I was wondering about the different theories Atheists have about how our Universe came to be, what happened before the big bang? Or did that even happen? Obviously a theist generally believes God made everything happen, what are your thoughts?

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That was a very interesting read, I may have to go through it a second time to really grasp what you're saying lol. Thank you so much for your input! It's a fascinating subject.
I know it's often fashionable to bash Kant but I think he was right about existence not being a predicate. Actually, he said something about it not being a "real" predicate (which takes it out of linguistic games territory.)

x is blue
x is colorless
x is long, narrow, and slithers along the ground

are all sensible statements. But I don't think

x is

says anything. Predicates say something (add to) that which is presupposed to exist in order for the predicates to be added to it.

And if existence is not a predicate, I don't think it can be a subject either.
What I did was along the lines of treating "exist" like any other intransitive verb, like "jump". E.g.: If God created jumping, it would thus be inappropriate for him to jump; if he created existence, it would be equally inappropriate for him to exist.

If someone can show clearly that "exist" does have some property that makes using it as I might do with any other verb in the way I did inappropriate, then, I mean, hell yeah, that'd be great. But, so far, I've just got, myself, and heard from others, "That doesn't sit right in my stomach.", and, since I've eschewed a lot of notions that stemmed from nothing but a feeling and been better off for it, I still feel better not sticking the little plastic-and-glue "Exception" label on "exist".
Top post - could not have said it better. As for what was before this universe, I think that the question is meaningless in the context of this universe as it is the result of the BB in the first place.
This image,

taken from the Hubble, at a seemingly dark patch of the night sky, humbles me. It makes me realize that any theory I could come up with is meaningless. I'll let the theoretic scientists battle it out using whatever verifiable evidence they come up with to support their theories. Seeing we're only here for a brief flash between to eternities, I'll let someone else worry about this.

Me, right now, I'm crackin' open a beer and settling in to watch the Patriots/Colts game. Football I understand. ;^)
Good answer! :)

I love these pictures, it really puts our size into perspective. Thank you for commenting!
If you haven't watched it yet, take a look at The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field in 3-D.
We are so small... and yet still, so inextricably connected to all of this.
. . . and indeed we are made of star dust too: the very elements of the Universe, Solar System, and Earth.
I am with you here! The universe is bigger and more complex than we can even imagine. It's way past the limits of our imaginations at this point and until we can learn more, we can't have ideas about what is true. So, we keep pushing for discovery (we must demand discovery!), as it is our human nature to do, and let our big beautiful brains figure it out when the facts become present.
As for the football game, I'll be watching the Titans ;)
Possibly, it could have been an intelligence of some kind. I'm open to that possibility but I don't know if it can ever be proven. So, in regaurds to the beginning of the universe, I'm agnostic. But I can name specific gods that weren't invovled. Yahweh, for example.

In regaurds to the universe in general, I believe that the universe is always stranger than you think it is and the moment you think you've finally got it all figured out things get even stranger, or as Douglas Adams says,

"There is a theory which states that if anybody ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Lately I've been wondering about the big bang. It would be interesting if the evidence we have for the big bang just happens to resemble what we think the big bang would look like if it left evidence behind, when in fact it might be evidence of something else entirely. I'm also open to the idea of mult-verses. Basicly, anything goes.
That sounds like Arthur C. Clarke's story "The Nine Billion Names of God". Do you have a link to this?


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