Why does it matter what occurred before the Big Bang?
Cause and effect only have meaning in the context of there being time – and if the universe began at the Big Bang, so did Time begin, thus, the universe had nothing preceding it, since there was no time by which anything else could be put in a cause and effect relationship.
It may well be that the universe we occupy exists – or arose phoenix-like on the ashes of a collapsed previous universe – a perpetual universe of collapse and expansion, where everything that is possible to occur does occur.
Sometimes the idea that as soon as one person actually figures out the universe, it collapses and expands anew, something more strange and wondrous than before, makes perfect sense. In which case, Douglas Adams forecast more than the internet in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy in 4 parts, which later expanded to 5 with a 6th volume written by some other writer. Certainly, the universe has become a less cheery place with Mr. Adams being absent from it.
Godbots are always demanding answers of science that they do not demand from their own beliefs – and that they cannot distinguish between the actual answers provided by science and scientific theories where there are yet to be answers and “goddidit” is disturbing.
What exactly is “goddidit” supposed to answer, other than a vague everything? Goddidit doesn’t explain the how or why of anything.
It certainly doesn’t explain why a god that can poof the universe into existence and make it all appear as it would had everything occurred the way that we could expect and scientifically understand it to have occurred – yet, God is apparently only able to have made a handful of civilizations in a small region of the world aware of it’s existence – since the Abrahamic religions historically arose in the middle east and it’s path of followers can be clearly traced by trade and immigration routes – and none of the Abrahamic religions arose in other places in the world – it took missionaries to spread the word – along with swords to force conversion and diseases to finish off many who would refuse to convert and to scare the rest into submission.
Even a casual study of the history of religions should make it as plain as the nose on the student’s face that all religions are human ideologies to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the elite. A religion is no different than a political ideology – they are home grown and home spun, beginning as dangerous revolutionary upstarts to overturn the status quo and eventually, if successful, a replacement of what had been in place before.
If unsuccessful, well, one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. How it’s spun and remembered is entirely dependent on which side won – the old guard (aka traditionalists) or the new guard (change).
If the new guard is more successful, then with enough time, they become the traditionalists that resist replacement.
Which is why, when dealing with religion, they have to claim to have all the answers – if they can answer everything, then there’s no need to replace them.
This is why religious people resist social change, they do not work and play well with others – and are unwilling to change a system wherein they have all or the majority of the benefits. They act as if there’s a limit on the human rights and freedoms available, because deciding who is in and who is out is the essence of power and influence.
Once the artificial barriers are kicked down and trampled on and more people are included, then the sense of the benefits is somehow lessened, an emotional argument. A childish position and selfish understanding of the world – rather anti-evolutionary, given that members of small groups were interdependent and the ability to work and play well with other was critical to survival. Clearly, the greater numbers of people that survive to breed, the more opportunity there is for anti-social behaviours to flourish and be passed along or developed – when being cooperative is not longer vitally connected to survival.
Aside: In a way, science (aka modern medicine, improved sanitation, mass production, machines replacing human labour and other technology) becomes our undoing by removing nature as a factor in human survival. We have outbred our niche and environment, and now have the leisure time and surplus to eat ourselves and each other to death.
Certainly, women getting to vote did not diminish the votes of men – except that many men at the time probably did think that it was a stronger vote to have one vote out of 49% of the population instead of one vote of 100% of the population.
I just flipped in the middle of writing that sentence – more people voting means that the people running to be elected have to dilute their message and appeal to more people – more people voting does mean that individual votes matter less.
This is why the godbots and right wing moral majority don’t want any more expansion of human rights and equality – they are just not capable of sharing and so only can enjoy what they have as long as there are people who cannot have a share.
But they cannot be honest and say we’re bigots and we’re always going to be know it all bigots, even though the answer that we have to offer – goddidit, god says so, god’s will, sometimes the answer is no – isn’t any kind of answer or explanation at all. None of those blanditries explain how or why and with no evidence that there is a god – and because I say so isn’t a basis to deny people rights or live your life according to rules in a text that is historically inaccurate, internally inconsistent, unevenly written, poorly edited and translated and re-translated with various agendas over the centuries – hardly a stable basis for a belief system and demonstratively proven to not be sacred, given all the agenda fiddling to maintain power in the hands of an elite.
It makes sense, men forming the actual hierarchy of the religion translates into men being the power base in the society that the religion controls – which is why the paranoia of the straight white conservative male of having to be inclusive and tolerant of diversity is almost comical – given that the faces in the parliaments or senate or house or commons in secular democratic countries remains fairly solidly pale males, with just a sprinkling of women and a slight dash of colour.
That diversity is becoming the norm within the government bureaucracies and the board rooms of multi-national corporations is only the mechanism for political change and increased representative diversity of the actual lawmakers – and it is resisting that inevitable change that gave rise to the American tea baggers – who are so staid as to not understand the double entendre.
Aside: Why is it that conservative religious types are far more obsessed with gay sex than gay people? And why in allegedly heterosexual porn is the money shot the cum shooting out of the dick? Aren’t they supposed to be watching the girls?
So in a past California state election where the rights of chickens to be treated humanely passed by a large margin, these same voters voted against the human treatment of their fellow homosexual humans. The Prop 8 Anti-Gay Marriage ballot was passed partly through the reverse wording – voting yes mean voting against – and the largely out of State interference by the Church of Mormon, a major reason of the defeat for gays and lesbians was the black community voting against gays having equal rights. Black people, once slaves who were freed and had fought hard to win legal equality, en masse basically said “We the man now, no marriage for you gay people.”
They got their legal equality, which apparently was not going to be charitably extended to another minority, but withheld as if to deny equality, the ability to form legally recognized families and enjoy the protections and access to over 1000 rights and responsibilities, was somehow moral. I guess that one can only have power by virtue of others not having power. While rights and freedoms are not in short supply, there is always a run on power.
Were people confused and expecting that somehow, gays and lesbians would pack their bags, and live single and sexless lives?
Well, we won’t and we’re not sorry. Being gay doesn’t mean we are sub-human and less deserving of forming families and pair bonding. We all have the same biological imperatives, we’re just wired differently.
Gays and lesbians can and will continue to couple up and some will raise children – are these children less deserving of protections than the children in households of one man and one woman?
Withholding the rights is not going to alter reality – and this is perhaps the most dangerous thing about religion. Religion is already divorces from reality – and now that unreality is being shoehorned into government policy and practices – where it should not be. Reality and the government of secular democratic societies are for all members of the society.
Religion is just for those who wish to participate in it – and these preferences should not be foisted on the public – not in oaths of office, not in national anthems, not in constitutional law or any subsequent law or government practice or policy.
Power of the people means empowering all people equally – rights and freedoms for all, balanced against personal responsibility and accountability to not cause harm to any other people.