a creator that has always been. thanks.


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My belief is that God is His own cause and effect, and completely self contained.
In believing this, I accept that God is completely, "other," than us, his created beings. Therefore, God is unknowable by observation, but only by revelation.
He reveals to us, what He wishes us to know of Himself, to meet our needs for His own purposes.
We observe reality only through the five windows of our senses, and it is arrogant of Man to not only demand the right to know more, but to believe he has the capacity to understand the unknowable.
An amoeba could not understand us or our inventions, and God is far higher than us, than we are above the amoeba.
And before God created? Who knows? Who can know?
it is arrogant of Man to not only demand the right to know more, but to believe he has the capacity to understand the unknowable

I think you've just been given the traditional answer of Shut up, believe us and don't ask awkward questions

I think a famous answer to "what was God doing before he created the Universe" was Creating a special hell for those who ask impertinant questions although I can't recall who it was that said it off of the top of my head
Surely, god must have been floating on an eternal cloud of bliss listening to the cherubim and seraphim constantly crying 'Holy, Holy, Holy', hence the need to create the universe so Sky Sport would develop through His wise guidance of mankind.
I don't understand the tone of JTPs reply, if you believe in God then that's pretty much the answer, if you don't then have a hissy strop and take your ball home.
The whole point of my reply is a simple one, none of us knows who's right but people will constantly harp on about who they believe to be wrong. The only thing an atheist genuinely knows is what he does'nt know.
I'm a Christian, my future wife's a Buddhist I constantly ask the question who's right? Me or her? All the atheists ever say is that there's only one truth but they never dare to say what that "truth" is, or is it that they're right and we should all shut up and go away?
XL you won't find polite or rational conversation (rarely honesty) in R&S just the same old people blabbing out the same old cliches (they're coming) having just come out of hospital (where I nearly died) one thing I've got to say is that I've rapidly tired of discussing the finer points of kiss my ar5e.
Welcome back 123everton hope you're doing well!

Point is, though, that a few years ago, it was almost universal belief among astrophysicists that the Universe was eternal. They believed it to either be in a steady state (not expanding nor contracting) or a constant expansion to a certain limit and a contraction to be followed by the expansion again. They certainly believed it to be infinitely old. The discovery of the Big Bang changed all of that.

How does that relate to your question, you ask? Even educated people who believed in infinite time came to understand that space and time itself had a beginning (and will certainly have and ending). Time before that event, as a definition of pre-, post and interim, did not exist. There was no time to be counted for God to be partaker of. He created time at the instant of the Big Bang which means He was outside of it at that point and is still outside of it now. I think Theland has come as close to a Biblically based answer as can be given. Having said that, it's at least as adequate as any that can be provided by those with a naturalistic world view.



The concept of "other" that Theland tries to impart is one that believers have grasped from almost the beginning of Biblical history. One that most non-believers deny, and that's their imperative, certainly.

I love this.... "Robert Jastrow, one of the worlds leading agnostic astronomers (described by Paddy Chayevsky as "the greatest writer on science alive today.") admitted, "Consider the enormity of this problem: Science has proven that the universe exploded into being in a certain moment. What cause produced this effect, who or what put the matter and the energy into the universe? Science can not answer these questions. For the scientist who has lived by faith and the power of reason our story ends like a bad dream. We have scaled the mountains of ignorance; we're about to conquer its highest peak, we pull ourselves over the final rock and we are greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
Clanad ....... we are greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

I can never get my head around what was there before, but I'm utterly convinced it isn't what theologians believe it to be. It makes no sense at all to me, because the track record of the Biblical God just doesn't gel. If there was something before, then in my opinion it has to be something far greater than that.
. . . seems a long time to be sitting around waiting just to "kiss my ar5e".

Seems odd to me, this conjecture that God provided us with five senses and an ability to reason only to demands that we turn a blind eye to all that we can know in order to believe in The Big Lie in the Sky.

The intent of Christians attempting to put two opposite ingredients, faith and reason, into a blender and mix well is obvious. Their hope is to obscure their contradictory beliefs from others and themselves behind a gray cloud of deception.

Theland, you have a remarkable tendency to paint non-believers with your own stripes. It is the theist who is attempting to proclaim their, and demand our, understanding of the unknowable at the expense of and in contradiction to what can be or is already known. It is those who seek belief in the supernatural for whom reality alone never will suffice. It is those who believe that the universe was created solely for their benefit who are drowning themselves in the depths of arrogance.
Did anyone see Horizon last night? I ask because it demonstrated so graphically and so clearly the vast scale of the universe. It's surely arrogant - not to mention illogical - to believe that all this was created especially for the benefit of a bunch of human ants inhabiting a very minor planet orbiting a very minor star.
Philosophers have always wrestled with the question, what can we know? Whilst there is undoubtedly a grey area and disagreement on the limits of our eventual knowledge boundary, there is agreement that a limit does exist. That doesn't stop us asking questions and speculating about the nature of the unknowable, but it is reasonable is it not, that some things will remain forever beyond our understanding?
That is where the arrogance of Man comes in, to state unequivocally that all knowledge is knowable, when I do not believe that it is, a view shared by many philosophers.
123 � First of all sorry to hear that you were not well. And may God has mercy on you in the future and bless you with health.

Theland, 123 Everton, I would say that you have given a good answer but unfortunately few people here are trying to depend too much on their knowledge and ability to solve the existence of God and beginning and the end of this universe. If human were that clever then someone must have found God by now. We are those people when we are asleep we consider our dreams to be so true that we totally believe in what we see until someone comes and gives us a nudge. Were we in a different world then. Why did we thought it was true. Why do we not believe that there are other truths but our abilities are limited to solve them. So many, and the truth of the existence of God and the start and the end of the world is one of those. We have some knowledge about universe or at least we believe we do. But God, I do not think we will ever do by depending on our intellect. I said this before that Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher said once that a little knowledge of science makes man atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God.
Nobody in Science has believed in infinite time for 100 years well certainly noy for 93.

The tone of my reply was because I feel it rather arrogant to decide that asking certain questions is itself arrogant!

Clanad is right that scientific opinion changes, but then so does religious opinion.

How many religious people these days truely believe that the world was made a few thousand years ago and that there was a garden of Eden etc. etc. etc.

Even in the US they are a minority and yet not long ago it was mainstream.
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thanks everyone for your answers. All interesting points of view. Have to admit I can't help feeling a little disapointed with the 'don't try and rise above your station by daring to ask' response - guess I was hoping for something a little more tangable and dare i say exotic.

Interesting though the idea that a creator created time as well as space... this poses some other questions which I'd love to hear speculation / theory on!

If a creator created time, was that creation by definition spontanious, an accident even? Without time before creation, how can the creator intelligently design?
If the Creator created time, it could not have been spontaneous, or an accident, but an act of will on the part of God.
I used the word arrogant, not in any pointed way at any individual, but in a general way regarding mankind, whose belief it seems to me, in his own abilities to solve the worlds problems, and become all-kowing, is tantamount to elevating himself to the status of gods.
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thanks Theland, don't worry, i didn't interpret your answer that way - i appreciate it wasn't directed at an idividual.

From your perspective, does the fact that mankind CAN aspire to higher knowledge constitute a design flaw, or is that capacity indended?

My belief is that the pursuit of knowledge is not only instictive, but dutiful.
There is, however, a choice of faiths. First, faith in a Creator God, who is unknowable except through revelation, and faith in science being able to answer even the ultimate questions of our origins.

The problem with this question is language.

Our language (and pretty much every human language) is entirely built on the concept of time.

Every sentence has a verb, a doing word - a word implying time. We use words like before, after, whilst with abandon.

We live our entire lives in the context of time and think we know it. It's like an ant that thinks the world is like his ant-hill.

In reality time is not universal. At high speeds and strong gravitational fields it slows and even stops.

For us to talk of before the big bang/creation makes no sense. It's like asking what was I doing 200 years ago, the English language is simply not up to it.
That's an excellent point Jake. I have trouble trying to think of, let alone talk about the concept of, "before," the big bang.
I'm amazed scientists haven't come up with a symbol to represent the concept, so that we can know what we are talking about without getting bogged down in the limitations of language.
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as far as I know Theland, scientists don't generally subscribe to the idea of a 'before' creation.

Hence, no symbol.
Let's invent one then.
Any suggestions?

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