Before I ask my question, I must say that I love your page. I am not Atheist, but I am Agnostic. Your points make complete sense and I love reading everything you write.
I have two main questions:
First, how did you go about studying everything you know? Did you learn them on your own or do anything else to study religion? I saw that you said you have studied the religions like Islam and Christianity. I myself only know a bit about Christianity because I grew up Christian.
My other question: What is your opinion on the creation of the universe? Do you believe in The Big Bang Theory, or any other theory suggested? Do you think some points that Stephen Hawking has made are valid evidence? Like that he says that the universe can create itself from the laws of physics alone. I have been looking into this topic alot lately, and would like to know your opinion.
I hope you have time to answer my questions.
Thanks for writing. I will try to address your questions in the most succinct way I can since each one by itself could take many pages if one where to give details.
1) Like I have said elsewhere, I grew up in a Christian home and was very active in church. So active that I am only about 16 credit hours away from a bachelor’s degree in Theology. I used to preach and win souls for Christ. Still it was not the time spent at seminary or the hours of preaching that gave me the little bit of knowledge I hope I have, but the time spent reading books, articles and doing my own research on the subject. It was a thirst for truth. The same that led me to reject the superstitious beliefs I once held so dear. It was not easy, but it sure was unavoidable.
2) I see no reason why one should assume the universe was “created”. Like you just stated, current cosmological theories present a universe that gives birth to itself just based on the physics (see here)*. I am going to buy Hawking’s book tomorrow by the way. Still, even if we had no idea where all things came from that does not mean a god did it or that they were created. That is just common sense. Those that propose a creator need to show evidence for it. None has been presented so far, it is highly unlikely they will find it in the future. Or at least it is as likely as finding evidence for the existence of unicorns, elves and fairies.
3) For some thoughts on atheism and agnosticism check out point 7 on the FAQ.
Thank you so much for writing. Keep researching and learning. To me nothing could be more enjoyable, worthwhile and just plain fun.
* Other theories propose a timeless cosmos (the word we use to describe the universe pre and post big bang), a cosmos that has always existed. The bottom line is that a god becomes superfluous and unnecessary just by having a cursory look at current cosmology. As time goes by god belief will keep running out of gaps in human knowledge to hide in.
Just like Laplace said: “Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là”