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 Jul 2 '18 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. – Frank Hubeny Jul 2 '18 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 Jul 2 '18 at 20:08
  • this is the problem that all monotheistic theological philosophies face, how to explain the extracosmic creator. Monistic philosophies do not have this problem. – Swami Vishwananda Jul 3 '18 at 6:46
  • 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 Jul 3 '18 at 20:24

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.

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