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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Very interesting question, and not one that's easy to answer relevantly. I've read some interesting ideas, but none of which can yet be proved and most of which can't be falsified.

Then there's the semantics of the thing. Obviously it happened somehow, but we like to give it a reference to our understanding of time and space which, you know, didn't exist until this universe did.
It doesn't matter. Its unknowable. Let say we could travel to the literal edge of the universe, and then somehow cross that edge into, I'm assuming is a void with no time or space, what then? We still don't know what this existence really is.Or to before the big bang... same scenario.
Now lets travel inward to the atomic level and beyond. Even if we got to the smallest particle- which I believe there isn't such a thing- what then?
All we can do is learn more and gain a greater understanding of how things work. The why is pointless along with God.
I do not believe at all; any belief seems completely irrational and useless to me. There are many possible explanations for existence, and a paternal creator that mirrors our own faults seems among the least plausible.
I am entertaining this notion of the big bang in that it puts everything into a new context...

by Alexander Vilenkin

According to the new picture, distant parts of the universe are in the state of explosive, accelerated expansion, called “inflation”. The expansion is so fast that in a tiny fraction of a second a region the size of an atom is blown to dimensions much greater than the entire currently observable universe. The expansion is caused by a peculiar form of matter, called “false vacuum”, which produces a strong repulsive force. The word “false” refers to the fact that, unlike the normal “true” vacuum, this type of vacuum is unstable and typically decays after a brief period of time, releasing a large amount of energy. The energy ignites a hot fireball of particles and radiation. This is what happened in our cosmic neighborhood 14 billion years ago – the event we refer to as the big bang.

I can't imagine any atheist taking a stance on the origins of the universe. It would be more entertaining to toss around hypotheticals.
I would take a stance if it was in opposition (great or small) with somebody's stance that required the existence of god(s) to make sense. Beyond that, we have no special expertise (usually) and just like thinking about big (or little) things.
Makes my head hurt!


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