Would it be reasonable for an atheist to propose that the big bang is the “uncaused cause?”
I read a few articles on your website about God being the uncaused cause. I’m aware that this is more of a philosophical argument, with scientific evidence supporting it. However, if we just consider scientific evidence with philosophical thinking aside, can atheists argue then that the big bang itself is the uncaused cause? I realize you said that all physical and natural phenomenon has a cause and at one point there must be the first cause. What if the atheists use this line of thinking by concluding that so far, science can only conclude that the first cause is the big bang? And to be a devil’s advocate, invoking God to the cause of the big bang because we have no answer (maybe yet?), would be like invoking God to every other unknown causes in the past which would later be discovered by science.
Almost by definition, anything which begins to exist was caused to exist. This is called the Kalam Cosmological Argument. William Lane Craig is famous for this argument. The premise of this argument is that anything which began to exist at some point in time was caused. This is a compelling premise! The argument, then, goes as follows: The Universe began to exist. Therefore the Universe was caused to exist. Craig (and I) argue that this cause, by definition, is Creator/God. This does not “prove” that God exists. It is an argument based on a reasonable premise and no more than that. It is not possible to prove that God exists, as far as I know. However, this is certainly a very strong argument.
As far as I know, no one who is well trained in science and philosophy makes the claim that the big bang itself is the first cause because it simply cannot be this, as the universe came into being at some point in time. To be honest, anyone making this claim publicly would be laughed off the stage.
Sure, one can play devil’s advocate and claim that the kalam cosmological argument is not the best explanation of the existence of the universe. The problem is that the atheist has to come up with a better explanation for why the universe exists. They can tell us that the universe exists, but not WHY it exists. Even if they propose some sort of scientific cause of the universe’s existence, this would not explain how that cause came to exist.
To say that the kalam cosmological argument is not true because we have no other answer is to beg the question. What is the better explanation of the existence of the universe that the atheist has in his or her pocket? To say that we reach this conclusion because we have no other answer is really just rhetoric. We have no other answer because there IS no other answer. One defeats an argument by making a better argument, not by simply saying that one does not agree with the argument.
To repeat, even if science could find some sort of physical principle by which universes are created, and this has not happened yet, science would still have to explain how this principle came to exist. This would not solve the kalam cosmological argument. The great question which the atheist literally has no explanation for is that anything at all exists.