Atheism, Something, and Nothing

A common theme here has been that atheism is not merely the absence of belief in something, but an affirmative belief system unto itself.  We propose to systematically uncover what that belief system is, beginning with the beginning.

In the beginning, according to the atheist perspective, there was nothing.  Not another form of prior existence, but nothing.  What came to be, originated not in other things, but in nothingness.  Because atheism means that there is no supernatural reality, it holds that material reality, physical things, are all that there is.  Thus, according to atheism, all that is—being all physical things including the physical laws governing those things—came from nothing.

Theists also say that there was nothing physical before there was something physical, but theists don’t have the problem of something springing into existence from nothing. For theists, although there was no natural thing, there was a supernatural thing:  God, and all of physical reality came from Him.

“Everything,” according to atheism, includes only matter in motion: atoms, rocks, trees, mountains, oceans, planetary systems, galaxies.  Some of what is included in this vision of everything cannot be seen, though it exists materially.  The wind is a thing.  Molecules of invisible gases.  A thing in motion, more precisely.  And though we may see the effects of the wind, we don’t see the wind.  And neither do we see the strange particles and attractive forces that populate seemingly (but not really) empty space.

All of matter exists in three dimensions.  We can describe them as length, width, height.  We can plot a thing’s constituent points on x, y, and z axes, though our placement of the “0” of those axes will always be random.  And, also easily imaginable in our common perception, a fourth dimension:  time.  And so a tangible, physical thing will occupy a specified space at one instant, and another defined space at another instant.  Matter is in motion.  In fact, all matter is in motion, all the time.

All of these physical objects existing in time and space are tied together. In fact, we now know that there is a connectedness between time and space.  Especially when we consider large bodies at vast distances each from the other, we surmise that matter may bend time; and time, matter.  This becomes more understandable as we embrace the truth that there are large forces at work in the universe.  Forces of gravity and electromagnetism, among others, produce strange results that we are only beginning to understand.

The important thing for our present discussion: those forces are things, too, if not tangible things like rocks.  They are not “nothing.”  They originated with every other thing, in the beginning, and according to atheists, physical things and the laws governing their coming into being and their movements once in existence, are all of reality.

2 thoughts on “Atheism, Something, and Nothing”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *