Origin of Universe Belief Survey

Do you believe the universe was created by an intelligence of some sort?

If you answered yes or no, why do you believe this?

Do you believe there is any chance you are wrong in your belief?

If you answered “agnostic” or undecided, what are your thoughts on the question? Do you see any persuasive arguments on either side of the issue?

Thank you everyone who takes the time to answer! I am not looking for a debate, I simply want to hear what people have to say. I may ask a follow up question or two though. :slight_smile:

My belief is that I don’t know.

And there’s no chance at all that I am wrong about that.
[sub]PS, this thread belongs in IMHO.[/sub]

I believe that, since it is by definition impossible for us to observe that which is outside our universe, (since if we can interact with it, it’s part of our universe), it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty what may or may not have created our universe.

Furthermore, since cause and effect are a result of the flow if time, and time is inextricably linked to space and did not exist without our universe, we have no grounds to say that our universe even needed something to create it. It could well be that it simply exists on its own accord without the need for a creator.

I could be wrong. But I do believe that anyone who claims to have certian knowledge (as opposed to mere belief) of the creator of the universe is talking BS.

I believe that if the universe was created by some intellligent / deliberate action then the nature of the being responsible for this action would be so alien to us that the very nature of its existance would be completely incomprehensible to us - and, as a result, irrelevant.

This is a discussion of one of the greatest questions of our time. So i thought it belonged here per the description of the forum. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you each for sharing.

Andrew i have to respect such rational agnosticisim. I agree, i see no reason to argue it must have a creator. It is an impossible question to resolve with certainty from our point of view.

But do you have any leanings either way? For or against the possibility that an intelligence of some sort created our Universe for some reason? Or does it make more sense to you to think of the universe as fairly random?

WillG: Simply because someone is incomprehesibly more powerful or knowledgeable than someone else…doesn’t neccessarily preclude a meaningful and rewarding relationship, does it? I am far more powerful and knowledgeable than my children…incomprehensibly so when they are babies, yet my relationship with them is meaningful and rewarding. Couldn’t this be the same between us and the being who created the Universe…if there is such a being?

As for my personal reasons - I don’t believe in an intelligent creator. I can’t rule it out of course - it’s impossible to rule out that which might exist outside our universe - but it doesn’t seem to answer any questions to me. If the questions is “Why our universe rather than nothing?” postulating a creator simply raises the question “Why a creator rather than nothing?” Furthermore, an outside creator to the universe would, as WillGolfForFood pointed out, be an entity totally alien to our understanding. It’s not clear that we even could understand it’s actions as intelligent; how could we tell if it created the universe intentionally or accidentally? Might there be an incompetent, accidental creator of the universe?

Could we ever have a meaningful and rewarding relationship with such an entity? I dunno; I can’t say anything one way or the other about the properties of such an extra-universal creator. I suppose it could have set up the universe to develop in such a way that we’d think we were communicating with a familiar intelligent being. Of course, even if that were the case, it would be impossible for us to tell for certain if we were communicating with the extra-universal creator, or with some arbitrarily powerful agent inside our universe masquerading as the universe-creator.

I’m afraid that you misunderstood me there. What I said was “the very nature of its existance would be completely incomprehensible to us”. And yes, IMHO that would preclude a meaningful relationship, by definition.

The universe is an intelligence of some sort. No, not all of it, any more than all of you happens to be intelligent (had an interesting conversation with your toes lately?), but intelligence is definitely a subset of and a part of the universe.

As for its creation, the universe is a rather stupendously large vacuum fluctuation, so rather than having been caused by something (entity or otherwise), it (and we as part of it) is here pretty much simply because it can be.

Or, since it is conscious, you could say it is here because it chose to be.


I don’t believe it. The answer “no” is a negation of the statement “I believe the universe was created by an intelligence”, which means I do not believe that.

I have no belief in which to be wrong.

Fire away.

Well, when I perceive something of extreme beauty in the natural world, I am sometimes infused with a feeling that it cannot be a product of random chance. It just seems too beautiful. I think that evolutionary theory does not really satisfactorily explain a spider’s web, and that it is a sign of true hubris to claim otherwise. Focusing exclusively on a rational explanation also seems to me to be missing the point, somehow…

Then I watch this spider eat her mate, or I look around and see all the chaos, destruction, random disorder, suffering, and so forth in the world, the cruel reality of death, and I think, “Nahhh…” The creator would have to be one sadistic mo-fo, (no benign being, this) and anyway, maybe all of this stuff can be explained as a combination of chance and an underlying structure of universal laws.

But then again, you see, I’m a Gemini.

Not that I believe in astrology, mind you.

The reason the thread belongs in IMHO is because you averred that it is a poll, and not a debate. Polls belong in IMHO, as you can see from the forum descriptions.

But to give you a response, I believe that the universe was created fiat ex nihilo by God’s will (i.e., Jesus of Nazareth). I believe it because He told me so. I do not believe that there is any chance that I’m wrong because spiritual knowledge is not a matter of interpretation since the interpretation itself is placed into the heart by God.

I think Czarcasm will likely back me up on this.


What do you mean He told you so? As in through a religious book (Bible) or that he spoke directly to you?

And yes, this should be in IMHO rather than great debates…
Oh, I do believe the universe was created by a divine entity that is beyond our comprehension (uncaused first cause and all that jazz) but that’s not to say there’s a connection between that entity and religion. The entity might not even be conscious.

AndrewL: I totally agree with your reasoning about what we could ever know about such a creator. At best, we might make some deductive guesses. So have you ever felt persuaded in any way to think there may be an intelligent creator? (Or some very powerful being within our universe intervening in our world? ) If not, do you have any spiritual beliefs or inclinations?

Blowero: You semantic solipsist! Do you have any beliefs you are willing to share about the origin of the universe?

Libertarian: Could you please describe to me what it feels like to have spiritual knowledge placed directly into your heart by God?

Mr. Svinlesha: Computer models of evolving neural nets, model ecosystems, and evolutionary processes…have done produced some amazing results. So in my estimation, from what I have learned, it seems evolution doesn’t need divine intervention to explain what it has accomplished.

PS: Fine, i won’t debate anymore whether this is a great debate or a IMHO survey. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

I thought you were going to “ask a follow-up question or two”, not make vague and innaccurate characterizations. I’m just working with the questions you gave me - if you want better answers, ask better questions.

Well, since I wasn’t there at the time, it’s hard to know exactly what went on. Contrary to your opinion, this does not make me a solipsist. A solipsist would claim that we can know nothing about even our direct sensory experiences (i.e., am I a “head in a box”?). But, we have no experience of the beginning of the universe, at least last time I checked. If you have some photos, please email them to me.:smiley: If you want to characterize me, I would say “skeptic” would be more accurate.

As to what I think about the origin of the universe: “I don’t know”, pretty much sums it up. However, I AM pretty sure it did not happen as portrayed in the Bible. Too many things in that account conflict with our observations for it to be believable. Besides that, it conflicts with the creation accounts of other religions. Believing one account necessitates disbelieving another, so why believe ANY of them?

Does anything exist outside of the universe? We currently have no way of knowing, and I don’t see any point in blindly speculating. If “intelligence” does exist outside of the universe, I have seen no evidence that it interacts with us in any way. I do not find the claims of religious folks that they have some sort of direct mental link with this “intelligence” to be convincing, in the same way that I find astrologists and psychics unconvincing.

I am also unconvinced by the “beautiful design” argument. As Mr. Svinlesha (good to see you, Mr. S) pointed out, there is an equal amount of ugliness and meaninglessness to balance out the beauty in the universe. I would like to take this a step further, and suggest that beauty is simply a state of mind. Our brains are adapted to recognize things that are beneficial to us in some way, and we experience this as a pleasant feeling. A fly probably thinks a pile of dog poop is beautiful. The fact that these pleasant feelings can be reproduced artificially to some extent with drugs tends to support this explanation.

Finally, I think words like “origin” and “beginning” are misleading when applied to the universe. Cause and effect are characteristics of the universe. I see no reason to assume they apply to the universe AS A WHOLE. To do that would be to assume there is a time continuum OUTSIDE of the universe in addition to the time continuum of the universe itself.

Nope. Haven’t seen any convincing evidence that would presuade me, haven’t had any direct revelation from Jesus or anything like that (despite haveing been raised Christian.)

I believe in the materialist viewpoint, that our minds and conciousness are entierly physical phenomina. I believe that there’s nowhere we go when we die, and there’s no god waiting for judgement day. I believe that in the end humanity will live or die on it’s own merits, with no help from any outside agency.

Well, I believe the entire universe was sneezed out of the nose of a being called “The Great Green Arkleseizure”, and I live in fear of the time I call “the coming of the great white handkerchief”. I first learned of this belief from a popular book. The book was beautiful, and to me, beauty = truth. But I can provide zero data to support this belief. I am also open to the possibility that I am wrong.


I believe the universe has always existed, for it is illogical for time & space to suddenly begin from nothing.
But I suppose there may be a distinction between the universe (all that is) & our cosmos (our space-time continuum).
Also, the appearance of our local section of the cosmos might have changed enormously over time.
As far as life on earth, the lives of stars, the shape of the galaxy, & that kind of thing (the appearance of our “known universe”), I imagine that any given aspect was (a) created at various points by one or more supernatural agencies, (b) has been maintained through the infinite past by one or more supernatural agencies, or © just sort of grew into this shape without supernatural intervention. Or (d) some combination of these over time.

In other words, how should I know?


It feels like any sudden ex nihilo comprehension, as when you suddenly “get it” in algebra class, or when you suddenly “hear” the song you’ve been trying to compose, or when you suddenly “see” a very different side of someone than you had ever experienced before. It is simply a revelation, an epiphany, a complete and comprehensive understanding of something that you never understood before or understood in a different way. It is itself a form of creation, creation of comprehension out of nothing.

Like ** AndrewL**, I am an agnostic, though of a slightly different bent than he. I do not know whether any nonphysical entity exists, let alone whether any such entity of that class would be capable of creatio ex nihilo, even given the chance. Furthermore, I believe that it is not possible for anyone within the context of this universe to have knowledge of concepts wholly external to that universe; i.e., I do not believe that is possible for anyone to have actual knowledge on this subject. Further, I believe that anyone who claims to have this knowledge is incorrect, not in their actual belief, but in falsely conceiving that they have sufficient grounds to form a useful conjecture in the first place.

I go further than AndrewL in asserting my own positive belief that any (conceived) wholly materialistic unviverse is internally indistinguishable from any conceived wholly directed universe, provided that the directing entity is external to the framework of the universe under consideration (in other words, I don’t believe that any logical distinction can ever be made between the two without external reference, and furthermore that external reference is not possible. Therefore…)

If you answered yes or no, why do you believe this?

Epistemology. I do not believe that any reference frame extenal to the universe can be examined from within a circumscribed universe; therefore neither I nor any other person can have bona fide knowledge of this matter.

There’s certainly always a chance of this. However (and again see above for my beliefs), I do not think that agnosticism as a principle of knowledge can be argued against materially, since… well, see point one. There are. of course, certain cosmologies that presume that the mind achieves an external reference frame upon the death of the body, but since such a mind would be wholly external to the material universe, we still could not have any knowledge of this from our internal frame of reference.

No. Note that I am not “undecided”; on the contrary I am certainly quite firmly decided on this issue.

Yer Welcome.

foolsguinea wrote:

foolsguinea, meet Mr. Quantum Vacuum Fluctuation!