Whenever the god as a first cause discussion comes up, somebody posts the rebuttal: "If everything needs a cause, then what is the cause of the creator god?".

Let's define the universe as everything that we can directly or indirectly experience. Space, time, the quantum field. Let's define god as the hypothetical resident of the hypothetical supernatural, and the supernatural as everything not belonging to the universe.

My problem is: as the creator of time and space, god does not reside in either. (Not agreeing to the previous sentence implies an immanent god, but the existence of the immanent god is true by definition.) By not belonging to time, the concept of CAUSE cannot be applied to god. It's outside context. Cause is what pre-exists and influences an event to the degree that without it the event does not occur. Take time away from the definition and the cause-effect link ceases to make sense. Cause and effect become interchangeable just by reversing the time axis. Take away time and poof, everything goes down the drain.

So, when you ask, "What is the cause of god?" you have implied that the supernatural features a super-time unidirectional axis according to which the concept "cause" can be applied to "god", which creates a meta-religion much more arbitrary than the others, because it is closely linked to the way our brain operates with time, space and logic categories.

Or, you have expressed pure nonsense, like "What is the width of envy?"

So, since people keep using this "creator of god" argument, as if nothing were amiss, I may be missing something obvious. What is it?

OT: I personally reject the "god as a necessary first cause" argument for the simple reason that I consider logic unable to derive truths in the context of the supernatural. It's a matter of belief, one can believe the universe is the ultimate abstraction from which all others stemmed, or one can believe the universe is itself an abstraction for something meta with respect to it. Occam's razor works against the first hypothesis, because it makes the universe special.

OT IN THE OT: I define the universe as an "abstraction" because I define "real" as "whatever can directly or indirectly influence us". But, then, defining the abstraction "game of chess" as a sequence of moves, what is real for the chess piece? The wooden board, no. The piece is influenced exclusively by the movement of other pieces, which is abstract for us and real for it. So, basically, real is what matches your abstraction level.

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    I think when you make an argument like this, you remove the situation from provability. It becomes uninteresting to talk about. Imagine instead of "God" you said "a unicorn" and you might understand what I'm getting at.
    – ritlew
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:16
  • I made some edits. You are welcome to roll them back or continue editing. I didn't know what "OT" meant. The creator god argument doesn't make sense to me either, however, it might be due to god not having a beginning rather than god being outside time and space. Welcome to this SE. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 19:53
  • When people ask "What caused the creator god?" I think they are really getting at the question: "Why is there something instead of nothing?"
    – user32250
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 20:08
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    What you are missing is here, "not belonging to time, the concept of CAUSE cannot be applied to god". Although the common concept of causality is temporal cause-effect relation does make sense without it as the idea of instant action at a distance shows. With respect to God and the first cause argument causality is explicitly generalized to be atemporal, e.g. creation of the world by Christian God is not creation in time, see Does causality always require an arrow of time?
    – Conifold
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 20:24
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    The "creator God is out of time" argument makes no sense. If the universe was created, there was a time before its creation, with God alone, and after, with God and the universe. At face value, it's nothing more than an excuse to stop using logic at the moment it becomes inconvenient.
    – armand
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 0:39

6 Answers 6


You and your interlocutor are coming at this problem from different and incompatible assumptions. It may sound as if you are communicating in the same language space, but you really aren't. Your assumption is that when we are speaking of a creator God, we are intrinsically speaking of an entity outside the ordinary realm of causality. In other words we can demarcate a realm, inside of which everything needs a cause, yet also believe that the creator of that realm is not inside of it. This makes one kind of sense.

On the other hand your interlocutor assumes that it's nonsensical to speak of any entity as having no cause, and therefore that your description of the uncaused creator is meaningless. That makes a different kind of sense.

In order to reach any kind of resolution, you and your interlocutor would need first to agree on some starting assumptions. For example, if your interlocutor accepts the reality of the Big Bang, you might ask if the Big Bang is not also a hypothetical uncaused cause. Thus you would be proceeding from something your interlocutor accepts to something you want him (or her) to accept, rather than simply trading incompatible beliefs.


