The question posited by the philosophers down through history is, "Is there a God?" In order to arrive at a reasoned conclusion, a number of questions and rationales are worked through. In contemporary times we have the added advantage of knowledge of the latest in scientific theory and hypothesis in respect to the earliest moments at the birth of our known universe. The popular "Big Bang" theory places the contents of the universe in an infinitely small space at zero moment, before exploding outward at zero plus. In particle physics an hypothesis is the "String Theory", which has it that all matter is comprised of almost infinitely small sub-atomic components called strings. These operate in a field of possibility, or potential. It is posited that an individual string's position in time and space cannot be determined, rather its position can only be estimated via probability.

How does this assist in our search for the ultimate answer "who or what brought the universe into being?" Most definitions of a god start with god being the entity who initiated the known universe. In our world view everything has a cause or originating event. Thus if the universe came to be at a point in time, by what cause did it occur. Generally if one agrees with the conception of a caused universe, then the causal agent is referred to as god. Acceptance of this proposition in no way assigns any other quality or property to god as there is no basis for claiming any further knowledge of god from this conception.

Alternate propositions circulate of which, a universe which has always existed, is another thought. In this instance god is unnecessary, as a cause, as it is deemed that the universe is without beginning. Whilst such a universe may be difficult to conceive, it nevertheless is an equally valid suggestion.

A further proposition has it that the universe spontaneously came into being. This conception does away with the notion of an originator or first cause. Thus god becomes redundant. The spontaneously existent universe, and the above always existent universe, do not make god nonexistent, just highly improbable.

When one considers the Big Bang commencement of the universe, why could not our Big Bang be one of a series of expansions and contractions of the universal fabric?

A theme common to the above scenarios is that they view god and the universe as separate entities. If we turned this on its head and started from the proposition that god and the universe are inseparable, we can develop differing formulations. Possibly then our answers or findings could be of greater palatability. Perhaps the infinitely small speck which preceded the Bang was god's consciousness about to create time, space and substance. Perhaps these string particles of scientific hypothesis, virtual sub-atomic lego blocks, have two properties, one potentially material as a string particle, and the second a reflection, nay manifestation of its ubiquitous, but unknowable(?) creator.

Going even further place god as the physical and supernatural source of the Big Bang. God then is every string that is. God is every atom comprised of multitudes of differing strings. God then is the stuff of the universe, the quintessence which comprises all there is. In a word "everything." This suggests we are comprised of the stuff of god.

Then again a material universe without the supernatural could be quite comforting to some. No spirit, no soul, no... It's almost no love in such a mechanistic existence. For each person, there is that which comprises ourselves, and that which comprises everything else that there is.

Where do we end and everything else commence? Is there a division? Is it at our outer skin? Or the edge of our aura? Are our thoughts contained within us or do they exist in themselves independent of our being?

The universe within ourselves is as vast as the one outside (from personal perspective), it is comprised of dreams, ambitions, feelings, certainties and uncertainties. We have the knowledge gained through our experience as we mature. We have the knowledge learnt from the inquiries of others. We have knowledge gained through insight, intuition, and internal revelation, and we have the speculation and questions that arise from contemplation of the unknown. As an example my knowledge of "String Theory" and the "Big Bang Theory" is learnt from others. Even my ability to provide a reasoned argument is in part owed to the thought and development of others who have refined the art of philosophical discourse. My contribution or original input in this particular piece is in the fusion and arrangement of ideas I have constructed. This arises from my insight or world-view, from my cosmology if you like. Thus we build our own hypotheses and paradigms and operate our lives accordingly.

What are we to make of the forgoing? There is as yet no definitive truth which in an empirical sense can answer for the positive or the negative. In the past, the mystics gained their knowledge of the unknowable god through revelation, meditation and various religious practices. Each of the ancient religions Buddhism, Hinduism etc. held truths about the universe that science has uncovered only since the Renaissance. Both held that the universe is immense, almost without bound. The medieval geocentric viewpoint only being turned on it's head by Copernicus 1473-1543 and Galileo 1564-1642, albeit then not accepted by the church, the moderator of "truth."

Is our revelation and insight into matters of cosmology in advance of science's ability to answer the resultant questions? The answer to this can only be yes. Perhaps a future boffin will establish an empirical test to determine the existence or otherwise of god. Until then we are stuck with philosophy, reasoned deduction, personal insights, and the "truths" of organised religion.

My final word is this, if there is no god, why does the question repeat itself so often? It just doesn't go away.

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