I’ve been wanting to post something like this for quite a while, and if it is successful I may do more in the future. I’d like to post a question for atheists to respond to without starting a debate. That is, I’d like any atheists out there who come across this entry to feel free to leave their own answer, in their own words, and I’d like to ask those who are not atheists (meaning most who read this blog regularly) to hold back and not interfere or disagree. I’d rather prefer to allow this post to exist as a place for atheists — or those leaning in that direction — to feel free to leave their own thoughts.
As a presenter on the Tomorrow’s World program, I may be able to use some of the more well crafted or insightful responses on the program in a future episode.
I know that those who are not atheists out there may be chomping at the bit to respond to some of the comments, and in future posts I may, as well. But I would like this to be a place where atheists can come to respond to a question without expecting a lot of debate. However, that said, the normal comment policy will apply, and profanity or ad hominem attacks will not be published. Also, I’d rather no one post a link in their comments — I’m trying to collect the thoughts of individuals, well worded and concisely stated, not redirects to larger websites.
It may take a while for many comments to build up on this post, so I plan to leave it up for some time. As I have never done anything like this before, if I have started off things poorly and need to clarify something, I will try to jump in and do that.
All of that said, here’s the question I would like you to feel free to post about:
Why is there something rather than nothing?
That is, the world around us, the universe, the laws — why is all of this here?
(E.g., For those current in developments in theoretical physics, rather than simply go back to branes and the “bulk”, go further: why is all of that there, and why are there such intelligible laws governing all of it? Feel free and throw in Tegmark’s Ultimate Ensemble if you like. Why is there something rather than nothing?)
I believe that I know some of the answers atheists might provide to that question, but I’d rather give you the opportunity to give your own answers. (It’s easy to wrongly assume all “atheists” think alike, just as it’s easy to assume all “Christians” think alike, and I don’t want to make that mistake here.) If any atheists passing by out there would oblige me, I would greatly appreciate it.
[UPDATE, 20090306: In the event some are noticing that their comments don’t come up immediately, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the comment was given the boot. Rather, since the comments are moderated and I don’t get to them nearly as often as I would like, it sometimes takes a while. Thanks!]