I recently heard a somewhat odd atheistic argument put forward by Stephen Hawking. His claim is that since the Big Bang began as a gravitational singularity, wherein time is frozen/ceases to exist (I’m not sure if there’s a meaningful difference between the two) it was therefore the beginning of time, and there was thus no time for God to have created anything.
Though I admit I have neither the intelligence nor the education of Stephan Hawking, I have to respectfully disagree with his reasoning here. I do agree that the Universe began as a singularity some 13.7 billion years ago, and I agree that within this singularity time was of course frozen/non-existent. However, I disagree that this was necessarily the creation of time itself. I don’t see why there couldn’t have been a time before the Big Bang, or an extra-universal region outside of the Big Bang singularity that had its own kind of time.
Gravitational singularities exist within our own Universe, at the heart of every black hole. Time is frozen in these singularities. Nonetheless, there is still a Universe outside of these singularities where time continues to exist. To my knowledge, each and every one of those singularities formed after the Big Bang, so there was a time before these singularities came into existence and time stopped inside them. Though the Big Bang singularity may have been orders of magnitude larger than any singularity currently in existence, it was still a gravitational singularity like the ones inside of modern Black Holes. Just as our Universe predates and exists outside of these singularities, I see no reason to rule out the possibility that some form of space-time predated the Big Bang singularity, and continues to exist outside of our Universe.
This pre and extra-universal space-time would be the Higher Spiritual Plane of Existence of religious belief, wherein God could have intentionally created the Big Bang singularity, taking all the time He wanted. Furthermore, if there was truly no such thing as time in the Big Bang singularity, then how could it have banged in the first place, unless acted upon by some external force?
A fundamental tenet of any belief in the supernatural is that the physical Universe is ultimately an illusion, and that there is a higher plane of reality. The laws of physics are therefore not entirely unbreakable, since they are ultimately not real. Our universe is a computer simulation (metaphorically,I think), meaning an entity from a higher level of reality could hack it just as we might hack a computer game. I am also sceptical that our present scientific view of our Universe is as complete or as accurate as many in the scientific community seem to believe.
So, I think that Stephan Hawking is wrong to say that time necessarily began in the Big Bang, thus omitting the possibility of a Creator. Of course, the existence of a Spiritual Universe posses the problem of infinite regress. How did that universe come into being? I admit that from a purely scientific view of the Universe, a Creator is not necessary, but even Richard Dawkins acknowledges that it’s possible. I believe in God because I do not feel it’s likely that the Universe is the result of purely random chance (this is based loosely on the Anthropic Principal) , but mostly because I find even a Deistic universe far less existentially horrifying than an atheistic one. And yes, I know that’s not scientific. But I don’t care.