"Who is the creator of god?" is a valid question because scientific inquiry demands assuming as little as possible, and applying those assumptions that cannot be tested/falsified consistently. The basis of the Kalam Cosmological argument is a series of assumptions:

  1. Everything within the known universe has a cause (i.e. Causality)
  2. These causal relationships extend beyond the beginning of the universe
  3. Whatever caused the universe is sentient and would be reasonably described as "god"

While #1 is based in science (and even the basis of scientific inquiry), it is #2 that I believe is being inconsistently applied within the Kalam argument. Causality outside of space/time (which we can only confirm exists within the universe) is an assumption which must be applied consistently.

By necessity, the creation of the universe occurred outside of the universe, and as such, outside of space/time as we understand it. If we're going to make the assumption that causality still applied, then we must maintain that assumption consistently. As such, we are left with two options:

  • If causality is true outside of space/time, any god would still require a cause. (i.e. "Who created god?")
  • If causality is not true outside of space/time, then the universe doesn't need a cause.

Either causality is true outside of space/time, or it is not. Either a creator god would also require a cause itself, or the universe may have no need for a creator at all. The Kalam argument clearly leans toward causality existing outside of space/time, and so "Who created god?" is a valid follow-up to those base assumptions.


I think that most of recursive problems are not causal, usually ends in an infinite loop that is out of conclusion.

Why? because the answer change depending on the answer itselft.

Then if you have a question like, what is the father of god? it will be a infinite loop of recursive iterations... (what is the father of the father of the father, etc...)

This is similar to "This sentence is false", once you test it, it has some self-reference recursive iteration that change the prior assumption.

Causality means that only the past or present affect some event at time t0, so if the test of a statement afect it's priors then it is not causal. and if it is not causal then it has no sense considering the way we interact with our world.


Another not unsimilar question that was asked was “Is Caesar a prime number”, with possible answers “The question makes no sense” and “Yes” or “No”. (Although nobody seriously claims the answer is “Yes”).

In this case, if we look at it seriously: We start by examining whether “god” is a well-defined concept. If we can’t agree what “god” means then the question cannot be answered. From the way the question is asked “god” must be a singular entity. If we found that Zeus and Odin both existed, they wouldn’t be “god”. On the other hand, the Christian “God” and the Muslim “Allah” if they existed would both be (the same) god.

Next we’d have to agree that god exists. (The way “god” is usually defined if god exists then there is only one, but whether god exists would first have to be agreed on). If god doesn’t exist, the answer would be either “question doesn’t make sense”, or “no, because god doesn’t exist”. And if you watched out, you’d find another possibility, that god once was created but doesn’t exist anymore.

Next you’d have to answer if god was created. Which doesn’t have an obvious answer at all. And if there is a creator, is it something that could be called “who”.

Does the question make sense? That’s not something that we can answer without finding answers to some very hard sub questions first.


Interesting chain of thought. However, in this particular case, there is an answer to the question of cause, because there is a beginning to Time -- relative to us (not necessarily relative to the Quantum Field or "Sea").

The answer is that GOD evolved. But the particulars to this answer belong to the Messianic prophesy of the Jews and you have to have the karma to deserve the answer to such an epic question.

Time began and Space, it can be said, began with GOD. The body of the Creator, however, was made at about Day 2 in the Hebrew Creation story -- a timeline you probably belong to and are dependent upon, unless you are Native American (or derived therefrom). Before then, it was more of a genderless Spirit, which is also mentioned in the Creation story.


You are highlighting the most critical special pleading for God; this is what Aquinas hinges upon: That God is special. While everything requires a Cause, God is the one thing that does not need it.

The idea that God is the only unmoved mover, however, is rapidly falling out of fashion, especially as the basics of quantum mechanics begin to osmos into the population.

Because quantum physics contains unmoved movers that are not (or at least don't appear to be) God.

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