I can’t help but wonder what is the problem?— and why does Mr. Chesterton find something absurd to scoff at? I find his scoffing reasoning absurd and, unlike so many who find atheism absurd, I’ll tell you why in a way that makes his absurdity obvious: His reasoning applies the same line of thought he decreed absurd. If something cannot arise from nothing, how did a god named God gain its purported existence?
No matter how many characters get inserted into the creative lineup, the first one had to arise from nothing. Two alternatives are at play, here, no matter how we present it:
- The universe arose from nothing or the god named God arose from nothing; or
- (Less likely) the universe always existed or the god named God always existed.
To me, it seems absurd that the least likely set of alternatives gets chosen by both sides of the fray. For my own self, I set out to study upon how the universe arose from nothing. First, of believers, I must inquire, if you suppose a god to exist uncaused, who possesses and controls amazing powers of all sorts, it seems certain that, whatever their origin, those powers existed on their own, zinging and crackling and popping all over the dark, empty void, waiting for some master magician to take hold of them and turn them into something useful—even if it had to create a magician to do that. Doesn’t that make more sense than what y’all have been telling me since the very beginning of my life? You betcha! Now, at least, a source of energy has found its way into the story.
But, still, your god remains *unessential to the story. Whatever could create a god could more handily, and believably, give rise to a growing cloud of dust that eventually merged through gravitation to form a black hole, implode into itself, and scatter matter all over the void. The rest is pretty much historical.
Now, isn’t that story simple, sweet, and far more sensible than the one that you’ve been repeating? I’ve been working on it for years, wrote a little book about it that no one seems to want to read. Still, I see Chesterton’s argument all over the place, despite there being a response as simple and sensible as what you just read here.
*NOTE: Occam’s razor requires that unessential elements be removed from consideration. That may be why God gets described as ‘immaterial’ by religious leaders, as in “immaterial to the subject.”